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Close encounter with a Hadeda

Hadeda in my gardenI was taking a walk around my garden to see what I could photograph for a blog post – and it walked right up to me – a Hadeda lunching on my earthworms! The amazing thing was that Hercules was walking with me and the Hadeda was completely unfazed by our very close presence and by being followed by us, me snapping away in the hope of getting at least one good photograph. The walkabout lasted for about ten minutes until we had followed her all the way from the back garden to the pond and then she decided she had had enough … either of us or of munching on earthworms, and she took flight.

I often see the Hadedas in my garden. I don’t actually like them much – they are usually in the garden in groups of two or three and they trample on the plants damaging them and mess all over the place (read: crap on the patio). And they are big birds so the mess they leave on the patio is large! Not little dove droppings, I’m talking about huge Hadeda droppings. So whilst they are not unwelcome (I love having birds in the garden), they are not exactly my favourite visitors – much like the loud noisy neighbours one tolerates once in a blue moon!

[one_half]Hadeda in my garden[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Hadeda in my garden[/one_half_last]

For anyone interested and not familiar with the Hadeda here is some info I found on Wikipedia:
The Hadeda or Hadeda Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash, is a ibis found in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Hadeda is a large (up to 76 cm long), dark brown ibis with a white “moustache”, glossy greenish purple wings, a large black bill with a red stripe on the upper mandible, and blackish legs. It feeds mainly on earthworms, using its long scimitar-like bill to probe soft soil. It also eats larger insects, such as the Parktown Prawn, as well as spiders and small lizards. These birds also favour snails and will feed in garden beds around residential homes. It has a distinctively loud and recognisable haa-haa-haa-de-dah call that is often heard when the birds are flying or are startled, hence the name. More info about Hadeda here: Hadeda Ibis.

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

5 replies on “Close encounter with a Hadeda”

Ha! I didn’t think it was going to be a bird! Hadeda, destructive as it is, is at least much more picturesque (well done) than our woodchucks. (and has a garden-friendlier diet…)

I just showed Hannes the photos you took and he is totally wowwed!! He says they are perfect!! Well done, my friend, you got the bog THUMBS UP! You have the eye! I think they are absolutely stunning! Why don’t we get some of these amazing photos printed as postcards?

Oh WOW!! Hannes’ approval really gives me a HUGE boost! YAY! I spent some time with the camera this weekend and took some more photos and I think I am getting a bit better now. I’m learning to look at things differently and not just clicking away like I used to. Will post some more pics later. I took some of Hercules in the garden that I’m quite proud of 🙂

Oh my word! What great photos of the Har-Dee-daar! he looks totally comfortable in your garden. Where was Dex?? He would have given them a mouthful. We hear them in the trees at night here, but they don’t come into our garden. I guess the chickens clean up and leave nothing for them to feed on.

Hi Barbs

Ya, he was totally comfortable – you won’t believe how close we were to him. I even walked and followed him. Wasn’t fussed at all! Dexter was inside – banished inside because of the barking at the camera drama we have everytime I want to take photos! But we could hear him crying inside because he wanted to join me & Hercules, hehe. Hadeda would have no chance for lunch if Dex had seen him 🙂

Can you believe the photos? I’m sure Hannes would find plenty wrong with them but for a totally useless photographer as I am, I think I did quite well for a change.

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