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Best Places to see the Albertine Rift Endemic bird species – Uganda Safari News

Best Places to see the Albertine Rift Endemic bird species – Uganda Safari News

Uganda, the pearl of Africa is home to about 1080 bird species. This makes Uganda one of the best bird watching places in Africa with almost half of the continents bird species. Uganda has an equatorial climate and has the Albertine Rift Valley in the Western part of the country which is host to several bird species. Popularly known as the Albertine rift endemics, this is a top hot spot for birding safaris in Uganda for avid birders to Africa.  There several Uganda birding safari spots in the western region of the country but these are the best places to see the Albertine rift endemic bird species;

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Second on the list of the 10 best birding safari Uganda destinations is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable has been voted as Africa’s best birding spot by the African Bird Club. Out of the 24 Albertine rift bird species, 23 of them are found in Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda. The forest is home to many rare bird species, some only found here for instance the African Green Broadbill.  350 bird species stay here and these include the 23 Albertine Rift endemics, 14 of which are not recorded anywhere else in Uganda.

On a Uganda bird watching tour, look out for the Chapin’s Flycatcher, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Handsome Francolin, Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis, White-bellied Robin Chat, Black Billed Turaco, Fraser’s Eagle, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Purple-breasted, Blue-Headed and Regal Sunbirds among others. This is also the best destination for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari and both activities can be tailored in a single trip.

  1. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest Uganda safaris park popular for Uganda gorilla tours but also a spot not to undermine for birding. It is not only home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, but it is also home to about 180 bird species some of which are the Albertine Rift endemics. Bird species here include the Kivu Ground Thrush, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Archer’s Robin Chat, Olive Pigeon, Black-headed Waxbill, Western Green tinker bird, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown Woodland Warbler, Stripe-breasted tit, Brown-crowned Tchagra and Scarlet-tufted, Greater double-collared Sunbirds.

  1. Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the prime bird watching destinations in Uganda with over 177 bird species which include 19 Albertine Rift endemics. Bird watching is mostly done while on hikes in the forest zones since this is the highest point and popular Uganda birding tour destination. Birds to look out for here include the Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared owl, Archers’ robin-chat, Lagden’s bush shrike, Blue-headed and Golden-winged sunbird, White-starred robin, Slender-billed starling, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Bearded vultures, and swifts.

 

Recommendable Uganda birding safaris

If you are looking for a rewarding bird watching safari in Africa then Uganda is the best choice and these packages are what you can choose from;

12 days Albertine rift endemics birding

14 days Uganda birding and primate safari

18 days Uganda forest birding safari

24 days classic Uganda birding safari

2 days mabamba birding tour

3 days Lake Mburo birding safari

4 days bird watching in Murchison Falls National Park

5 days Uganda birding safari

7 days Uganda birding safari tour

9 days Uganda birding safari

10 days Uganda birding safari

10 days savvanah birding safari

12 days Uganda birding safari

14 days Uganda birding safari

17 days Uganda birding and primate safari

18 days Uganda forest birding safari

20 days Uganda birding safari

22 days Uganda Rwanda safari

Birding safari in Uganda 7 days

Uganda birding safari 14 days

Birding safari in Uganda Africa 21 days

 

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Bird Species to expect on a birding safari to the Kazinga Channel – Uganda Safari News

How birds choose their partners -Uganda Safari News

Bird Species to expect on a birding safari to the Kazinga Channel – Uganda Safari News

Queen Elizabeth National Park Birding SpotThe 32km Kazinga Channel of Queen Elizabeth National Park is a haven to the numerous wildlife and bird species that survive in the Park making it the best Uganda birding safari destination with over 600 bird species. A bird population that can’t be found in any other conserved park in East Africa. Kazinga Channel is a 32km(20mi) wide long natural channel within the great lakes region joining lakes George in the North East and Lake Edward in the South West of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Lake George on the Eastern side of the channel is a small lake with an average depth of only 2.4 meters (7.9 ft) fed by streams from the Rwenzori mountains with its outflow going through the Kazinga Channel and draining into Lake Edward.

