(Last Updated On: February 3, 2021)

African birds are of varied traits, outlook, nature, and habitats. With more than 2500 species of birds, Africa is a birdwatcher’s paradise. From tiny, brightly colored sunbirds and feisty little bee-eaters, to sinister marabou storks, prehistoric shoebills, and even penguins, African birds are available in a virtually infinite variety of sizes, shapes, and hues.

List of African birds

While wildlife-lovers are likely to focus first and foremost on Africa’s safari animals, its fantastic birds ought to positively not be neglected. If you’re heading off on an African safari, otherwise you simply wish to discover out about a number of the wonderful birds of Africa, this listing is a great place to get to know them.

1. Pied kingfisher

There are over 100 species of kingfisher dwelling on each continent besides Antarctica, however, in Africa, the most typical is the pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), one of the African birds.

These hanging black and white birds stay close to lakes and rivers, the place they are often seen hanging out in pairs on the riverbank, or hovering over the water before diving all the way down to catch small fish or massive aquatic bugs. Pied kingfishers can swallow their meals in flight, which means they will fly further out over a body of water than different kingfishers.

Where to see pied kingfishers in Africa

The greatest solution to see pied kingfishers is to take a ship journey alongside a river and look out for them on the water’s edge. They make their nests in holes within the riverbank, so in the event, you see a piece of mud wall filled with holes, this could be a kingfisher colony. The one above was photographed in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

2. Marabou stork

The marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) is usually known as the ‘undertaker bird’ due to its cloak-like wings, hunched posture, and sinister-looking expression. They are scavengers, and might ceaselessly be seen feeding around Africa’s landfill websites and garbage dumps.

They’re completely huge and had been as soon as regarded as the biggest dwelling bird, with a wingspan properly over three meters (however are actually recognized to be overwhelmed by the wandering albatross which has a wingspan of as much as 3.7 meters).

The marabou may be very straightforward to identify because of its monumental size, highly effective bill, and bare head. Like vultures, the shortage of feathers on its face helps this bird preserve clear when scavenging amongst rotting waste, one of the African birds.

Where to see marabou storks in Africa

Marabou storks aren’t afraid of people, and might even be fairly intimidating. These birds nest in colonies in treetops, and in addition to seeing them on safari in East African nations like Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia, you’re very more likely to spot them in and across the cities.

3. Cattle egret

The cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a medium-sized white bird associated with the heron. They collect in flocks around wetlands, farmlands, and grasslands, and with their dazzling white plumage, they’re very conspicuous.

Unlike many African bird species which have suffered because of human exercise and lack of habitat, cattle egrets have tailored to dwelling alongside people and are sometimes discovered close to herds of cattle, the place they forage for small creatures disturbed by the mammals, one of the African birds.

Where to see cattle egrets in Africa

Cattle egrets are quite common birds throughout the entire of Africa, and you’re virtually assured to see a number of in your safari or journey. Look out for them around lakes and marshy areas, and alongside herds of buffalo or zebras, one of the African birds.

4. Black-headed weaver bird

Weaver birds (Ploceidae) are well-known for his or her extraordinary nest-building skills. To entice a mate, the male weaver bird builds an elaborate nest from grass, leaves, and twigs, in the hope {that a} feminine will approve it. Only one of the best nest-builders win the women.

There are around 60 species of weaver birds, most of which stay in sub-Saharan Africa, with just a few species in tropical Asia and Australia. They range in color from speckled brown and black to brilliant yellow and red, however, all of them have quick, conical beaks excellent for weaving nest and consuming their favorite meals: seeds.

Where to see weaver birds in Africa

Weaver birds have a tendency to construct their nests close to the water the place they are going to be more durable for predators to achieve, so look out for them alongside riverbanks and on the shores of lakes, one of the African birds.

birds of Africa

5. Sunbird

Sunbirds are Africa’s reply to hummingbirds: small, vibrantly-colored birds that feed totally on nectar. However, not like hummingbirds, most sunbirds can’t hover, so that they should perch on the flower as a way to drink. Only the males are so fantastically vibrant; feminine sunbirds are normally a lot drabber.

