Impala portraits… rutting season…

The annual three-week long breeding season of the impala, also called the rut, begins toward the end of the wet season in May. The males begin preparations for mating in March, (good to get in a head start, think of the anticipation) including gonadal growth and hormone production, resulting in greater aggressiveness and territoriality. (Typical male high on testosterone.) Males undergo several physical changes as well, such as darkening of the coat due to greasy secretions from the sebaceous glands, (a little bit of hair gel) thickening of the neck and acquiring a musky odour, (deodorant, maybe not too appealing to us). The rut is also influenced by the lunar cycle, with most mating taking place between full moons. (Now that’s what you call the bewitching hour.) Here are a few portraits I took…


Remember the Moffatts Lyrics or Manfred Mann???

There she was just a-walkin’ down the street
singin’ do what daddy did to mommy to get me (do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do)

snappin’ her fingers and shufflin’ her feet
singin’ do what daddy did to mommy to get me (do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do)


She looked good, LOOKED GOOD
she looked fine, LOOKED FINE
she looked good, she looked fine
and I nearly lost my mind
Before I knew it she was walkin’ next to me



And last years ram still growing his horns…


66 thoughts on “Impala portraits… rutting season…

  1. Thanks Bulldog, now I can’t get that song out of my head…haha! Good job I like it! I know I keep saying this, and I sound like a broken record (haha, no pun intended!!) but I really do love your beautiful photos of these gorgeous creatures πŸ™‚

  2. Oh wow Rob! Your wildlife photo’s are always so true to life and so stunning! Great captures. They are so beautiful! πŸ˜€

  3. The Impala look in prime condition, so bright and alert. Were you in a hide to get these photos?

    • No no hide… right next to them in a Bukkie/Van/Ldv not sure what you call them there… their condition is tops this year with plenty of rain their food source is outstanding…

  4. Ha! I sang your commentary! Great pictures as per usual bulldog, she sure is a looker! All that talk about testosterone got me thinking about a documentary I saw about hyenas and I’m pretty sure they said the females are more aggressive and have higher testosterone levels than the males, did I get that right?
    Diana xo

    • You did… I have a post about Hyena coming soon… we found a group that had just had a territorial battle.. these groups are led by a female who is bigger than the male… he is definitely the subservient male to his bride… but wait for my post I’m going to give all the details there…

  5. The roaring sound the rams make during rutting season is one of May’s most characteristic sounds in the bushveld – almost unbelievable that a ‘meak” antelope can make a sound so predator-like!

    • I love this time of the year when the rams are so busy… herding and chasing others… and as you say.. that grunt that has one look around for the predator…

  6. Great photos and accompaniment, both!
    Impalas are always a pleasure to watch, even if some people do tend to regard them as too commonplace to warrant stopping.

    • I cannot help stopping at these antelope… they are amazing to watch specially this time of the year with the ram working so hard to keep his females together and keep off the hangers on who want to steal them… they are very rewarding to watch if people would only take the time…

  7. These photos are absolutely gorgeous, Bulldog! The commentary so very funny, as usual!! It is so great to see you back in the blogging seat again. You were missed.

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