50 Top Birding Sites in Kenya review

10,000 Birds

When you mention “Africa” to a birder, it is likely that at least two thirds will instantly think “Kenya”, and for a good reason: it is home to over 1,060 bird species and boasts many globally important birding areas. There are loads of travel guides to East Africa and Kenya in particular.

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Lion Population Decreasing in Kenya

Critter News

This article talks about the specific situation in Kenya. Kenya's lion population has dropped from an estimated 2,749 in 2002 to 2,280 in 2004 and probably just 2000 individuals in 2009. Tags: africa Kenya lion endangered species I've been reading a lot about threatened elephants and primate populations in Africa and wondered about lions. One rarely hears about how they are doing. But, unfortunately, they are in trouble too.

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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). Kenya has 13 400+ hotspots, one of them 500+.

A Walk in the Desert

10,000 Birds

A single morning birding the thorny desert of Baringo in Kenya’s Rift Valley yielded several species at a rate I at times struggled to keep up with. Birding African Birding Beat kenya owl rift valley

2020 74

A Selection of Kenyan LBJ’s

10,000 Birds

Birding Birds African Birding Beat kenya lark pipitLast night in the moments before sleep took over, I felt an urge to shine some light on some LBJ’s (Little Brown Jobs) or LBB’s (Little Brown Birds). What better selection than the various birds of the Kenyan highlands, right?

2020 66

Birdy Boating in Baringo

10,000 Birds

I wrote previously about the prolific birding that is to be had in the small town of Baringo, Kenya. Birding baringo kenyaThat post dealt specifically with the dry scrub that surrounds Lake Baringo, however. The lake itself is a whole other pot of gold.

2020 58

Kenyans Seize Huge Amount of Illegal Ivory

Critter News

Kenya seized almost 700 kilograms of ivory worth millions of dollars in a night-time raid at the country's main airport. So far this year poachers in Kenya have killed 128 elephants for their ivory; last year 98 were killed. With demand for ivory products increasing back home, some Chinese workers on low salaries in Kenya are reported to have become middlemen in the ivory trade. Tags: wildlife crime ivory africa Kenya china asia elephants traf

Huge Ivory Seizure in Africa

Critter News

More than two tons of illegal ivory have been seized and more than 100 people have been arrested in the largest international operation targeting wildlife crime across Eastern Africa, the Kenya Wildlife Service and INTERPOL announced today. From the Environment News Service.

Africa 100

Soda Lake Shorbs

10,000 Birds

I had the good fortune to visit Lake Nakuru in Kenya in 2019, one of the high elevation rift valley soda lakes. Shorebirds – or “shorbs” for the cuteness factor (as if that needed any enhancement) – remain one of the most fascinating families of birds for me.

Echo the Elephant Dies

Critter News

Echo, the elephant matriarch of a 40 member herd in Kenya has died from what is believed to be old age. From Global Voices Online: Echo is perhaps the most famous wild elephant in the world after her appearance in various films the most memorable being her 1993 debut in the film Echo of the Elephants produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and narrated by world famous elephant researcher Cynthia Moss with BBC's Martin Colbert behind the camera.

“Peacocks and Picathartes: Reflections on Africa’s Birdlife”

10,000 Birds

A lot of destinations were mentioned, with Central and South America leading the way, New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia appearing only at the middle of the list, and African countries (South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar) lagging at the end of the list.

The Metamorphosis

10,000 Birds

Some Floridians to this day claim that all Grey-headed Swamphen present in their state were born in Kenya (in birding circles, these are known as “birthers”), and that the species should thus be removed from the American list.

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Joy for Orphan Elephants

4 The Love Of Animals

Dedicated keepers at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's Nairobi Elephant Nursery in Kenya protect baby Shukuru from the cold and rain, and the risk of pneumonia, with a custom-made raincoat. Sheldrick is fourth-generation Kenya-born and has spent the better part of her life tending wild animals. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Elephant Nursery in Nairobi, Kenya, is the world’s most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation center.

