The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Garden Birds in South Africa by Duncan Butchart

Garden Birds in South Africa

Number of pages: 192

Year published: 2017

Published by: Struik Nature

Softcover

ISBN: 978-1-77584-474-7

The Wildebeest's Review of Garden Birds in South Africa by Duncan Butchart

Over the years there have been a few books describing garden birds in South or southern Africa but this one is the best so far. It is a beautifully designed book and is jam packed with useful information. Duncan Butchart is an accomplished wildlife photographer and has authored, and co-authored, several books. Two books that I have in my library are the magnificent "The Vultures of Africa" of which he was a co-author, and "Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula."

The book is divided into a number of sections describing gardening for birds, a general overview of birds, the birds themselves and the plants that you may wish to include in your garden. The focus is naturally on the birds and 101 species have been included. The choice of species is quite good and covers most of the birds that I have had in my garden. For each species there are at least two photos and notes on its general behaviour, feeding habits, breeding, garden needs and similar species. Some of the species have an additional photo of a similar bird or another species of interest. One thing that I found interesting was the birds lifespan. You will never really know how long your garden birds for, but it is a fascinating bit of information to know.

The photographs, taken by Duncan Butchart and others, are beautiful! My personal favourite is the cover photo of an African Paradise Flycatcher perched on a garden tap. Somehow it just highlights how many species of birds have adapted to our gardens. I also like the photos of a White-rumped Swift and African Palm Swifts in flight.

In the section on plants there are short descriptions of trees, shrubs and climbers that may attract birds to your garden. Each of these is accompanied by a photograph. There are also some general notes on groups of plants such as fynbos, proteas, aloes and more.

I can’t really find fault with this book, and I enjoy just flipping through it every now and then. I wish I had more space in my garden to plant more of the suggested trees and other plants. Some readers may prefer paintings of the birds, rather than photos, but I find that the photo’s capture the essence of the birds very well. Others might wonder why certain birds were left out the book but, as I mentioned above, I felt the selection was good.

I would definitely recommend this book should you be interested in attracting birds to your garden in southern Africa. It contains a lot of useful information, and the layout is very appealing.

