St. Lucia Central Reservations
Birds and Bird Watching
The unique bio-diversity of the eco-systems of this World Heritage site and adjacent areas offer the bird watching tourist to St. Lucia and the area an unforgettable experience.
Apart from being famous for water-birds, St. Lucia boasts more than 400 species of avian delights. Bird Safaris in the northern area of the St. Lucia lake, and guided tours along the trails within the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park and adjacent areas, will reveal many unusual species.
The waters of Lake St. Lucia teem with fish, crustaceans and micro-organisms which attract a great variety of water birds to the park all year round. Pale arctic waders, coming from as far afield as Siberia to escape the harshness of the northern winter, make extensive use of the shoreline and shallow waters of Lake St. Lucia. They fly thousands of kilometers across Eurasia and down the lengths of Africa, from wetland to wetland, in search of the warmth, shelter and food it has to offer.
To the average person, the flocks of the commoner species - curlew sandpipers, little stints and ruffs - are the most impressive as, in their multitudes, they probe the mudflats for food.
Every autumn up to 6000 white pelicans arrive to feed on the mullet which gather in the Narrows, before moving into the sea to spawn. The pelicans fatten up and go through a period of courtship before establishing a nesting colony at an ancestral site in the northern reaches of the lake. About 250 pink-backed pelicans breed in midsummer in the trees of Mkuzi Game reserve's Nsumu Pan (presently their only breeding site in South Africa) Colonies of gray-headed gulls, Caspian terns, African spoonbills and red-winged pratincoles breed on the islands in Lake St. Lucia. Fewer than 1 000 Caspian terns occur along the southern African coast, of which 600 to 800 breed at St. Lucia.
|The Jacana's long toes enables it to easily walk on floating plants in the swamp system.
Yellow billed Storks hunting in unison
|Apart from aquatic species, the area boasts also large numbers of forest, grass land and other species of birds which are either endemic to the area or more general to South Africa. This variety will entice the bird watching tourist to return to St. Lucia and the area repeatedly in order to fulfill a dream experience. As the number of bird species are by far to many to discuss on this page, St. Lucia Central Reservation's bird guide below will give the tourist a better understanding of the treasures of this area.
Bird Guide [ Under construction ]
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