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Early Morning Birds

Once the sun has crested the plateau and morning unfolds, Laikipia’s ubiquitous Doves – African Mourning, Red-eyed and Ring-necked, as well as the smaller, more delicate Dusky Turtle and Laughing – begin their various rolling purrs.

The stocky Speckled Pigeon with red eye-rings brings the morning chorus to a close with its throaty hum, enquiring ‘Whooo are youuuu?’ An early morning ride through Laikipia’s grasslands will yield sightings of one of Africa’s iconic birds: the Common Ostrich. Nearly three metres tall and capable of reaching speeds of 70 km/h, ostriches are the largest living birds and the world’s fastest two-legged animal. Their mating ritual is an elegant ballet of fluid, rhythmic wing flapping. Many females lay eggs in the same nest, but only one bird incubates, making sure her eggs are given pride of place. Weighing 1.5 kg, ostrich eggs are the largest of all eggs, offering an attractive meal for hyenas, mongooses and humans.

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