… in the same week as BirdLife SA announces new project to track birds via satellite

So excited! My friend Crystelle Wilson and I were atlasing a pentad outside Smithfield earlier today when we spotted a Secretarybird far off to our left in the veld. It was raining and the visibility wasn’t right for a photograph (the one posted here is a photo I took a while back in another part of the district). We were specially pleased to see it in the very week that BirdLife South Africa officially launched a new project to track these birds via satellite.

Announcing the tracking project a couple of days ago, BLSA’s CEO Mark Anderson said the birds were recently re-categorised as ‘vulnerable’ and they and their habitat were under threat in South Africa.

The new project aims to collect more information about these fabulous birds, and involves fitting a tracker device to juvenile birds via a special harness.

The first tagged bird, a fledgling named Spyker, was fitted with its harness a couple of months ago at the farm Garingboom, near Springfontein, just down the road from Smithfield (well, just down the road as our platteland distances go).

(Find out more about the project and follow Spyker’s movements via this link:  http://www.birdlife.org.za/conservation/threatened-species/secretarybird)

Our adult bird was seen on the farm of J C Maartens.

Viva Secretarybirds, Viva!


Secretarybird in a treetop, district Smithfield