NAIROBI PARK DIARY

Furry little fluffballs

There is something wonderfully special about watching birds with tiny chicks

In Summary

• All babies have a high 'cuteness factor', and chicks are especially pretty

Egyptian geese chicks
Egyptian geese chicks
Image: GARETH JONES

Over the years, we have enjoyed many aspects of the Nairobi National Park, always with an air of expectation and anticipation mixed with the excitement of what could possibly be seen.

There is something wonderfully special about watching birds, especially when they have tiny chicks, perhaps because they represent new life? With over 500 species of birds recorded in the park, there is no shortage of species. However, there are many species that are resident and breed in the park. The bird species range from seed eaters, water birds, raptors, insect eaters to sunbirds.

To have a special “baby bird moment,” it is useful to note a few tactics that have certainly been very rewarding over the years. Firstly, find a place where there are a number of bird species thriving. Wetland places like the Hyena Dam, Athi dam and No 10 murram pits are typical rewarding locations.

Secondly, sit quietly and observe the various species for at least 15 minutes. This is because the parent birds instinctively hide the chicks when they feel threatened, and noises like motor vehicles tend to reduce possible sightings. However, if you sit very quietly we have noted that many species start to behave naturally, and that is when we have experienced most of our “baby bird moments”.

It is interesting to note that bird chicks are often completely different from the adults as they are created with natural camouflage to increase their possibility of survival, as they often have a high mortality in the wild. All babies have a high “cuteness factor”, and chicks are especially unique little fluffballs.

So why not try something different and try to have a baby bird moment and enjoy watching the furry little fluffballs?

For more information on the park you can link to the following websites: www.kws.org or www.nairobigreenline.com or on Facebook: Nairobi National Park