The Baviaanskloof - representative of the Eastern Cape's diverse habitats.

The Baviaanskloof - representative of the Eastern Cape's diverse habitats.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Spot the Rockjumper...the yellow circle marks a group of Cape Rockjumpers foraging over 300m away from us.

MSc student, Krista Oswald, is currently obtaining behavioural observations of Cape Rockjumpers in the Western Baviaans/Kouga Mountains by tracking groups throughout the day. The steep and rocky terrain makes this an extremely challenging task as they move around a lot, and we generally only get to observe them from a distance - not to mention finding them in the first place!

First price meal for a Cape Rockjumper. This locust is perfectly camouflaged among the pale quartzite stones in the Rockjumper habitat - it even lies flat on it's side when threatened. Rockjumpers have it tough...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Heat stress in fynbos birds update

In early April this year I'm heading of to the British Ornithologists' Union meeting in Leicester, UK, to present some of Robyn Milne's awesome looking data on heat stress in Cape Fynbos birds. Robyn is an MSc student at UCT who I'm co-supervising, together with Dr Susie Cunningham and Dr Alan Lee.
Compared to birds I've studied elsewhere in South Africa over the years, these fynbos birds really don't seem to like the heat much. This is no wonder since it seldom gets far over 30 degrees Celsius in the mountains of the Cape Fynbos region.

Well done Robyn for taking the student prize for best poster at the Biodiversity South Africa Meeting in Cape Town in December 2013!

See below:

Monday, 4 November 2013

Fynbos bird project

Two additional Fynbos endemics for which we are collecting heat stress data.

Victorin's Warbler (Cryptillas victorini)

Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea)

Thursday, 3 October 2013