By Amanda Stringfellow @amanda_l_s

IT WAS 'the day of the jackal' for a hungry carnivore waiting at a watering hole in South Africa

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'The day of the jackal': A black-backed jackal skulks behind a rock waiting for prey to approach

A black-backed jackal took advantage of birds lured to the water source by the dry season – and ambushed the unsuspecting flock.

On the approach: The jackal creeps forward towards its target

Emerging from the surrounding trees and causing a swarm of birds to fly into the air, the athletic animal leaps up to catch the nearest target.

Ambush! The predator springs into action and leaps into the air

The resourceful predator successfully traps a bird in its jaws before departing with his prize.

The images were captured by 39-year-old chartered accountant Hannes Rossouw in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Success: The Jackal retreats, bird in mouth

Hannes said: “I have been fortunate to come across black-backed jackals hunting birds a few times during my travels in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Watering hole: The crafty carnivores have learned to target the birds as they drink

“Some of the jackals have obviously figured out that ambushing birds at a waterhole is a very effective strategy during the dry season in the Kalahari desert.”

Splash! The hunters often jump into the water during the attack

Black-backed jackals, named for the saddle of black fur on their back, are native to southern Africa and can reach up to 11kg in weight.

Jaws: The jackals use their speed and sharp teeth to bring down the birds

The hunters and scavengers live on a diet of small antelope, hares, rodents, reptiles, birds and eggs.

Flock shock: Panicked birds take flight

“The jackals hide under the trees, and will hold back their charge until numerous doves have summoned the courage to drink,” said Hannes.

Catch of the day: The hunters and scavengers live on a diet of small antelope, hares, rodents, reptiles, birds and eggs

“Action is fast and furious, with jackals jumping in the water in an attempt to get to the birds, and panicked doves taking off in a hurry.”