Home to approximately 360 species of birds, Swellendam is the definition of a birdwatcher’s paradise. If you’re outdoors there is very strong possibility that a bird or two will be included in your field of vision. And on any given day if you cast your eyes heavenward you are bound to catch sight of one of our hunters of the skies.

Birds of Prey are a very common sighting in the Overberg region and around our town you will often hear “jackal-like” laughter from above, signalling the soaring presence of a Jackal Buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus – bottom right). At night you can hear the plaintiff ‘Hoos’ and ‘Wooohs’ of the African Wood Owl (Strix woodfordii) and the Cape Eagle Owl (Bubo capensis), more often than the throaty screech of a Barn Owl (Tyto alba – bottom left). If you’re moving away from the mountainous area of the Langeberg and find yourself driving through open farmlands, tell the kids in the back to keep their eyes on the telephone poles and the first one to spot the beautifully elusive Pale Chanting Goshawk (Melierax canorus) gets a double scoop of ice cream at the next stop. This selection of raptors of the Overberg is but a small handful of the beauty you can encounter in our natural surroundings.

If you’re visiting Swellendam, contact us for more bird-watching information or follow The Swellendam Twitcher for regular local birding news ♡