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The Indian Ocean, coastal areas partly forested to savannahs, semi-deserts, mountain forests, 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, of which around 100 are migratory birds, occur in East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. 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 all over the continent, but several are endemic and only occur in small ranges. We as the specialists know where to find them.

Pictures are listed in the same order as in most bird books.

Pictures taken by Elvira Wolfer and clients






Basra Reed Warbler




African moustached Warbler (Melocichla m. mentalis). Uncommon in riverside vegetation. South-East Kenya, around Lake Victoria and Southern Tanzania. Shy but vocal during mating season.


Basra Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis) stays from
November to April in Central Kenya to East Tanzania.










Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) is recognised by its black markings on the back and the wide eyebrow. From November to April is found in wetlands with vegetation cover South of the Sahara.


Lesser Swamp Warbler (Acrocephalus gracilirostris) is found
in wetlands from Central Kenya, around Lake Victoria to Tanzania.
Subspecies parvus from Central Kenya to Northern Tanzania.




Cinnamon Bracken Warbler






Cinnamon Bracken Warbler (Bradypterus cinnamomeus) is found in different locations in East Aftica up to Aethiopia in various biotopes. Photo Lorenzo Barelli


Upcher’s Warbler (Hippolais languida) is a palearctic migrant that can
be found in Eastern and Northeastern Africa from November to April.






Mountain Yellow warbler




Dark-capped Yellow Warbler (Iduna natalensis massaica).
Locally uncommon in leafy vegetation in Kenya and Tanzania.


Mountain Yellow Warbler (Iduna similis) can be found
between 1.850 to 3.000 m at forest edges. Aberdare NP




Little Rush Warbler






Little Rush Warbler (Bradypterus baboecala) flies quickly out of the
reed uttering a unique sound and wing-snapping just to go hiding
again. Local in Kenya and Tanzania, more frequent further South.


Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) searches
for insects South of the Sahara from October to April.










Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla dammholzi) can be met from Central to Western Kenya and parts of Tanzania from October to early April. It is a migrant from the cold North and finds here insects. The female has a brown reddish cap.


Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) is locally common
from October - April in dry areas in many countries in Africa.
Photo Lorenzo Barelli






Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) spends the European winter in many
countries of Africa. This a 1st year bird from Eastern Europe.










Banded Warbler (Parisoma) (Sylvia boehmi). Fairly common
in acacia savanna of Kenya and in Eastern part of Tanzania.


Brown Parisoma (Sylvia lugens jacksoni) has small distribution areas
in East Africa. They are found high up on Yellow-barked and Flat-top
Acacias searching for insects. Thinly distributed and often in pairs.










Red-faced Cisticola (Cisticola erythrops) is local in Kenya
and Tanzania in rank undergrowths near water.


Singing Cisticola (Cisticola cantans pictipennis) occours in Kenya’s highlands, Western parts and  Northern Tanzania in different subspecies. They have a pleasant song and are mostly hidden by bushes where they look for insects.










Chubb’s Cisticola (Cisticola c.chubbi).
Westkenya. Kakamega.


Hunter’s Cisticola (Cisticola hunteri) occurs from Central to
Westkenya and very Northwest Tanzania above 2.400 m in
tall grass and forest edges. They like singing in groups. Aberdares






Coastal Cisticola




Rattling Cisticola (Cisticola chiniana).
Widespread in Kenya and Tanzania.


Coastal Cisticola (Cisticola haematocephala) occurs only within
a small band along the Kenyan and a bit North Eastern Tanzania.










Ashy Cisticola (Cisticola cinereolus). Locally common
in dry areas, mainly east of Rift Valley.


Winding Cisticola (Cisticola marginatus) is wide spread in less
dry areas of East Africa. Often near water. The other subspecies
do not have a streaked crown.










Croaking Cisticola (Cisticola natalensis) is uncommon and
local in open wooded habitats and tall grass with shrubs. Masai Mara.


Aberdare Cisticola (Cisticola aberdare) are endemic to
the Aberdares and surrounding highlands above 2.300 m.










Stout Cisticola (Cisticola robustus) occurs in several
African countries in grassland with scattered bushes.


Desert Cisticola (Cisticola aridulus tanganyika). Widespread
in different subspecies in Africa on short dry grass plains.






Gelbbrust Apalis2




Black-collared Apalis (Apalis p.pulchra).
Fairly common in Kenyan highland forests.


Yellow-breasted Apalis (Apalis flavida). Common and widespread
in Africa in 3 subspecies. Depending on region greyish band
along yellow breast band or no marking in the yellow at all.




GreyApalis mt Kenya


Pale Prinia




Grey Apalis (Apalis cinerea) is a very active bird of highland forest
canopy in Kenya and Tanzania, local.


Pale Prinia (Prinia somalica) is found from Central to
Northkenya in dry open bush land
. Foto Lorenzo Barelli




Tawny flanked prinia


White_Chinned Prinia




Tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava melanorhyncha).
Widespread in rather drier areas in Africa.


White-chinned Prinia (Schistolais leucopogon reichenowi). This
subspecies occurs from Western Kenya to DRC. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda




BlackThroated Apalis






Black-chested Apalis (Apalis jacksoni jacksoni) occurs in forest
canopies in Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and DRC. Photo Fabian Krokan


Buff-bellied Warbler (Phyllolais pulchella) occurs
in savanna with acacia trees in Kenya and Tanzania.










Grey-capped Warbler (Eminia lepida) occurs in dense
vegetation from Central Kenya to around Lake Victoria.


Yellow-bellied Eremomela (Eremomela icteropygialis abdominalis).
Uncommon in open bushland in East Africa below 1.900 m.










Northern Crombec (Sylvietta brachyura). Fairly common
in dry open woodland East to West Africa.


Red-Faced Crombec (Sylvietta whytii jacksoni).
Fairly common and widespread in open woodland and bush.










Grey-backed camaroptera (Camaroptera brevicaudata).
Widespread in Africa.


Grey Wren-Warbler (Calamonastes simples). Widespread in Kenya and
in a smaller area in Northern Tanzania. It has a very conspicious behaviour,
hopping around in bushes, tail up and calling chup chup chup.