Mozambique is a unitary semi-presidential republic located in the southern region of the African continent, with its capital, which is also the most populous city in the country, being Maputo. With an area of 309,475 square miles, Mozambique is the 37th largest country in the world. The country experiences a tropical climate with a long wet season from October to March. The geographic features are quite diverse ranging from coastal plains, highlands to tropical forests. This diversity gives rise to diversity in flora and fauna. There are over 700 known birds in the country with a good number of them being native birds. In this article, we will discuss some of these native birds in the country.
The Swahili Sparrow has become less common in Mozambique in recent years. However, they are found in larger numbers in the southern savannas of nearby Kenya and Tanzania. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the bird as a species of least concern with a stable population.
The Shy Albatross is a medium-sized albatross that measures an average of 35 inches in length and weighs around 9 pounds. The body is white with black wings on the upper parts while the area under the wings are gray. The bill is grey-yellow with the tip being pure yellow. It feeds on fish, cephalopods, crustaceans and tunicates. The primary preying method employed by the bird is surface-seizing. However, in some instances, it has been recorded in pursuit diving up to depths of 16 feet deep. Spawning takes place in September where the female lays one on a rocky island and builds a nest from grass, roots, and soil. This species is classified as near-threatened with an occurrence range of about nine million square miles.
Miombo Scrub Robin
The Miombo Scrub Robin is a small bird, measuring five inches on average in adulthood, and is pale gray in color. It feeds on ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and termites. The breeding season differs from one area to another but takes part between August and November in Mozambique. According to the IUCN, the species is not threatened, and this is largely attributed to its extensive habitat range.
The Secretary Bird is a huge bird inhabiting open grasslands and African savannas. Its body resembles that of an eagle with a hooked bill. On average, adult birds will have a height of 4.3 feet and a length of 60 inches. These birds practice terrestrial predation and feed on insects, mice, hares, snakes, tortoises, and other younger and smaller birds. They are also known to be opportunistic hunters where they await near fires to catch any animal that tries Tom escape the fire. Secretary birds practice a monogamous relationship and couples exhibit nuptial display by flying high with undulating flight patterns. Mating occurs on the ground and in some instances it may be done on top o acacia tree. They construct a huge nest on acacia tree where the couple visits it for more than six months before egg laying takes place.
Environmental Threats to Mozambican Birds
Traditionally, most African societies respected the Secretary Bird due to its beautiful appearance and its ability to deal with pests and snakes. Deforestation is the main threat facing the Secretary Bird today. The young ones are preyed upon by hornbills, kites, and crows. Historically, the shy albatross was exploited for its feathers. This has, however, changed, and competition for habitat from the larger Australasian gannet is the leading threat to their existence today.