Stork Fishing & Hippo Surfing African Style~

The Yellow Billed Stork dined on catfish tonite.
The poor catfish was given no say in the matter.
The stork’s eyes seemed bigger than his beak,
and the meal was almost more than he could swallow.
The Purple Herons,
were busy Hippo surfing.
But even they thought the stork caught more than he could swallow!
Cheers to you from Sunset Dam & Lake Panic Bird Hide Kruger National Park~

191 thoughts on “Stork Fishing & Hippo Surfing African Style~

  1. What patient hippos they are or should the saying “skin as thick as a rhino” be changed to that of a hippo perhaps? Wonderful captures – safe travels! πŸ™‚

    1. Hippos are remarkable and I have a lot to post about them. They funnily enough have super sensitive skin and so do rhinos, prone to sunburn. Hippos sleep in water during the day and graze on land at night. We came upon a baby hippo separated from it’s hysterical mother on a night drive. It was quite affecting as lions reportedly take advantage of these situations. There is no where like Africa. I bet, but do not know, that the herons pick bugs off the hippos back??????? Or then again, maybe the hippos were just snoozing and unconcerned with such flightly matters! πŸ˜‰

      1. How bizarre that saying when rhinos and hippos skins are so sensitive! Makes sense now then they keep themselves covered with water or mud as a type of protection. After seeing the heron devour that catfish I can’t imagine a bug on a hippos back would even come up on it’s radar, lol. The sound the mother hippo must have been making, poor thing. No matter the species, human included, a mother separated from her youngin’ when there are predators around, is a harrowing time. Look forward to seeing more of the hippos. Stay safe and don’t let the mosquitoes bite! πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, great captures, Cindy! Love the pink and green feathers on the stork. There was a video on today of herons hippo surfing… is this a coincidence???

    1. Yes, I wish I I could see it. It was a new concept and sight to me, although my husband and I were just discussing that it is common to see birds on all sorts of African animals, every rhino has a bird or two, crocs with open mouths often do, lots of antelopes have birdie riders. The birdies rid the critters of parasites and get to eat too. South Africans must see this all the time. But for me the hippo riding storks were quite a surprise

  3. Fantastic. At least I got to see a picture of a bird catching a fish. A couple of days ago, a Great Blue Heron was hunting at the lake. I watched him stretch his neck out farther and farther. I stood with my telephoto lens and my camera at the ready until I thought my arms would fall off. When he went for the fish — I got so excited — I didn’t get any of the heron in the shot at all — and the heron didn’t capture the fish. πŸ˜€ Great fun thanks for sharing.

    1. This comment is better than any photo because it captures so perfectly the joy and defeat of taking photos. Makes me smile and shudder in empathy at the same time! It is also such a great testament to you as a person, your humor and humility. You rock~

      1. πŸ˜€ Thanks. We could probably do a whole blog about the photos we’ve missed. I especially like when I haven’t seen a bird because I’m focused on another shot and the bird makes a ruckus to let me know they are there and then as soon as I try to snap their picture they take off. This week it happened with an osprey, Northern Oriole and a hummingbird who was a wee bit aggressive flying right up to my camera lens. <3 Happy journeys.

  4. Oh those close-up photos are breathtaking! Until now, I haven’t seen any photos that are this close-up that I could see just how brightly colored storks’ plumes can be. That green is such a surprise! These deserve to be in something like National Geographic… seriously!

    Glad to hear you’re having a great time out there and am equally glad for the quick little catch-up with you Cindy! <3 ~Lynn

    1. It is always a treat to converse with you Lynne and of course we share a commo bond and understanding of our feathered friends, so we are usually in accord. Great to hear from you and be well my friend.

  5. Great shots, Cindi. Actually I am always amazed had how much seabirds can get down. I caught catfish by hand as a kid, though, and their front fins carry a heck of a wallop. Not sure I’d want one swimming around in my stomach. πŸ™‚ –Curt

    1. The spines are formidable, but African critters are tough creatures and think how old these birds are genetically. They’ve had lots of time for fine tuning! Cheers to you and be well Curt~

  6. Herons are among my favorite birds. We have many blue herons in our area, which surprised me about the desert at first. My very favorite is to watch green herons fish at coastal peers. So cool!