For the aquatic wild animals this 32km long Kazinga Channel is home and to the wild animals that live in the park this is the perfect point to quench thirst. Many tourists on Uganda wildlife safaris to Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda undertake the launch trip/boat cruise on the Kazinga channel because of how up close this activity can get you close to wild game and bird species.

At the shores of this channel is a large number of wild animals, birds in addition to reptiles all through the year, with one of the largest population of hippos in the whole world as well as plentiful Nile crocodiles. With the boat cruise on the Kazinga channel you are much more than rewarded on a with wildlife and bird sightings popularly liked by many Uganda safari or Uganda tour travelers. Buffalos and elephants linger on the shoreline of the Kazinga channel and clearly be seen.

Bird species to expect at the Kazinga Channel and Mweya Peninsula

The Mweya Peninsula is situated within the Kazinga Channel popular for a boat cruise undertaken on Uganda tours, and Lake Edward. This sector also offers the best luxury accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Avid birders, can expect to tick off these bird species while on birding safari Uganda in this area;

  • Raptors
  • African Mourning Dove
  • Diederik Cuckoo
  • Squire-tailed Nightjar
  • Slender-tailed Nightjar
  • Swamp Nightjar
  • Blue-naped Mouse bird
  • Grey-Headed Kingfisher
  • Pygmy Kingfisher
  • Little Bee-eater
  • Nubian Woodpecker
  • Red-capped Lark
  • Martins
  • Swallows
  • Swifts
  • Grey-capped Warbler
  • Swamp Flycatcher
  • Scarlet-chested Sunbird
  • Red-chested Sunbird
  • Black-headed Gonolek
  • Lesser Masked Weaver
  • Slender-billed Weaver
  • Yellow-backed Weaver
  • Pin-tailed Whydah

Uganda is such a great bird watching destination with almost 50% of Africa’s bird species calling this beautiful Pearl of Africa home.  Other destinations in for good Uganda birding tours include Semuliki National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Kibale Forest National Park.

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Bird Watching in Kidepo Valley National Park-Uganda Safari News

The only place to find the Ostrich in Uganda-Uganda Safari News

Bird Watching in Kidepo Valley National Park-Uganda Safari News

Kidepo Valley National Park is known as a great Uganda safari destination for wildlife sightings like, tourists think of the elephants, lions, kobs and much more wildlife, but then bird watching in Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the great activities in Kidepo Valley National park. CNN described the park as Africa’s hidden gem because of its scenic landscape that gave it a ranking as one of Africa’s best wilderness, the profusion of wildlife and unique communities around. The haven however isn’t just a home to the giants, bird species are sighted here too.

Kidepo Valley National Park is situated far North East of Uganda in Kaabong district between the borders of the country with Sudan and Kenya. Its 410km from Kampala on almost a 12 hours’ drive making it one of the less visited Uganda safaris parks hence rewarding to those who take time to visit. Virtually untouched this is the best place to have a true African experience just like before in the 21st century.

Featuring rugged savanna with red thorn acacias, the 1,442sqkm (557sqmi) park is a varied habitat for a very impressive list of over 470 bird species, the second highest population of any Ugandan park coming second to Queen Elizabeth National Park with a recorded 600 bird list and the highest population in East Africa. Sixty (60) of the birds on the list are endemic to Kidepo and a good place for spotting raptors with 60 species recorded. Therefore, if you are looking for a rewarding Uganda bird watching safari destination then look no further than this wilderness.

To have a great birding experience, choosing where to stay in Kidepo Valley National Park is important and here Apoka Rest Camp comes in play as the best lodging facility to start your birding adventure as you watch birds migrate in the morning at a panoramic view. At the edge of the camp is a small permanent water hole that attracts swallows and a variety of seed eaters including the Yellow-rumped Seed eater and is visited at night by the Four-banded Sandgrouse. Birding can also be done on the fringes of the Narus and Namamukweny Valleys. The silver bird and small bands of yellow-billed birds are frequent on the thorn trees of the open savannah.

