Bat-eared Fox.. Kalahari Gemsbok Park.

The bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) is a canid of the African savannah, named for its large ears.

The bat-eared fox , also referred to as big-eared fox, black-eared fox, and cape fox, has tawny fur with black ears, legs and parts of the pointed face. It averages 55 cm in length (head and body), with ears 13 cm long.

The bat-eared fox commonly occur in short grass lands as well as the more arid regions of the savannah. In addition to raising their young in dens, bat-eared foxes use self-dug dens for shelter from extreme temperatures and winds.

The bat-eared fox is an insectivore that uses its large ears to locate its prey. 80–90% of their diet is harvester termites. When this particular species of termite is not available bat-eared foxes feed on other species of termites and have also been observed consuming ants, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, millipedes, moths, scorpions, spiders, and rarely birds, small mammals, and reptiles. The insects they eat fulfil the majority of their water intake needs.

The bat-eared fox is predominantly monogamous. In contrast to other canids, the bat-eared fox has a reversal in parental roles with the male taking on the majority of the parental care behaviour. Females gestate for 60–70 days and give birth to litters consisting of 1 to 6 pups. Beyond lactation, which lasts 14 to 15 weeks, males take over grooming, defending, huddling, chaperoning, and carrying the young between den sites.

A males job is never done….

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Amur Falcon.. Rietvlei Dam..

Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis)

The Amur Falcon, previously known as Eastern Red-footed Falcon, is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China, wintering in Southern Africa. This bird is far from home…


The birds diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites.

Males are characteristically dark sooty colour (grey), the chestnut on the vent should prevent miss identification with the Gabar Goshawk. Also there may be some superficial resemblance to Sooty Falcon and Grey Kestrel, but those two species both have yellow feet and cere. Separating male Amur and Red-footed Falcons is best done by the white under-wing coverts on Amur Falcon, whereas the under-wing of male Red-footed Falcons is uniformly grey.

Females may offer a bit more confusion with a wider range of falcons as they have a typical falcon head pattern. The grey on the top of the head should quickly rule out confusion with Red-footed Falcons. The female has barring on the lower belly. Red cere and feet this rules out all other falcons.

These photos are of a Male Amur Falcon…

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Visitors at the Tent..Kalahari,,

A few more photos of our visitors that entertained us till sun down….

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The Braai fire lit.. ready for our meal..(thank the Lord there is something to braai… my son is such an animal lover if the Lion had come passed he might have fed them our steaks.)

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A Few Plants at Augrabies…(9)

It’s a desert, and they have had a drop or two of rain… but on my walk about’ I did not expect to find flowering plants…

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And then I found these flowering plants the first with hundreds of butterflies paying a lot of attention to it….

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The second, a bush with very little leaves but the most beautiful flowers…..

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And then this… what does one expect from a desert…????

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African Jacana.. Grootlangtoon [Afrikaans]

African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus).

Now for a bird with such long toes, I do love the Afrikaans name of “Grootlangtoon” or roughly translated “Big long toe”, this describes the bird beautifully.

They are waders, identified by long toes and long claws that enable them to walk on floating vegetation in shallow lakes, their preferred habitat. They breed on floating nests with such beautiful coloured eggs, when I collected eggs I remember taking the chance with crocodiles and wading into a dam to get myself an egg.. I must admit it was with a certain amount of trepidation as I was in the nude and could picture the crocodile sizing me up as a meal… deciding where to bite first… oooohh I cross my legs even now at the thought of it…

The female breeds with a number of males ( It is a polyandrous species) and believe it or not, it is the male that raises the chicks… he has the ability to pick the chicks up under his wings and hide them as he feeds and jumps about on the water lilies… which is their main feeding area, where they feed on insects and other invertebrates picked from the floating vegetation or the surface of the water.

The eggs are preyed upon by many of it’s enemies so the female will breed several times a year… they have no specific time of the year to breed, and as the poor “henpecked” male has to raise the chicks, she can fly around and take on another man… is this not a bit slutty.???

Their call is a strange one and can be heard at the following site.. click here … and now for a photo or two…


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