restricted access Introduction to the species accounts
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This book covers 259 of the 500 or so species of bird that have been recorded in the Kruger National Park . Six of these species are particularly large and charismatic, and are considered to be the avian equivalent of the traditional ‘big 5’ mammals – each of these species is designated with a ‘Big 6’ icon . They are Lappet-faced Vulture (page 184), Martial Eagle (page 188); Saddle-billed Stork (page 28), Kori Bustard (page 66), Southern Ground-Hornbill (page 104) and Pel’s Fishing-Owl (page 214) . Kruger is a vital area for many birds of conservation concern, and 21 of the species included in this book are threatened with regional extinction according to The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Taylor et al . 2015, see page 216), also known as the Red List . These are highlighted with an icon that indicates their status as Critically Endangered (most precarious) CR, Endangered EN, Vulnerable VU or Near Threatened (least precarious) NT . Most bird books present the species in a strict scientific (taxonomic) order, based on their relationships with one another . However, because this order requires some experience to understand, and is not intuitive to those new to birding, this book categorizes birds according to their favoured habitats or, where more than one habitat-type is used, their dominant behaviour (see pages 9–13) . In addition, species that look similar are placed alongside one another for ease of comparison, even if they are unrelated . The common names and species designations used follow the standard reference work Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa (see page 216) . However, because the common names for birds differ between reference sources, and often between field guides, and some people may prefer to use scientific names, an alphabetical listing of species by their scientific name is included on pages 218–220 . Birds included in this book that are considered regionally threatened Hooded Vulture CR (page 181) White-headed Vulture CR (page 185) White-backed Vulture CR (page 183) Yellow-billed Stork EN (page 27) Saddle-billed Stork EN (page 28) Southern Ground-Hornbill EN (page 104) Cape Vulture EN (page 182) Lappet-faced Vulture EN (page 184) Tawny Eagle EN (page 186) Martial Eagle EN (page 188) Bateleur EN (page 191) Pel’s Fishing-Owl EN (page 214) African Finfoot VU (page 41) Secretarybird VU (page 180) African Crowned Eagle VU (page 192) Lanner Falcon VU (page 194) Greater Painted-Snipe NT (page 43) Abdim’s Stork NT (page 61) Marabou Stork NT (page 62) Kori Bustard NT (page 66) European Roller NT (page 101) Birds included in the 2015 Eskom Red Data Book Introduction to the species accounts 16 The species accounts vary somewhat in terms of the level of detail provided, but every effort has been made to avoid the use of technical terms and jargon . However, the use of some such terms is inevitable and these are annotated using the images below . For each species, key information includes English name and size (the length (L) of the bird from feet to bill tip, given in cm and inches (")) . Birds that spend much time soaring, such as storks, herons, eagles and other birds of prey, are also given a wingspan (WS) measurement to assist in the judgement of relative size in flight . For distinctive looking species, such as Lilac-breasted Roller or Southern Carmine Bee-eater, the photos themselves provide adequate detail for identification, and the text on plumage detail is therefore relatively brief . If an aspect of a species’ natural history is particularly interesting, such as its breeding biology, this is covered in the text . Where possible, images of males, females, juveniles and alternative plumages are included and annotated . Finally, in case you wish to mark off each bird you see, a small check box is placed next to each species name . black-crowned tchagra Bill Vent Wing coverts Tail Nape Mantle Lores Flank Crown Eyebrow Bill Crown Lores Wattle Casque Bill Crown Eye-ring Mantle Nape Tail Rump Tail coverts Vent Flight feathers Gape Forewing Crown Bill Wing coverts white-crowned lapwing squacco heron trumpeter hornbill 17 ...