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Feathered Friends in Senegal

I've had animals around to greet me everywhere I've ever lived, from owls in Pennsylvania to lizards in Benin. But as we settled into our new home in Dakar, Senegal, somebody extra special was waiting for us in the branches of a pine tree behind our home.

That's a Black Kite (Milvus migrans), and he was perched in a tree over our backyard for 2 days, just calmly surveying the situation as we moved our belongings into our new home. First we thought he'd been injured, but then one morning he flew away. So perhaps he was just resting up. We'll never know. Our copy of Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow and Ron Demey says it's Africa's commonest raptor, and indeed the skies above Dakar are full of them. A sky full of birds makes Dakar easy to like.


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