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Friday, July 26, 2013

Tanzania - Safari and the Birds, Part 1

I know some readers have been anxiously awaiting the animal pictures.  Thanks for your patience and perseverance.  I will start with the birds.

But first, let me point out that birds are very difficult to photograph.  They are small; you can't get very close and they move around a lot!

Now, once in a while, you get lucky and can maybe get a good picture like this Speckled Mousebird.


But, more often, I end up with a barely recognizable image of limited sharpness like this.

So, don't expect too much, especially if you click on the pictures to get a closer view.

Let's start with a picture of a Starling.  What?  A common Starling?  No, most of the Starlings in Tanzania are a variety known as the Superb Starling.  We usually saw them in groups.  We were fortunate to have an excellent photographer in our group in Kristian.   He worked on getting a good close-up and was able to get this picture that looks like it belongs in the game, "Angry Birds."
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In profile, it actually looked cute and friendly.

Here's one that looks a little puffed up about something.

We also really liked the Fischer's Lovebirds.  These were usually in small flocks and found out among the dry Acacia trees.  That's what they are sitting on in this group portrait that Linda took early one morning.

We also frequently encountered the Blue-capped Cordon-Bleu.  Here is a female on the left and male on the right.  They are small and hard to see in the grass.  They seem to not be bothered by other animals like this Hyrax.

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Now let's go back to that Speckled Mousebird at the beginning of this post.  It has a very interesting profile too.
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