These are some of the Albertine rift endemic birds sighted on a Uganda birding tour.
Strange Weaver (Ploceus alienus)
The Strange Weaver is a small bird in the ploceidae family many known as weavers. The name originates from the nests intricately woven from vegetation that the birds make. A strange weaver is 14cm from beak to tail weighing 19-24g. The plumage of the male bird is black from head to neck extending to the breast as a teardrop shaped bib, chestnut is brown and plain olive in the upperparts. For a birder on a Uganda birding safari keenly listening to the “wee chow-chow-chow” rhythmic call could help locate the Strange Weaver. The strange weaver lives in montane evergreen bamboo forests ranging at 1500-3000m above sea level. The bird feeds mostly on insects, berries, seeds, caterpillars (Lepidoptera). In Uganda it breeds between June and October and this is the best time.
Grauer’s Swamp-warbler (Bradypterus grauer)
The Grauer’s Swamp-warbler lives in montane swamps of 1950-2600m and even outside the forest. The bird is 17cm from beak to tail and weighs about 15-19g. The head is dark on the top and side with long tail feathers. The bird lives on top of stems and twigs where it sings from with repetition. The bird feeds on small beetles, caterpillars, spiders, seeds and other small insects. Grauer’s Swamp-warbler is a sedentary bird and does minimal movement outside its habitat.
Grauer’s Warbler (Graueria vittata)
Another Albertine rift endemic bird species to be seen on a bird watching tour in Uganda is the Grauer’s Warbler 14 cm and 14–18 g. It lives in dense vegetation areas. The plumage is dull greenish olive, pale-barred face and underparts, dark greyish-olive on the head, with a strong bill. The bird makes a gently rising “hrrrrrrrrrr” sound lasting 1.5 seconds but repeated in intervals. Feeding of the bird is mainly on insects like beetles, weevils (Curculionidae), small ants and caterpillars. The best season to see colorful Grauer’s Warblers when they are breeding in Uganda is during the month of March.
Regal Sunbird (Nectarinia regia)
Regal Sunbird is a small bird species in the family Nectariniidae. The plumage of the adult male is comprised of the iridescent emerald-green upperparts dark wings and tail, boldly-marked red and yellow breast and belly. The female’s plumage is dull olive in the upper parts, yellowish faintly streaked underparts. The Regal Sunbird is more easily distinguished by more olive upper parts and more uniform yellowish olive underparts. The bird is 10-11cm and about 5-8g. Regal Sunbird feeds on plant materials including mistletoes feeding either singly or in pairs. It breeds between April to June and October in Uganda.
A Uganda bird watching safari is a mazing with a lot of colorful birds. In the next article will be a detail of more of the Albertine rift endemic bird species.
For all of the beautiful 50% of the Albertine rift endemic bird species, plan a birding safari to Uganda and have great memories.