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Top 10 Birds at Auob Riverbed

Top 10 Birds at Auob Riverbed
The Auob Riverbed is a hotspot for birding. Peter Chadwick shares his top 10 birding specials to try and spot while in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Words and pictures: Peter Chadwick www.peterchadwick.co.za

The Kgalagadi landscape is a birding magnet after the spring rains. Here are the specials you could add to your checklist when birding the Auob Riverbed.

  1. Known as the most colourful bird in Africa, with 14 colours, the Lilac-breasted Roller (Gewone Tropant) is a common sight in the Nossob and Auob riverbeds of the Kgalagadi.
  1. The Northern Black Korhaan (Witvlerkkorhaan) differs from the Southern Black Korhaan by its white flashes on primary feathers. The two species are also distributionally separated.


  1. Chat Flycatchers (Grootvlieëvangers) hawk insectivorous prey in the air or on the ground and perch erect on low branches, scanning the surrounds for prey.
  1. The largest and heaviest bustard, the Kori Bustard (Gompou) has precocial young exclusively cared for by the female. It is a nomad in semi-arid and arid savannah and grassland.


  1. With nests in hollows of logs, the Common Scimitarbill (Swartbekkakelaar) lays two to four greenish-blue eggs. The species is capable of secreting a foul-smelling paste that helps deter predators.
  1. The Black-Breasted Snake-Eagle (Swartborsslangarend) feeds mainly on snakes up to about 2m long but will also take lizards, rodents, frogs and insects. It has also been recorded snatching fish from a water surface.
  1. Easily distinguished by its pink eyelids, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl (Reuse-Ooruil) is our largest owl, weighing up to 3kg. A highly capable hunter, it’s well known for feeding on other owl species.

auob birding

READ MORE: Peter Chadwick goes birding in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

  1. The omniverous Cape Crow (Swartkraai) has been known to attack and kill birds as large as the Helmeted Guineafowl that are pecked to death with the sharp dagger-like bill. It gathers in groups of up to 150 birds to perform aerial spiralling flights.


  1. The African Cuckoo (Koekoek) is an intra-African breeding migrant that parasitises the nests of Fork-tailed Drongos. The bird is shy and easily overlooked unless calling.
  1. The Groundscraper Thrush (Gevlekte Lyster) forages on the ground where it runs well, stopping occasionally to listen for insectivorous prey. It’s usually found in pairs and is a common resident of savannah woodland.


Add more of our birding checklists to your own as you travel the countryside.

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