Protected places like the Kruger National Park is becoming the last strongholds for many birds-of-prey, the undeniable masters of the skies. Any visit to the Kruger is sure to provide regular encounters with a wide variety of meat-eating birds, and in summer even more so as many species migrate here to escape from the winter in the northern hemisphere.
Not all birds-of-prey boast the size and muscle of the big Eagles. Some, like the Falcons, Kestrels, Kites and Harriers make up for what they lack in brawn by being exceedingly fast, nimble and stealthy.
Of course no one’s going to deny the absolute majesty of the Eagles. No wonder they’ve been featured in religion, folklore and heraldry for centuries.
If the Eagles rule the sky during the day then it belongs to the Owls at night. Of course this makes them much harder to see, and photograph, but we were lucky on a few occasions.
Vultures fulfill a vital role in the ecosystem, efficiently cleaning away any leftovers remaining after the large predators have had their fill of a carcass, and in a place like Kruger National Park with healthy populations of all Africa’s large carnivores there’s certainly lots of work for the Vultures. Sadly these birds are all highly endangered outside our country’s large protected areas.