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Heron catching Namaqua Doves

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Heron catching Namaqua Doves

Unread post by JimS » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:01 pm

A recent Birdlife Africa magazine had an article describing Black Headed Herons catching birds at a Kgalagadi waterhole. Last October my wife and I saw two Black Headed Herons catching birds at Leeuwdril, maybe the same Herons as the Birdlife article.

As we stayed at TR for 17 days we photographed the Herons numerous mornings. Initially we hoped to photograph the jackals catching Sandgrouse, a sight we have seen on many occasions at Cubitje Quap. The Jackals however showed no interest in catching Sandgrouse.

A pair of herons had taken over the catching of birds at the waterhole. One heron stood in the waterhole to catch birds, at the same time preventing the second heron from entering the water.

The heron was very successful catching sparrows and canaries, but was also very adept at catching Namaqua Doves. We have many images of the heron with a bird but the image below shows the Heron catching a Namaqua Dove as it flew past the Heron’s beak, simply catching the Dove in flight.

After catching the bird the Heron then dunked the bird in water three or four times, maybe to provide some lubrication before swallowing the bird as can be seen in the second image.

I have used the attachment feature for the images so the images are small, but can be enlarged by stretching the image on a tablet, or clicking the image on a PC.

Thanks for viewing


Heron Catching Dove.jpg

Heron Catching Dove 2.jpg

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Re: Heron catching Namaqua Doves

Unread post by barryels » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:08 pm

Quite an amazing sighting JimS :shock: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .
Always be humble and understanding.
KNP 5-12 September 2017
KTP 21-28 Nov 2017

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inyanga 1
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Re: Heron catching Namaqua Doves

Unread post by inyanga 1 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:38 pm

:thumbs_up: Excellent capture.....

by the Heron
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2016 Reis verhaal from Kruger 'Bush' Camps.. TR done
Other TR's 2015 Cape to Namibia .. 2013 Mokala & KNP ..

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Karin Mitton
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Re: Heron catching Namaqua Doves

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:48 pm

That is really interesting behaviour. Great photos!!

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