Backyard Birds?

We have had a couple unusual birds in our yard lately.  The first one was not a complete surprise as we see raptors fairly often in the “suburb” where we live. This Shikra  visited our yard several times and we finally got some decent pictures of it thanks to Jonathan.  I had previously only seen it in a national park, so I learned something there.   I find these little hawks pretty tough to identify unless they stick around long enough to let you check out the field guide or you get some good photos.  Here, Jonathan got some really clear shots, so we can clearly see his cherry red eye and lack of spots on his tail or bars on his central tail feathers, and lack of a chin stripe, so I feel pretty confident about my i.d..

  Shikra (10)

Shikra (2)

The second interesting bird we have seen of late is a Hamerkop, again I had previously only seen these in the bush.  We have a little stream that runs just below our wall so I guess the Hamerkop has decided to make it home for a little while.  Based on the number of frogs in our yard, I would imagine that that the eating is pretty good down there.  This weekend he was just flying around overhead a bit and then landed on the other side of the wall, but a week or two ago he landed on our antenna above our house, so here is a decent shot of him.  I am just guessing that the stream will dry up eventually as dry-season really gets underway and then we will not see him again, but for now, we are enjoying his visits.



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