Satara Summer 2021 – Vervets versus Dikkoppe

Mazithi Dam is a man-made watering hole 10km north of Tshokwane Picnic Site in the Kruger National Park. It is a magnet for wildlife and there is always something of interest to see there. When we arrived at Mazithi around 2pm on the 19th of December, a troop of Vervet Monkeys had just raided the nest of a pair of Water Dikkoppe, aka Water Thick-knees. The birds and primates were in a tense standoff at the water’s edge with the monkeys mostly having the upper hand, although the birds put up a very brave show.

 

26 thoughts on “Satara Summer 2021 – Vervets versus Dikkoppe

  1. Pingback: Satara Summer 2021 – Primate Romps | de Wets Wild

  2. naturebackin

    Fascinating. It is surprising that the monkeys continued hassling the dikkops even after they had taken the eggs. Perhaps they saw the dikkops as challenging them. It certainly does not look like a game. It is surprising that any dikkops survive beyond the egg stage even given the brave defensiveness of the parents.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We were also baffled by the monkeys’ persistence in harassing the birds, and keeping them away from what remained of the nest.

      A pair of Spotted Dikkop routinely uses my mom’s garden to breed. While they are usually successful in incubating all the eggs in the clutch they seldom raise more than one chick. Even in suburbia there are many dangers. As you say, it is a wonder any survive out in the wild.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Indeed, Hien. Both Joubert and I use Canons. The overcast conditions and the distance between us and our subjects worked against us though. I hope the photos were clear enough though to convey a sense of the drama.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      It was very interesting, Anne. Most of all the way the monkeys persisted in pestering the Dikkoppe even long after the eggs were gobbled up. As if they took some kind of pleasure from being bullies.

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  3. H.J. for avian101

    These couple of thick-knees picked the sandy edge of the water because it will make easier for incubation. Didn’t count on the primates that must be hungry. Great series, D. 🙂

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