| Birdlife in Jacobsbaai

Some of the bird species that occur in the Jacobsbaai area:
All text and images can be found in Cittenden, H. 2009. Roberts Bird Guide. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund: Cape Town


Cape Spurfowl | Kaapse Fisant

Pternistis capensis

Sexes: alike, male larger than female. Legs and feet dull orange red, male spur’s larger than females. Status: common to locally abundant endemic occurring in pairs or small conveys. Habitat: primarily in fynbos and adjacent Karoo, also in semi-arid regions up Western Cape coast. Food: primarily source during breeding season. Call: loud crowing advertisement call kak-keek, kak-keek, kak-keeeek. Breeding: Monogamous; usually lays 6-8 eggs. Nest green-lined scrape well concealed in fynbos ticket or under bush. 34cm/410g

Common Quail | Kwartel

Coturnix adansonii

Sexes: similar. difficult to sex in field. Distinctly larger than button quails. male dark buff throat diagnostic. Female lacks dark buff throat of male. Status: Southern African birds largely intra-African migrants arrive Sept/Oct, depart Mar/Apr. Very common and usually in pairs. Habitat: Moist to semi-arid perennial grass land, lightly wooded savanna and croplands. Food: mainly seeds, but also bulbs and other vegatative matter as well as insects and snails. Call: Male advertising call a ventriloquy whit-whit-whit… repeat aproxx 10x. Breeding: Usually monogamous. Average clutch size 5-7 eggs, laid on pad of grass and rootlets. 17cm/95g

Southern Black Korhaan | Swartvlerkkorhaan

Afrotis afra

Sexes: male slightly larger than female. Status Locally common endemic, sedentary and often found shyly. Habitat: Renosterveld, fynbos and succulent Karoo. Call: Harsh raucouskrrr-ack, krr-ack… and similar notes. Food: Insects, small reptiles and plant material such as seeds and green shoots. Breeding: Polygamous. Egg laid on bare ground between shrubs or tufts of grass. 52cm/700g

Spotted Thick Knee | Dikkop

Burhinus capensis

Sexes: alike. Overall spotted appearance and large yellow eye distinctive. Status Fairly common and largely nocturnal. Gregarious in flocks of up to 40 -50 birds in non breeding season. Habitat: Favors stony open savanna and grassland, also occurs in urban parks and gardens and on beaches. Call: Mournful ti-ti-ti-teeeteeeteee ti-ti-ti  Food: Monogamous. Nest a simple scrape in almost bare ground, usually adjacent to debris or plants.

Helmeted Guinefowl | Tarentaal

Numida meleagris

Sexes: alike, bony casque on head, red facial skin and blue upper neck. Female: Browner body with reduced helmet, upper neck and throat feathered. Status: Locally common resident but decreasing in numbers in some regions since the 1980’s. Habitat: Widespread, from near dessert to forest margins. Common in grain croplands. Call: staccato cackling ke,kek,kek, kaa, ka ka ka… alarm. also two note buckweat contact call. Food: Omnivorous: insects, seeds, bulbs, tubers and berries. Breeding: Monogamous. Nest in shallow scrape, well concealed under grass in thicket. 50cm/1.35kg

Spotted Eagle Owl | Gevlekte Ooruil

Bubo africanus

Sexes: alike, mostly gray brown above, finely barred gray and white below with pale gray blotches on chest. eyes yellow, chest less heavily marked than larger Cape Eagle Owl. Status Resident. most common large eared owl in region. Habitat: Tolerant of wide variety of habitats and has adapted well to suburban areas. Found from western semi-dessert drainage lines to forest margins. Rare only in sand dessert. Call: Mellow 2- or 3 syllable hoots hu whoooooo or whooo are you rising and falling in pitch, sometimes duet. Food: Small insects or rodents, birds and mammal prey up to hare and bush baby size. Breeding: Monogamous, wide range of nest sites on the ground in trees and on buildings. 45cm /700g

Arctic Tern | Sterretjie

Sterna paradisaea

Sexes: alike. Markedly shorter legs and straighter and shorter bill than common tern. Rump snow white and wing tips. attains br plumage with red bill and legs from April. Status Uncommon non passage migrant mainly over Atlantic, present Sep – Jan but recorded all months in low numbers on coast. Habitat: highly pelagic. Call: shrill tcheek in flight. Food: Small marine fish and crustaceans

Three Band Plover | Strandkiwiet

Pternistis capensis

Sexes: alike. Only a plover in region with double breast band. Status Common resident, mostly sedentary but undergoes large -scale movements in response to water levels. Habitat: Open shorelines at wide range of fresh water habitats. Call: Plaintive wik, wik flight call a shrill wee-weet. Food: Mainly terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. Breeding: Nest a shallow scrape in river gravels or patch of pebbles usually but not necessarily near waters edge. 18cm/34g

Grey Headed Gull | Gryskopmeeu

Larus pipixcan

Sexes: alike. with prominent gray hood, unlikely to be confused with other gulls. Bill legs and feet bright red, eyes yellowish white with red orbital ring. Status: Common resident, dispersive in non breeding-season, highly gregarious. Habitat: Coastal habitats and coastal islands, also inland at dams, pans, large rivers etc. Call: Most common call a harsh raucous kraaa… Food: Aquatic and terrestrial insects, molluscs, frogs, fish. Scavenges food dumps. Breeding: Monogamous and colonial. Breed on islands, mostly in wetlands, nest usually a shallow bowl of plant material placed on ground next to tuft of grass or other vegetation. 42cm/280g

African Black Oystercatcher | Swarttobie

Haematopus ostralegus

Sexes: Alike. Large black wader. Orange red bill laterally flattened. Plumage browner in non-breeding season and occasionally some birds have a few white feathers. Status: Locally common resident, regarded as near-threatened endemic. Habitat: Favors rocky shores. Call: Strident kleep, kleep-a. Food: Limpets, mussels, polycheates and crustaceans. Breeding: Monogamous, nest scrape usually close to rock or kelp. 44cm/700g

Blue Crane | Bloukraan

Pternistis capensis

Sexes: alike, male larger than female. Overall gray appearance except for white crown. The elongated feathers that hang almost to the ground are tertiary – inner wing feathers. Status: Locally common in a few areas but with a drastically reduced population from a historical estimate of about 100 000 birds to approximately 20 000 at end of 1990’s. Endemic and listed as Vulnerable. Some populations thought to be migratory, some locally nomadic and others largely resident. Roost in shallow waters at night. Habitat: Mostly natural grassland but also wetlands cultivated pastures and croplands. Call: Loud guttural rattling kraaaaarrrk often in duet with male. Food: Omnivorous and probably primarily vegetarian. Eats small bulbs, seeds and roots. Invertebrates include boll worm, caterpillars, grasshoppers, termites and worms. Animal prey include fish, frogs, reptiles and small mammals. Breeding: Monogamous on wet ground, nest is pad of vegetation on dry ground, eggs may be encircled with pebbles, dry vegetation or mammal dung. Usually clutch 2 eggs, incubation period 29-30 days. 110cm/8kg

Cape Gannet | Malgas

Morus serrator

Sexes: alike. Distinctive features: gular throat stripe about two-thirds longer, eyes silver cream, head less golden and lower pitched call. Status Locally common endemic, regarded as Vulnerable because drop in numbers due to fish shortages. Winter visitor to KwaZulu Natal, vagrant further north. Gregarious. Habitat: Mainly coastal. Call: Repetitive urrah or warrah. Food: Mostly schooling pelagic fish. Breeding: Monogamous and colonial on off schooling pelagic fish. 89cm/2.64kg