Birds Through A Window

Turaco Wood Window Birds.web2Our garden avifauna in Nelspruit is pretty good to say the least. Since moving here in 1993, we’ve recorded 101 bird species at ‘Turaco Wood’ which is the name we’ve given to our unkempt, natural ‘garden’ in the suburbs bordering the Nelspruit Nature Reserve. We have a small lawn in the front which gets mowed now and then, but the rest is a jumble of trees, shrubs, climbers, aloes, grasses and leaves – lots and lots of fallen, decomposing leaves.

The list of 101 features only those bird species that have actually foraged or landed in the property, which I define as anything at or below tree canopy height. Species such as African Crowned Eagle and European Bee-eater – which fly overhead – are not considered ‘garden birds’ so don’t make it onto the list.

My workspace is situated above our garage and the windows provide views into the branches and canopy of the surrounding trees. I usually keep my camera close at hand so that I can try and capture some of the birds that distract me as they call, feed and move outside. Featured here are 11 birds photographed through the windows over the past couple of years: Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Batis, Black-backed Puffback, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Purple-crested Turaco, Gorgeous Bushshrike, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Collared Sunbird, Cape White-eye and Olive Woodpecker.

With winter now approaching, more birds will visit the garden – often in mixed feeding flocks known as ‘bird waves’ – and visibility will improve as many trees shed their leaves.

Nelspruit, South Africa. May 2013

About Duncan Butchart

Duncan Butchart is interested in all aspects of the natural world, with a particular fascination for birds and their ecological relationships.
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6 Responses to Birds Through A Window

  1. Got to love our canopy! ❤
    Great post.
    Love you xx

  2. How lucky we are to live and work in this wonderful environment! Those are all special bird memories!

  3. Sam Parsons says:

    Lucky indeed! Our bird count is climbing year on year here, but nowhere near your spectacular numbers 🙂

  4. Up the R40 from you, here in White River, we’re equally blessed. It’s not really about numbers, but just in my townhouse garden, the count stands at over fifty. And over the wall is a giant forest-fever-tree in which one of a pair of gymnogenes occasionally spends the odd half hour. OK, African harrier-hawk, still prefer gymnogene. Great post, great blog. Thanks to Neil Malherbe for tweeting about it.

    • Duncan Butchart says:

      Glad you enjoy the blog. I often walk at Uplands in White River and there are certainly plenty of good birds in your neck of the woods. About 18 months ago, I found a pair of White-faced Scops-Owls on the Uplands campus with three fledglings!! – this was unexpected but there have been occasional reports of this little owl in White River over the years (it has never reported in Nelspruit as far as I am aware) so keep your eyes and ears open for it.

  5. Bonnie says:

    OMG just seen this blog, and I’m as green as the Bushshrikes wings!

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