Waterhole Chaos

Waterhole Chaos

Cape turtle-doves arrive in their hundreds, in the early morning, for a drink at some waterholes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The doves are a good food-source for lanner falcons and black-backed jackals. They are, however, difficult to catch, and there is chaos while the doves are trying to escape the predators’ attacks. I’m always amazed there are no dove collisions. The falcons make many attempts but their success rate might be one dove per day.

The jackals, of course, do things differently. This one pretended to be sunning himself while the doves arrived. Then, using the waterhole rocks as a shield, he stalked. Summoning all his energy and focus, he accelerated over the rocks and flew into the air, hoping for an airborne catch. But success for the jackals remains rare; perhaps one or two catches a day, and sometimes the flying hunter lands in the water himself.

Story by Johan Botha, taken from Photo Tales.


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