Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Michelle Villiers sent a big sample of African wildlife, and I’m posting about a third of it today. Reader’s notes:

I recently had the good fortune to join in the trip of a lifetime to South Africa and Botswana. Herewith a sampling of pictures taken. None of the animals should need description for your readers, I’m sure. [JAC: some did for me!] The photos were taken in Selinda- and Moremi Game Reserves in Botswana. (More information on the trip is here.)

Identify this antelope!



This is a carmine bee eater, but I’m not sure if it’s the Northern or Southern species. Perhaps readers can help.

Species, anyone?



Note that this rhoni has been dehorned and is also wearing ID bracelets on its front legs:



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    And the bar is lowered further…

  2. Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Deer is Impala,
    first bird is a Guineafoul

    second bird, don’t know.

    • Negasta
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Impala is delicious BTW.

      • Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Indeed it is! I chomped on many an impala biltong stick in my youth! Though I must confess I do prefer the richer dark meat of the wildebeast!

        • Don Mackay
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          We are taught that lions are carnivores. Yet we can see in these pics they are ignoring the steaks and diving into the abdomen, seeking and eating pre-digested plant matter. Perhaps a new definition of ‘carnivore’ is needed.

          • Posted March 4, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            My understanding is that the lions (and other carnivores) eat the innards first because the liver, heart, etc. have the most nutrition. I don’t think they are going after the stomach contents, but I could be wrong. House cats eat grass to vomit to rid themselves of bones, feathers, and parasites in their own stomachs.

    • Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      That’s no deer. Bovidae not Cervidae

  3. Andrew B.
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    “Identify this antelope!”

    That’s Bill. We go way back. Glad to see he’s doing well.

  4. joanfaiola
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    The bee-eater is Southern Carmine.

  5. nicky
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The guinea fowl (species anyone?) is considered an invasive species in the Western Cape. Although their call is less unnerving than the one of the Hadedas, they wake me up about every morning.
    They are not eaten by the locals, since they are reputed to be infested with worms (I do not know that is actually true, but it is a good reputation to have).
    My young sons collect their feathers, which are kinda beautiful indeed.
    That Rhino (locally known as ‘renoster’) is a ‘white rhino’, presumably not because of the colour, but from ‘wide’. It’s wide mouth shows it is a grazer, as opposed to the pointed lip rhino, a browser, which is -as a contrast- called the ‘black rhino’. Si non e vero e bene trovato!

    • joanfaiola
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The guinea-fowl is the Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris.

    • Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      In Afrikaans a white rhino is a witrenoster which means ‘white rhino’. Accurate about the colour or not I am pretty sure that the ‘wide’ part is just an entrenched folk etymology. A wide mouthed rhino in Afrikaans would be something like ‘breedmondrenoster’. I may be wrong, but this ‘wide’ thing keeps getting reported as if it is definitely true… Admission: I can get by in Afrikaans but a native speaker would have a better idea.

      • Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Sorry to bang on about this – meant to add: a ‘meadow’ in Afrikaans is ‘weide’ and ‘to graze’ is something like ‘wei’ (sp may be off) and as white rhinos graze rather than browse, this might be a more realistic origin of their name. It’s a ‘grazing rhino’

  6. joanfaiola
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    In the last shot, there is more than one species, but the birds with brown bodies, dark wings and blue beaks and legs are probably Fulvous Whistling-ducks Dendrocygna bicolor, which I believe also occur in North America.

  7. rickflick
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful trip! So much animal action – you must have had a great time.

  8. Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Those were simply amazing. I am very jealous right now.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Africa fauna is my favorite. I understand nature is red in tooth and claw, but I can’t help saying: poor giraffe.

  10. Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    The lion at the business end is… eh… interesting 8) enjoyed seeing them do what they do best. Great shots. Thanks.

  11. Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    That one lion is doing some butt-munching.

  12. Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that first one is probably an impala, but ID is much easier when standing (to show horizontal color bands). I’m still inclined toward the “white” = “wide” interpretation for the rhino.

  13. J Cook
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Southern sub species of Carmine Bee Eater. The NE species has a blue chin and throat too.
    Helmeted Guineafowl
    Fulvous Tree Duck. ? Perhaps disturbing African Darters. ?

  14. J Cook
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    One of the Gazelles.

  15. Adrian
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    We were told on a recent trip through the Kruger NP that de-horning Rhinos was ineffective. This is because, having spent a lot of time tracking the animal, the poachers shoot them anyway so they don’t waste time tracking them again.

  16. rickflick
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    That suggest you’d have to de-horn all of them.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      This comment should go under #15.

  17. Posted February 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Michelle. Great stuff!

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