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Audubon to present ‘Birding Exotic Southern Africa’

By Staff | Feb 10, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Peter Hawrylyshyn

The Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society will host Peter Hawrylyshyn for a presentation, “Birding Exotic Southern Africa,” on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at The Community House, at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

Hawrylyshyn will guide attendees on a trip through southern Africa using his photos of its unique bird species. He will also elaborate on some of the avian bio-adaptation and evolution that has occurred. For many North American birders, southern Africa remains a once-in-a-life-time trip. However, the diversity of wildlife makes it a must-see.

The Fynbos eco-region around Cape Town is the smallest global biome – about the size of Maryland – but it is home to over 8,700 plant species, of which two-thirds are found nowhere else, and hosts birds such as the double-collared and malachite sunbirds, weavers and waxbills. Penguins and pelagic species abound offshore. Further north at Walvis Bay, Namibia, over 500,000 flamingos reside in the IBA estuary. Immediately inland is some of the world’s oldest desert and highest sand dunes. Here, where there has been no rainfall for over a decade, 15-20 species of birds – larks, chats, sand grouses – somehow manage to survive. In northern Namibia, the Etosha pan is one of Africa’s premier game reserves. The dry savannah is home to such species as francolins, bustards, coursers, hornbills and a variety of raptors. Further east, the tropical forests of the Caprivi strip lead to the Okavango Delta, an oasis of papyrus-lined channels and forest-covered islands. Bee-eaters and rollers add splashes of rainbow colors, while owls hide in the Baobab trees.

A long-time winter visitor to Sanibel, Hawrylyshyn has always had a love of the outdoors and birds. The advent of digital imaging allowed him to focus his interests on bird photography. His award-winning work has appeared on BBC Nature and Cornell’s Living Bird, and been published in numerous reference texts. His work can be viewed at www.pahphoto.com and www.flickr.com/photos/pahyyz.

This is the sixth of eight Sanibel-Captiva Audubon lecture to be held this season. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and parking is available at The Community House, as well as at BIG ARTS Strauss Theater.

PHOTO PROVIDED Southern yellow-billed hornbill

A $10 donation per attendee is appreciated, with the proceeds after costs being used to promote conservation on Sanibel and in Florida.

For information, call Bill Jacobson at 239-395-1878 or visit www.san-capaudubon.org.

PHOTO PROVIDED Orange-breasted sunbird