Bird species in Uganda is one of the countries in the Africa the most attractive for bird watching, Uganda’s species are recorded within its borders, it offers easy access to several bird habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere.
Uganda is remarkable with diversity of 1,008 bird species that are recorded, the East African savanna, West African rainforest and semi-desert of the north.
The Uganda’s diversity and its variety of habitat, arid semi-dessert, rich savannahs, lowland and Montana rainforests, volcanoes and Afro-alpine zone. Uganda covers an altitude from 650 to 5000m.
Its only one bird which is endemic to the country, the ordinary fox’s weaver. However if one takes only East Africa into consideration then approximately 150 bird species and only about 10% of the regional checklist are found only in Uganda. The list of birds include seven of the 20 horn-bill species that are recorded in the region, these are five out of 14 honey guides, five out of 20 bush family as well as 13 members of the thrush family, ten fly catchers, 11 warblers, eight weavers, eight sun birds, four tinker birds, 3 kingfishers, four pigeons, 3sparrow hawks, 3 nightjars, 3 cuckoos.
Most birds are West African and Congolese forest birds that are very difficult to spot just that these other countries are poorly developed for Tourism.
The rain forests of western Uganda must be seen as the country’s most important bird habitat, and that is the greatest interest to birdwatchers, particularly if they are within the typical East Africa birds.
The alluring forests in Uganda are localized species in Semiliki, Kibale, Budongo, Bwindi forest. However, Kibale is the Uganda’s spot for forest birds and the nearby Magombe swamp. Even the relatively tame botanical gardens in Entebbe this throws up interesting species.
Therefore there is a wide range of birds in Uganda for a tour, visit water and forest birds of Entebbe, Lake Mburo ,Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth recorded to over 600 species ,these areas are best in East Africa to see the papyrus shoe-bill stork and Kidepo .
Birding safaris in Uganda, take place in several areas, Uganda has a number of birds in different national parks, fauna, conservations, environments and many more.
In Kidepo valley National Park we have the Ostrich as one of the largest birds in Uganda. The water bird Pelican which is found in Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth national park.
African darter is snake bird with an elongated Rufus neck it’s extended in serpentine fashions. While in Murchison falls National Park you can spot out the Goliath Heron, during boat trips in National parks.
Hamerkop is a medium water bird and with a medium size, this type of birds can be spotted on Mweya Peninsula in QENP. On a game drive in Murchison falls National Park. On game drive in Murchison falls National Park have an opportunity to spot the saddle billed stork which is one of the several storks in Uganda. Marabou stork is a macabre carrion-eating stork common in urban environment and rural areas.
Murchison falls, Semiliki wildlife Reserve and Mabamba swamp the shoebill the large grey swamp dweller which is the main motivating factor behind omithological tours to Uganda.
Flamingos, are sociable pink-white algae eaters that are seen in Katwe and flamingo crater lakes in Queen Elizabeth, others include African Fish Eagle unique grey snake-eating raptor.
African jacana, helmeted guinea which is commonly found in wetlands of Uganda.
Grey crowned crane, Uganda’s national bird which is commonly found in grasslands.
African grey parrot, they live in forested areas.
If one has an opportunity to visit the forested areas of Entebbe Botanical gardens you will visit the Great Blue Turaco, Eastern grey plantain-eater, Coucals, African emerald Cuckoo, Verreaux’s eagle-owl, largest owl species in the country and it’s mostly seen in Uganda during night drives.
After dusk in Murchison falls one can spot the standard winged nightjars which is mostly found on the road while heading to the top of the River other birds to spot include Pied Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, and Malachite Kingfisher.
Murchison falls has a number of birds these include Red-throated bee-eater, breeds in takk sandbanks on Lake Albert and the Nile.
Hoopoe, Lilac-breasted roller, tailed drongo, African Finfoot, Piacpiac this type of bird is commonly found in Murchison falls and Jinja, Black and white casqued hornbill, Jackson’s francolin, African skimmer, Black bee eater, African pied hombill, chocolate-backed kingfisher, forested white headed wood hoope, Red, Papyrus gonolek, bluebill, Red headed, and many more.
