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Ringing Birds on Swebeswebe

Swebeswebe BirdLife is a recognized Birder Friendly Establishment with BirdLife South Africa. For the last 14 years a dedicated team from SAFRING and LEDET have been travelling to the Waterberg to spend a week each November capturing, collecting data, and ringing birds before re-releasing them.  This data is sent to SAFRING to be inserted in the SA Ringing database. The number seen, heard, or identified is more than 200 while there are known to be more than 300 species here.

 

A vulture restaurant is in the process of being established.

The Birds of Swebeswebe

Oxpeckers; Buphagus

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Red-billed Oxpeckes (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) on Swebeswebe

The Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) and Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus) share a longstanding symbiotic relationship with large African animals, such as antelopes and rhinoceroses, feeding on ticks found on these hosts. However, this relationship faced jeopardy in the 20th century due to the introduction of European cattle breeds to Africa, which lacked immunity to local pests. Cattle dips, aimed at pest control, threatened oxpecker populations. The introduction of safer acaricides brought hope, leading to the recolonization of Yellow-billed Oxpeckers in South Africa. While their numbers are not fully restored, there is optimism for the future. Oxpeckers serve as valuable allies for farmers, managing tick infestations naturally, emphasizing the importance of responsible chemical tick control to ensure their survival.

Rare footage from one of our camera traps of an African fish eagle (Icthyophaga vocifer)

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