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

Female Red-backed Shrike



Isabelline Shrike



Red-tailed or Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)
a migrant and winter resident in Kenya.

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.




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

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.

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.






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

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



Zanzibar Boubou

Luehders Bush Shrike



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

Lüdher’s Bush-Shrike (Laniarius leuhderi) is found in
Uganda and Kongo. Photo Fabian Krokan, Bwindi National park, Uganda






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

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






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







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

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



BrownCrowned Tchagra
BlackCrowned Tchagra



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

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



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.



Chestnut fronted helmet shrike

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