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10 photos of incredible birds from South Africa’s Western Cape

Rock Kestrel

This southern African species occurs, as its name implies, in rocky areas in scrub, open woodland, and other habitats. On my last day, we drove to the Klipgat Cave, a World Heritage Site, where visitors can see a place where bushmen lived 80,000 years ago. Among the birds at the site was this gorgeous falcon. We saw it perched in the distance, but by the time we got to the spot, it was gone. Then we walked a bit farther and it flew back, within range for some photos. It was carrying prey — a nestling from a starling nest — and as we watched, it mostly disappeared into a crevice, probably to feed a mate or its own chick. 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. After my stay at Grootbos, I flew to eastern South Africa, where I birded the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. Click here to see photos of 14 birds that I spotted at Sabi Sabi.

Originally Published

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and BirdWatchingDaily.com. He joined the staff of BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) in 2000 and has worn many hats over the years: reporter, story wrangler, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor. Originally from Omaha, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee and holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. You can reach Matt at (617) 706-9098 and [email protected].

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