The Pale Chanting Goshawk (Melierax canorus) is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. This hawk breeds in Southern Africa. It is a resident species of dry, open semi-desert with 75 cm or less annual rainfall. It is commonly seen perched on roadside telephone poles. This species is 56–65 cm long. The adult has grey upperparts with a white rump. The central tail.. read more →

08 Sep 2017
September 8, 2017

Porcupine

Oudtshoorn, Ranger Diaries

Porcupines are rodentian mammals with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that protect against predators. The term covers two families of animals, the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae. Both families belong to the infraorder Hystricognathi within the profoundly diverse order Rodentia and display superficially similar coats of quills: despite this, the two groups are distinct from each other and are.. read more →

A large grey owl, 43–50 cm tall, barred in front and blotched on the head, back and wings. Their wingspan is about 1 m. The distinguishing features of the Spotted Eagle-Owl are the prominent tufts of feathers on either side of its head, which it erects into ‘ears’ or ‘horns’, and its bright yellow eyes. The ear.. read more →

In English, the species is known by several different names, including saddle-backed, grey, silver-backed, red, and golden jackal. The black-backed jackal is a fox-like canid with a slender body, long legs and large ears. It is similar to the closely related side-striped jackal and more distantly related golden jackal, though its skull and dentition are more robust and.. read more →

The heat of the summer months brings with it man’s most feared reptile, the snake. The name ‘puff adder’ stems from the snake’s habit of inflating itself and hissing when threatened. The noise produced is a menacing hissing sound and should be construed as a strong warning. The snake itself is rather sluggish and generally.. read more →

Meet our four newborn Meerkat babies! Females give birth to one to eight babies at a time, but it is more common for Meerkat mothers to have three to four offspring at a time. The babies, called pups, are born underground, where they are safe from predators. At birth, pups weigh 25 to 36 grams.. read more →

19 Aug 2016
August 19, 2016

Zebra dust bathing

Activities, Oudtshoorn, Ranger Diaries

Dust bathing (also called sand bathing) is an animal behavior characterized by the act of grooming while rolling or moving around in dust or sand, with the purpose of cleaning fur, feathers or skin, and removing parasites. Dust bathing is a maintenance behavior performed by a wide range of mammalian and avian species. For some animals, dust baths are necessary to clean the feathers,.. read more →

The common duiker, Sylvicapra grimmia, also known as the grey or bush duiker, is a small antelope with small horns. Colouration of this species varies widely over its vast geographic range. As many as 19 subspecies are thought to exist, ranging from chestnut to grizzled gray and light brown shades. It grows to about 50 cm in height and.. read more →

A large and powerful bovine, the African Buffalo reaches shoulder heights of up to 1.5 m and a mass of 750 kg. Both sexes have horns, those of the bulls are characterized by a heavy boss and upward curved horns. Buffalo herds can have significant ecological impact on the veld. Being a bulk grazer, they.. read more →

What is grooming? It is when animals clean themselves. The reason why they do it is just to keep themselves, their coats, feathers, scales etc in a good hygienic condition. Typical things they would remove are leaves, insects, parasites and any dirt on their bodies. Cleaning themselves is called personal grooming. Where you get animals.. read more →