The next group of birds will be those I call the ground birds…the ones that spend most of their time on the ground as opposed to in the trees or primarily associated with water.
Ostrich-Obviously the biggest. Lots of them in the south but only a few in Kruger.
Lots of ostrich chicks. They have communal nests so it wasn’t rare to see 20-30 chicks in a group.
Maribou stork-A scavenger.
Regularly seen along the river banks and at predator kills.
Saddle-billed stork-Pretty rare, this one was fairly tame within one of the camps.
Yellow-billed stork-These use one foot to stir up the water and flush fish, frogs and insects out of the mud.
Blue crane-A year-round resident in the grasslands, especially the cultivated grain fields. Absolutely beautiful!
African openbill–Strange beak, open at the sides. I wonder why.
Black-bellied bustard-It is found in woodland and tall open grassland in South Africa. It prefers high rainfall and in many areas occurs only following heavy rain.
Southern black Korhaan-Found in dry coastal fynbos and karoo scrub.
Helmeted Guinea fowl-Common everywhere we went.
Swainson’s spurfowl-Spurfowl are also known as francolin.
Burchell’s Coucal-A predatory cuckoo; it’s call, like water dripping, is thought by the natives to signal a rainstorm, thus they call it the Rainbird.
African hoopoe–A major player in Michner’s The Source, the hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel. In Leviticus (11:13–19) hoopoes were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten.
Red-billed oxpecker–Regularly seen picking bugs off the hides of giraffes, rhinos, large antelope.
Yellow-throated longclaw-Looks like out meadowlark, huh? A great example of convergant evolution (but what the long back claw is for I can’t tell you).
Kurrichane thrush-Looks and acts much like the robin. All over South Africa…lawns, parks, etc.
Cape wagtail-Ubiquitous. Much like the thrush.