Bird species to expect while bird watching in Kidepo Valley National Park include;

Bird watching in Kidepo Valley National Park-Uganda safari news

Yellow-necked Spurfowl

Karamoja Apalis (endemic)

Ostrich (endemic)

Black-breasted Barbet (endemic)

Golden pipit (endemic)

Greater Kestrel (endemic)

Scarlet-chested Sunbird

Kori Bustard

Red-and-yellow Barbet

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu

Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk

Superb Starling

Rufous-crowned Roller

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Jackson’s Hornbill

White-faced Scoops Owl

Red-fronted Barbet

Black-breasted Barbet

White-bellied Tit

Brown-backed Woodpecker

Singing Bush lark

Violet-tipped Courser

Black-headed Plover

Ethiopian Swallow

Isabelline Wheatear

Heuglin’s Wheatear

White-bellied Bustard

Hartlaub’s Bustard

Red-winged Lark

African Grey Flycatcher

Red pate Cisticola

Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit

Northern White-crowned Shrike

Yellow-billed Shrike

Red billed Oxpecker

Eastern Violet backed Sunbird

Beautiful Sunbird

Pygmy Falcon

Fox Kestrel (endemic)

Pygmy Falcon (endemic)

Stone Partridge

Clapperton’s Francolin (endemic)

Heuglin’s Francolin

Four-banded Sand Grouse

African Swallow-tailed Kite

Bruce’s Green Pigeon

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Slate-coloured Boubou

Fan-tailed Raven

Long-tailed nightjar

Standard-winged Nightjar

Little Green Bee-eater

Abyssinian Roller

Brown-rumped Bunting

Rufous Sparrow

Chestnut Sparrow,

Yellow-spotted Petronia

White-billed Buffalo Weaver

Grey-capped Social Weaver

Speckle-fronted Weaver

Steel-blue Whydahs

Straw tailed Whydahs

Purple Heron

Best time for bird watching in Kidepo Valley National Park

Any time of the year can be the best birding time for you in Kidepo. However, March to April is the best time for most of the bird specials. Migratory birds are present from November (least rains) to April. Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park can be either a morning or an evening activity.

Tailoring a birding safari with a Uganda wildlife safari in Kidepo is always the way to go such that you spot numerous wildlife species including endemics like the cheetahs. From Kidepo, you can also continue for birding and wildlife safari to Murchison Falls National Park and the adjacent Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on a return drive to Kampala which are both rewarding Uganda tour or safari in Uganda destinations.

 

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East Africa’s Largest Bird Population Destination – Uganda Safari News

Queen Elizabeth National Park Birding Spot

Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda Safari News

Queen Elizabeth National Park is by no doubt the only national park in East Africa with the largest number of bird species. Within the boundaries of this 1 978 sq. km Uganda safari park are about 600 identified bird species. Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda has the largest bird checklist of any protected area in East Africa with over 600 bird species recorded within its boundaries. This is the greatest of any East African national park making Uganda safaris or birding tours Uganda a must visit destination for passionate birders. Several birds in the park are regarded as specials within East Africa yet as well the park offering chance to sight several East as well as Central African species.

Within the confines of the park are numerous water birds, woodland and forest bird species found in the Maramagambo Forest. The swamp areas in the Ishasha sector are a good place to look out for the elusive Shoebill stork. About 54 raptors as well can be found in the park alongside various migratory species. Migratory birds are present from November to April. If you are interested in seeing migratory birds on Uganda birding safari, safari Uganda in the months of November to April and get the chance to glimpse on several species including the lesser flamingos.

Bird species in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Birding in Jinja

White Breasted cormorant

As stated, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to a numerous number of bird species inclusive of which are the Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pink backed Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Shoebill, Bar-tailed Godwit, the thin-tailed Nightjars.

Other bird species include Spur-winged Plovers, Squacco Heron, African Fish Eagle, White backed Pelicans, Long tailed Cormorants, African Jacana, Yellow backed Weavers, Open-billed Stork, Water-Thick knee, Pied kingfishers, Wattled Plovers, the Black Crake and the Knob-billed Ducks especially seen along the Kazinga Channel. The White -spotted fluff tail is spotted along the waters.

Forest species that you can see on your Uganda birding tour to Queen Elizabeth National Park include; the Grey Wood pecker, black & African Emerald Cuckoos, Hairy breasted Barbet, speckled Tinker bird, the purple-headed starling as well as the Green Hylia.

