Tanzania – Africa at its best

10,000 Birds

Tanzania is without a doubt the quintessential African safari nation. Despite being a proud South African, my honest answer is Tanzania. This country boasts over 1,000 bird species, vast wildernesses, a superb network of protected areas, the greatest concentration of large game and predators on the planet, excellent lodges and friendly people. This 12,000 square mile ecosystem stretches across north-western Tanzania into the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Alien species – Rose-ringed Parakeet.

10,000 Birds

Although there is a small wild population in the northern reaches of nearby Uganda, Rose-ringed Parakeets would have been a vagrant for German East Africa (now known as Tanzania) at the time. Apart from the awful noise, they are cavity nesters and dominate the available nesting spaces to the detriment of indigenous species. … Here at 10,000 Birds 20 July – 26 July is Invasive Species Week. Nonetheless, this week will be chock full of invasive species.

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). Tanzania Tanzania has 1050 bird species, of which about 500 to 600 may be observed in 3 to 4 weeks.

Africa’s endangered species

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More than 150 bird species are known to have become extinct over the past 500 years, and many more are estimated to have been driven to extinction before they became known to science. The bulk of the recent bird extinctions has been on islands, where species are more susceptible to extermination due to smaller ranges, lower population sizes and a lack of adaptation for coping with introduced predators. A pair of Hooded Vultures in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania by Adam Riley.

Tanzanian Starlings, Shrikes, and Weavers (Part 1)

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SUPER STARLINGS Tanzania plays host to a wide variety of Starlings, over twenty species in fact. Birds Beat on Assignment starlings Superb Starling TanzaniaIn California we have the feisty intelligent generalist European Starling. Singularly beautiful as individuals but glared at by many a birder for their stubborn survival streak which can play havoc with the delicate nesting strategies of pre-established locals.

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World birding from a Schrödinger’s house

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Will the threatened species make it through if there are no birding tourists to make those birds and their habitats valuable to local people just the way they are (as opposed to tropical timber)? And beating the previous Strycker record by 810 species? Colombia 1959 bird species 2.

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Where America dreams of/goes birding?

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Here are the results: 3 per cent of respondents (in no particular order): Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Tanzania, Madagascar. Yet, the fact that tiny Panama is as popular as huge Brazil, with twice as many bird species, speaks volume for Brazil’s stage of ecotourism development. I had no intention of making a questionnaire or analysing the results.

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Avian Quiz – April 15, 2011

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Here are the clues: 1. Some references indicate that this country has nearly 900 different species of birds. 3. Corey has written about one of the species, which I will most likely see when I go. And another list shows 6 endemics and 11 endangered species. 6. On one list, it is the 27th country with the most number of different bird species. Instead, name one of the endemic species in this country. This week’s quiz is geographically GLOBAL in nature.

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Africa’s Barbets

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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.

Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

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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. 1101-1200 sp: Mexico; Argentina; DR Congo (Kinshasa), Tanzania, Kenya; India.

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Where Are You Birding This Final Weekend of January 2012?

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I, on the other hand, will be lollygagging with the usual Western New York winter species. Northern White-crowned Shrike in Tanzania by Walter Kitundu a. This may read like something of a non sequitur, but have you ever seen a Rainbow Eucalyptus ? Eucalyptus deglupta is a psychedelic beauty, with stunning, striated bark that spans nearly every color of the rainbow. Take a moment to check out how trippy this tree is. When you’re done, come back and we’ll talk birds.

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The Storks of Africa

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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.

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. In the relatively brief period, my group had something on the order of 450 species. This Red-chested Sunbird was among the most common species we encountered throughout the trip, and one of the most mid-bending.

The Bee-eaters of Africa

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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.

Introducing the African Birding Beat

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Approximately 2,300 bird species inhabit Africa, however as impressive as that sounds, much smaller South America boasts nearly 1,000 species more. Quintessential African scene from Tarangire National Park, Tanzania Africa boasts a fabulous and unique avifauna. 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!

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White-backed Vultures are Proper Birds

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It can’t have escaped your notice lately that the blog has been overrun with articles about North America’s pseudo-warblers (or wood warblers, as some people, apparently unaware the name is taken by a proper European species, call them), and, even worse, no small amount of poetry. The White-backed Vulture is the most common species of vulture in Africa, although these days they are, like most vultures, globally endangered.

