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Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ruanda are some of the best birding countries due to the various habitats. The Indian Ocean, coastal areas partly forested to savannahs, semi-deserts, deserts, mountain forests, alpine/moorland, fresh water and soda lakes, rivers, glaciers and rainforests provide a huge range of different biotopes and are responsible for the big variety of bird species. Currently more than 1.400 registered species occur in East Africa. Among them are around 100 migratory birds from Eurasia, others are Intra African migrants but many are permanent residents. You find little brown birds, very colourful species and majestic vultures and eagles. Parks and sanctuaries have between 300 and over 550 registered bird species. East Africa is a paradise for ornithologists. But also non birders will be fascinated by some of the impressive birds.

Many species are spread in many regions, but several are endemic and only occur in small ranges.
We as the specialists know where to find them.

Species are listed according to families. The book “Birds of Africa South of the Sahara” served as guideline.

Pictures taken by Elvira Wolfer, Lorenzo Barelli (Photographer and birding tour leader) and clients





Speckled Tinkerbird





Grey-throated Barbet (Gymnobucco bonapartei cinereiceps).
Fairly common in western forests. Kakamega Forest.

Speckled Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus scolopaceus) from Uganda further west.
Photo Marina Meger, Uganda






Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus bilineatus), von Zentralkenia
bis Westafrika in bewaldeten Gegenden. Foto Marina Meger

Red-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus pusillus)
occurs in East Africa in dry country and savanna.



Moustached green tinkerbird

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird





Moustached (green) Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus leucomystax)
is found in mid level mountain forests in Kenya and Tanzania.

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) occurs in
Westkenya to West and Southern Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Kisumu










White-headed barbet (Lybius l. leucocephalus).
Local in wooded areas. Masai Mara, feeding on a Balanites fruit.

White-headed barbet (Lybius leucocephalus. senex). Local
in forested areas from Central to Northern Kenya.






Red-fronted barbet (Tricholaema diademata)
is widespread but uncommon in East Africa. Feeds on fruits.

Spot-flanked Barbet (Tricholaema lachrymosa radcliffei). Locally common
in Kenya and Tanzania in moist acacia woods and tall riverine forests.





White eared Barbet





Black-throated Barbet (Tricholaema melanocephala) is endemic
to North eastern Africa and is found in semi arid to arid regions.

White-eared Barbet (Stactolaema leucotis) is more a bird of the
Eastern coast region but has a small distribution area in Central Kenya
Photo Lorenzo Barelli





Green Barbet

Yellow spotted Barbet





Green Barbet (Stactolaema olivacea). Local in forests
along East African Coast. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Yellow-spotted Barbet (Buccanodon duchaillui) occurs in forests from
Western Kenya to Westafrica. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Kakamega Forest





Black-billed Barbet





Black-billed Barbet (Lybius guifsobalito) is found in wooded
areas around Lake Victoria and Uganda. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Brown-breasted Barbets (Lybius melanopterus) can be found
along the coast, around Kilmanjaro/Arusha and Southern Tanzania.










Double-toothed Barbet (Lybius bidentatus aequatorialis). Fairly
common in West Kenya’s forests and further West. Ph
oto Lorenzo Barelli

Yellow-billed Barbet (Trachyphonus purpuratus elgonensis).
Kakamega Forest and further West.
Photo Lorenzo Barelli











Usambiro Barbet (Trachyphonus usambiro) is treated as own species or
subspecies of D’Arnaud’s Barbet. Endemic to Masai Mara/Serengeti.

D'Arnaud's barbet (Trachyphonus darnaudii emini) is
found from Central Kenya to Tanzania. Photo Marina Meger




D'Arnaud's barbet (Trachyphonus darnaudii boehmi).
From East Kenya to Northeastern Tanzania.











Red and yellow barbet (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus erythrocephalus).
Widespread in dry areas of East Africa. Male






Greater Honeyguide
Lesser Honeyguide





Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator) is found in many
countries in Africa from less to more forested regions. Subadult.

Lesser Honeyguide (Indicator minor) occurs in forested
regions in Africa, sometimes even in garden.





Scaly_throated Honeyguide






Scaly-throated honeyguide (Indicator variegtus) is scarce to locally
common in East to Southern Africa. Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Wahlberg’s Honeybird (Prodotiscus regulus) is uncommon in
acacia woodland in Kenya, Tanzania and other regions. Lewa Downs.






Pallid Honeyguide





Eastern or Green-backed Honeybird or Slender-billed honeyguide
(Prodotiscs zambesiae ellenbecki). This subspecies is occasionally found
East of the Rift Valley in woooded areas. Nairobi region.

Pallid Honeyguide / Eastern least honeyguide (Indicator meliphilus)
is found in forests in Kenya, Northern Tanzania and further South.








Nubian Woodpecker (Campethera nubica).
Widespread in acacia land and savanna in East Africa.

Nubian Woodpecker, female



Buffspotted Woodpecker





Buff-spotted Woodpecker (Campethera nivosa). From
Western Kenya to Westafrica. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda

Green-backed or little spotted Woodpecker (Campethera
cailliautii nyansae). Mara/Serengeti region. East, Central to Westafrica.





Mombasa Woodpecker

Brown-eared Woodpecker





Mombasa Woodpecker (Campethera mombassica) is only found
at Kenyan coast and in the far Northeast Tanzania. Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Brown-eared Woodpecker (Campethera c. caroli) is found from
Kakamega Forest to Uganda. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Kakamega Forest










Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens massaicus).
Female near Nairobi.

Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens massaicus).
Widespread in Africa and common. Male near Nairobi.










Bearded Woodpecker (Dendropicos namauqus schoensis) is not
common in open woodland in Kenya, Tanzania and furhter South.
Photo Marina Meger, Serengeti

Grey-headed or Mountain Grey Woodpecker (Dendropicos
spodocephalus rhodeogaster). Widespread in open wooded areas in
Highlands of Central Kenya and northern Tanzania. Male.





Olive Woodpecker
Brown-backed Woodpecker





Olive Woodpecker (Dendropicos griseocephalus) lives in forest from East
to Central and an other population in South Africa. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda

Brown-backed Woodpecker (Ipophilus obsoletus) occurs from
Nairobi to West Africa in drier areas. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Nairobi suburb





Red-throated Wryneck





Rufous-breasted Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis) occurs from Central
to Western Kenya and West of Lake Victoria. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is a very scarce
Palearctic migrant to Kenya. Near Nairobi.