Birds In Paradise At Tropicana Golf & Country Resort
Tropicana Golf & Country Resort is known for its rolling hills and tree-lined fairways. But golf isn’t the only thing on some people’s minds; some watch the greens and the roughs for birds, spotted in abundance here. Today, we explore a few of our flying, feathered friends found frolicking freely at the TGCR.
The white throated kingfisher (Halcyon Smyrnensis)
Sporting a bright blue streak on its brown and red coat with a white throat and breast, it is a beautiful visitor to the greens. However, this bird is a prolific hunter, preying on small fish, lizards, rodents and even other birds. You’ll occasionally spot it diving into the water hazards to poach some fish from our ponds!
The kingfishers mating ritual
The females are slightly less colourful, having a brown coat but still retaining the white throat and a smaller red beak. Males flash their white throats during the mating ritual, and flick out their wings for a couple of seconds, revealing the white markings inside.
Kingfisher couples make their nests underground in burrows, laying anywhere from 4-7 white eggs, with their chicks hatching after 20 days, and ready to fly 19 days later, so these birds are quick to fledge and get into action.
The call of this kingfisher is a chuckling “chake-ake-ake-ake-ake”.
Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus Oscitans)
This small stork species stands around 68cm tall and has a curved upper beak structure with a small gap to better grip the snails and shellfish it eats, thus giving it the name Openbill Stork. It’s mainly whitish grey with black feathers under its mantle and young storks are brownish grey.
They’re usually found in wetlands and marshes where they hunt for snails and molluscs, cracking the shells with their specialised beaks. Occasionally they will also eat small snakes, frogs, insects, and anything else they can catch while wading through the water.
Breeding season for these storks is typically after the rainy season, varying by location. They build stick nests in trees and both parents will take turns incubating an average of 4 eggs that hatch in about 25 days.
The storks are mostly silent, but may produce a “honk” sounding call.
Purple Heron (Ardea Purpurea)
A slender, stalking bird, the Purple Heron has grey and brown plumage with a striking silhouette and a dark stripe streaking down its neck. Standing still, it is often seen hunting for snakes, fish, rodents, amphibians and other small critters. The bird typically ambushes its prey or chases it down over short distances, using its long neck to dart out and spear anything it can reach.
Building large nests out of sticks and dead branches farther away from busy areas, this secretive bird species can nonetheless form small groups when it comes to nesting. Laying up to 8 blue or green eggs at a time, they take about 28 days to hatch and chicks are fed with regurgitated or live food by both parents.
These herons make a harsh “frarnk” sound.
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur Indus)
This majestic bird of prey is the Brahminy Kite, easily identified by its bright white head and chest feathers contrasting the brown plumage and black tips of its wings. This beautiful visitor is sometimes spotted stealing tasty morsels from the storks and herons, as this species of kite is typically a scavenger.
Brahminy kites are social birds, with incidences of kites working together to take on larger birds of prey such as eagles and defend their nests. Young kite chicks are known to be extremely playful as well, throwing leaves into the air to catch them, and exhibit a keen intelligence.
The call of the Brahminy kite is a high pitched “kee-yew” sound.