Some of the subjects in this publication

Hadeda Ibis - Page: 51
Helmeted Guineafowl - Page: 52
Cape Spurfowl - Page: 53
White-faced Duck - Page: 54
Spotted Thick-knee - Page: 55
African Harrier-Hawk - Page: 56
African Goshawk - Page: 57
Speckled Pigeon - Page: 58
Laughing Dove - Page: 59
Red-eyed Dove - Page: 60
Cape Turtle-Dove - Page: 61
Burchells Coucal - Page: 62
Grey Go-away-bird - Page: 63
Purple-crested Turaco - Page: 64
Knysna Turaco - Page: 65
Red-chested Cuckoo - Page: 66
Diderick Cuckoo - Page: 67
Spotted Eagle-Owl - Page: 68
Barn Owl - Page: 69
African Grey Hornbill - Page: 70
Trumpeter Hornbill - Page: 71
African Hoopoe - Page: 72
Green Wood-Hoopoe - Page: 73
Black-collared Barbet - Page: 74
Crested Barbet - Page: 75
Acacia Pied Barbet - Page: 76
Red-throated Wryneck - Page: 77
Cardinal Woodpecker - Page: 78
Brown-hooded Kingfisher - Page: 79
Red-faced Mousebird - Page: 80
Speckled Mousebird - Page: 81
White-rumped Swift - Page: 82
African Palm-Swift - Page: 83
Greater Striped Swallow - Page: 84
Lesser Striped Swallow - Page: 85
Barn Swallow - Page: 86
Rock Martin - Page: 87
Fork-tailed Drongo - Page: 88
Southern Black Flycatcher - Page: 89
Spotted Flycatcher - Page: 90
African Dusky Flycatcher - Page: 91
Ashy Flycatcher - Page: 92
Fiscal Flycatcher - Page: 93
African Paradise-Flycatcher - Page: 94
Cape Batis - Page: 95
Karoo Prinia - Page: 96
Bar-throated Apalis - Page: 97
Willow Warbler - Page: 98
Black-headed Oriole - Page: 99
African Red-eyed Bulbul - Page: 100
Cape Bulbul - Page: 101
Dark-capped Bulbul - Page: 102
Sombre Greenbul - Page: 103
Karoo Thrush - Page: 104
Olive Thrush - Page: 105
Kurrichane Thrush - Page: 106
Mocking Cliff-Chat - Page: 107
Familiar Chat - Page: 108
Cape Wagtail - Page: 109
Arrow-marked Babbler - Page: 110
Cape Robin-Chat - Page: 111
Red-capped Robin-Chat - Page: 112
White-browed Robin-Chat - Page: 113
Bokmakierie - Page: 114
Southern Boubou - Page: 115
Black-backed Puffback - Page: 116
Common Fiscal - Page: 117
Common Myna - Page: 118
Common Starling - Page: 119
Violet-backed Starling - Page: 120
Cape Glossy Starling - Page: 121
Red-winged Starling - Page: 122
Pied Starling - Page: 123
Cape Sugarbird - Page: 124
Malachite Sunbird - Page: 125
White-bellied Sunbird - Page: 126
Southern Double-collared Sunbird - Page: 127
Scarlet-chested Sunbird - Page: 128
Amethyst Sunbird - Page: 129
Collared Sunbird - Page: 130
Cape White-eye - Page: 131
House Sparrow - Page: 132
Cape Sparrow - Page: 133
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow - Page: 134
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver - Page: 135
Scaly-feathered Finch - Page: 136
Red-headed Finch - Page: 137
Village Weaver - Page: 138
Southern Masked-Weaver - Page: 139
Cape Weaver - Page: 140
Thick-billed Weaver - Page: 141
Red-billed Quelea - Page: 142
Southern Red Bishop - Page: 143
Bronze Mannikin - Page: 144
Pin-tailed Whydah - Page: 145
Blue Waxbill - Page: 146
Common Waxbill - Page: 147
Yellow-fronted Canary - Page: 148
Cape Canary - Page: 149
Brimstone Canary - Page: 150
Streaky-headed Seedeater - Page: 151
Forest Fever Tree - Page: 158
Tassel-berry - Page: 158
Fever Tree - Page: 159
Paperbark Thorn - Page: 159
Common Cabbage-Tree - Page: 159
Large-leaved Albizia - Page: 160
Flat Crown Albizia - Page: 160
Sweet Thorn - Page: 160
Coast Coral Tree - Page: 161
Common Coral Tree - Page: 161
Weeping Boer Bean - Page: 161
Pigeonwood Tree - Page: 162
White Stinkwood - Page: 162
Cape Ash - Page: 162
Wild Peach - Page: 163
Common Wild Pear - Page: 163
Wild Plum - Page: 163
Flame Creeper - Page: 164
River Bushwillow - Page: 164
Pride-of-De-Kaap - Page: 164
False Olive - Page: 165
Jacket-plum - Page: 165
Coastal Camphor Bush - Page: 165
Bush Tickberry - Page: 166
Tree Fuchsia - Page: 166
White Milkwood - Page: 166
Natal Plum - Page: 167
Buffalo-thorn - Page: 167
Umdoni - Page: 167
Natal Fig - Page: 168
Natal Mahogany - Page: 168
Broom Cluster Fig - Page: 168
Puzzle Bush - Page: 169
Brown Ivory - Page: 169
White Pear - Page: 169
Pink Blossom Tree - Page: 170
Cape Honeysuckle - Page: 170
Coastal Golden-leaf - Page: 170
Karee - Page: 171
Dune Crow-berry - Page: 171
Potato Bush - Page: 171
Cape-beech - Page: 172
Cheesewood - Page: 172
Cape Holly - Page: 172
Natal Laburnum - Page: 173
Coastal Strelitzia - Page: 173
Wild Dagga - Page: 173
Common Sugarbush - Page: 174
Pincushion - Page: 174
Stink-leaf Protea - Page: 174
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - Page: 182
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden - Page: 183
Lowveld National Botanic Garden (Nelspruit) - Page: 183
Harold Porter National Botanical Garden - Page: 183
Pretoria National Botanical Garden - Page: 184
Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden - Page: 184
Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens - Page: 184
Free State National Botanical Garden - Page: 184

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