Tag Archives: Africa

WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER

Several weeks ago, my wife and I drove to the Legon Botanical Gardens. Now that’s a trip we’ve procrastinated on for many months, albeit it being only about 45mins away from where we live. Faithful day, we drove up there and my did nature turn up for me. Among the many was this White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis) my wife spotted and pointed out to me.

A white-throated Bee-eater spotted at the Legon Botanical Gardens
A white-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis)

As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air from an open perch. However, this species probably takes mainly flying ants and beetles. White-throated bee-eaters, like other bee-eaters rely on helpers (usually relatives) to help rear the chicks. They also are gregarious and highly social and often touch each other whilst roosting. They are considered migratory, wintering in a completely different habitat in the equatorial rainforests of Africa from southern Senegal to Uganda.

A flock of White-throated Bee-eaters at the Legon Botanical Gardens
A flock of White-throated Bee-eaters

Photographing this made my day and I hope viewing the end product makes yours! Credit to mein Schatz for spotting for me on the regular.

Info. Source:
http://www.theguardian.com/science/grrlscientist/2012/may/22/10
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-throated_bee-eater

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AFRICAN DAISY

full bloom african daisy
The African Daisy in full Bloom

Also referred to as Goddess Of The Sun, The African daisy flowers reflect the beauty and the burning color of the sun. They are herbaceous annuals which close at night, in the shade, and during cloud cover, and Bloom between April and August.

Photo: Remshalden, Germany. June, 2014
Flower Facts: http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/wildflowers/african-daisy

RED-BILLED FIREFINCH

Binomial Name: Lagonosticta senegala
Common Names: Red-Billed Firefinch, Senegal Firefinch

The Red-billed Firefinch belongs to a group of small Passerine birds of the Family Estrildidae. They are characteristically gregarious (social animals, existing in communities) and often colonial seed eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They all build large, domed nests and lay five to ten white eggs. They are typically tropical birds.

The red-billed firefinch captured on a manicured lawn
A Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)

Did you know:
– The nest of this species is parasitised by the village indigobird.
– Like most birds, color is the quickest identification for sex. Male fire finches are varying shades of red accented with black, gray or brown. Some species have tiny white- or ivory-colored spots on the breast or flanks. Female birds are mainly earthy brown in color and some have a pinkish wash to the face or breast

A Red-billed Firefinch captured pecking through the grass of a lawn
A pecking Red-billed Firefinch. Note white spots on flanks.

Word of the day: Dimorphic (meaning that males are easily distinguished from females)

The Village Weaver

A location in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many nests hanging from one tree. Nests are large and coarsely structured, made from woven grass and leaf strips, with a downward-facing entrance and hanging from tree branches. Inhabitant species form large noisy colonies.

Suspect: The Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus

A village weaver
A Village Weaver, also called Black-headed Weaver

Weaver

AGRICULTURAL IMPORTANCE

The Village Weaver feeds primarily on seeds and grains, making them agricultural crop pests. However, they make up for some of the damage by feeding alternatively or additionally on insects, which may be agricultural crop insect pests.

They don’t just shoplift. At least they pay for half of their shopping 😀