Friday, 18 September 2015

Exciting Resighting: Female or Male?

I posed the question above to the Western Cape Birding Forum last weekend for the following photo of a Cape Rockjumper:

Except it was a trick question. The bird is in fact an immature bird ringed in 2013 during our first round of Cape Rockjumper captures. At the time I registered the bird as a youngster based on the brown, not red, iris, buff wing spots and residual gape. But I also called it a possible female and duly gave the bird a one colour identification ring.

This past season Gavin Emmons was helping Krista Oswald catch more Cape Rockjumpers. He took the following photos of a splendid male – with yellow ring. Thanks to the colour band we know he is the same bird from 2013! Very exciting to get this resighting :)

Centre of attention: here fellow family members direct their calls to male yellow. Photo courtesy of Gavin Emmons.

Below is a photo of a juvenile Cape Rockjumper, probably only 1-3 months old, from the Swartberg Mountain range.

Note the black, not red, iris

And this is how they start off life. Sad thing though: >60% of nests fail; which is pretty much the norm for ground nesting birds. 


  1. Not long now!

    So many interesting things in these photos. Even the rocks have caught my eye, the red inclusions ( ? or lichen?) are different

    1. Yes - the red on the rocks is a kind of lichen.


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