Best time for birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Every time of the year can be birding time however, the finest timing to enjoy bird watching within Queen Elizabeth is from December up to February. For great experiences, at least choose to spend about 2-3 days within the park such that you can sight several bird species and have a large count.

Queen Elizabeth National Park isn’t only home to birds but also one of the popular Uganda wildlife safari destination because of the numerous wildlife including the highest population of hippopotami in Africa within the kazinga Channel. On a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park, many tourists also tailor their safaris with a Uganda gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Top Uganda Safaris Tour Packages

Such a great destination to visit, Uganda offers several safaris and these popular tours are the best to choose from when planning to tour Uganda.

 

 

 

 

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Best way of Planning for a Uganda birding safari – Uganda Safari News

Best way of Planning for a Uganda birding safari – Uganda Safari News

What to wear for a birding safari in Ugands

Uganda safaris are so known not only for wildlife but also for the big number of bird species found in the country. About 1078 bird species are known to be within the boundaries of Uganda. Uganda birding  safaris tours have been so popular of recent because of the beautiful birds easily seen on Uganda tours. Planning for a birding safari in Uganda requires prior preparations from choosing a tour operator, what to wear, what to pack, where to go and when to go.

Before going for a birding safari always familiarize yourself with the bird species in this area by buying a bird guide book and reading through to know which birds you will actually find. Learn how to differentiate them by sound or color. This doesn’t mean that you will have to spot the birds yourself because your Uganda safari guide will do that for you but having prior knowledge makes the trip lively.

  • Book your Uganda birding Safari with a trustable tour operator

Planning of course involves booking especially when you are going to a new country. You can find several tour operators online with Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours being the best pick for your Uganda birding safari. Contact and book your safari early enough to ensure all preparations like hotel or accommodation bookings, transport or safari vehicle preparations and ensure all payments are made early.

  • Travel with a professional Uganda birding safari guide

A Uganda birding safari never gets interesting if you don’t have a knowledgeable safari guide. No matter the self-drive trend nowadays, for a biding safari you need a guide to help you get to destinations that reward with several bird species. You can book a knowledgeable birding guide through the tour operator.

  • Carry along a Field Guide Book

Either before or when you arrive for a Uganda birding tour remember to purchase or rent a field guide book the most recommendable being the Birds of Africa Field Guide. The books have a detailed analysis of over 95% of the recorded bird species in Uganda and increase your scope of what to expect while birding in Uganda.

  • Purchase or carry along the right birding equipment

Spotting birds needs the help of a pair of binoculars to spot the species up in the air. You need to purchase a pair of binoculars of your own which you will be most comfortable with. Camera a good quality camera to capture all of the bird species as possible.

  • Pack the right clothing

After booking your Uganda bird watching tour, knowing what to carry on your safari is necessary. What to carry depends on where you are doing the bird watching from either in a tropical rainforest or in the wilderness.

If it’s in the tropical forest either in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park or Semuliki National Park, wearing long-sleeved shirt and trousers is necessary. Wear trekking shoes since you will have to trek the mountain as you do the birding.

Carry a sweater and rain coat since the temperatures in the forests are low.

Birding in other national parks like Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park that are in lower altitude areas require wearing light clothes. Light shoes and a hat for protection from the scotching sun are important. Carry sun glasses and bottled drinking water too.

In Kidepo Valley National Park-Africa’s best wilderness, carry light clothes, light shoes and a hat for protection from the scotching sun rays in the wilderness. Pack enough drinking water to take during the birding process.

Best time for a Uganda birding safari

Bird watching can be done all year round however, the best Uganda tour season for a birding safari Uganda is during the dry season in the months of January to March when the tropical forests are accessible and the not slippery for hiking.

The breeding season however, is during the month of June and this is when the birds are very colorful.

These tips apply for all of the other birding safaris in East Africa especially Tanzania birding safari and Rwanda birding tours or birding safari Rwanda.

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Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda Safari News

Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda Safari News

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park The Handsome Francolinwas ranked the best birding spot by Africa bird club, the leading organization that  concerned itself with the conservation and study of Africa’s birds. Bwindi forest national park area is conserved and well known for the thrilling Uganda gorilla safaris since its home to the biggest number of the rare mountain gorillas. The forest is placed in the diverse Kigezi area surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful scenery that gets tourists on Uganda safaris wowed.