Largest Ever Trafficking Bust in Africa

Critter News

Body said arrests and seizures were part of a five-country law enforcement operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL, and involved more than 300 law enforcement officers from police, customs, national wildlife and national intelligence agencies in Congo (Brazzaville), Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, further saying this represented largest-ever international wildlife law enforcement operation conducted in Africa. Just five days ago.

Cause an Uproar

4 The Love Of Animals

Everything from lions in Kenya to snow leopards in the Himalaya, the big cats all need our help. Like so many of you, we love the majestic big cats in the world. So of course we wanted to help spread the word about the Cause an Uproar initiative. Big cats in the world need our help. They are disappearing quickly due to habitat loss as well as conflict with humans.

2011 125

Big Cat Week, day 3

4 The Love Of Animals

Kilimanjaro in Kenya, lions are attacking Maasai cattle, as they have for hundreds of years. As promised, another sneak peak! Tonight’s program is called Lion Warriors and premieres Wednesday, December 8, at 9PM ET/PT. On the Great Plains below Mt. And the proud Maasai warriors have hunted them ruthlessly in return so that now only about 2,000 remain in the country. If their numbers drop any lower, their populations will not be sustainable.

2010 100

World birding from a Schrödinger’s house

10,000 Birds

Kenya 1131 14. Kenya (Masai Mara, Lakes Nakuru and Baringo, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest) and northern Tanzania (Ngorongoro, Serengeti) combined are the birding staple of East Africa. What I truly hate about the pandemic is that it mentally puts me back into the 1990s in the Balkans.

2020 80

Bird Uganda with Bird Uganda Safaris

10,000 Birds

Herbert is Managing Director of Bird Uganda Safaris, LTD and his company offers a variety of birding and wildlife tours of the most naturally resplendent regions of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.

On Jeff Corwin's 100 HEARTBEATS

Animal Person

Corwin tells the story of the Maasai of Kenya, whose culture involved disdain for and slaughter of lions. When I was asked if I wanted to read Jeff Corwin's 100 HEARTBEATS (Rodale 2009) I was ambivalent. I know he's a conservationist, therefore I know he will advocate for "managing" the "resources" that are sentient nonhumans. And managing means killing them, breeding them, and otherwise fiddling with their populations. This is all very unveganly, but I went for it nevertheless.

2010 108

Miracle Babies; Pandas and Leopards

4 The Love Of Animals

And Kenya boasts a unique orphanage … for elephants! A wonderful new series on Nat Geo WILD this Tuesday, September 13th and Wednesday, September 14. Nat Geo WILD takes viewers around the world to follow dedicated people working to save Nature’s Miracle Babies – often the last hope for critically vulnerable species. Each animal they raise to adulthood is a step away from extinction, with the ultimate challenge to return them to the wild.

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Flights of Passage: a book review

10,000 Birds

Last year there was a spate of books specifically about bird “behavior” – though one might well say that every book about birds, from field guides on up, is about behavior in some way or another. It’s the behavior that makes them fascinating to us.

Where America dreams of/goes birding?

10,000 Birds

4%: Mexico, West Papua (Indonesia), New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya. Kenya and Tanzania combined offer the longest tour list of Africa, South Africa with its good infrastructure and easiness of finding birds comes close second, while Madagascar is there because of its 100 endemics. I had no intention of making a questionnaire or analysing the results.

2019 70

Klipspringers in Madikwe

10,000 Birds

My only sighting until this year had been a distant speck on a far off koppie in Kenya, but this pair (they live in pairs) came very close to my safari vehicle in Madikwe in South Africa. Africa has a superabundance of antelopes, and one of the cutest and most unusual is the Klipspringer. Literally ‘rock-jumper’ in Afrikaans, this tiny antelope is rarely found far from rocky outcrops (or koppies) or mountainous outcrops.

2015 40

Kenyan LBJ’s (The Sequel)!