Hummingbirds stay solely within the Americas, whereas sunbirds are solely Asian and African birds. This is a captivating instance of one thing known as ‘convergent evolution’ – the place two separate species have independently developed to be related because of their related habitats and existence.

Sunbirds (Nectariniidae) have a long, curved bill that they use to probe the nectar from the flower. However, if they can’t reach, they’ll use its sharp tip to chop the flower open on the base to achieve the sugary deal.

Where to see Sunbirds in Africa

There are over 80 species of sunbird in Africa: two of probably the most commonly-spotted are the Southern Double-collared Sunbird and the collared sunbird (which has a green head and yellow abdomen).

Sunbirds are discovered principally in tropical areas of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, the place they’re most simply noticed in gardens and plantations the place flowers could be discovered, one of the African birds.

6. African wood owl

Like most owls, the African wooden owl (Strix woodfordii) is nocturnal. It’s a medium-sized owl (about 30 cm tall) that lives in forest or woodland areas. It eats principally bugs equivalent to grasshoppers, moths, and beetles, in addition to occasional small reptiles, mammals, or birds.

Africa is house to more than 30 species of owl. In some African cultures, owls are seen as bringers of dangerous luck or sick health, which poses a problem to their conservation, one of the African birds.

Where to see African wooden owls in Africa

Countries you may even see an African wooden owl embody DR Congo, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Gambia, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya. I noticed this one perched within the rafters of our safari lodge in Kibale, Uganda.

7. Superb starling

Starlings could be discovered right throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, however, the African ones are notably enticing due to their spectacular iridescent plumage, which is why they’re additionally generally often known as ‘glossy starlings’.

The species you’re almost certain to see in your African safari is the excellent starling, which has a metallic blue and greenback and a copper-colored abdomen with a slim white stripe.

Superb starlings (Lamprotornis superbus) typically stay in savanna, open woodland, gardens, and fields. You will repeatedly see flocks of them hopping alongside the ground, on the lookout for beetles, termites, and worms. They are typically fairly tame and unafraid of people.

Where to see excellent starlings in Africa

Superb starlings are widespread in East Africa, particularly Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania, however, they can be discovered all through sub-Saharan Africa. I met this gorgeous chap in Tanzania, however, I additionally produce other images of comparable starlings from South Africa.

8. Lovebirds

Lovebirds (Agapornis) are small, brightly colored parrots, most no more than 15 cm long. There are 9 species, of which eight are native to the African continent and one to Madagascar. Fossils of ancestors to at present’s modern lovebird species have been present in South Africa, relationship back 1.9 million years.

Lovebirds get their name from the truth that they’re social and affectionate. Pairs of those cute African birds mate for all times, spend long durations sitting collectively, and even feed one another.

If one partner dies, the opposite will typically pine and present erratic behavior that has been likened to melancholy. Because of their small size, enticing coloring, and customarily sociable disposition, lovebirds are sometimes saved as pets.

Where to see lovebirds in Africa

Most lovebirds are present in equatorial and southern Africa. Look out for them particularly in Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Ethiopia.

9. African penguin

While not a bird you’re more likely to see on a typical safari, no article about African birds could be full without mentioning African penguins. Because sure, though penguins are more usually related to Antarctica, you may see penguins in Africa if you realize the place to look.

African penguins are fairly small – about 60-70 cm tall, and like all penguins, they can’t fly. They’re very charismatic birds and have a loud, donkey-like bray, which has given them the nickname ‘jackass penguins’.

African penguins mate for all times and spend about 10 months of the year looking for fish out at sea, returning to the identical colonies each year to breed. Unfortunately, their numbers have dramatically declined lately, and they’re now listed as endangered by IUCN.

