Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

10,000 Birds

It divides countries into categories, where the next category has 200 more species. In some cases the data are outdated, e.g. Costa Rica has 900 and not 800 species, but I made no corrections, remaining faithful to the original map data. Shown as a list, it looks like this: Less than 200 bird species: Antarctica; oceanic islands. Hence try the comparison of the species richness not per country – but per square mile.

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The Bee-eaters of Africa

10,000 Birds

The wonderful family Meropidae contains 27 dazzling species, of which Africa is endowed with no less than 20 species, the balance occurring across Asia and with one as far afield as Australia. We have both resident and migratory species, and this post will briefly discuss each of the 20 species of African bee-eaters. My personal record is 8 species in a morning along the Nile in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park.

Picathartes – Africa’s strangest birds

10,000 Birds

They diverged at approximately the same time as the rockjumpers (two quite unique bird species endemic to Southern Africa and now in their own family), and as a result for a while were even placed in the same family. Photo by Markus Lilje (Rockjumper Birding Tours) Both species occur in close-canopied primary and mature secondary rainforest, building cup-shaped mudnests attached to cave walls and rock overhangs, usually close to a steam in order to obtain building material.

The Ole’ Bucket List

10,000 Birds

I actually have many targets, in a way, a I want to see lots and lots, but there is one species that the reason that the trip is even happening, the animal that has been pretty much the top of my animal bucket list for well over a decade. It’s a species that has bedeviled and bewitched me over the years. Cave species obviously excluded, they can go extinct for all I care. I have been to 11 countries to watch wildlife that this species lives in.

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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.