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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






Malachite Sunbird




Golden-winged Sunbird (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi)
in highlands in Kenya and Northern Tanzania.


Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) occurs in alpine vegetation
up to 3.500 m in man parts of Africa. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Aberdare










Scarlet-tufted Sunbird (Nectarinia johnstoni johnstoni)
is found in highlands above 3.000 m in Kenya and Tanzania.
Photo Julian Beermann, Kilimanjaro


Bronze Sunbird (Nectarinia k.kilimensis).
Common above 1.200 m in many regions in Africa.




Tacazze Sunbird






Tacazze Sunbird (Nectarinia tacazze) is only to be
found in Kenya and Tanzania higland forests above 1.800 m.


Amethyst (Black) Sunbird (Chalcomitra amethystina) is found in
woodland, gardens and at forest edges from East to Southern Africa.










Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis
lamperti). Widespread in Africa.


Female Scarlet-chested sunbird building a nest. Tiredless plant
material is brought. The male does not help building the nest.










Hunter’s Sunbird (Chalcomitra hunteri) is found in North and
Eastern Kenya in drier regions than Scarlet-chested Sunbird.


Green-headed Sunbird (Cyanomitra verticalis) is found from Central Kenya towards the West, around Lake Victoria and West Tanzania. Male behind




Olive Sunbird
Grey Sunbird




Olive Sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea) occurs in coastal and
montane forest in East, Central and Westafrica. Photo Lorenzo Barelli


Grey (Mouse-coloured) Sunbird (Cyanomitra verreauxii fischeri) is
found in coastal forest along the East coast of Africa.
Photo Lorenzo Barelli






Collared Sunbird




 Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird (Anthreptes orientalis) occurs in Kenya exept
in the West, at the coast and in Northeastern Tanzania. It occurs in  dry areas.


Collared Sunbird (Hedydipna collaris), male.
A small sunbird quite widely spread in forested areas in Africa.




Amani Sunbird


Plain-backed Sunbird




Amani Sunbird (Hedydipna pallidigaster) is endemic in Arabuko Sokoke,
Usambara and Eastern Arc Mountains. Endangered. Photo Lorenzo Barelli


Plain-backed (blue-throated) Sunbird (Anthreptes reichenowi) is found
in moist mixed forests, Eastern side of Africa.
Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Taita Hills










Variable Sunbird (Cinnyris venusta). Widespread in Africa,
in different colour variations/subspecies.


Beautiful Sunbird (Cinnyris puchella melanogastra).
Widespread in dry areas with 2 subspecies










Black-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris nectarinoides) only has a
small distribution area along Tana and Ewaso Nyro rivers, Samburu.

Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocercus).
Lake Victoria basin
. Photo Marina Meger




Shining Sunbird






Shining Sunbird (Cinnyris habessinica turkanae) occurs in
Northern Kenya and further North in dry land. Photo Lorenzo Barelli


Marico Sunbird (Cinnyris mariquensis) can be
found in a wide range around Lake Victoria.






Olive bellied sunbird




Purple-banded Sunbird (Cinnyris bifasciata). In West and
coastal Kenya and Tanzania. Photo Lorenzo Barelli


Olive-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris chloropygius) occurs from
West Kenya to Ivory coast. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda








Northern Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris preussi). Centrakenyal to
Uganda between 1700-2800 m. It overlaps with Eastern double-collared
Sunbird in Aberdare/Mt. Kenya region
. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda

Eastern double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris mediocris). Can be found
in highlands. The red breast band is slightly narrower than in the
Northern double-collared sunbird.




Abessynian White Eye
Yellow White eye




Abessynian White-Eye (Zosterops abyssinicus). Common in wooded
areas from 1400 to 3400 m in parts of Northeastern Africa. Often
in small groups. Several subspecies.
By some authors split:
Kenya White-eye (Zosterops flavilateralis flavilateralis)


African Yellow White-eye (Zosterops senegalensis jacksoni).
This species occurs in Kenyan Highland/Western Kenya.




Montane White eye


Taita White-eye




Montane or broad-ringed White-eye (Zosterops poliogastrus) is found in
montane forests in Ethiopia, Central Kenya and Usambara region in Tanzania.
Photo Marina Meger


Taita White-eye (Zosterops (poliogaster) silvanus) occurs
only in the Taita Hill region and is endangered. Photo Lorenzo Barelli




Kikuyu White-eye


Kikuyu White-eye (Zosterops (poliogastrus) kikuyuensis)
occurs in Central Kenya highlands. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Nairobi