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Dreaming of Africa

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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).

What is a Palm-thrush?

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Once upon a time, when I started birding, this great family included a wide range of species collectively known as the robins and chats. They are a single genus, Cichladusa , with three species, found mostly in Central and Eastern Africa. These Collared Palm-thrushes were photographed in the Cresta Mowana Lodge in Kasane, pretty much the only place you’ll see the species in Botswana (according to one of the guidebooks I read).

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From the Mailbag

Animal Ethics

It is an animated website aimed at educating and inspiring children about endangered species, and all of our characters actually exist in a real-life camp in Tanzania which protects black rhino and wild African hunting dogs. Hello Keith, Mylan, and Jonathan We stumbled across your very worthy site and read some recent posts. you have a very interesting blog! We’re going to go and have an in-depth look this morning, in the meantime, please take a look at our website.

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Pink in Africa

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Of course Africa could not to be left out of the pink weekend so I have researched all African species whose official or alternative names include the word “pink”. This species is a southern African endemic, restricted to, but fortunately not uncommon, in dry woodland and sand forest habitats of northern Zululand, Swaziland, scattered pockets of north-eastern South Africa and southern Mozambique. Another not very pink species is the Pink-footed Puffback.

Africa’s Big Five and Little Five

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Elephant The big – two species of elephant are now recognized as occuring in Africa, the smaller and more secretive Forest Elephant and the larger, more familiar African or Bush Elephant. Prime destinations for seeing African Elephant in the wild include Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. The little – the two species of black Buffalo Weavers obtain their appellation from their dark coloration that resembles their fearsome namesake.

The long and winding road

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In the High Arctic we find several migrating species that break that mould. This tiny passerine winters in Africa, places like Tanzania, Nigeria, Somalia. Birds fascinate us for many reasons. Flight, beauty, the glimpse into the world of dinosaurs, to mention but a few of those reasons. The migration stories of many of those birds is another. Who doesn’t marvel at Arctic Terns flying from one polar region to another, twice, every single year.

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Can we talk about Cecil the Lion?

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Conservation is concerned about protecting populations, species, habitats, ecosystems. And increased Nyala have overgrazed the endangered Sand Forest ecosystem in the park, and reduced cover for the Suni means that tiny antelope has been declining… In such a situation, inaction condemns a threatened ecosystem and a number of species dependent on it vulnerable to oblivion. That conservation uses the death of the species it is trying to save is both paradoxical and not.

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We Should Kill More Lions

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There are times when acting in the conservation interest of a species or ecosystem means that the welfare of specific animals is compromised, which is a fancy way of saying that conservationists sometimes have to kill animals for the greater good. If you don’t accept that we sometimes have to do harm to individuals to do good for the species, well, nothing I’m going to say is going to convince you. Take the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.

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Ethiopia’s Endemics

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There are also dry areas but this great diversity has resulted in an incredible bird list of over 900 species including Africa’s 2nd highest count of endemics (after South Africa). A two-week birding tour could expect around 400 species and up to 550 in 3 weeks, including sightings of most of Ethiopia’s endemic and near-endemic birds. White-cheeked Turaco Also occurring in Eritrea and Sudan, this species range is mostly centered around Ethiopia.

KwaZulu-Natal

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Even in the tropics there are few birds that excel some of our own in elegance and beauty of plumage and we have an unusually large number of species considering the smallness of the area they inhabit. ” (Woodward brothers, “Natal Birds”, 1899) The mighty Drakensberg Mountains run along the western boundary of KwaZulu-Natal province. Despite discovering dozens of bird species, he is however not remembered in any English names of birds.

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Frogs and Toads of the World: A Book Review by a Fairy Tale Junkie

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Or, Pygmy leaf-folding frogs, Afrixalus brachycnemis, from Tanzania, tiny climbing frogs who lay their eggs in leaves and then fold the leaves over them for protection, sealing the nest with secretions. Or, one of the 145 species of Glass frogs living in the Cental and South American rainforests, I could look through the transparent skin on their undersides and see their internal organs. Thrity-seven species are probably already extinct. “Peek!” Plunk.

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