Aiming at Diederikkies

The housing complex where we live here in Pretoria has seen a proliferation of Garden Acraea butterflies and their caterpillars over the past few weeks.

These in turn have been a boon for the Diederik Cuckoos that visit our part of the world in summer. Caterpillars are a staple for them.

An added bonus for the Diederikkies are the number of nests of Southern Masked Weavers to be found in our complex gardens. The Diederik Cuckoo is a brood parasite that is especially fond of using weavers as foster parents for their chicks. Of course this isn’t going down too well with the weavers, who frequently dive bomb any Diederikkie found exposed.

These photographs were all taken by Joubert in the past couple of days. His examinations are over and for all intents and purposes his Grade 6 year is concluded – all that he still needs to do is collect his report card and certificates. The dramas of the Diederikkies and their neighbours has been great entertainment and Joubert quickly got very adept at using both stories of our townhouse as photographic hides from which to capture their antics. Of course I am very grateful that he loves photography so much rather than vegetating on the couch with tv games.

33 thoughts on “Aiming at Diederikkies

  1. Nature on the Edge

    A great illustration of a food cycle in action. Well done Joubert! Robust nature right on your doorstep in suburbia. Interesting facts too on the relationship between the parasitising Diederiks and the masked weavers. Your budding young field naturalist/ photographer gets top marks for this project!

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  2. wetanddustyroads

    Sjoe, maar Joubert is handig met die kamera! Na ‘n jaar van harde werk in die skool, is daar verseker niks so lekker as om die natuur dop te hou nie! Die klein diederikkie lyk of hy in ‘n paar verf blikke geval het – te mooi!
    Baie goeie skote met die kamera Joubert – welgedaan! Geniet jou vakansie!!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Groot waardering vir die gawe woorde!

      Joubert neem al fotos vandat hy 18 maande oud is, kan jy glo, en natuurlik soos mens jou talente oefen word hy al hoe beter. Ek kan binnekort my kamera wegpak.

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  3. Anne

    Well done Joubert! I struggle to catch sight of these cuckoos that call about my garden and yet you have captured them in so many poses!!! This is a wonderful post illustrating the interaction between different facets of nature.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I must say he’s been very diligent about setting up his stake-out, Anne – unencumbered by the domestic chores that I’m sure distracts you from being able to sit-and-wait for a Diederik to show himself!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Nogtans n fassinerende verskynsel, Ineke. Soos duidelik hier gesien kan word, weet die vinkies hoe n diederik lyk en probeer hul verjaag, maar tog wanneer hulle eers die kuiken grootgemaak het, en die dan ook so lyk, hou hulle maar net aan om kos aan te dra.

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  4. sustainabilitea

    Excellent shots, Joubert. I enjoyed reading about this interweaving of birds/caterpillars/butterflies. If we just let creation go the way God set is up, how much better off we would all be. Both birds and the butterflies are attractive but I’m just glad my husband doesn’t feel compelled to offer me a caterpillar. I prefer dark chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I couldn’t agree more, Janet. Every actor plays their part perfect in Creation’s tapestry – it is only us that pull sideways far too often.

      Now you have me salivating for dark chocolate at 03:50 on a Wednesday morning…

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