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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.





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 (Serinus) sulphuratus).
Widespread. Lake Naivasha.

White-bellied canary (Crithagra (Serinus) 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 (Serinus) citrinelloides kikuyuensis)
is a typical bird of the Kenyan highlands. Male.






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








Southern Grosbeak-Canary (Crithagra (Serinus) 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








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

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








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

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