Austin Roberts Memorial Bird Sanctuary

Austin Roberts was one of South Africa’s most acclaimed zoologists, best known for his authoratitive reference book on the birds of Southern Africa. Today, his legacy is honoured in the Austin Roberts Memorial Bird Sanctuary, located in Pretoria’s leafy Nieuw Muckleneuk suburb.

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The tiny reserve covers only eleven hectares (about four city blocks), yet more than 170 bird species have been identified here – a consequence of the wide range of habitats that it provides: dense woodland, mixed bushveld, reedbeds and nine small perennial dams. In addition, a few small antelope and a couple of tortoises also occur here.

AR_Blesbok

Blesbok

AR_CapeTeal

Cape Teal

AR_CommonMoorhen

Common Moorhen

AR_EgyptianGoose

Egyptian Geese

AR_FulvousDuck

Fulvous Duck

AR_LaughingDove

Laughing Dove nesting inside the hide

AR_Steenbok

Steenbok

AR_White-facedDuck

White-faced Ducks

AR_Yellow-billedDuck

Yellow-billed Duck

Red-knobbedCoot

Red-knobbed Coot with chick

AR_BlueCrane

The Blue Crane is South Africa’s national bird

AR_CrownedCrane

Crowned Crane

Facilities at the sanctuary include a restaurant and photographic hide, both extremely popular, and both offering a very nice lunchtime break from the office!

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A section of the hide at Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary

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15 thoughts on “Austin Roberts Memorial Bird Sanctuary

  1. aj vosse

    Wow… 170 species… if I’m not mistaken that’s about 2/3 of the island of Ireland’s total… including migratory visitors! On only 11 hectares!

    That kind of diversity is what I miss most about South Africa!

    Oh well, maybe one day…

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    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks for another well thought through comment AJ Vosse! It’s even more amazing when you consider that this little reserve is surrounded by urban development, and shows the value every piece of natural habitat, no matter how big or small, has in preserving this planet of ours…

      Like

      Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you very much Z!

      Yes, if you apply a bit of imagination then it sounds as if the laughing dove is “laughing”, especially when a male tries to impress the females. Would love to hear your croaking dove croak!

      Like

      Reply

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