Top birding hotspots in the Western Cape
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The Cape Floristic Kingdom, with its unique floral and habitat diversity, is one of South Africa’s most picturesque and most popular birding areas. Although the Fynbos does not have the large variation of bird species that the bushveld does, several endemic and highly sought after species do occur. Below is a selection of five favorite birding locations all within easy … Read More

The African Penguin – Fading away to Extinction!
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When Vasco Da Gama first rounded the Cape a few hundred years ago, African Penguins numbered in their millions. Today, the global population stands at around 30 000 pairs and with the population of this iconic seabird falling at 20% per annum (equating to a loss of 200 pairs per week over a period of 100 years), the African Penguin … Read More

Cape Gannets: Indicators of the state of our oceans?
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The global population of Cape Gannets has decreased by over 20% in just three generations! This is largely as a result of overfishing in the small pelagic fisheries off the South African and Namibian coastlines. Other threats to the species include oil pollution, climate change (that brings increased risk to diseases) and predation from seals. With a reduction of food … Read More

The Blue Crane – South Africa’s vulnerable national icon
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Last week, while driving through the Swartland’s lush wheat fields, I was met with a spectacular sight, at least 20 Blue Cranes were wandering through the green fields. It was enough to cause a minor traffic jam as day tourists pulled over to photograph our national bird. While those of us in the Cape appreciate this beautiful sighting, we don’t … Read More

Species in Focus – Cape Sugarbird:
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The Cape Sugarbird is one of two endemic sugarbird species to be found in South Africa and is restricted to the Cape Floristic Kingdom between the Cedarberg Mountains and the Buffalo River near East London, where its distribution is linked to the occurrence of Protea species. It is an altitudinal migrant during summer and winter and when it is not … Read More

Seabird Islands of the Western Cape:
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Critical breeding grounds for African Penguins, Cape Gannets, gulls, cormorants and tern species, the guano islands that lie off the coastline of the Western Cape of South Africa protect seabirds from disturbance and predation from land-based predators. Sadly, the populations of many of these seabirds are in rapid decline due to a variety of human induced pressures and these islands, … Read More

Species in Focus – Orange-Breasted Sunbird:
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Measuring in at only around 15cms in length the Orange-Breasted Sunbird has to be one of the Cape Floristic Kingdom’s most attractive endemic species. The male’s spectacular coloration of metal-green head and neck, blue collar and orange belly make it unmistakable, while the female is a much drabber olive-green in color. It is mainly found in dense stands of proteas … Read More

Last Remaining Colony of Cape Vultures within the Western Cape
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The only remaining colony of Cape Vultures in the Western Cape is situated in the Potberg Mountain of De Hoop Nature Reserve, where the colony roosts and nests in a deeply incised gorge. They have managed to climb back from an all time low of around 30 birds in the 1970s to between 175 – 200 birds at present. They … Read More

Flagship Species: The Black Harrier
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It is estimated that less than 100 Black Harriers are protected within formally conserved areas and that outside of these protected areas, the birds are reliant on remnant patches of natural vegetation, feeding in agricultural landscapes. As the worlds most range restricted continental harrier with an estimated global population of between 500 and 1000 breeding pairs, they are a southern … Read More

Endemic Bird Species Hot Spots
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  Falling within the heart of the globes smallest floral kingdom, the Cape Peninsula is host to 40 of South Africa’s 160 endemic bird species. The area is not known for its quantity of birds but rather its quality and although there are around 300 bird species having been recorded on the peninsula, the majority are waterbirds or seabirds that … Read More