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Heron, Rufous-bellied

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Johan van Rensburg
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Heron, Rufous-bellied

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:26 am

In Southern Africa, the Rufous-bellied Heron, Ardeola rufiventris, is resident on the Okavango Delta, while it is thought to be a breeding migrant to Zimbabwe and the Nyl River flood plain in Limpopo Province mid to late summer. Generally it is an uncommon to rare bird in South Africa with only a handful of birds reported annually from the extreme north-eastern parts of the country. It generally prefers flooded grassland and the shore of permanent water bodies that are fringed by reed beds where they hunt on the landward side of well vegetated wetlands and in the shallow water. It mainly eats fish, amphibians, insects and worms, doing most of its foraging by standing still or slowly moving along, stabbing any prey that comes too close.

Image

This heron is about the same size as a Squacco heron but are generally a lot more skittish and would fly off as soon as they realise they have been discovered even though the observer may be a comfortable distance away.

This bird was photographed on the fringes of a vlei in NKZN.
727 Latest lifers: Swamp boubou, Hartlaub's babbler, Chirping cisticola, Coppery-tailed coucal, Red-billed spurfowl, White-browed coucal, Scharlow's turaco, Copper sunbird, Long-toed lapwing, Eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Malagasy pond heron.

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wildtuinman
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Re: Heron, Rufous-bellied

Unread post by wildtuinman » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:08 pm

Image

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675
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Heron, Rufous-bellied

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:25 am

Like most birds along rivers and dams, this rufous-bellied heron was quite comfortable with a crowd of birders on a boat and we could get much closer than you would when approaching the same bird on terra firma.

Image

Boating game drives are BIG on the Chobe river and some 20 to 40 boats of various sizes launch from Kasane, laden with tourists bent on seeing the elephants, buffalo, hippo and crocs. You have to impress upon your guide / skipper that you are birders, otherwise he will speed by all the featered bits... :hmz:
727 Latest lifers: Swamp boubou, Hartlaub's babbler, Chirping cisticola, Coppery-tailed coucal, Red-billed spurfowl, White-browed coucal, Scharlow's turaco, Copper sunbird, Long-toed lapwing, Eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Malagasy pond heron.

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hilda
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Re: Heron, Rufous-bellied

Unread post by hilda » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:44 am

Beautiful picture of this stunning bird Johan! :clap: :clap:
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