East Africa is one of the richest bird areas in the world. With a wealth of
different habitats, often close to each other, it's quite easy to spot over 100
species in one day.
Although many of the birds are brightly colored and exotic looking, they are
generally quite easily recognized; within a day or two you will be identifying
the various species with ease! Their main habitats include water, open plains,
woodlands and farmlands.
On or near water, you will find bright pink flamingos, hammerkops, iridescent
kingfishers, plovers, herons, storks, geese, cranes, jacanas and of course the
magnificent African fish eagle. In certain places along the Kenyan coast, there
are breeding pairs of osprey as well.
The open savanna plains, where the majority of the big safaris take place,
offer excellent bird watching opportunities for some unusual ground dwellers.
The ground hornbill, at nearly 110 cm. tall, is one of the largest and most visible;
the tall secretary bird is also seen often. Eagles, vultures, and ostrich, the
largest birds on earth, are spotted frequently.
The smaller plains birds, such as the ox-peckers, snowy white egrets, brilliant
sunbirds and bustards are also found in abundance; you can't miss seeing birds
on any game drive!
Near the woodlands, you'll find yet more species with starlings of every color,
bee-eaters, drongos, hornbills, shrikes, the beautiful lilac-breasted roller,
barbets and guinea fowl.
Arriving into the big city airports, frequently the first birds spotted are
the urban and farmland dwellers, such as the wagtails and weaverbirds, with their
huge nest colonies.
Even a short two or three day safari will provide an excellent species count
for the ardent bird watcher; a longer trip will ensure a superb introduction to
the over 1,000 species found in East Africa.