Cardinal Woodpecker

This Female Cardinal Woodpecker has become one of my newest resident birds in my garden. She is very shy and one only finds her if you are lucky enough to hear her tapping away in the trees, most often the dead wood in the huge White Stink-wood tree.

Cardinal Woodpecker

I managed to catch her in mid stroke with wood dust flying, and as she got the reward for her efforts

Kicking up the dust
The Reward


There are three Bulbuls that visit our gardens depending on where you live.  Along the Western Cape coast you will find the Cape Bulbul, the central part of the country has the Red-eyed Bulbul and the eastern parts the Dark-capped Bulbuls.

These  lively birds all have yellow vents and are noticed for their exited call and chattering. They are very observant and finding a number excitedly calling from somewhere often reveals some danger in an owl, snake or cat.

They are well adapted to our gardens, but prefer gardens that have fruit bearing plants and are easily attracted to feeding trays by placing soft fruit but their favorites are paw-paw and apples. When available they will also eat fresh bone meal.

Bulbuls breed in spring and build a small bowl from roots, hair and grass. Incubation is around 12-14 days, where after the parents will care for the fledgelings for around another 12 days.

Dark-capped Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Cape Bulbul

Bronze Mannikin

Our first garden bird of the month will be Bronze Mannikin as i have just found one in my garden for the first time.

They are small brownish birds that often are in flocks of up to 30 birds. The adults have black heads and a bronze-green shoulder patch with white bellies that are slightly barred on the flanks.

Bronze Mannikin

They are generally very skittish and will take flight as a group to the nearest shrub, returning one by one, once they feel it is safe to do so.

Nests are dome shaped with a side entrance and built in  shrubs or occasionally in old palm leaves. The nest is constructed from grass.

Four to six eggs are laid, and they have an incubation period of about 15 days. The chicks fledge after about 20 days.

The are attracted to gardens with seed, either naturally in growing grass or on feeding tables. The ones visiting my garden have been attracted by a patch of wild grass that I planted at the beginning of spring.

Their distribution area is the eastern side of South Africa, along the coast from Port Elizabeth to northern KZN, the eastern Freestate, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo