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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, Sammy Mugo (Ornithologist and safari guide) and clients.




Swahili Sparrow




Northern Grey-headed sparrow (Passer griseus) belong to
the family of the weaver birds. Widespread


Swahili Sparrow (Passer suahelicus). Distinguished by its greyish-brown
mantle uniform with nape and head. Masai Mara, Serengeti region.




Parrot billed sparrow


Parrot-billed Sparrow (Passer gongonensis) occurs in Kenya up to Somalia and Ethiopia.




Somali sparrow




Rufous sparrows (Passer r.rufocinctus) live in pairs in
cultivation and open habitats in and near Rift Valley highlands.


Somali sparrows (Passer castanopterus) are found in
Northern Kenya at the border to Aethiopia.










House Sparrow (Passer domesticus indicus) is an introduced
species from India. From coastal regions of Kenya and
Tanzania they are spreading more to the inland.


Chestnut Sparrow (Passer minibey) is locally common in bush
and open wooded habitats in Kenya and Tanzania.









Yellow-throated Petronia (Petronia pyrgita). Widespread
but uncommon in bush and savanna below 1.500 m.


White-headed buffalo-weaver (Dinemellia dinemelli beoehmi).
Widespread in drier areas in East Africa.





white billed buffalo weaver




Red-billed buffalo-weaver (Bubalornis niger intermedius) are noisy and
gregarious. Often feeding on ground with starlings and other weavers. Widespread. The nests are built from twigs and not woven.

White-billed buffalo-weaver (Bubalornis albirostris) occurs
in Northwest Kenya and up to the Sahel zone.







Rufous-tailed weaver (Histurgops ruficaudus) is a common bird in Ngorongoro/Serengeti/Tarangire area. Nests are built in large colonies.
2012 I spotted it in the Masai Mara for the first time.

Speckle-fronted weavers (Sporopipes frontalis emini) occur in savannah. They feed on the ground and are gregarious when not breeding. Photo Marina Meger








White-browed sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser
mahali melanorhynchus). Widespread.


Donaldson-Smith Sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser donaldsoni) is
endemic to Northern Kenya from Samburu to the border of Ethiopia.







Black-capped social weaver (Pseudonigrita cabanisi).
Locally common in dry open savanna.

Grey-capped Social weaver (Pseudonigrita arnaudi).
Locally common in bush and open woodland. They are gregarious
and feed on seeds. Central to Western Tanzania to Southern
and Western Kenya.






Grosbeak Weavers (Amblyospiza albifrons melanota) occur from middle of Kenya further South to almost all over Tanzania. It is locally found near swampy areas where they weave their nests beautifully in bulrush (Typha). Male.

Females Grosbeak Weavers with typicall food, seeds and nuts.






Grosbeak Weaver male weaving the nest