The altitude variation of the forest ranging between 1,190-2,600m on both mountain and lowland areas gives a variety of habitat for different bird species. This alone is not reason for the 350-bird species including 23 out of the 24 Albertine rift endemics and 14 not recorded anywhere else in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park covers 331sqkm(128sqmi) making it the largest forest area in East Africa. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with a variety of rare bird species is easily accessible for Uganda birding safaris  with very good tarmac roads 478.8km from Kampala-Uganda’s capital.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers the best 350 montane/mountain forest bird species for Uganda birding tours and still home to the globally threatened bird species such as the African Green Broadbill and the Shelley’s Crimson-wing. The park also hosts 23 Albertine rift endemics (90% of all Albertine rift endemics) which include;

  • The Handsome Francolin
  • Dwarf Honeyguide
  • Archer’s Robin-chat
  • Dusky Crimson-wing
  • Rwenzori Batis, Regal Sunbird
  • Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher
  • Strange weaver
  • Blue- headed sunbird
  • Purple-breasted sunbird
  • Red-faced woodland Warbler
  • Grauer’s Warbler
  • Grauer’s Rush Warbler
  • Collard Apalis
  • Rwenzori Turaco
  • Montane Masked Apalis
  • Red throated Alethe
  • Stripe-breasted Tit
  • Shelley’s Crimson-wing
  • African Green Broadbill
  • Chapin’s flycatcher
  • Rwenzori Nightjar
  • Short tailed Warbler.

The other bird species always sighted by birders during Uganda birding tours include;

  • the Black billed Turaco
  • Giant kingfisher
  • Cinnamon–chested bee-eater
  • African green pigeon
  • African harrier hawk
  • Evergreen Warbler
  • Chestnut-throated Apalis
  • Coppery Sunbird
  • Crowned Hornbill
  • Dark-backed Weaver
  • Dusky Crested Flycatcher
  • Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo
  • Dusky Tit
  • Buff-throated Apalis
  • African Pitta
  • Cabanis’s Greenbul
  • Cardinal Woodpecker
  • Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
  • Cassin’s Honeybird
  • Chestnut Wattle-eye
  • Collared Sunbird
  • Common Bulbul
  • Compact Weaver
  • White-breasted Negrofinch
  • Grey-headed Sparrow
  • Grey-throated Barbet
  • Hairy-breasted Barbet
  • Honeyguide Greenbul
  • Black bee-catcher
  • Kivu ground Thrush
  • Crowned hawk eagle
  • Mountain buzzard
  • Rufous-chested sparrow hawk
  • Spotted eagle owl
  • Long crested eagle
  • Augur buzzard and very many more forest bird species.

Other bird species seen while on birding safaris in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include the migratory birds like the black kites that are present from November-April.

Top Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Spots

The best birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park experiences are achieved when birding is done in the well-maintained trails of

  • Buhoma waterfall trail
  • The bamboo zones
  • Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija section
  • Kashasha river valley and Ivy river trails

Best time for Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The best time of the year for birding in Bwindi forest is during the months of June -August and December to February when the trails are not slippery and photography is easier. The best time of the day to go through the trails for bird watching is during the morning hours.

When tailoring a Uganda gorilla trekking safari and birding Uganda tour, then there’s no option to look further, just choose to do both activities within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. For more of the forest bird specie sightings, a Rwanda birding safari or safari Congo are great options just within the Virunga massif adjacent to Uganda.

 

 

 

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About the African Fish Eagle -Uganda Safari News

African Fish Eagle Safari

About the African Fish Eagle -Uganda Safari News

About the African Fish Eagle -Uganda Safari News

The African Fish Eagle, is a large bird specie easily seen on a Uganda birding safari. It may resemble the bald eagle in appearance; though related, each species occurs on different continents.

African Fish-Eagle is a large bird of prey. Dark body and wings contrast with white head and tail. Belly and upper coverts are chestnut. Wings and back are black. When in flight, the under wings appear chestnut, and it has black flight feathers. It has short and squared white tail. The head is white too. Eyes are chestnut to pale brown. Bill is black and yellow. Legs and feet are yellow.

