HOME Blog This Week at Angama #283

This Week at Angama #283

The unknown descendants of a legend arrive to make their mark, while the Nyati boys continue on their quest for Mara-domination
Above: Hitching a ride

The two species of oxpeckers found in the Mara live in association with many species of herbivores ranging from rhinos, giraffes, buffalos, impalas and warthogs. It’s one of the most common relationships we see between animals when out on safari.

F 9, 1/1600, ISO 1600 | Sammy Njoroge

The red and yellow-billed oxpeckers spend daylight hours picking and consuming parasites from their hosts in a win-win relationship, known as symbiotic or mutualistic. Herbivores benefit greatly by having their bodies cleaned from parasites — including having their own early-warning system when the birds alert the animal to look up and respond to a potential threat.

F 5.6, 1/800, ISO 200 | Titus Keteko
F 5.6, 1/800, ISO 200 | Titus Keteko

The birds enjoy more than just a meal, they line their nests with hair plucked from the animals. The hair is placed on the grass in a cup-like form which becomes flattened over time. I can’t imagine having hair plucked from their hide was part of the initial agreement, therefore the herbivores might be getting shortchanged here.

F 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 250 | Robert Sayialel

Long legs with short toes and a short tail are the characteristics of a southern ground hornbill, but they are formidable predators and prey on any small animal or large insect. These birds are strong flyers but hunt and spend most of their time on the ground during the day walking. A few strikes or shakes with their massive beak will kill their prey, which sometimes even includes venomous snakes.

F 8, 1/1600, ISO 1000 | Robert Sayialel

With such a formidable weapon, a terrapin is no match for a southern ground hornbill even with the thick shell covering its body. The beak makes easy work by poking and prodding through the shell's opening and swallowing pieces of its prey.

F 8, 1/1250, ISO 1000 | Jeremy Macharia
F 8, 1/1250, ISO 1000 | Jeremy Macharia

Cheetah sightings in the Triangle keep getting better between Risasi and her two cubs, her two brothers Ruka and Rafiki and the nomadic male. Now, we have new boys in town — and they come in a coalition of three.

These males were raised by the famous Siligi from the Serengeti in Tanzania. Siligi is an eight-year-old female that gained fame when she gave birth to an unusually large litter of seven cubs in 2019, but subsequently lost six. She is also a sister to the late Oldapan who was a member of the famous Tano Bora male coalition.

F 7.1, 1/800, ISO 320 | Jeremy Macharia
F 10, 1/1000, ISO 800 | Robert Sayialel

Born in 2021 in a litter of five cubs, Siligi managed to successfully raise these three boys to adulthood. They separated from their mom last year when they were nearly two years old and now have arrived in the Mara, possibly looking for trouble.

F 10, 1/1000, ISO 1000 | Robert Sayialel

It has been roughly two months since the Salt Lick male leopard was featured in our blog — when we found him with a buffalo calf up a tree. This week, we discovered him hot on the trail of another leopard, chances are it's a female in his territory.

F 5, 1/1600, ISO 200 | Robert Sayialel
F 5, 1/1600, ISO 200 | Robert Sayialel

Being at the bottom of the predator hierarchy order is no fun especially when the bigger bullies are watching your every move. Risasi and her boys don’t often have it easy after taking down a kill. Luckily, this time the family had their fill before a lioness chased them off with nothing left but scraps for scavengers.

F 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 400 | Robert Kiprotich
F 6.3, 1/3200, ISO 500 | Sam Bailyn

The Nyati boys are still living up to their name this week when we found them early one morning with a buffalo kill. They had gorged themselves for two days before leaving just the skeleton for a cleaning crew to dispatch the remains. These males are truly coming of age as they keep expanding their territory towards the unguarded Bila Shaka territory.

F 8, 1/800, ISO 3200 | Robert Sayialel
F 8, 1/3200, ISO 2500 | Robert Sayialel

This Week a Year Ago:

F 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 320 | Titus Keteko

This time a year ago, the migration was fast approaching with the first herds of zebra crossing the Sand River. So far this year, all we have heard is whispers, so the anticipation is high.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Lions of the Mara , Maasai Mara , Wildlife Photography

About: Robert Sayialel

A passionate photographer and videographer, Robert started his career working with Amboseli Trust for Elephants in Amboseli National Park, close to where he was born and raised. He honed his skills photographing the famous big Tuskers and travelling with guests through Kenya’s National Parks, documenting their safaris. A kid at heart, some say he never stops smiling.

Browse all articles by Robert Sayialel Meet the angama team

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