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Fork-tailed Drongo
Birds

One Perfect Moment

We watched, enthralled, as this scene unfolded – beautiful soft late afternoon light, a mildly irritated Lessser Spotted Eagle on a dead tree on the skyline being mobbed by several very vocal, agitated Fork-tailed Drongos. The drongos were unrelenting with their 4-to-5 note harsh chastisement, the eagle hissing and bill snapping – although not too

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Deck Beds
Bush Sounds

Oh, what a night!

Well, it wasn’t quite the Four Seasons, but it was at least two…Late August, two nights after full moon and we are all set for our 12 hour overnight recording; the weather report indicates clear sky, we have postponed once already due to inclement conditions, and we are full of excitement. Our destination is the

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Hippo Yawning
Mammals

Hippo Yawning

Estes, in his book ‘The Behaviour Guide to African Mammals’, briefly describes yawning as a threat display and includes a line drawing showing the behaviour where two rivals stand face to face with their mouths wide open. Another reference suggests that this is a way for two bulls to size each other up. What is

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Common Duiker
Mammals

Common Duiker Alarm Call

Some antelope such as Impala are very vocal, particularly in the breeding season. Kudu and Nyala both have very loud alarm barks. But what about the much smaller Common Duiker? We have a resident pair living around our home in Raptor’s View Wildlife Estate in Hoedspruit, South Africa and never seem to hear anything from

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Black Rhino
Mammals

Black Rhino Stare-down

We are on our sound safari at Sausage Tree Safari Camp in the Balule Game Reserve on the edge of Kruger National Park. It is 8am as we drive around a bend in the road and suddenly a large Black Rhino is spotted feeding behind a bush close to the road. We stop, switch the

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Leopard
Mammals

The Leopards’ Love Song

It is now the third morning in a row that a leopard has been calling over and over around the house any time from 3am through to daybreak.  On day 1 it was still calling at 7am very close to where we were walking, and we decided that we should discontinue the walk until later

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Dung Beetle
Insects

Insect Musicians

Three groups of insects, crickets, katydids and cicadas may be called insect musicians. The first two, crickets and katydids create sound by stridulation, i.e. rubbing specially modified body parts against each another. Cicadas on the other hand have a unique noise making organ, a tymbal which is located on the front side of the hollow

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Red-billed Oxpecker
Birds

Tracker Birds

Tracker birds introduces a really exciting new initiative “Tracker Mentoring” which is the brainchild of our good friends Dr. Kersey Lawrence and Lee Gutteridge. This series of on-line tracking courses is aimed at stimulating an interest in tracking among children, young people, adventure students and the general public as well as giving experienced trackers a

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Birds

African Pitta Time!

Well described as one of Africa’s ‘most wanted birds’, the African Pitta is a spectacular, vividly coloured bird. It occurs in deciduous thickets in the Zambezi River Valley in Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as along certain parts of the Luangwa River in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and in northern Mozambique. It arrives to

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Recording Snakes
Reptiles

Reptiles under the mic – part 1

Relying on your ears alone often means that you are missing some amazing sounds and experiences from the natural world. This all changes when incorporating a set of headphones and a recording device. Some years ago we were given the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes to record vocalisations of a range of reptiles at the amazing Hoedspruit Reptile Centre close to our home.

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