The Little Birds of Kruger (1)

The Little Birds of Kruger (1)

I continue to draw off my library of photographs.

Waxbills, Buntings, Pytillias, Twinspots, Finches and Mannikins

Often when driving along the roads of Kruger, small birds will pop up from the roadside ahead and dart off into the shelter of nearby vegetation. So small are they, that one can easily be unaware of this beautiful world lying at one’s feet. It pays to travel slowly and scan the roadside ahead for these little jewels. Only through a pair of good binoculars can one appreciate them. Take note as well of the little birds feeding on the floor in the camps.

Once, during the dry season, at the Matjulu waterhole near Bergendal, I made a small puddle of water in the vehicle turning circle by bringing along cannisters of water from camp. What entertainment I then had from the array of exquisite birds that arrived to drink. I make note of which of the following photographs were taken at this very puddle.


Common Waxbill
Common Waxbill
Blue Waxbill Very common.
Blue Waxbill
Male Violet-eared Waxbill – more in the arid areas of SA but regularly seen in Kruger. (Photo by Warren)
Female Violet-eared Waxbill
Black-faced Waxbill Common in arid SA but only in the far north of Kruger.
Grey Waxbill – only along the Pafuri River in the far north of Kruger
Swee Waxbill – in the more moist parts of Kruger

Green-winged Pytillia (Melba Finch)

Green-winged Pytillia – taken at my puddle near Bergendal
Male and Female Green-winged Pytillia Common in Kruger


Golden-breasted Bunting – taken at my puddle
Golden-breasted Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting


Red-billed Firefinch (Taken at my puddle)
Red-billed Firefinch
African Firefinch
African Firefinch
Cut-throat Finch (Taken at my puddle)
Cut-throat Finches (Taken at my puddle)


Male Village Indigobird
Male Dusky Indigobird

Green Twinspot

Male Green Twinspot – uncommon in Kruger but may be found in the thick vegetation of the Sabie and Pafuri Rivers
Female Green Twinspot


Red-backed Mannikin I have only seen in the reeds below the Skukuza restaurant.
Bronze-winged Mannikin – common in small flocks