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Jewels of the Sky

Nature always has a way to bring on the unexpected, whether it be stunning natural occurrences or unique interactions between animals. There are so many ways Nature can make things unique and beautiful and one of those ways  is the stunning colours that some animals have. There is a menagerie of animals in the world that sport bright and colourful appearances. Lets discuss some of the Kruger Park’s Airborne Jewels.

The violet backed starling is a small species of starling with strong sexual dimorphism. The males of this species is brightly coloured with a bright white underside and beautiful pink-purple iridescent top feathers. The purple feathers have a slight sheen to them allowing them to stand out and almost reflect in the light. The females of this species don’t have the beautiful purple colour but rather dull brown-grey feathers.

The Black Headed Oriole is another beautiful and colourful bird of the Kruger National Park. The Black-headed Oriole has a very bright yellow colour with a black head and mark on their chest. Both the male and female of this species are brightly coloured , with the male being slightly larger than the female. The Black-headed Oriole is a very active bird that is rather difficult to spot because it spends most of the time flying near the canopies of trees feeding on bugs and fruits.

Greater Blue-eared Starling

Most of the species of Starling are very colourful and the Blue-eared Starling is no different. The Greater Blue-eared Starling has a stunning deep blue colour, with iridescent light blue feathers on its head and base of its wings. There is a black streak that covers both eyes and blends into the black beak. The feathers on its upper legs are black while their legs are a grey colour. These are one of the most common birds you will find in the Kruger. They can be seen at a lot of rest camps and camping spots. These birds are very social and can be seen nesting close to Ibis and Adbim’s storks.

Southern Carmine Bee-eater

The Southern Carmine Bee-eater is a very beautiful little bird. It’s body is a beautiful salmon pink colour with a bright light blue waist. It’s head has spot that is a darker colour that the waist blue. The Juveniles’ colours are much more mundane, with the pink colouration replaced by a dusty brown colour. There is a white band around the neck of the bird that is more prominent in the juveniles. Like the name suggests, its diet consists mostly of bees and other flying insects.

Brown-headed Parrot

The Brown-headed Parrot is a unique little bird in terms of colouration. The Brown-headed Parrot has a beautiful greed body colour that includes its chest, legs and underside. It has black feet and a white beak, with a black tip on the top mandible. These shy little birds usually spend time in trees and dense leaves as their unique colour helps them blend in to the surroundings.

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