The bird species recorded in Uganda, the list of birds includes a total number of 1061 species. This list of birds are designed in sequence of families,species and orders . Ostriches are known for their flightless bird ,their natives to Africa.The Ostrich is one of the largest species with a long neck,legs with great ability to run at a high speed.
Grebes these are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds,the grebes have lobed toes very excellent swimmers and divers.The feet of the grebes are always placed far back on the body,this makes them quite ungainly on land.The grebes are over 20 species and Uganda iahbaits a total of 3 species these include the Great crested grebe,Eared Grebe,Little Grebe.
Shearwaters and petrels are the procellariids mainly in a medium-sized true petrels,there are characterized by unite nostrils with medium septum with a longer outer functional.the petrels are over 75 species worldwide but only 1 found in Uganda and that’s the Antarctic Giant Petrel.
Pelicans are very large water birds they have a distinctive pouch which is found underneath their beaks,the Pelicans are members of the order Pelecaniformes ,their feet are webbed with four toes.there are 2 species which occur in Uganda over 8 species worldwide in Uganda.
These include the Pink-backed Pelica and Great white Pelican.
Cormorants are family of medium-to-large coastal,these are fish-eating sea birds these include the shags and Cormorrants.
Plumage coloration varies the majority with mainly dark plumage,this type of species has different types the white and black the few are colourful,however Uganda has about 2 species out of the 38 species worldwide.the two species include long-tailed Cormorant,Darters,Great Cormorant.
Darters is refered to as snake-birds this typeof bird has a long thin neck,the neck gives a snake like appearance this happens when they give their bodies are submerged.Males have dark ,black brown plumage they have an erectile crest on nape and larger bill than the female. There is a paler plumage which females have underparts and on their necks.These darters have webbed feet with their short feet that are far back from the body.The plumage is cormorant like it will spread the wings to dry after diving worldwide your only able to spot 4 species including 1 in Uganda this is the African Darter .
African Bitterns,herons and Egrets these are under the family of Ardeidae .egrets and Herons are medium sized wading birds which have long legs and necks.
Bitterns have short necks and wary.Whihc is unlike th long-necked birds including the spoonbills,ibises and the Ardeidae which flies with their neck retracted.On the total number of 61 species worldwide there about 17 species which occur in Uganda .
these include the Grey Heron,Goliath Heron,Black-headed Heron,Purple Heron,Great Egret,Intermediate Egret,Black Heron,Squaco Heron,Rufous-bellied Heron,Little Egret,Madagascar Pond Heron,White-backed Night-heron,Cattle Egret,Striated Heron,Black-crowned Night-Heron,Great Bittern,Dwarf Bittern.
Hammerkop,its one of the medium-sized bird with shaggy crest. The Hammerkop’s head is curved bill and crest at their back which is reminiscent of hanner, hence it has plumage which is drab brown.
The stork is large, with long legs, wading birds with long, stout bills. The storks are bill-clattering and mute which is an important mode of stork communication at the Nest. The nests of storks are large and always reused for many years. There are about 19 species in the whole world of storks however Uganda is found to have about 8 species.
These include African openbill, Yellow-billed Stork,Abdim’s Stork,White stork,Saddle-billed stork,Woolly-necked stork,BlacK stork,Marabou Stork.
This type of bird is related to the storks,this kind of bird derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill.
IBISES AND SPOONBILLS
The Threskiornithidae this is a family terrestrial and wading birds these include the spoonbills and Ibises .
The Ibises and spoonbills have broad wings, long with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. These have strong fliers despite their weight and size, this type of bird is very capable soarer.
This bird has about 36 species in the whole world and 8 species are inhabited in Uganda.
These include Olive Ibis, Scared Ibis, Hadada Ibs, Scared Ibis, Glossy Ibs, African spoonbill, Eurasian spoonbill.
