Where the Tall Grass Grows

Feb. 4, 2018

In Tarangire National Park, the tall grass offers cover for animals to hide. Today, in fact, we saw our FIRST LION! Here’s what we could see of what seems to be a young male:SONY DSC
A young impala also has cover, but prefers to raise her head and look around:
SONY DSCOn our first drive in Tarangire, we saw a number of ‘new’ animals. Impalas are ubiquitous here. They are mostly found in all-female and all-male groups. Notice the warthog passing through a group of grazing female impalas!
SONY DSCWarthogs are also very common, usually seen in groups called “sounders.”  SONY DSC
Like many of the other animals that live here, a sounder consists of adult females and their offspring, while males go off on their own and may join up with other males.
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Warthogs are herbivorous and feed on short grasses during the rainy season (which starts in late January to early February). SONY DSC
Half-hidden in the tall grass, young warthogs playfully wrestle with each other.
SONY DSCAdult warthogs are mostly bald, while the young have tufts of hair along the back of their necks. SONY DSCWarthogs make their dens in holes dug by aardvarks. Female warthogs will fiercely defend their young if threatened.SONY DSC
I got most of this information about warthogs from Wikipedia. I always thought warthogs were  rather ugly, but observing them in the wild, playing or running with their tails in the air, I thought they were rather cute!

Another animal that burrows in “homes” made by others is the dwarf mongoose, most often seen poking out of large termite mounds. Apparently the termites don’t bother them or have already abandoned these mounds.
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According to Wikipedia, they are social animals that live in groups of 20-30, headed by the dominant pair. All adults help raise their pups.SONY DSC
Also appearing among the grasses were guinea fowl…SONY DSCmonkeys,
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SONY DSCand shy, diminutive dikdiks.
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What are these two vultures doing in the grass?
SONY DSCWhere there are vultures, there is a carcass to feed on – in this case, a hyena.
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Up above were a wide variety of bird species, such as this white-headed buffalo weaver,SONY DSCa pair of go-away birds,

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a marabou stork standing at the very top of a tree,
SONY DSCsuperb starlings with their flashy colored feathers,DSC03584.JPG

a grey-headed kingfisher,
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a Von der Decken hornbill,
DSC03613.JPGa red and yellow barbetSONY DSC
and the all-black common drango.
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By the time we returned to the Tarangire Safari Lodge, it was nearly dark and we had dinner late (even by safari standards) – at 8:45 p.m.!

 

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