Tag Archives: wild birds

To Hunt or Not to Hunt – That is the Question

The Idiot - cornering

Little Monkey – cornering

Fast animals, like cheetahs, use their tail to balance when cornering.

The Idiot - faster than a digital camera

Little Monkey – faster than a digital camera

Apparently, Little Monkey also uses her tongue – look closely.

All prey animals know when the hunter is not hunting. Either the predator has recently eaten, or there is an uneasy truce at the water hole.

Likewise, the wild birds on the soccer field knew that the Idiot was not really hunting them, when she mock-charged them. Little Monkey did not run at full speed, rather a happy canter. The birds, to a feather, rose reluctantly from the ground, and resettled, as one, about ten metres away.

Little Monkey – her work here done, trotted back to me and Mr Spaghetti Legs, with a big grin on her face.

Hunting was such fun!


Watch the Birdie!

I just took the opportunity to walk Mr Spaghetti Legs and Little Monkey, in glorious winter sunshine, during a break in the storm clouds.

In a small area of open grass by a busy road I saw:

3 Guinea Fowl, 2 Egyptian Geese and 2 Spotted Dikkop

I was particularly happy to see the Dikkop, as I haven’t seen them around for a while. They have very long legs for their body size so look quite comical.

A little farther along, on the soccer field, there were:

20 Guinea Fowl, 2 Egyptian Geese and 2 Hadeda Ibis

None of these birds were very common in this area twenty years ago, but they obviously find it to their liking, as they thrive here. What pleasure they add to a simple dog walk. 🙂

The highlight for me, however, was the Black Headed Heron that I saw again last week, for the first time in many years. It is about a metre tall, blue-grey, with a long neck and beak. Its defence seems to be to stand perfectly still with its beak held vertically in line with its neck. This worked so well with my old dogs, that we could pass by within a metre of it, and my dogs never noticed it.

This didn’t work with Little Monkey, as she had already spotted it moving behind the trees. While she does not chase birds on the field, I don’t know what she would have done with this very large bird. Luckily, she was back on the lead, and by the time we approached the heron, it had adopted its completely motionless stance, and would be undetectable to most dogs. Certainly, Mr Spaghetti Legs never knew it was there.