Birds to spot
The male is a stunning sunbird with a fiery-orange belly and an iridescent purple breast band and green head. The female and juvenile are dull olive with slightly paler underparts.
Fynbos with many ericas and proteas
Call: Hoars, repetitive, double-noted seep-seep. They can mimic other species.
A striking, gregarious bird that bounces about on rocky mountain slopes and crags in fynbos habitat. The sexes differ: the male has a dark rufous belly and rump, a black throat, and a white moustache; the female is duller, with a streaked chest.
Rocky mountain fynbos, especially on higher mountain slopes
Call: High-pitched series of whistled notes such as psuwee-psuwee-psuwee and pee-pee-pee-pee.
A large, unstreaked drab-brown canary with a black chin, a white throat, a pale bill, and two distinctive wingbars visible at close range.
Mountain fynbos with scattered large protea bushes.
Call: Contact call tree-lee-loo. Song loud and rich, includes mimicry.
A skulky brownish warbler with a ragged tail, warm cinnamon-buff underparts, and a distinctive gray face with a pale yellow eye.
Moist, dense fynbos, especially on south facing slopes and along streams or seepage lines.
Call: Melodious and repetitive series of lively phrases tsiwip tsee-tsee. Very characteristic.
A large nectar-eating bird with a decurved beak and a long graduated tail. Dull brown above, it has strong moustache-like stripes and a yellow undertail.
Fynbos and protea-rich shrublands.
Call: Variable series of drongo-like grating, jangling and tawanging nites.
A small, flighty, brown-lemon siskin of fynbos. The lemon rump, visible in flight, and the white-tipped tail and wing feathers most easily identify it. The male has a yellowish throat and underparts; the female is browner with a lightly streaked throat.
Fynbos, on mountain slopes.
Call: High pitched metallic contact call chwing chwing… Song varied mix of squeaky whistles and trills.
OTHER BIRDS OF INTEREST
Breeding male is unmistakable: bright green with a long tail. Non-breeding male is duller but usually still shows some iridescent green and an elongated tail. Female is a big, dull sunbird with a long bill.
Fynbos, moorland, hilly grassland (especially w. proteas and aloes), scrub, and exotic tree plantations. Restricted to high elevations except in South Africa, where it occurs down to sea level.
Call: Chep-chep, followed by rapid high-pitched tseepy-tseepy-tseepy… and other twitering notes
CAPE SCURFOWL OR FRANCOLIN
A large, mostly dark brown francolin with pale feather-edging that forms a fine scaly pattern on the body. It also has dull red legs and a mostly reddish bill with a dark top and yellow base.
Fynbos, strandveld, renosterveld, oldfields, farms and riverine scrubs.
Call: Loud crowing advertisement call.
A dumpy-bodied, brownish-gray bird with a long, scruffy tail. Differentiated from other mousebirds by its blackish face and gray-brown crest.
Forest edge, moist savanna, thicket, gardens, parks and farms where fruit trees have been planted.
Call: A sharp chee chee chee.
Spectacular large black eagle. Distinctive in flight, when it shows a long tail and long wings that pinch in at the base. There are white patches toward the ends of the wings and on the back.
Habitat: Around cliffs and other rocky terrain in mountainous areas.
Call: Upslurred scream
SPOTTED EAGLE OWL
A large, gray-brown owl with bright yellow eyes, erect ear-tufts, and finely-barred belly and lower breast.
Habitat: Broad range of lightly-wooded habitats, including suburbia.
Call: A soft, booming “whooo-whooo” or “whoo-are-you?”
Rather plain seedeater with a gray nape, yellow underparts, and olive-green back. Found in fynbos, woodland, grassland, and gardens.
Habitat: Fynbos, woodland, grassland, and gardens.
Call: Series of fast, pleasant, lucid, jumbled warbles, trills and twitters.