The birds of Saragossa Game Reserve: 4 can’t-miss sightings

With the rolling lowveld to provide a tasty range of fruits, seeds, insects and even small animals, and the gushing Elands’ River to play in, there’s no surprise that Saragossa Game Reserve– and the whole Waterval Boven area-is home to a staggering wealth of birdlife. Here are 4 of our iconic feathered citizens to be on the look-out for, no matter when you visit.

African Fish Eagle

The African Fish Eagle isn’t actually a Fish Eagle, but truly a Sea Eagle. This doesn’t change the majesty of this gorgeous local raptor, whose haunting cry is an iconic part of Africa’s heritage. Surprisingly similar to the American Bald Eagle in looks, they can have white or tan heads, and love to test their considerable fishing talents in the nearby Eland’s river.

Black-Headed Oriole

There’s no mistaking this bright yellow bird with the warbling call. It’s black head and tan beak make for a striking contrast to the glimmering brightness of its body. You’d think it’s luminous plumage would make it an obvious sight, but they’re surprisingly hard to spot among their beloved Acacia Trees. Their lilting call will surround you, though.

Collared Sunbird

Sipping nectar from the local aloes, the iridescence of this exquisite blue and green sunbird makes it a standout favourite in the valley. Watch out for the yellow belly and purple band of the males. Like all sunbirds, they can seem a blur when in flight, but they’re sure to steal your heart. Sunbirds do migrate, so their appearance at Saragossa Game Reserve can be seasonal.

Knysna Turaco

Don’t let the name fool you! This vibrant member of the Lourie family loves to flit between its homes in both Cape and Mpumalanga provinces, bringing vivid green plumage, its iconic crest, bright blue fan tail and red beak to delight the hearts of those who spot it. If you spot one, thank it for keeping the local insect population at bay!

130 bird species call Waterval Boven home, with tons of migratory birds arriving in the area during summer to frolic and play, so there’s plenty of others to spot. But these 4 exquisite birds bring you a great sense of the Waterval Boven spirit, so be sure to watch out for them when you visit us here at Saragossa Game Reserve.