Interesting Video: Termites attracting birds attracting lions

This Botrswana feeding frenzy video was captured by crew members Brad Bestelink and Jason Loughran at

A flurry of bird activity in the distance cught the attention of the videographers.  The thoughts were that there was a kill and potential prdators ahead.   Once arriving at the scene, they realized there was a huge swarm of flying ants attracting the activity.  These non-sterile termites were taking to the air to mate and start their own colonies.

For me, it was amazing that the situation warranted the arrival of scavengers such as marabou storks (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) and hooded vultures (Necrosyrtes monachus) . These birds are normally associated with larger prey animals – not small insects! I guess when there is a food source  easily accessible, the opportunity to feast cannot be missed.

The storks and vultures were feeding on the ground whereas yellow-billed kites (Milvus migrans parasitus), southern carmine bee-eaters (Merops nubicoids) and a species of swift or swallow were feeding on the wing.    The flurry caught on film is amazing as the virds twist and turn, managing to  avoid each other in the air while catching the insects with ease.   In the end, a pride of lions (Panthera leo) arrived on the scene, attracted by all the commotion. The lions would not let the birds rest and constantly stalked them.


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