The immature has duller upper parts, spotted with brown. The underparts are rather whitish with broad blackish spots on belly, and streaked chest. The tail is white, heavily spotted with black. They reach their adult plumage at about five years old. Chicks are covered with white down. Bill is horn and pale yellow. Legs are pink.

The African Fish Eagle is a large bird, the female, at 3.2–3.6 kg and is larger than the male, at 2.0–2.5 kg. This is typical sexual dimorphism in birds of prey. Males usually have wingspans around 2m while females have wingspans of 2.4m. The body length is 63–75 cm.

African Fish-Eagle is sedentary. They live in pairs close to the streams. Very active and agile, it is quite able to perform bold aerial displays.

The female lays two white eggs. Incubation lasts about 42 to 45 days, shared by both parents. Chicks remain at nest for about 65 days. They can fly at about 70 to 75 days of age, but they are still raised by female (male feeds only the chicks). They depend from their parents for two months more after their first flight.

How the African Fish Eagle Calls

African Fish-Eagle’s call is very well known where it is living, and it is often known as the “Africa’s voice”. It has a typical call, a loud barking carrying far, “whii-oh-hyo-hyo-hyo”, frequently uttered, and almost similar to gull’s calls. It often calls while flying, and it is noisier at dawn. Close to the nest, it utters a soft “quock”. Female is noiseless than male.

What does the African Fish Eagle prey on?

African Fish-Eagle feeds mainly on fish, but it also consumes carrion, eggs and chicks of shore birds, some aquatic birds (larger than flamingos), more rarely monkeys, lizards, frogs, sea-turtles or insects. It dives entirely into the water to hunt a prey. It hunts starting from a perch, generally a large tree close to the water, from where it can watch over the place. It performs an approach in soft descent, and kicks out its talons ahead, almost stopping its flight to catch its prey, at about fifteen centimeters under the surface. It can capture fish of up to 1kg, and sometimes of up to 3kg. But beyond 2,5 kg, it cannot take it in flight. Then, it glides above the water to the shore, pulling its prey it swoops down upon from a perch in a tree, snatching the prey from the water with its large, clawed talons. The eagle then flies back to its perch to eat its catch. It may steal prey from other birds, and attack Shore birds’ clutches, taking eggs and chicks.

How the African Fish Eagle Nests

African Fish-Eagle’s nest is huge and made with sticks. It may reach 120 to 180 cm in diameter, and 30 to 60 cm in depth, sometimes 120 cm when the nest is re-used several times. It is lined with grasses, green leaves and roots. It is located between 4 and 22metres above the ground, in a fork in tree, near water. It is rarely found on cliffs or in bushes in steep slopes.

Where to see the African Fish Eagle in Uganda

Wondering where to sight the African Fish Eagle on a Uganda tour or safari to Uganda, here are the top spots to see it.

The African Fish Eagle can easily be seen in Murchison Falls National Park during the Nile boat cruise, Queen Elizabeth National Park during a Uganda safari boat cruise along the Kazinga channel. It can also be seen in Lake Mburo National Park and on Lake Victoria..

The African Fish Eagle is just one of the bird species that can be seen on Uganda safaris out of the over 1700 bird species confirmed in the country. For more bird watching tours, Rwanda safaris, Tanzania birding safaris, a Kenya safari or Congo tour offer much more to tick on your bird list. All of these can be tailored in a single East African trip.

 

 

 

 

 

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The only place to find the Ostrich in Uganda-Uganda Safari News

The only place to find the Ostrich in Uganda-Uganda Safari News

The only place to find the Ostrich in Uganda-Uganda Safari News

The Ostrich (Struthio camelus) is a huge flightless bird inherent to Africa and one of the two extant species of ostriches, the only living members of the genus Struthio in the ratite order of birds. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a small head and wings, a long neck and legs with massive two large forward pointing toes with a body size of 1.8-2.75 m and weighs up to 155 kg. The male ostriches are black with white wings as well as tail feathers the female ones have brownish grey color with the legs always brighter with pink necks during breeding. They possess very large eyes measuring almost 5 cm across allowing them to spot predators like lions within a long distance. In Uganda, the ostrich can only be found in Kidepo Valley National Park sighted on a birding safari in Uganda to the park situated in the far northeastern part of the country.