10,000 Birds

To follow on from that, I decided to include a few other often-overlooked birds from my travels to Kenya. In my last piece dedicated to the tiny brown blobs we often ignore, I mentioned the trials and tribulations involved in whittling the selection down to suit a single post.

2020 70

Bowling for Rhinos

4 The Love Of Animals

All donations go to the National AAZK for distribution to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, Africa, the Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia and the Bukit Barisan Seletan National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia. Please join the Utah Chapter American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) for their 18th annual “Bowling for Rhinos” on Friday, May 1st.

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The mousebird mystery

10,000 Birds

They do not look or act much like any other birds (my photo above shows a Speckled Mousebird , Colius striatus , in Nairobi, Kenya). Mousebirds (order Coliiformes) are one of the perennial puzzles in bird systematics. Mousebirds are social fruit-eaters that dangle precariously at odd angles in tight clumps, feet spread wide and long tails often splayed. The six living species are all found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

2013 58

Avian Quiz – April 15, 2011

10,000 Birds

In descending order, the list starts with those countries with more than 1,000 bird species, so the country is NOT one of these: - Colombia - Peru - Brazil - Indonesia - Ecuador - Bolivia - Venezuela - China - India - Congo, Dem Rep - Kenya - Tanzania - Myanmar - Argentina - Mexico - Uganda 7. Two oceans ANSWER THIS QUESTION: Determine the country, but do not name it. This week’s quiz is geographically GLOBAL in nature.

2011 53


10,000 Birds

Photo taken by Adam Riley in Kenya. Image taken in Samburu, Kenya by Adam Riley. Its sister species, Chestnut-backed, shows a similar range but in the Miombo woodland zone of south-central Africa, and finally Donaldson-Smith’s occurs in the Somali-Maasai arid zone, with a rather restricted range from northern Kenya to southern Ethiopia and Somalia. Image taken in Kenya by Adam Riley. Image taken by Adam Riley in Kenya.

2012 69

A Brief Tour of Uganda, The Pearl of Africa

10,000 Birds

While Uganda does not have the international reputation of its neighbors Kenya and Tanzania, the experience there is no less extraordinary – and in many ways, particularly for the birder, it’s even more so. By the time this post publishes, I’ll be on an airplane heading back to the United States following a truly remarkable two week visit to Uganda as part of a group of western birders visiting there to promote the inaugural African Birding Expo.

Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

10,000 Birds

1101-1200 sp: Mexico; Argentina; DR Congo (Kinshasa), Tanzania, Kenya; India. Summer is normally the vacation season, for ordinary tourists at least. Birders follow different patterns of bird migration and their local activities and travel accordingly. But – where? I discovered this cover-photo map somewhere at the BirdLife International’s website. It illustrates the bird richness per country. And what does it tell us, other than the obvious “head for South America” or perhaps Indonesia?

2018 62

15 expat-friendly countries for a birder to move to

10,000 Birds

Kenya (1034 / 1153). What are the best countries for a passionate birder to move to? And why? I discovered this map a while ago, hidden somewhere at the not so easy to navigate BirdLife International’s website, and I have used it as my computer wallpaper ever since. Usually, I interchange some birdy wallpapers several times per month, but this one has stayed for several months already. It makes me think what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything? Why am I here?

2015 81

Uganda’s Hard To Miss Monkeys

10,000 Birds

The Mantled Guereza , ( Colobus guereza ) The Mantled Guereza, also known as the Eastern Black-and-white Colobus or Abyssinian Black-and-white Colobus , is a common forest species found across the rain forests and savannah woodlands of central Africa from Cameroon to Kenya, with a separate population across most of Ethiopia.

What is a Palm-thrush?

10,000 Birds

They are also found in patches of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and also north through Zambia, the Congo and Tanzania (just poking into Kenya). A post I wrote a few weeks ago where I made some disparaging remarks about America’s pseudowarblers (and poetry) generated a certain amount of negative feedback, and clearly some apologies are in order. Mum, Dad, I’m sorry I described my childhood as feral.

