Secretary Bird spotted at Tomjachu
For the first time ever this month we spotted a Secretary Bird on the Tomjachu reserve – truly special sighting.
This stunning creature is a bird of prey which specialises in hunting snakes, but also consumes other reptiles, amphibians, tortoises, and small rodents, and kills its prey by ’stomping’ on it until it is dead or immobilised! The bird gets its name from its crest of long feathers that look like the quill pens 19th century office workers used to tuck behind their ears! What makes this sighting so special, apart from its inherent beauty – standing 4ft tall with long legs, dove grey plumage, and that distinctive crest – is that the Secretary Bird is now listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This means it is at high risk of extinction in the wild. Unfortunately, this is mostly due to human encroachment and farming practices which are reducing the range of it’s natural habitat. So we are delighted to see such a bird at Tomjachu – it shows that our efforts to conserve the natural habitat of a wide variety of animal and plant species is working! And we could not do it without our wonderful guests supporting us by coming to stay here.
Also this month we had a spectacular sighting of a Narina Trogon only a few hundred metres from the Homestead, but unfortunately none of us had a camera to hand! A beautifully colourful bird, the Trogon enjoys dense forested areas, and is more often heard than seen. But sighting it is a further confirmation of the wonderful diversity of the wildlife that calls Tomjachu home.