Monday, July 1, 2013

Zambian birds

The miombo rock thrush is a particularly engaging little bird, with its tastefully muted plumage. It is named for the increasingly threatened miombo woodland that covers much of south-central Africa, from Angola to Tanzania. Like many other species in the region, this rock thrush is a miombo specialist, so deforestation is a significant conservation threat. In Zambia, where I spent much of February and March, miombo is cut down for firewood, and to make way for tobacco, a highly lucrative crop that has to be dried, a process requiring fuel in the form of more decapitated miombo trees.

Assorted sketches of some of the avian highlights, including the Chaplain's Barbet (Lybius chaplini ), found only in Zambia.

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