About the Ostrich

Ostriches walk at an average of 4km/hour! However, in case of a warning sign of predators threatening it or its eggs the bird can sprint at a terrific speed of 55 km/h (34 mph) or even up to about 70 km/h (43 mph) -the fastest land speed of any bird.  make sure you don’t get it worried when you get close to its eggs or else be ready to sprint at a faster speed.

This is the world’s largest living bird and lays the largest eggs of all birds.

Ostriches like dust bathing and at times you may find them burying their heads in the sand while the rest of the body is seen.

Ostriches are generally silent but during mating season, they display a range of roars, booms and hisses. The male bird is known for its booming call that can be heard over 1 km away. They are very strong birds and can harm it’s predators like lions and humans by just kicking and can even cause harm some times.

An ostrich lays up to 15 eggs a month, each laid after every two days especially during the dry months of the year, usually between February and June. The preparation of the laying ground is done by the male ostrich as it digs a hole of about 1 meter wide and 1 foot deep then later fills it with lake sand. This helps to generate warmth that would enable hatching when the eggs are laid.

Ostriches have a complex breeding system with the major and minor birds ably laying eggs in the same nest. Usually one major and 5-6 minors lay an average of 25 eggs in the same nest. With incubation, the major hen/female incubates during the day while the Cock/male takes its turn during the night. After this routine for about 6 weeks the chicks hatch and leave the nest after 4 days. They are fully mature at the age of three to four years.

Ostriches are omnivores and therefore feed on things like locusts, seeds, flowers, fruits and swallow sand and pebbles. However, they do not have teeth therefore swallow pebbles to grind their food. The bird can go without drinking water for several days surviving on metabolic water and moisture ingested in roots, seeds and insects.

What threatens/preys on the ostrich?

The Egyptian Vulture is the major predator to the Ostrich preying on its eggs. Each vulture can eat six or more eggs at a time. The vulture uses stones to break Ostrich eggs and because of this it is called “The tool-using Egyptian Vulture.” Lions are also predators to the ostriches.

Kidepo Valley National Park is known as one of the best wildernesses in Africa and a surprisingly distant Uganda wildlife safari destination where no one should miss. When you are planning to safari Uganda, don’t hesitate to visit this wilderness filled with unique wild species and several endemic bird species. its one of the best bird watching safari destinations in Uganda.

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How birds choose their partners -Uganda Safari News

How birds choose their partners -Uganda Safari News

How birds choose their partners -Uganda Safari News

Ring-Necked Dove

Birds are beautiful species and yet many times a few people care to know about how these birds choose their partners and keep increasing in number or why they get extinct. Birding or bird watching is the activity of seeing the species and with about 1,070 recorded bird species many avid birders choose Uganda birding safaris. Have you ever wondered of how birds choose their partners and why they mate how they do? A study helps us understand the amazing truths of how this happens.

Male birds are often the ones with the most vibrant feathers, or the most elaborate songs, but researcher shows that what female birds could really appreciate is a male who shows his intelligence rather than the outer beauty. This aligns with Charles Darwin’s old theory that mate choice could contribute to the evolution of intelligence.

“…. If female birds had been incapable of appreciating the beautiful colours, the ornaments, and voices of their male partners, all the labour and anxiety by the latter in displaying their charms before the females would have been thrown away; and this is impossible to admit” Darwin stated

However, male birds tend to be more lovers than fighters when it comes to courting, and some of them are the champions of woo/favour.

At the beginning of the mating season-falling between April and June, males from every species have their work well identified with some males preparing to spar with other males as females watch and await the victor. During this breeding season birds are very colorful and therefore one of the best times for a birding safari in Uganda if you would love to see these species at their best.

To attest to the mating intelligence notion, a study authored by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and at Leiden University in The Netherlands demonstrated that direct observation of cognitive skills can affect mate preference.

Researchers used 34 small Australian parrots, known as budgerigars, to test the notion that a suitor’s smarts could outweigh style or songs.

A female bird was exposed to two similar looking males, in a cage in which she could only interact with one at a time. Prior study designs like this have shown that females tend to lean toward males with slightly nicer appearances, or more appealing songs.

