Tristan Silver

Tristan is a South African biologist, photographer, birder and content writer. He has had a passion for the outdoors for most of his life, being taught basic biology and being shown animals in their natural habitat from a very young age. He picked up a camera for the first time as an eleven-year-old boy in 2008 and photographed a distant flock of African Green Pigeons on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. Little did he know, this would be the beginning of a journey that has shaped his life.

He is now a passionate birder that can almost always be found with his camera in hand, having never forgotten his roots in photography that led him into the world of birding and exploring. He has travelled extensively throughout South Africa in search of birds, racking up a total of 631 seen species so far. Birds may make up a large portion of his interests, but amphibians, reptiles, insects, some plants and other organisms also pique his interest while exploring. He uses photography as a tool to document his experiences while also putting effort into creating beautiful imagery. His photographs have appeared in the African Birdlife magazine, and he has won photography competitions over the years.

The marine realm has also captivated Tristan since he first entered the ocean with an eye for what lurks below the surface. Once he was old enough, he obtained his Advanced Scuba Diving qualification and has dived on many coral reefs between Durban and Sodwana Bay on the magical east coast of South Africa and in the stunning Red Sea off Hurghada, Egypt. He has admitted that the fascinating diversity of organisms found in underwater ecosystems such as coral reefs would compete with birds if they were more accessible. Pelagic birding is his favourite type of birding. Why? Because it combines his love of birds with the ocean, and watching pelagic birds floating effortlessly over the surface of the ocean is mesmerising.

He completed his honours degree in Biological Sciences, focusing on sensory ecology in frogs, through the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His most recent exploits found him living in the Kalahari Desert for one year, working as a field research assistant at the Kalahari Research Centre (KRC) in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. There he spent his days with habituated groups of Meerkats, following them as they led their everyday lives - collecting behavioural data for the Kalahari Meerkat Project run by the University of Zurich and the University of Cambridge.

He started writing about his travels and experiences near the end of his school days and has enjoyed doing so ever since. He sees writing as a way to express and share emotions felt during those experiences and combines that with photographs to tell unique stories about unrepeatable moments.

Owl standing on one leg

Owl Legs: All You Need To Know

Who doesn’t love owls? Owls are some of the most recognizable, adorable-looking creatures (especially the tiny ones!). They have a distinct shape, often prominent ear tufts, large eyes, and impressive talons at the end of their toes. Their...

Cut-throat Finch

The 74 African Finches

The African finches belong to the Estrildidae – a diverse family of Old World finches comprising around 146 species divided into approximately 34 genera. The name “finch” is a generic name given to many different birds, including waxbills...

Yellow-shouldered Blackbird

Blackbirds (Icteridae)

The blackbirds are a group of New World birds that belong to the Icteridae family and look very similar to the Eurasian Blackbird, which is, in fact, a thrush. New World blackbirds have long conical bills, allowing them to feed on seeds...

Speckled Mousebird


The mousebirds are a unique group of African birds confined to sub-Saharan Africa. They belong to the order Coliiformes, which is divided into two genera of the family Coliidae. There are six species in total. Taxonomically, they’re most...

The 13 Types of Owls in Texas and Where to Find Them

Texas (TX) is home to some of the most famous North American birding sites. Situated in the southern United States and bordering Mexico, Texas is in the perfect position to have a massive bird list as it lies along the flight paths of a diverse...

Swainson's Hawk

The 15 Types Of Hawks In Texas And Where To Find Them

Texas is one of the largest states in the United States, encompassing a diverse range of habitats and positioned along the flight paths of many migratory species. Add that all together, and you get an extremely impressive bird list of 670 species...