Readers’ wildlife photos

December 28, 2019 • 8:00 am

I’ve put up a selection of bird and mammal photos from Ralph Burgess, sent on September 19. His IDs and notes are indented (I’ve added links and the common name).

Here are some pictures taken in Kruger Nation Park over the past couple of weeks.

Perhaps I could also make a case for you to elevate the Spotted Hyena to honorary cat status. They are phylogenetically closer to cats than dogs, but with an evolutionary niche and social structure somewhat convergent with canines.  They were notably curious and endearing animals when encountered in Kruger. They are highly intelligent with complex social structure, and their traditional reputation as sneaky or cowardly villains is unwarranted.  They are not primarily scavengers, and they actively fight lions to protect their own kills.  Fortunately, they are a successful species in modern Africa and not endangered, since public support for protecting them might be lacking; it was notable that I didn’t find any souvenirs (other than postcards) featuring hyenas in the tourist gift shops.

Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta):

Southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri):

Lilac-breasted roller (Coriacias caudatus):

Cape starling (Lamprotornis nitens):

Saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis):

Southern red-billed hornbill (Tockus rufirostris):

Kori bustard (Ardeotis kori):

Leopard (Panthera pardis):

Chacma baboon (Papio ursinus):

 African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) with red-billed oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorynchus):

21 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. All very fine images. Especially love the Lilac-breasted roller. From an evolutionary point of view, how did that happen? Just amazing!

  2. This is a fantastic set of photos. Beautiful birds, nature red in tooth and claw, some primate parenting and a handsome and intimidating African buffalo- what’s there not to love?

Leave a Reply