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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





Village or Common Indigobird (Vidua chalybeata centralis). Widespread.
They are parasiting Firefinches. The female is simple brown.








Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura). Common and
widespread in Africa. Breeding male. Parasites Estrildas.

Male of Pin-tailed Whydah non-breeding plumage.








Straw-tailed whydah (Vidua fischeri) are brood
parasites with finches. The female is simple brown.
Not very common in dry areas below 2.000 m.


Steel-blue Whydah (Vidua hypocherina). Uncommen and local
in dry areas in East Africa. Breeding male. Parasites Estrildas.





Paradise Whydah (Vidua paradisaea) occurs in dry countries in Africa.
Breeding male. The female is brownish and smaller. They parasite Ptylia species.








Brimstone Canary (Crithagra sulphuratus).
Widespread. Lake Naivasha.

White-bellied canary (Crithagra dorsostriatus).
In dry bushland below 1.600 m in East Africa.




Western Citril




Western Citril (Crithagra frontalis) is found in the Virunga region.
Photo Marina Meger

African citril (Crithagra citrinelloides kikuyuensis)
is a typical bird of the Kenyan highlands. Male.










Yellow-fronted Canary (Crithagra mozambicus) Fairly common
at coast and below 2,200 m in the west of Kenya and Tanzania.


Yellow-crowned Canary (Crithagra flaviertex) is found
in montane grassland. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Aberdare








Southern Grosbeak-Canary (Crithagra buchanani). Uncommon in
bush South of the Equator; Southern Kenya, Northern Tanzania.

Northern Grosbeak-Canary (Crithagra donaldsoni) is scarce in dry bush
and semi-desert North of the equator. Photo Sammy Mugo, Kalama Reserve




Papyrus Canary


Thick-billed Seed-eater




Papyrus Canary (Crithagra koliensis) is found in
papyrus around Lake Victoria. Photo Lorenzo Barelli


Thick-billed Seed-eater (Crithagra burtonii albifrons) higher altitude forest
edges. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Mt. Kenya. C.B. kilimensis Western higher areas








Reichenow’s Seedeater (Kenyan Yellow-rumped Seedeater) (Crithagra reichenowi). Widespread in open bushed habitats. Small flocks are common.

Streaky Seedeater (Crithagra s.striolata).
In Kenya, Uganda and Northern Tanzania.








Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting (Fringillaria t. tahapisi).
Locally common in rocky places in many areas in Africa.

Golden-breasted Bunting (Fringillaria flaviventris) uncommon
but widespread in highlands. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda




Somali Bunting


Somali Bunting (Fringillaria poliopleura) lives in semi-arid savannas from Tanzania to Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Photo Lorenzo Barelli, Samburu