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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






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

Rufous-naped lark (Mirafra africana).
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.

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 (Mirafra africanoides).



Pink breasted Lark

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 (Spizocorys 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.






Red-capped lark (Calandrella cinerea). Widespread in
highlands and south to Tanzania and Southern Africa.

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







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

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






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.




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






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. Foto 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.




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






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







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.



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) occurs in dump
grassland from East to West Africa.



Malindi Pipit

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