Rare footage of South Africa’s rarest bird hatching

Posted on 28 May 2014

Watch this incredibly rare footage of South Africa’s rarest bird, the blue swallow, hatching in KwaZulu-Natal.

South Africa’s rare blue swallow hatching

Conservative census puts the blue swallow numbers at around 35 pairs within South Africa’s borders and they have gone regionally extinct in 90% of their historically known breeding sites.

Wildlife filmmaker Zack Vincent went to the KwaZulu Natal Midlands to cover the work done by Ian Little of Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and KZN Wildlife’s officers. All the nesting sites are on privately owned land. The land is sought after as it is the perfect zone to plant pine trees for paper and only 2% of the biome is protected in South Africa.

The team saw a pair foraging near a known sinkhole and went to investigate. After climbing into the sinkhole they noticed some movement amongst the eggs. Of course, the camera light failed, so using iPhone light and a GoPro, they managed to film the hatching and emerging of a tiny, naked blue swallow chick. A very, very rare moment in nature and one welcomed by all involved in the conservation of a critically endangered species.

The full episode aired recently on SA television show 50/50

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