Raptors, the forgotten treasures of the African bush

The Greater National Kruger Park is home to many different animals and more often than not the focus is on spotting the ‘Big 5’. But what about the not so highly sought-after animals? How about the birds?

In this post we want to highlight three species of raptors from the plethora of beautiful predatory birds, all of which can be spotted around Senalala Luxury Safari Camp in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve.

Bateleurs

Endemic to Africa, this medium-sized eagle’s closest relative are snake-eagles. The name ‘bateleur’ comes from the French word for ‘street performer’, which derives from the birds characteristic habit of rocking its wings from side to side when gliding, as if trying to maintain its balance.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is classified as near threatened, mainly from habitat loss and poisoning, and only about 50,000 exist today (mostly in protected areas).

pair-raptors

Brown snake-eagle

Also endemic to Africa, this eagle is of least concern from a conservation status. As its name implies, it feeds mainly on snakes but will also eat lizards and small mammals.

One of the snake-eagle’s idiosyncrasies is that they prefer to use deserted or partially destroyed nests, which they then repair and lay a single egg. The nests are usually far from predators and human settlements.

Brown-Snake-Eagle

Dark chanting-goshawk

A bird of prey found mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, it is classified as being of least concern conservation-wise. There are five recognised sub-species but the one shown here is Melierax metabates mechowi.

This bird preys on a variety of other birds, mammals and reptiles, swooping in to kill the prey on the ground or in the air. They have been known to kill guinea fowl and mongoose.

chanting-goshawk



Senalala Luxury Safari Camp

Senalala is one of Africa's most sought after Walking Safari destinations with highly skilled guides capable of safely leading enthralling big game encounters. This exceptional activity is combined with the verdant setting of the camp and associated traditional safari experience comforts.

Africa Geographic