Birds at Featherbrooke Estate
Click here for: Featherbrooke Bird Checklist
As you walk through our estate you will notice that birds are our most obvious wildlife in the estate. Our current bird list is 160 species (September 2017) but there are probably a few more to add to this list.
Much of our estate is now developed and cloaked in woodland and our list shows a predominance of woodland species. We have some small patches of natural grassland but these are still in the process of rehabilitation and as such have not attracted birds that are dependent on such habitat. Sugarbush Park, along the western edge of the estate has been left virtually untouched and is our natural connection to the botanical gardens.
Protea grasslands dominate Sugarbush Park and the properties toward the mountain. This is where to look for species like Mocking Cliff-chat, Cape Rock Thrush, Red-winged Starling, Neddicky, Bokmakierie, Red-winged and Coqui Francolins, ChinspotBatis, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting, Black-crowned Tchagras and of course Black Eagles that are resident at the adjacent botanical gardens. They are often seen to be cruising the ridge terrorising groups of Guineafowl, which they prey on here.
Other raptors that have been seen within the estate include Black-chested Snake-eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Ovambo and Black Sparrowhawks and even the occasional African Cuckoo-Falcon, Amur Falcon and Black-shouldered Kite. European Bee-eaters are common in summer throughout the estate as are Dideric and Red-chested (Piet-my-vrou) Cuckoos. These cuckoos predominantly parasitise Southern Masked Weaver, Karoo Thrush, Cape Sparrow and Cape Robin-chat within the estate.
Rowdy Hadedas breed within the grounds in various locations and are probably well known to most residents. Spotted Dikkops are fairly common and together with Spotted Eagle Owl, Barn Owl and the migrant Rufous-cheeked Nightjars make up for some of the sounds heard at night. Less common species include Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Greater and Lesser Honeyguides, Cardinal and Golden-tailed Woodpeckers. Birds that feed in the grasslands include Bronze Mannikin, Blue Waxbill, Black-throated Canary and Streaky-headed Seedeater.
Strolling along the river you may see African Black Duck, Woodland and Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Common Moorhen, Long-tailed Cormorant, White-throated Swallow and Blacksmith Lapwing. Four species of sunbird occur including the iridescent metallic-green coloured Malachite Sunbird and the colourful Greater Double-coloured Sunbird both of which are attracted to flowering proteas and aloes especially during the winter months.