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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






Vulturine guinea fowl (Acryllium vulturinum) can be found in
Samburu, Tsavos and other dry areas South to Mkomazi NP.

Helmeted guinea fowl (Numida meleagris).
Widespread in Africa with different subspecies.



Crested Guineafowl

Crested Guineafowl (Guttera pucherani) occur in forests
from West to East and Southern Africa. Shimba Hills Lodge







Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) is hard to find. From East
to West Africa in dry, stony hillsides. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Samburu

Coqui francolin (Peliperdix coqui).
Local, but widespread in open savannah.






Crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) searches seeds
on the ground and fly into trees to rest and to call.
Widespread from East to South Africa in lowland bushy land.

Scaly Spurfowl / Francolin (Pternistis squamatus) is found in
bamboo and dense forest from East to West Africa.






Yellow-necked spurfowl (Pternistis leucoscepus)
prefers open bush land in Kenya and Northern Tanzania.

Red-necked spurfowl (Pternistis afer).
Widespread in savannahs with different subspecies.






Grey-breasted spurfowl (Pternistis rufopictus)
is endemic to Serengeti/Ndutu area.

Jackson’s francolin / spurfowl (Pternistis jacksoni) only
occurs at the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya. Very rare at
Mt. Elgon. They pick and slip of seeds from blades of grass.



Hildebrandts Francolin

Shelleys francolin



Hildebrandt’s Francolin/Spurfowl (Pternistis hildebranti)
thinly distributed in the Great Rift Valley, Masai Mara and Tanzania.

Shelley’s Francolin (Scleroptila shelleyi). In savanna
East to Southern Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli



Small buttonquail

Small or Common Buttonquail (Turnix sylvaticus lepurana) is found in grassland in many African regions. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Masai Mara



Common Quail
Harlequin Quail



Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix) in grass land
in many regions in Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Harlequin Quail (Coturnix delegorguei) resident and intra-African
migrant in grassland in many parts of Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli







White-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura pulchra) can be found in Kakamega
forest and further West. It lives in dense vegetation and is very hard to
photograph. Female in front. Lorenzo Barelli, Kakamega Forest

African (water) rail (Rallus caerulescens) lives secretly in vegetation
near standing water from East to Southern Africa.
Photo Sammy Mugo






African Finfoot (Podica senegalnsis) is rare to see despite it is
widespread in Africa. Male, the female is brown. Foto Claudio Comolli, Uganda

African Purple Swamphen or Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio madagascariensis)
occurs in many parts of Africa in swamps and reeds.
Nairobi National park




Black crake (Zapornia (former Amaurornis) flavirostris). Widespread
in Africa  near water, but often hiding in plants.











Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus meridionalis).
Widespread in Africa near water above 1,500 m. Both
parents raise the chicks.

Red-knobbed coot (Fulica cristata). Widespread on lakes in Africa.
Locally abundant, especially on Lake Naivasha and Nakuru.






Crowned crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps) live
like all cranes in fixed pairs. Where food is abundant they
become gregarious. Widespread from East to South Africa.

Kori bustards (Ardeotis kori struthiunculus)
prefer short grass areas.



Kori bustard displaying



Kori Bustard displaying

Black-bellied bustard (Lissotis m. melanogaster). Prefer wetter
grassland than the very similar Hartlaub’s bustard and are widespread in Africa.






Hartlaub's bustard (Lissotis hartlaubii).
Mainly occurs in dry parts of Kenya and Northern Tanzania.

Northern White-bellied bustard (Eupodotis senegalensis canicollis)
Male. In shrubby grassland in East, West and Central
Africa. The male is more colourful than the female.



Denhams bustard




Denham’s (Stanley’s) bustard (Neotis denhami) is quite white spread
but not often found on open grassland in Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Buff Crested bustards (Lophotis (Eupodotis) gindiana) males
have a very special behavior and calls to attract females.
Widespread in East and Northeastern Africa.