Chobe National Park has exceptional birding, especially when we were there during the rainy season in early January. All of my bird facts are taken from Roberts Bird Guide, a great birding resource for Southern Africa. We saw some nice birds out in the bush as well, but the river boat tours have been the best for spotting and photographing birds.
Pied Kingfisher. We also spotted this variety of bird on the Kavango River, but this is the first good photo I was able to get. The double breast band indicates that this bird is a male.
Southern red bishop. The elusive red bishop! We were all pretty excited to see this bird looking like he had just put on his finest for church. The female of this species looks like a small brown sparrow and would be hard to distinguish.
White-winged tern. This is the smallest freshwater tern in the region and migrates to southern Africa during the breeding season.
African sacred ibis. These large water birds are a common resident to the wetlands of southern Africa. Here they posed for a nice bill shot. We call that the “money shot” in birding.
African openbill stork. One of the smaller storks in the region. The bill is used like a nutcracker for its main prey of snails and mussels. This bird is classified as near-threatened. This was the “yoga bird” in the last post.
Goliath heron. The largest heron in the world! Eats mostly large fish and frogs. It can reach a height of 1.4 m and weigh 4.3 kg.
Another photo of the goliath heron. The boat spooked it a bit and it flew off but it was a nice display of its massive wingspan.
African fish-eagle. Looks very similar to the bald eagle of North America. Very common in the river habitats of Namibia and Botswana that we have visited.
African jacana. Also called the “Jesus bird” for its apparent ability to walk on water. Its large splayed toes allow it to wander on lily pads in search of food. I think this might be its nest. Another bird who can build its own island!