From Kotu to a vultures’ dead donkey feast

Tuesday 7 February.

Today, from Kotu to Tendaba, more in the interior of Gambia.

A pied crow along the road.

A black kite flying.

On a sandy road, antlions‘ traps. There, insect larvae throw sand as soon as an ant or other small insect walks near their pitfall making the prey fall into their jaws. The larvae throw sand if a human pokes with a small straw into the pitfall as well.

A red-billed hornbill feather on the sandy road too.

Then, a long-crested eagle on a tree along the main road.

This is a long-crested eagle video.

9:15. We are in Sibanor village.

9:34: Bwiam village.

Red-breasted swallows.

A hooded vulture on a tree.

10:05 during a walk: mosque swallow.

Three European bee-eaters on a tree.

A Senegal batis in a tree at a field’s edge.

A scarlet-chested sunbird.

Cape thick-knees on a field.

Also, black-headed plovers.

Black-headed plover, Gambia, 7 February 2012

On a leafless tree, a dark chanting goshawk.

Mosque swallow and house martin flying.

Vieillot’s barbet on a bush.

A purple glossy starling on a tree.

We continue our journey. White-backed vultures in a big tree.

Rüppell's, white-backed, and hooded vultures, Gambia, 7 February 2012

Then, we see many vultures of various species. They gather around a donkey. The donkey apparently died recently, as its carcass shows few wounds. The various vulture species differ in a size, bill shape, and role in feeding on the donkey. The biggest ones are a few griffon vultures, uncommon winter migrants from Europe and northern Asia. Somewhat smaller are Rüppell’s vultures; white-backed vultures are a bit smaller than Rüppell’s vultures.

Rüppell's and hooded vultures, Gambia, 7 February 2012

The smallest birds with the smallest bills are the hooded vultures. Nevertheless, as a human approaches, they stay longest with the dead monkey. Hooded vultures are more used than other vultures to village and city life.

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