This bird of prey ("Geelbekwouw" in the Afrikaans language or Yellow-billed Kite in English (Milvus parasitus)) I captured while on an evening safari in the Kruger National Park.
In 1896, the Rinderpest virus wiped out most of the region's game and cattle. Aiming to preserve game animals for future hunters, the Transvaal Volksraad voted in favour of a small government game reserve. Funds for the Sabie Game Reserve were allocated in 1898, but war broke out. After the Second Boer War, Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) James Stevenson-Hamilton was appointed the first warden in 1902, and a few months later the area from the Sabi river to the Olifants river was added. These were the first protected parts of what now is called the Kruger National Park.
The far north area gained protection in 1903 as the Singwitsi Game Reserve. This area included Crook's Corner, a small triangular tongue of land between the Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers, where the borders of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe meet.
In 1912, a railway line was routed through the reserve. Stevenson-Hamilton successfully used this to get tourists to stop over for lunch. By 1916 a government commission was appointed to assess the future of the reserves. In 1926, as an act of reconciliation, the British administration officially renamed the reserves after Paul Kruger, and declared it to be South Africa's first National Park.
Scanned from color negative.
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Cretense (68691) 2007-05-03 5:19
I am very glad to be the first one to write about this excellent picture. Amazing composition, excellent timing and beautiful colours, for this unusual and very original take. Congratulations!
alainh (35583) 2007-05-06 1:18
a true pleasure: the format, the cloudy sky, and this splendid bird in these old branches !!
your scan is a good one !
a very sympathic meeting.
have a good sunday Harko
lestans (17138) 2007-05-08 2:51
I visited National Kruger Park two years ago, and I appreciate pictures like this one of yours! What a joy to capture such an interesting bird with the camera!
Nice to see it so clear and sharp alone on a bare tree.