Marievale Birds: The Same and Different

African spoonbill at Marievale Bird Sanctuary, 2015 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

21 January 2024: Day 3, Marievale Bird Sanctuary — Road Scholar Southern Africa Birding Safari. Click here to see (generally) where I am today.

Today we’re birding at Marievale Bird Sanctuary southeast of Johannesburg. In the third week of January it’s mid-summer in South Africa, similar to July in the U.S.

Many of the birds at Marievale are similar to those in Florida. For instance, the African spoonbill pictured above resembles our roseate spoonbill. (I prefer the roseate spoonbill because it is beautiful pink.)

There are also several species that are native in both places: fulvous whistling duck, common moorhen, cattle egret, great egret, glossy ibis, barn swallow and peregrine falcon. At Marievale not every bird is a Life Bird for me.

See Marievale’s birds in the 8-minute video below and you, too, may conclude that South African marsh birds are the same as Florida’s and yet they are different. After the video I’ve provided a table with the names of similar North American species.

video embedded from Safari Moments on YouTube

List of Birds in the Marievale video above and their familiars in North America.

vid#Species at MarievaleSimilar to Eastern N.American bird...
1Red-billed Tealresembles Ruddy duck, but related to mallard
2Cape ShovelerNorthern Shoveler
3Malachite KingfisherBelted Kingfisher
4Pied KingfisherBelted Kingfisher
5Red-knobbed CootAmerican Coot
6Reed CormorantDouble-crested cormorant
7Spur-winged geese in flightCanada geese in flight
8Yellow-billed duckMallard
9Sacred Ibisresembles Wood Stork, not related
10African SwamphenGray-headed Swamphen, introduced in FL
11African snipeWilson's snipe
12Common /Eurasian MoorhenCommon gallinule
13Grey-headed (or Gray-hooded) gullBonaparte's gull
14Three-banded ploverKilldeer or Semi-palmated plover
15Blacksmith LapwingNorthern lapwing
16Black-winged StiltBlack-necked stilt
17Red-eyed DoveRock pigeon
18Blue-billed tealBlue-winged teal
19Speckled doveRock pigeon
20White-breasted cormorantSubspecies of Great cormorant
21Great crested grebeHorned grebe
22Purple heronGreat blue heron
23Squacco heronresembles Green heron
24African spoonbillRoseate spoonbill
25Black-headed heronGreat blue heron
26Glossy Ibisthe same bird is in Florida!
27Goliath heronGreat blue heron
28Grey heronGreat blue heron
29RuffEurasian; sometimes visits US (NY, OH)
30Egyptian Gooseintroduced to US & Europe
31Cape WagtailEurasian; white wagtail is in AK
32African RailVirginia rail
33Little EgretSnowy egret
34Black HeronSnowy egret wearing black
35Burchell's (White-browed) coucalnothing like it in the U.S.
36Long-tailed Widowbirdnothing like it in the U.S.
37African Stonechatnothing like it in the U.S.

(credits are in the captions)

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