2015 56

Dreaming of Africa

10,000 Birds

Bird book of choice is the “Birds of East Africa” by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe, a Helm Field Guide covering Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi – also the first complete guide to cover the 1388 species found in this region. It’s hot outside and inside… I am drinking the WHE brew, a Belgrade beer made upon a Neolithic Turdas-Vinca culture recipe (a great brew, my only complaint: bottles are girly-small!)

The five most unique birds in the world

10,000 Birds

Secretarybird ( Sagittarius serpentarius ) in Kenya by David J. What are the world’s most distinctive birds? That question could be answered in several ways, but a new paper released this month — Global Distribution and Conservation of Evolutionary Distinctness in Birds (Jetz et al. 2014) — attempts to answer it by ranking species according to their “evolutionary distinctiveness,” or how distantly related they are to all other living birds.

2014 86

Pink in Africa

10,000 Birds

This attractive (for a lark anyway) species is restricted to the dry savannah Somali-Maasai biome of north-east Africa (northern Tanzania, Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia). It is found in higher-elevation woodlands from northern Zambia and Malawi northwards through Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia and into the Arabian peninsula.

The Bee-eaters of Africa

10,000 Birds

The former occurs from Kakamega Forest in Kenya westwards to Cameroon and the latter from Cameroon westwards to Sierra Leone. It occurs in similar montane forest edges but further south, with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania forming the bulk of its range. The most accessible site is Samburu/Buffalo Springs in Kenya, but the bulk of its range is in remote and dangerous zones of south-eastern Ethiopia and Somalia.

Tribes and Birds of the Lower Omo Valley by Adam Riley

10,000 Birds

Here, in south-west Ethiopia’s awkwardly named “Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region”, bordering Kenya and Sudan, the great Omo River dominates this dry savanna valley, resulting in some of Africa’s most well developed and best preserved arid-zone riverine forests. Ethiopia, a landlocked country situated in the Horn of Africa, has firmly established itself as one of Africa’s top birding destinations.

2015 74

New Big Day Record Broken for Costa Rica!

10,000 Birds

Essentially, their record was broken in 1986 by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe when they recorded 342 species during one calendar day in Kenya. Big Days* have been a big deal for the past few years. That said, some stalwart birders are undoubtedly thinking, “I beg your pardon? My Big Day has been a huge deal for the past thirty years!”

The Emotional Lives of Animals

4 The Love Of Animals

A few years ago while I was watching elephants in the Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya with elephant researcher Iain Douglas-Hamilton, I noticed a teenaged female, Babyl, who walked very slowly and had difficulty taking each step. Grief, friendship, gratitude, wonder, and other things we animals experience. by Marc Bekoff. Scientific research shows that many animals are very intelligent and have sensory and motor abilities that dwarf ours.

Africa’s Barbets

10,000 Birds

Finally the most northern population ranges are found in coastal forests of northern Tanzania and Kenya. This image was taken in Nairobi National Park, Kenya. Image from Kakamega Forest, Kenya. Barbets are a group of medium sized, chunky, generally colorful, frugivorous, hole-nesting near-passerines, that are popular targets for anyone birding in the tropics.

Birding by Volunteering

10,000 Birds

The first time I went was for my Masters Field Trip, studying tropical ecology in Kenya (otherwise known as the best month of my life). Well, it’s official. Over a decade since I was last there, I am finally heading back to Africa late this year. Not forever mind, I’ll still be living here in New Zealand and carrying on as its beat writer here (I may even write about New Zealand again some time).

2014 56

Africa’s endangered species

10,000 Birds

A Sharpe’s Longclaw photographed on the Kinangop Plateau, Kenya by Adam Riley. Sharpe’s Longclaw This attractive species is endemic to Kenya, and occurs in the few remaining, fragmented and isolated regions where high altitude tussock grassland hasn’t yet been converted into agricultural land. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, experts have determined that the current rate of bird extinction is somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 times the background rate.