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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




White-breasted Nigrita






White-breasted Nigrita (Nigrita fusconotus) lives in canopies
from Westkenya to Westafrica. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Kakamega Forest


Grey-headed Negrofinch (Nigrita canicapilla schistacea) is fairly common
in highland forests from East to West Africa. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda






Peters Twinspot




Green-winged Pytilia (Pytilia melba soudanensis). Common
on or near ground in dense bush. Widespread in Africa.


Peter’s (Red-throated) Twinspot (Hypargos niveoguttatus macrospilotus) is
relatively wide spread but rarely seen since it lives in undergrowth of forest edges.




Abyssinian Crimsonwing






Abyssinian Crimsonwing (Cryptospiza salvadorii kilimensis).
This subspecies occurs in Kenya,


Red-billed firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala rubberima).
Feeds on seeds on the ground. Male and female. Widespread.




African Firefinch






African (Blue-billed) Firefinch (Lagonosticta rubricata)
occurs in many parts of Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli


Red-headed Bluebill (Spermophaga r.ruficapilla). Female, male do
not have spots. Common in Westkenya forests. Kakamega
. Photo Lorenzo Barelli




African Quailfinch






African Quailfinch (Ortygospiza fuscocrissa muelleri) feeds on
short grass plains in Kenya and Tanzania. Often near water.


Bronze mannikin (Spermestes cucullata sculata). Widespread
in Africa. Feeds on seeds and builds small flocks.










Black-and-white Mannikin (Spermestes bicolor poensis) is found from
Western Kenya to Westafrica. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda


Red-backed Mannikin or Brown-backed Munia (Spermestes nigriceps); sometimes regarded as a subspecies of Black-and-white Mannikin (Spermestes bicolor. It has its most Northern distribution area at Kenya’s coast and Central.






Grey-headed Silverbill




African (Warbling) Silverbill (Eodice cantans orientalis). Small flocks are
found in dry bush in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Tsavo West National park


Grey-headed Silverbill (Odontospiza griseicapilla). Wanders
in small flocks in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Photo Lorenzo Barelli




red cheeked cordon bleu






Red-cheeked cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus bengalus littoralis).
Several subspecies in Kenya. Widespread. Feeds on ground.


Blue-capped Cordon-Bleu (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus).
Fairly common in arid and semi-arid country. Feeds on ground.






Orange-breasted Waxbill




Purple grenadier couple (Granatina ianthinogaster).
Fairly common and widespread.


Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflavus) occurs with 3
subspecies in Kenya and other parts of Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Nairobi




Yellow-bellied Waxbill


Yellow-bellied Waxbill (EA Swee) (Coccopygia quartinia kilimensis) this
subspecies is found at forest edges in the Horn of Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli










Black-cheeked waxbill (Estrilda charmosyna).
Local in dry areas in Kenya.


Black-faced waxbill (Estrildae rythoronotus delamerei).
From Central Kenya to Lake Vitoria to Northern and Central Tanzania.








Crimson-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda rhodopyga centralis).
Widespread in bush and grassland in Eastafrica.

Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild). Common and widespread
in grassy and shrubby places in Africa. Gregarious.




Black_crowned Waxbill


Kandt's Waxbill




Black-crowned Waxbill (Estrilda n. nonnula) occurs in Western
Kenya, North and West of Lake Victoria. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda


Kandt’s Waxbill (Estrilda kandi) in grassy areas above
1.900 m in Kenya and Uganda. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Mt. Keya






Cut-Throat finch (Amadina fasciata alexanderi).
Fairly common in dry areas.