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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



Lichtensteins Sandgrouse



Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus olivascens)
occurs in dry bush land below 1.500 m from East to West Africa. Male right.

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii sukensis)
migrates and is an inhabitant of mainly rocky semi deserts.






Yellow-throated sandgrouse (Pterocles gutturalis saturatior). The male brings water to the nest by soaking its chest feathers in water.
Locally common in grass land.
Females are very well camouflaged.



BlackFaced Sandgrouse_Junge



A pair of Black-faced sandgrouse (Pterocles decoratus)
Male left. They are frequently found on paths in Kenya and Tanzania.

The chicks seek for shelter and protection from the sun under both parents.






Speckled pigeon (Columba g. guinea). Locally
common near cliffs in East Africa exept coastal area.

Olive Pigeon (Columba arquatrix). Flocks are common
in highland forests in Kenya and Tanzania as well as other locations.



Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon

Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba delegorguei)
is found in highland forest canopies. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Mt. Kenya






Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata) occurs
from see level up to 3.000 m in many parts of Africa.

African mourning dove (Streptopelia decipiens).
Widespread in Africa up to 3,000 m.






The call of the Ring-necked dove (Streptopelia capicola somalica)
means “work harder”. Widespread in Africa.

Dusky Turtle Dove (Streptopelia lugens lugens) can be found
locally in Kenyan/Tanzanian Highlands and Westtanzania. It is
quite a dark bird with a dark patch on its neck.






Laughing dove (Spilopelia s.senegalensis).
Widespread in Africa.

African Green pigeon (Treron calva) is widespread in Africa
and can be found on trees with ripe fruits.






Emerald-spotted wood dove (Turtur chalcospilos).
Widespread from East to Southwest Africa.

Blue-spotted Wood-dove (Turtur afer) resident and local migrant in
West Kenya, Tanzania as well as further West and South. Photo Fabian Krokan




Tambourine Dove (Turtur tympanistria) is found from
West to East and Southeast Africa. Photo Marina Meger



NamaquaDove female



Namaqua Dove (Oena c.capensis). Widespread in Africa. Male.

Namaqua Dove female



Redfronted Parrot



Red-fronted parrot (Poicephalus gulielmi massaicus). This subspecies is
found in mountain forests in Kenya and Uganda. Mainly in podocarpus
forest, since they feed on those fruits. Aberdares.

Brown Parrot (Poicephalus meyeri saturatus). Mainly in
Western but also locally common in savanna with trees.






African orange-bellied parrot (Poicephalus r.rufiventris).
Females are paler. In acacia-commiphora bushland in East Africa.

Brown-headed Parrot (Poicephalus cryptoxanthus) occurs at
Kenyan coast and further South. Photo
Axel Köhler, Selous Game Reserve



YellowCollard Lovebird



Red-headed lovebird (Agapornis pullarius ugandae). Western
Kenya, Uganda and further West. Photo Fabian Krokan, Uganda

Yellow-collared lovebird (Agapornis personatus) in Tarangire ecosystem.






Fischer's lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) fly in
flocks in Tarangire and Serengeti. Some can be
found in Rift Valley, Laikipia Plateau and Nairobi National park.
They breed in tree stems or branches. Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hybrid of Fischer's lovebird x Yellow-collared lovebird
(Agapornis fischeri X A. personatus). Originally both species occur
in the Serengeti but many have escaped from captivity and are now
widely spread in the Great Rift Valley and along the coast.



Hartlaubs Turaco



Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata). In Western Kenya (Kakamega Forest) and further to Westtanzania and more Western Africa. Photo Marina Meger

Turacos belong into the order Cuculiformes. The family Musophagidae is endemic to Africa.

Hartlaub’s Turaco (Tauraco hartlaubi). From 1600 to 3000 m
in forested areas. Aberdares.



Fischers Turaco




Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) occurs only in coastal
forests in Kenya and Tanzania. Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Purple-crested Turaco (Tauraco porphyreolopha) is rare in Central
Kenya, but more common furhter South.
Foto Axel Köhler, Tansania



Schalow's Turaco



Schalow’s Turaco (Tauraco schalowi) occurs in forest and dense
riparian forest in Kakamega and Masai Mara. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae) occurs from Western
Kenya to Uganda and furhter South. Photo Fabian Krokan






Bare-faced Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides personata leopoldi).
Serengeti/Mara and Tarangire region.  Ruma NP.

White-bellied go-away bird (Corythaixoides (Criniferoides) leucogaster)
is heard before seen. Widespread.



Eastern grey plantain-eater

Eastern grey plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus) lives in lightly wooded savannas around Lake Victoria and Sudan. Photo Claudio Comolli, Uganda