One of the things that we love about game reserves is the interaction between the various animals and birds. There is always an animal or bird that is intent on eating another one, or encroaching on the others territory. Animals guard their territories very fiercely and we saw this quite plainly in an interaction between a Southern pale chanting goshawk and a Slender mongoose in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
We stopped to watch the goshawk that was perched on a termite mound, not realizing that a little drama was about to unfold before our eyes. With binoculars and camera trained on the bird, we noticed an agitated mongoose run around the base of the termite mound and stand up on its back legs to chase the goshawk off. The mongoose obviously felt threatened by the goshawk in some way, even though it looked pretty innocuous to us.
Now we’re not up on ‘mongoose speak’ but the photograph shows the mongoose giving the goshawk a verbal lashing for intruding on its termite mound. What was said was apparently sufficient to scare the bird off, because it took to the air very quickly.
Once it had gone, the mongoose took possession of its termite mound and claimed victory after its little turf war. Mongoose 1 – Southern pale chanting goshawk 0!
Fascinating to watch as it all unfolded. We apologise for the poor quality of the photographs, but they were taken quite a distance away from all the action.