White-browed Coucal gets more than he bargained for !

During a fantastic morning game drive my guests and I stopped close to a lagoon to enjoy a good leg stretch with some tea and coffee before we continued. While enjoying my tea I heard a commotion coming from a nearby bush. I quickly grabbed my camera and focused on what was happening. In front of us was a large white-browed coucal attacking a much smaller flap-necked chameleon.

From my perspective this was really a one sided fight as I thought the Chameleon had no chance. The chameleon was using every defence tactic he knew, from puffing himself as large as he could , hissing loudly and turning a dark shade of black to warn his nemesis that he was not about to go down without a fight.


The coucal had the chameleon cornered and the reptile now knew it was life or death so he gave it his all. The coucal bit onto the chameleons leg and tried to pull the limb from his small body. The chameleon not wanting to give up bit onto the birds beak and in the process covered the birds nostrils. This was enough to scare the coucal and give him second thoughts about this meal. The chameleon had won in a David and Goliath victory had caused the coucal to fly away and leave him in peace rather than pieces.

After the coucal had fled I managed to approach closer and snap this shot of the colour that the chameleon had turned to rather than his natural light green. After a few minutes he changed back to his normal self and ventured into some dense foliage to hide from any other threats. 

Watch the video below to see the Chameleon fighting for his life

Andrew Mweetwa

About Andrew Mweetwa

Andrew Mweetwa has written 17 post in this blog.

Andrew passed his guiding exam in 2006, followed by his walking license the following year. For the past three years, he was guiding at the Norman Carr Safaris camps. He joins us this 2013 season, delighted to keep busy with our third daily game viewing activity! He loves learning new languages, and looks forward to practice his skills.

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