The Wild Side

Leaving the country and culture that we are used to means that there are many changes. Obviously, these changes can sometimes leave you feeling not like yourself. One thing that has remained a constant is that Jon and I are nature nuts. During my first trip to Ethiopia in 2008 I got weird looks because I was always looking at birds and other critters. Today is no different. Living in Chencha has allowed us the chance to experience new birds and other wildlife and a lot of the wildlife we see is right around our house. We even finally figured out what creature was always lurking around in the enset after dark. We are pretty sure that a side-stripped jackal is a regular visitor to our food scrap pile and the meat scraps that I set aside for any carnivorous visitors (yes, I know I shouldn’t). We haven’t gotten a photo of it yet but there are other visitors to our yard that we have captured on film. Enjoy.

Augur Buzzard. We actually have a nesting pair that hang around near our house. The nest is high in a Eucalyptus tree that we can see from our back door.

Augur Buzzard. We actually have a nesting pair that hang around near our house. The nest is high in a Eucalyptus tree that we can see from our back door.

Hemprich's Hornbill. Even if we don't always see the hornbills, we hear them.

Hemprich’s Hornbill. Even if we don’t always see the hornbills, we hear them.

Rüppell's Robin-Chat. These guys are everywhere. I even caught one checking out our sheenta bait one time.

Rüppell’s Robin-Chat. These guys are everywhere. I even caught one checking out our sheenta bait once.

Unidentified Sunbird. Even with my field guide and the limiting factor of our 2900 meters elevation I'm having trouble getting a positive ID on this one.

Unidentified Sunbird. Even with my field guide and the limiting factor of our 2900 meters elevation I’m having trouble getting a positive ID on this one.

Yellow-bellied Waxbill. I had trouble identifying these little birds until I finally got a photo of them. In NC we had "butter butts" (yellow-rumped warblers a la Kristin Sasser). Here we have "red rumps."

Yellow-bellied Waxbill. I had trouble identifying these little birds until I finally got a photo of them. In NC we had “butter butts” (yellow-rumped warblers a la Kristin Sasser). Here we have “red rumps.”

Streaky Seedeater. Now when I hear a sing-song melody coming from the backyard I just look for where the streaky seedeater is perched.

Streaky Seedeater. Now when I hear a sing-song melody coming from the backyard I just look for where the streaky seedeater is perched.

Common Waxbill. It isn't the best photo of this red-masked little bird, but I was lucky to catch it at all. They flit around in the shrub so fast it is hard to get a good look.

Common Waxbill. It isn’t the best photo of this red-masked little bird, but I was lucky to catch it at all. They flit around in the shrub so fast it is hard to get a good look.

I do okay with my bird identifications, now that I have a field guide. The frogs are a different story. I may not know what kind they are, but I love finding them.

IMG_0410tree frog 1tree frog 4tree frog 2-2frog 1

And then there are the cool moths.

hummingbird mothsphinx moth

Not only are we enjoying the biodiversity of Chencha, we have Dawit excited too. He loves looking at our bird guide and any time we find a frog or bug we know who will want to see it. Jon and I have joked that even at his tender age he likely knows more about the birds and bugs in Chencha than most of the locals.

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