Researchers could tell which male was preferred by the amount of time the female spent interacting with him.

Then, they swept away the lesser male to engage him in a special training session in opening a container filled with seeds.

The female — and her preferred male — received no such training, and were given open boxes of seed to eat from freely.

Next, the female was placed in a cage with a sealed box of seed, and was allowed to watch the trained male cleverly open his sealed box of seed.

She also watched the untrained male — whom she preferred at first glance — being unable to open his container.

After that, eight of the nine females changed their minds, apparently, and began spending more time in the cage interacting with the more capable box-opening male than they had before the experiment. However, it’s not entirely clear that the females appreciated the box-opening as a sign of intelligence, they added.

In the bird life, showing one’s intelligence could help one gain more mates and better spread one’s DNA on to future generations unlike just relying on color and songs.

The study doesn’t exclusively suggest that all females are attracted by intelligence because at times in the animal world, complex behaviors like mating rituals can be at play. The fact that female birds lacked the opportunity to perform the foraging task themselves suggests that they may have had little basis for understanding the exercise as a problem in need of a clever solution. Or maybe they might have attributed male success in opening the containers to superior physical strength.

Amazing how various species interact, for the birds love in the air, forests and anywhere can be attributed to the different characteristics but those with the many and better one’s will take the lead.

Birds are really beautiful and sighting them whether on safari or even from your balcony, is amazing. For a great birding safari and a chance to learn more about birds for either avid birders or any other tourists, the top choices are going for a Uganda bird watching safari, birding safari in Rwanda or Tanzania birding safari.

 

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Uganda’s Prestigious National bird- the Grey Crowned Crane -Uganda Safari News

Must see birds on Uganda birding safaris -Uganda Safari News

Uganda’s Prestigious National bird- the Grey Crowned Crane -Uganda Safari News

Uganda has over 1,050 confirmed bird species but for its beauty, the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps) is the Uganda’s national bird. The Crested Crane is a sub-species of the Grey crowned crane and its one of the species many appreciate seeing on a Uganda birding tour. The Crested Crane appears on Uganda’s national symbols, it’s on the right side
of the national coat of arms and in the center of the national flag.

 

About the Grey Crowned Crane

The Crested Crane is a tall bird about three feet (3ft) tall. The plumage is a combination of white, yellowish and pearl grey, around the head there’s a combination of red in the wattles, white on the sides and black forehead, crest is yellowish. The bird stands with tall slim legs that help in wading through the grasses and has a long slender neck just like its legs. Its wingspan is as wide as 6.5ft as it spreads its beautiful colors. The Crested Crane walks with majesty expressing lot of beauty and serenity just like the country it represents. Both sexes may look similar but males tend to be slightly larger and the young birds are greyer than adults. This is one of the most colorful birds to see on a Uganda birding safari.

The Grey Crowned Crane Habitats

They generally inhabit dry and open areas but nest in wet areas like the wetland marshes, lakes and river margins, damp fields and in cultivated plains. The Crested Crane can be seen in the open savannah plains of Murchison Falls National Park and some other places in the country.

What does the Grey Crowned Crane feed on?

Crested Crane foods are varied since its omnivores. Their food ranges from plant matter like sedge seeds, millet, rice, corn, peas, crustaceans, mollusks to insects and animal matter like grasshoppers, flies, fish. They also feed on amphibians and reptiles but mostly prefer heads of grasses and sedges.

The Crested Crane’s social life

They are monogamous in nature (they have one partner for life) though they appear in flocks for feeding. They are excellent in dancing and if your lucky to see this dance on a bird watching safari in Uganda it will be the best bird experience. It’s the time when its beauty is at its fullest.
The Grey Crowned Crane is more sedentary with not much migration patterns.
When it comes to making a call, the Grey Crowned Crane makes deep, booming love calls involving inflation of the red wattle. Its more of a honking noise.
The Grey Crowned Crane lives much longer than many other birds, it lives to up to 22 years in the wild.
Choose to Safari Uganda and see lots of beautiful birds, discover why the Crested Crane is Uganda’s prestigious bird and a lot more.
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