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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






Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio). Palearctic migrant
November – December and April. Male.

Female Red-backed Shrike



Red-tailed Shrike
Isabelline Shrike



Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) a migrant
to Kenya mainly Tsavo area and further West.

Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus) spends the Asian Winter in Africa.
Photo Lorenzo Barelli




Somali fiscal



Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor) is a common
palearctic migrant from September to April in many parts of Africa.

Somali Fiscal (Lanius somalicus) is found in the horn
of Africa and in Kenia only in the very North-West.






Long-tailed fiscal  (Lanius cabanisi) perched on a Balanites bush.
In open dry bushland from central Kenya to Northeastern Tanzania.

Taita Fiscal (Lanius dorsalis).
Dry areas below 1.500 m Kenya and North East Tanzania.






Common Fiscal (Lanius collaris humerals). Male left, female with a bit of brownish on the side on the right. Widespread.






Mackinnon’s Fiscal (Lanius macinnoni). Uncommon in equatorial
forests. Female. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Kakamega Forest

Grey-backed shrikes (Lanius e. excubitoroides) are frequent
in the West of Kenya to more Northwestern countries.
 They perch on branches to watch out for insects.






Magpie shrike (Urolestes melanoleucus aequatorialis).
Local in Acacia savanna from Southwestern Kenya South to Tanzania.

Northern White-crowned shrike (Eurocephalus rueppelli).
Widespread in East Africa.



Pringle's Puffback



Black-backed Puffback (Dryoscopus cubla) is distributed in different
subspecies. The back feathers can be raised so it looks like a ball
of cotton wool.

Pringle’s Puffback (Dryoscopus pringlii) is found in
dry acacia country in East Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli



Pink-footed Puffback



Pink-footed Puffback (Dryoscopus angolensis nandensis) lives in
mountain forests in Westkenya and further West.
Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Brubru (Nilaus afer minor) is widespread in Africa. It is found in
savanna and open bush land where it searches for insects.



Luehder's Bushshrike



Luehder’s Bush-Shrike (Laniarius leuhderi) lives in forests up
to 2.300 m in Western Kenya and further West. Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Tropical Boubou (Laniarius major). Widespread in Africa.
The flute like sound is produced by the male and female while duetting.



Zanzibar Boubou




East Coast or Zanzibar Boubou (Laniarius sublacteus) is endemic
at the coast from Northwest Tanzania, Kenya to Southeast Somalia.

Slate- coloured Boubou (Laniarius aethiopicus). Widespread.
Sound is often to be heared, but to see the birds is a bit a challenge.



Bocage's  Bush-Shrike



Black-headed Gonolek (Laniarius erythrogaster).
Lake Victoria region in bushes.

Bocage's (Grey-green) Bush-Shrike (Chlorophoneus bocagei) is found in Kakamega forest and more in the West. Photo Lorenzo Barelli






Rosy-patched bush-shrike (Rhodophoneus cruentus hilgerti).  Male left, female right. Locally common in dry and lower altitudes North of the equator.



Rosy patched bush shrike Cathemagmenus male



Rosy-patched bush-shrike (Rhodophoneus cruentus cathemagmenus).
In dry bushland South of the equator in East Africa. Female




Black-fronted Bush-Shrike



Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike (Malaconotus sulfureopectus similis). Widespread in Africa in dry woodland.

Black-fronted Bush-Shrike (Chlorophoneus quadricolor) occurs in
South East Kenya and along East coast of Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli



BrownCrowned Tchagra



Grey-headed Bush-Shrike (Malaconotus blanchoti). In acacia
savanna and broadleafed forest from West to East and more
Southern Africa.

Brown-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra australis emini) widespread
in Africa in moist bush, woodland and savanna.



BlackCrowned Tchagra
Three-streaked Tchagra



Black-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra s. senegala).
Widespread in Africa’s bushland.

Three-streaked Tchagra (Tchagra jamesi) occurs
in dry areas in the horn of Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli



White crested Helmet Shrike_klein
GreyCrestedHelmet Shrike



White-crested helmet-shrike (Prionops plumatus) move in
small flocks in open bushland in Kenya and Tanzania. Uncommon.

Grey-crested helmet-shrike (Prionops poliolophus) can only
be met from Serengeti to Masai Mara to Lake Nakuru.



Retz's Helmetshrike

Chestnut fronted helmet shrike



Retz's (Red-billed) Helmet Shrike (Prionops retzii) occurs in low land forests
in Kenya and other parts of Africa.
Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Photo Lorenzo Barelli

Chestnut-fronted Helmet Shrike (Prionops scopifrons) can be
found along Africa’s East Coast in lowland forests. Arabuko Sokoke Forest