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The answer to Tanda Tula’s Easter themed #trackitthursday challenge this week is…. the African mourning dove.

african mourning dove
© Christophe Eyquem

The African mourning dove is a very common species in Southern Africa, preferring the moist lowland savannah areas such as Northern Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kruger. It is often compared to the Darma ring-necked dove, but can be easily distinguished by the red ring around its eyes.

This bird can measure up to 31cm long (including the tail). It’s tail, wings and back are a pale brown with a greyish head and pale pinkish under parts. On it’s neck it has a small black streak with a white border. The feet and patch of skin round the eyes are both red.

When in flight, you can see it’s blackish flight feathers with a large area of white in the tail. It is hard to tell the male and females apart, as there are no distinguishing physical features.

The African mourning dove makes its stick nest high up in trees, usually on mangroves. On average they produce only two eggs, which are white and incubated for about two weeks. They feed on grass seeds, grains and other vegetation and they forage off the ground in flocks of around 30.

eggs

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Tanda Tula

Located in the Timbavati Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park. Tanda Tula Safari Camp features 12 luxury tents nestled in riverine forest overlooking a riverbed while the Tanda Tula Field Camp is an exclusive use 4 tented walking safari camp, modelled on the early explorer camps with modern comfort. The Tanda Tula camps are owner-managed.