    1. They are like dino-birds. They freeze forever makiing great reflections in the water, then move in slo-mo as they begin stalk in the water, when they strike it is like lightening almost too fast to see! Love em too~

    1. So funny, I think so too, but my mom just emailed me and said she thought he was ugly. Different people, different perceptions. I’m glad you see the beauty my friend!

    1. Remember when women used to wear stork feathers on hats and dresses! Almost decimated the stork populations, but women wanted to look like storks! πŸ˜‰

  7. Fantastic pics, again, Cindy! You have quite a knack for capturing birds. What lens did you use for the storck? With my zoom lens, it would be difficult to have both the body and the head in sharp focus like you did.

    1. Yes, I find it quite difficult to get all parts of a bird in reasonable focus with full zoom. I used a Sony 400X with 1200 mm zoom. I am finding the camera to be a little too sensitive to the rough travel and dust in the bush though. Not meant for such intense use/conditions.

  8. Fantastic as always, Cindy. I remember seeing a pelican trying to swallow a flounder once and it was too wide to get down its neck. It was quite hilarious to watch like your stork.Wish I could carry your suitcases! xx Rowena

  9. Oh Cindy these photos are fabulous! Those glorious stork photos wrestling with the catfish, and then I gasped when I saw the herons on the hippo. I am SO glad you are enjoying your African adventure my friend…. πŸ˜€

    1. So grateful and pleased that you enjoy looking at the details we can’t see with our eyes only. I am always surprised what the camera sees. Thank you so much for appreciating & visiting! <3 <3 <3

  10. Your first photo of the yellow billed stork has to be the best bird picture I have ever seen. While I felt sorry for the catfish, I couldn’t help thinking it would be delicious served cajun style!

    1. Oh, laughng about the cajun catfish! It’s true too, but sadly the stork may prefer it unseasoned…….hard to swallow, I know. πŸ™‚
      Thank so much you for the very encouraging feedback~ <3

  11. Β‘QuΓ© interesante secuencia! El triste final del pez gato muestra la crudeza de la vida misma. El posado de las garzas sobre su isla-hipopΓ³tamo hace sonreir. Y eso que los hipopΓ³tamos, segΓΊn se dice, no son muy amigables πŸ˜‰ Sigo disfrutando de su visita al Parque Nacional Kruger desde mi sillΓ³n. Gracias <3

  12. Our guide had a vast knowledge of birds and amazing vision to find them. We stood by Sunset Dam for some time watching more birds than I can remember (we picked up one of the animals/bird list books at the first gift shop and checked off about 135 birds by the end of our trip). No storks they day we were there (We traveled in their Spring, so the migration patterns were at a different time of the year). Enjoy our wildlife spotting…. and good luck finding internet service!

    1. Yes, we were at Sunset on our first trip too. No guide just us turkeys! Lots of kingfishers, a green boomslang, the second greenboomslang on this trip, fishing eagles, balateurs, tawny eagles. We have lost count of the number of species on this trip, but did keep a list last time. Although I am keeping track of each new species seen. Got photos of a leopard. Saw a lot of ostrich a few days ago. Seeing some very rare birds and uncommon species, genets, civets, caracal, lots of amazing creatures. We tend to drive down dirt roads to water holes for hours at a time and are frequently quite alone. Thrilled to know you have been Oscar! You know what the experience is like~

      1. Laughing, hippos sleep in the day and leave the water to graze at night. I got a hilarious shot of a hippo rolling over in his pond with his muddy hooves in the air, so comical!

  13. Fantastic post! I wish I could be there to witness this, phenomena, first hand, but your photos really take me there, and are truly amazing! πŸ™‚

  14. It’s been a while since I’ve visited your blog, but I am delighted to be catching up today. Your photography, and sense of fun, are stunning! Thank you for sharing them.

      1. It’s really my pleasure. Your experiences sounds amazing. I don’t think I’d have the courage to be a wildlife photographer, but it was always one of my childhood dreams.

  15. Great colour in these stork shots, and beautiful plumage detail.

    I’m surprised that the hippos — being that they’re so extremely territorial, don’t freak out on the herons being so close.

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