Black Kite

Ngorongoro Picnic by Walter Kitundu

Rufous-tailed Weavers like to hang out at the Ngorongoro Crater picnic area near the hippo pool. People lunching in strange circumstances are messy eaters and the birds take full advantage of it.

Keeping a watchful eye on the tourists, Hippos stay offshore but linger close enough to make you nervous.

This Great White Pelican takes a break from fishing with its friends to preen on the shore.

An African Jacana forages nearby, splaying its phenomenally large feet to stay out of the muck.

A Jacana pair tussle on their way across the pond.

The scourge of the picnic area are the brazen, bold, and fearless Black Kites. They will take a sandwich out of your hand or even your mouth provided it's still open. They know exactly what lunch boxes look like and are on patrol every second of the day. Eat in the car or face the consequences.

If you don't have food on you they are sublime and beautiful. If you are trying to gnaw on a dry roll or sort out how to open your juice box with one hand while shooing the birds away with the other, they can be downright scary. Enjoy some of the sublime moments below.

Tanzanian Birds (part four) by Walter Kitundu

A female Sunbird finds sun-warmed flowers near a reptile park in Arusha.

A Babbler forages for insects in the trees.

I said to the guide... "I'd love to see a Bataleur." He said "Maybe later today." Then I looked up from the hippo pool and saw a bird circling down towards us and there it was. Such cool stumpy-tailed birds. Unmistakeable.

No idea what this is... but it's a looker.

The bird baths at Ol Mesera tented camp get an amazing diversity of birds. 25 species over breakfast.

Black Kites are generalists everywhere except the picnic area at Ngorongoro, where they specialize in stealing sandwiches out of your hands. (CLICK HERE to see them in action)

Swooping in to check if anyone is being careless with their lunch.

Black-bellied Bustards strut their stuff on the plains. That's it for the Tanzanian Birds series. Let me know if you want to see a series with other Tanzanian animals.