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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



Singing Bush Lark
Friedmann's Lark



Singing Bush Lark (Mirafra cantillans) is found in dry
savanna from Kenya to Westafrica. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Samburu

Friedmann’s Lark (Mirafra pulpa) is rare in Shaba and after
good rain in South-Eastern Kenya. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Shaba



William's Lark



Williams Lerche (Mirafra williamsi) is rarely found in dry
Northern areas in Kenya. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Shaba

Red-winged lark (Mirafra h. hypermetra).
In dry bushland below 1.500 m in East Africa.






Rufous-naped lark (Mirafra africana, athi/Nairobi/Nakuru, harterti
Eastern Kenya). Widespread in Kenya, Tanzania and other regions.

Flappet lark (Mirafra rufocinnamomea) occurs in many parts of Africa in
grassland and savanna. It is a shy bird that flies up with rapid wing-clapping
and lands near the next tall grass or runs just away looking for cover.




Pink breasted Lark



Foxy (Abyssinian) lark (Calendulauda alopex) occurs in dry country
in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. It was the same species than
the Southern African Fawn-coloured Lark (Calendulauda africanoides).

Pink-breasted lark (Calendulauda poecilosterna) is mainly
found in dry savannahs in Kenya. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Samburu



Short tailed lark

Crested Lark



Short-tailed lark (Pseudalaemon fremantili delameiri). This subsepecies
is found in a small region on the dry plains of Southern Kenya/Northern
Tanzania. Photo Marina Meger

Crested lark (Galerida cristata somaliensis). The species occurs in Africa and
Europe, but this subspecies only in Northern Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.



Somali short-toed Lark



Red-capped lark (Calandrella cinerea). Widespread in highlands and
south to Tanzania and Southern Africa. In Kenya mainly in Masai Mara.

Somali short-toed lark (Calandrella somalica) occurs
North from Samburu. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Samburu



Chestnut-headed Sparrowlark



Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix leucotis madaraszi) lives on
sparsly grassed savanna from Uganda, Tanzania to Malawi. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Fischer's sparrow-lark (Eremopterix leucopareia).
Widespread in dry bush land.



Banded Martin




Banded Martin (Riparia cincta suahelica) lives on grass plains in East Africa.

Brown-throated (plain) Martin or African Sand Martin
(Riparia paludicola ducis). Widespread near water in Africa.



Sand Martin



Sand Martin (Bank Swallow) (Riparia riparia) near/over
fresh water. Common palearctic migrant. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) is quite
widely spread in Africa near houses and rocks.






Black Saw-wing (Psalidoprocne holomelas). From sea-level to 3.500 m,
mainly in highland forests like Aberdares and Arusha National parks
and other regions.

White-headed Saw-wing or Rough-wing (Psalidoprocne albiceps).
From Southwest Kenya to Uganda and Western Tanzania.



Ethiopien Swallow



Barn Swallow (Hirundu r. rustica). Widespread
palearctic migrant, often in large flocks.

Ethiopian Swallow (Hirundu aethiopica) is resident
and intra-African migrant. Photo Lorenzo Barelli






Angola Swallow (Hirundo angolensis).
West of Mt. Kenya, Central Africa.

Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo s. smithii) is widespread in Africa near water.
Easy to recognise with its bright white underpart and the 2 wires in the tail.






Lesser striped swallow (Cercropis abyssinica unitatis).
Widespread in Africa.

Nest of the Lesser striped swallow. Small mud balls stuck together
and fixed on the wall and ceiling. The entrance is parallel to the ceiling.






Red-rumped Swallow (Cercropis daurica) is fairly
common in the highlands in East and West Africa.

Mosque Swallow (Cercropis senegalensis saturatior).
Uncommon, but widespread in Africa.






Common House Martin (Delichon u. urbica). Widespread
in Africa from September to April. Photo Marina Meger

African pied wagtail (Motacilla aguimp vidua).
Widespread in Africa.



Grey Wagtail



Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea). Palearctic migrant. Can
be found along streams in highlands in East Africa. Aberdares.

Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava lutea) a migrant from
the North to Africa. Several subspecies are described.



Mountain Wagtail




Mountain or Long-tailed Wagtail (Motacilla clara) occurs
along fast flowing alpine rivers in many parts of Africa up to 3.000 m.

Cape Wagtail (Motacilla capensis) is uncommon in East Africa. Near
lakes and swamps mainly above 2.000 m. Nairobi region 1.400 m.






Yellow-throated longclaw (Macronyx c. croceus).
Widespread in Africa.

Pangani Longclaw (Macronyx aurantiigula) are common in eastern
and southeasthern Kenyan grassland and further South to Tanzania.






Rosy-breasted longclaw (Macronyx ameliae wintoni). Uncommon
in wet grassland from Central Kenya to Northern Tanzania.

Sharpe’s longclaw (Macronyx sharpei) is endemic in Kenya and endangered. The range is only between Mt. Elgon and Mt. Kenya where it can be found on short  and in Tussock grass areas from 1850 – 3400 m. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Aberdares



Striped Pipit



Golden pipit (Tmetothylacus tenellus).
Widespread in dry areas below 1.000 m.

Striped Pipit (Anthus lineiventris) is found in hilly areas Southeast
in Kenya and further South. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Taita Hills







Grassland pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus lacuum).
The most common pipit in Africa.

Plain-backed pipit (Anthus leucophrys). Locally common on
short grass in areas around Lake Victoria, to Masai Mara,
Laikipia, but also up to West and Southern Africa.



Long-billed Pipit
Tawny Pipit



Long-billed pipit (Anthus similis chyuluensis). This subspecies
is found in Tsavo/Amboseli/Nairobi region. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris) is a rare palearctic migrant and found
on short grass plains from East to West Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli



Tree Pipit

Red-throated Pipit



Tree pipit (Anthus trivialis) a migrant to many parts
of Africa from October to May.

Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus) is a palearctic migrant to
damp grassland from East to West Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Samburu



Malindi Pipit

Sokoke Pipit



Malindi Pipit (Anthus melindae) occurs only along the Kenyan coast.
Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Sokoke Pipit (Anthus sokokensis) is endangered and only found in Arabuko
Sokoke Forest and North Eastern Tanzania coastal forests. Photo Lorenzo Barelli