Birding crème de la crème: Africa – Ngorongoro Crater to Queen Elizabeth II National Park

10,000 Birds

The bird-richest region of Africa is its equatorial East: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi (unlike the rest, the last one, Burundi, is politically unstable and not recommendable). This reserve has a list of 600 species, including the endemic Rufous-tailed Weaver.

Dreaming of Africa

10,000 Birds

and dreaming of a place where the heat is moderate, beer snake-cold and birds innumerable… Let’s say, where the average annual maximum varies from 22 to 24 degrees Celsius / 72 to 75 Fahrenheit and where some 700+ bird species – 24 of them endemic – are waiting for an intrepid birder… Answer to the riddle? While the country as a whole has almost 1100 species (it is possible to nail up to 665 of them in three weeks), the area to focus on is the southwest (like in the US).

Introducing the African Birding Beat

10,000 Birds

Approximately 2,300 bird species inhabit Africa, however as impressive as that sounds, much smaller South America boasts nearly 1,000 species more. Besides these truly African families, Africa abounds in a wealth of species in other more widespread groups; weavers, barbets, kingfishers, sunbirds, rollers, bee-eaters, and dare I mention them, cisticolas! Madagascar’s mammals are equally remarkable; over 100 species of endearing lemurs and bizarre carnivores amongst them!

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Africa’s Barbets

10,000 Birds

In the Neotropics the barbets have been placed into two families, the original Capitonidae (New World Barbets) with 14 species and Semnornithidae (Toucan Barbets) with 2 species (Toucan and Prong-billed Barbet). In Asia, their 30 barbet species are placed into their own family Megalaimidae , and finally in Africa, we have 42 species in the family Lybiidae , the topic of this blogpost. Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird is a woodland species that occurs widely through Africa.

The Storks of Africa

10,000 Birds

Africa has more than its fair share of storks, with 8 of the world’s 19 species gracing the continent. Storks are typically viewed as wetland species and whilst some storks are restricted to aquatic habitats, others are not. This blogpost discusses and illustrates Africa’s stork species, with Shoebill added as a bonus or honorary stork! This is another wetland species that nests in sometimes huge colonies atop trees bordering rivers and lakes.

Python Caves and the Very Dangerous Bats

10,000 Birds

This means it has different species, and adds to the biological diversity of the park. The latter species is now nearly an Albertine endemic, as the region of western Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and eastern DR Congo is an area high in interesting endemics. I had planned to do another story today, but my laptop, sick of endless David Attenborough DVDs, Skyrim and searches of birding in South Africa made a break for it and took a swan dive off my bed.

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