Birds of Uganda

Birds of Uganda (List of Birds to Adventure on a Uganda Birding Trail)

A List of Birds to Adventure on a Uganda Birding Trail. Uganda boasts a rich avian diversity, with over 1,000 species recorded within its borders, making it a premier destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. From the lush forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to the vast wetlands of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s varied ecosystems offer habitats for an impressive array of bird species. Among its most iconic inhabitants is the African Grey Parrot, prized for its intelligence and striking plumage. Other notable species include the shoebill, a prehistoric-looking bird found in the swamps of the Nile basin, and the colorful African finches that populate the savannah grasslands.

Moreover, Uganda’s strategic location at the crossroads of the East African Rift Valley and the Congo Basin contributes to its exceptional avifauna diversity. The country’s diverse landscapes, ranging from snow-capped mountains to sprawling savannahs, provide a mosaic of habitats for both resident and migratory birds. Conservation efforts spearheaded by organizations such as the Uganda Wildlife Authority and BirdLife International have played a crucial role in safeguarding the country’s avian treasures. With its birding hotspots continually attracting enthusiasts from around the globe, Uganda remains a captivating destination for birdwatchers seeking to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of Africa’s vibrant avian life.


A List of Birds of Uganda

Creating an exhaustive list of all birds species found in Uganda would be extensive, but I can provide a condensed list highlighting some of the notable and endemic species found in the country. This list only scratches the surface of Uganda’s rich avian diversity, which includes over 1,000 species. Birdwatchers visiting Uganda can expect to encounter a wide variety of species ranging from waterbirds and raptors to forest-dwelling birds and colorful songbirds, making it a premier destination for birdwatching enthusiasts.

  1. African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus)
  2. Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)
  3. African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)
  4. Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum)
  5. African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri)
  6. Rwenzori Turaco (Ruwenzorornis johnstoni)
  7. Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis)
  8. Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)
  9. African Pygmy Kingfisher (Ispidina picta)
  10. African Skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris)
  11. Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius)
  12. Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)
  13. Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)
  14. Black Bee-eater (Merops gularis)
  15. Nkulengu Rail (Himantornis haematopus)


Where to See Birds of Uganda?

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in southwestern Uganda, is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity, including an impressive array of bird species. Birdwatchers flock to this lush montane forest to catch glimpses of elusive forest-dwellers such as the African Green Broadbill, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, and the handsome African Pitta. The park’s diverse habitats, ranging from dense undergrowth to bamboo zones, provide a haven for over 350 bird species, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics. Guided birding walks along well-maintained trails offer visitors unparalleled opportunities to observe and photograph these avian treasures in their natural habitat.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Nestled in the western region of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a biodiversity hotspot that attracts birding enthusiasts from around the world. The park’s extensive wetlands, including the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward, teem with waterfowl and shorebirds, offering superb opportunities for birdwatching safaris. Here, visitors can spot iconic species such as the African Fish Eagle, Pink-backed Pelican, and African Skimmer, alongside a diverse array of raptors, waterbirds, and migratory species. Boat cruises along the Kazinga Channel provide an unparalleled vantage point for observing the park’s avian residents in their natural habitat, while guided game drives through the savannah grasslands offer encounters with terrestrial species such as the Secretarybird and the Grey Crowned Crane.

Murchison Falls National Park

Situated in northwestern Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is home to an impressive avian population, thanks to its diverse ecosystems encompassing savannah woodlands, riverine forests, and the mighty Nile River. Birdwatching enthusiasts can embark on guided boat safaris along the Nile, where sightings of the majestic Shoebill Stork, African Skimmer, and Goliath Heron are almost guaranteed. The park’s extensive network of trails and game tracks provides ample opportunities for exploring its bird-rich habitats, with common sightings including the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African Finfoot, and Northern Carmine Bee-eater. Murchison Falls National Park offers a captivating birdwatching experience amidst breathtaking landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for ornithologists and nature lovers alike.

Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park, located in western Uganda, is renowned for its remarkable primate diversity, but it also offers a haven for birdwatchers. The park’s dense tropical rainforest is home to over 375 bird species, including the sought-after Green-breasted Pitta, African Grey Parrot, and Yellow-spotted Barbet. Guided forest walks and birding excursions led by experienced naturalists provide unparalleled opportunities to spot elusive forest-dwelling species amidst the lush vegetation. Moreover, the park’s extensive network of trails offers birdwatchers the chance to explore a variety of habitats, from swampy areas frequented by water-loving species to the canopy where colorful turacos and hornbills can be found.

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park, situated in the Albertine Rift Valley in western Uganda, is a biodiversity hotspot renowned for its unique birdlife. The park’s diverse habitats, including lowland rainforests, savannah woodland, and swampy marshes, support an impressive avian population of over 440 species. Birdwatchers visiting Semuliki have the opportunity to encounter rare and elusive species such as the Nkulengu Rail, Congo Serpent Eagle, and White-crested Hornbill. Guided birding walks along the park’s trails offer intimate encounters with these avian treasures, while boat safaris along the Semliki River provide a unique perspective on the park’s bird-rich wetlands.

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, offers a unique birdwatching experience amidst a mosaic of habitats ranging from acacia woodlands to papyrus swamps. The park’s proximity to the Equator and its diverse ecosystems make it a hotspot for bird diversity, with over 350 species recorded within its borders. Common sightings include the African Finfoot, White-winged Warbler, and the strikingly colorful Red-faced Barbet. Birdwatchers can explore the park’s diverse habitats on guided nature walks, game drives, and boat cruises, with expert guides providing insights into the park’s avian inhabitants and their ecological significance.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park, situated in the western region of Uganda, is famed for its dramatic mountain landscapes and rich biodiversity, including a plethora of bird species. The park’s montane forests and alpine meadows provide habitat for numerous endemic and montane bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Among the avian highlights are the Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, and the elusive Rwenzori Batis. Guided treks through the park’s diverse ecosystems offer birdwatchers the chance to spot these unique species amidst stunning mountain scenery, with experienced guides providing insights into the park’s ecology and conservation efforts.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park, located in the remote northeastern corner of Uganda, is a hidden gem for birdwatching enthusiasts. The park’s rugged landscapes, including expansive savannah plains and rugged mountains, support a diverse array of birdlife, with over 470 species recorded within its borders. Birdwatchers visiting Kidepo have the chance to spot sought-after species such as the Abyssinian Roller, Black-breasted Barbet, and the striking Karamoja Apalis. Game drives and guided walks led by knowledgeable rangers offer opportunities to explore the park’s bird-rich habitats and encounter its resident avian species amidst breathtaking wilderness scenery.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, nestled in the Virunga Mountains in southwestern Uganda, offers a unique birdwatching experience amidst its volcanic landscapes and montane forests. While the park is best known for its population of endangered mountain gorillas, it also harbors a diverse avian population, including several Albertine Rift endemics. Birdwatchers visiting Mgahinga have the opportunity to spot species such as the Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Dusky Turtle Dove, and Olive Woodpecker. Guided hikes through the park’s forests and bamboo zones provide intimate encounters with these avian treasures, with opportunities to learn about their behavior and conservation status from experienced guides.


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