These are gregarious wading birds, they fly 3 to 5 feet high their found in the East and west Hemispheres. Flamingos feed on shellfish and algae they have oddly-shaped beaks that are adapted to separatesilt, mud from the food which they consume, these birds are unique, and in Uganda we have 2 species out of the 6 species I the whole world. The 2 species include Lesser Flamingo and Greater Flamingo.
Swans, Geese and Ducks
These birds are in family Anatidae including the duck-like waterfowl, ducks such as the swans and geese. These birds are modified because of their aquatic existence of webbed feet, feathers, and flattened bills these birds are excellent at shedding water which is due to oily coating. However their about 132 species worldwide and only 24 are inhabited in Uganda and these include, Fulvous whistling-Duck, white-backed Duck, White-faced whistling-duck, Comb Duck, Egyptian Goose ,Spur-winged Goose
Comb Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos), Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii)
,African Pygmy-goose (Nettapus auritus),African Black Duck (Anas sparsa),Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), EurasianTeal (Anas crecca),Cape Teal (Anas capensis),Yellowbilled Duck (Anasundulata),NorthernPintail (Anasacuta),Redbilled,Duck (Anaserythrorhyncha),HottentotTeal (Anashottentota),Garganey Anas (querquedula),NorthernShoveler (Anaclypeata), Souther Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina),Ferruginous Pochard (Aythya nyroca),Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula),Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa),Osprey (Pandiohaliaetus).
The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the Osprey. The Osprey is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey these include the eagles, hawks, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, keen eyesight and powerful talons. There are 250 species worldwide and 70 species which occur in Uganda.
African Cuckoo-hawk (Aviceda cuculoides0,European Honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus),Bat Hawk (Macheiramphus alcinus),Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus),Scissor-tailed Kite (Chelictinia riocourii),Red Kite (Milvus milvus),Black Kite (Milvus migrans),African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer),Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis),Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus),Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus),Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus),White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus),Rueppell’s Griffon (Gyps rueppellii),Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus),White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis),Beaudouin’s Snake-eagle (Circaetus beaudouini),Black-chested Snake-eagle (Circaetus pectoralis),Brown Snake-eagle (Circaetus cinereus)
,Banded Snake-eagle (Circaetus cinerascens),Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)
,Congo Serpent-eagle (Dryotriorchis spectabilis),Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus),African Marsh Harrier (Circus ranivorus),Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus),Montagu’s Harrier (Circus pygargus)
,African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus0,Lizard Buzzard (Kaupifalco monogrammicus),Dark Chanting Goshawk (Melierax Buzzard (Butastur rufipennis)metabates),EasternChantingGoshawk (Melieraxpoliopterus),GabarGoshawk (Micronisus gabar),Red-chested Goshawk (Accipiter toussenelii),Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk (Accipiter castanilius),Shikra (Accipiter badius),Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes),Red-thighed Sparrowhawk (Accipiter erythropus),Little Sparrowhawk (Accipiter minullus),Ovampo Sparrowhawk (Accipiter ovampensis),Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk (Accipiter rufiventris),Black Goshawk (Accipiter melanoleucus),Long-tailed Hawk (Urotriorchismacrourus), Grasshopper, EurasianBuzzard (Buteo buteo),Mountain Buzzard (Buteo oreophilus),Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus),Red-necked Buzzard (Buteo auguralis),Augur Buzzard (Buteo augur),Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina),Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga),Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax),Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis),Wahlberg’s Eagle (Aquila wahlbergi),Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii),African Hawk-eagle (Aquila spilogaster),Booted Eagle (Aquila pennatus),Ayres’s Hawk-eagle (Aquila ayresii),Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus),Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis),Cassin’s Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus africanus),Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus),Pygmy Falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus),Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni),Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus),Greater Kestrel (Falco rupicoloides),Fox Kestrel (Falco alopex),Gray Kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus),Red-necked Falcon (Falco chicquera),Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus),Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis),Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae),Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor),Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo),African Hobby (Falco cuvierii),Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus),Taita Falcon (Falco fasciinucha),Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus),Coqui Francolin (Francolinus coqui) and many more bird species.