Birds of Cape Town
Western Cape has the dubious distinction of hosting the countrys
greatest diversity of alien bird species. The usual
ones that have colonized much of the world (such as House Sparrow,
Feral Pigeon and European Starling) are of course present, and
there is an additional assortment of others that have become
heavily twitched by list-conscious South African birders. Of
these, Mute Swan has become locally extinct (although a wandering
individual is occasionally seen at Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary
on the R44 in Strand), House Crow (now distressingly well-established
on the Cape Flats: look out for it on the N2 near the airport
turn-off), Peafowl, Chukar Partridge (opposite) and Chaffinch.
The latter is the only surviving relic of Cecil John Rhodess
1898 bout of introductions, part of a broader attempt to transform
the Cape Peninsula into a gentle English landscape. Among his
other, less successful importations were Rook, Song Thrush and
Blackbird. The Chaffinch, however, is peculiar in that it has
neither gone extinct, nor become invasive, but remains peacefully
ensconced in densely planted areas on the eastern slopes of
Table Mountain. It is fairly common, although rather elusive
and best lured down from the tree-tops by playback. Good areas
to look (and listen) for it are Tokai (p.20) and the Greenbelts
(p.19). Mallard is still fortunately fairly scarce, and regular
reports of hybridization with Yellow-billed Duck are disturbing.
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4 Crassula Way, Pinelands, 7405, Cape Town, South Africa
Gibbs reports back from Gough
Island! Read the blog!
26/09/09: New Cape
Town Pelagics trip report from trips of 12 and 19 September
Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water proved very successful,
with sunny weather and over 20,000 visitors. Callan's "Birding
Namibia and the Okavango" was the most highly-attended
lecture on the Saturday, with over 240 people. Congratulations
to the winners of the Birding Africa competition and the
African Bird Club raffle that we helped sponsor!
12/08/09: New Cape
Town Pelagics trip reports from August and July 2009.
Shearwater and more!
sub-adult Black Sarrowhawk visits our garden again! Read
on about Raptor Research in the Western Cape.
Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has grown! And its sibling
never had a chance to hatch. See the pictures of the chick,
its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western
Cape Raptor Research Programme.
27/07/09: To follow modern nomenclature and systematics, we've
adopted the IOC
World Bird List, Version 2.1.
13/07/09: The 8th
African Bird ID Challenge has launched! Win a 50% discount
on a Cape Town Pelagics
trip, a copy of Southern
African Birdfinder, or African
Bird Club membership for 1 year.
6 July 09: Cape
White-eye research in our garden.
2 July 09: Cape
Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has hatched! See the pictures
of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more
about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.
2 July 09: Campbell
Fleming, a Cape Town scholar, avid birder and photographer,
joined Birding Africa last month as an intern. Click here,
to see what he got up to.
2 July 09: New pelagic
trip reports from the Cape Town Pelagics trips in June
2009. Highlights: Slenderbilled
Prion and Leach's Storm Petrel
30 july 09: Our latest Cape Fynbos and Karoo trip
reports feature Hottentot
Warbler and other fynbos and Karoo endemics...
26 June 09: Tungsten
mining threatens RAMSAR site, South Africa's Verlorenvlei.
Read the Media Release.
22 June 09: Claire
Spottiswoode, one of the Cape Birding Route founders,
was part of the exploratory team at Mount Mabu. The mountain
is part of the newly discovered largest
rainforest in Southern Africa.
11 June 09: A colour-ringed
Black Sparrowhawk visits the Birding Africa office garden.
Read why it's a 10 months old male!
14 June 09:
at the office of The Cape Birding Route, Birding Africa
and Cape Town Pelagics.
31 May 09:
Michel Watelet wins the 7th African Bird Club & Birding Africa
ID Challenge. Test your African birding skills and WIN
Africa Cape town day trip or a copy of the Birdfinder!
30 May 09:
A tragedy unfolds at Kommetjie south of Cape town as 44 beached
Killer Whales were shot. Click here for more details and
14 March 09: Raptor
Watch in Cape Town on 14 March 09