Where to see penguins in Africa

African penguins can solely be discovered within the very south of the continent, primarily in South Africa and Namibia. There’s a very in style penguin colony at Boulders Beach and Foxy Beach close to Cape Town. The greatest time to see them right here is throughout the nesting season, from March to May.

10. Yellow-billed stork

Yellow-billed storks (Mycteria ibis) are medium-sized wading storks that stay around rivers and wetlands, preying primarily on small freshwater fish, in addition to crustaceans, frogs, bugs, and worms, one of the African birds.

These birds are intelligent and fast to adapt. When searching, they use one foot to stir the riverbed, disturbing any potential prey from its hiding place. Once the animal is shifting, the stork, with its quick reflexes, is ready to rapidly seize it from the water.

Where to see yellow-billed storks in Africa

Yellow-billed storks are primarily discovered around freshwater wetlands and lakes in Eastern and Southern Africa, from Senegal all the way down to South Africa, in addition to in some elements of Madagascar.

11. Augur buzzard

The augur buzzard (Buteo augur) is one other massive African bird of prey. Like eagles, buzzards are highly effective predators with spectacular eyesight, however, they are typically smaller than eagles and their tails are more fan-shaped. The augur buzzard is especially distinctive due to its brilliant white stomach and speckled wing ideas.

Augur buzzards feed on small vertebrates, reptiles, and small mammals, and birds, in addition to bugs and carrion. They normally hunt from a perch, on the lookout for prey by sitting on a tree or rock, however, you may additionally see them hovering and hovering overhead, one of the African birds.

Where to see augur buzzards in Africa

The augur buzzard is just present in eastern and southwestern Africa, the place it’s fairly widespread. Look out for it in elevated savanna grasslands and the decrease slopes of mountainous areas in nations together with Sudan, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

12. African sacred ibis

With its brilliant white body, blackhead and tail, and long, elegantly curved bill, the sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) is among the most distinctive African birds. It’s native to Africa and the Middle East, and options closely in Egyptian mythology, related to Thoth, the god of knowledge and writing, who’s depicted with the top of an ibis.

Sacred ibis is medium-sized wading birds. They stand about 60 cm tall and have a wingspan of about 120 cm. They hand around in flocks and primarily eat bugs, worms, fish, frogs, and crustaceans.

Where to see African sacred ibis in Africa

In Roman instances, these birds had been widespread all through North Africa, the place they had been even bred in farms to offer inventory for religious sacrifices. Today they’ve unfolded south and might now be discovered throughout sub-Saharan Africa. I noticed these 5 in Tanzania, the place they’re notably widespread.

13. Swamp flycatcher

The swamp flycatcher is a small sparrow-like bird that, as its name suggests, eats primarily flies and different flying bugs, which it catches in mid-air. It prefers to stay in moist shrubland and swampy areas and is more durable to identify than a number of the bigger or more vibrant birds on this listing.

birds list of africa

Where to see swamp flycatchers in Africa

Swamp flycatchers (Muscicapa aquatica) could be discovered all through tropical sub-Saharan Africa, together with within Benin, Ghana, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, one of the African birds.

14. Helmeted guinea fowl

The helmeted guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) is a ground-dwelling African bird, in regards to the size of a hen, with a featherless head and a round body lined with spotty black and white feathers.

They’re sociable birds and hand around in massive flocks, typically following herds of bigger mammals like zebras, antelopes, and monkeys on the lookout for meals like bugs and seeds. They additionally play a significant position in maintaining ticks, locusts, and flies beneath control.

As far back as historical Roman instances guinea fowl had been prized for his or her meat, eggs, and feathers. Today they’re hunted for consumption and likewise saved as home animals.

Where to see guinea fowl in Africa

There are 6 species of guinea fowl native to Africa; all of them could be discovered throughout sub-Saharan Africa is primarily open habitats like grasslands and savanna the place they’re simply noticed. In teams, they are often very noisy and fairly humorous to look at as they madly scurry about.

15. Yellow-billed kite

The yellow-billed kite (Milvus aegyptius) is a medium-sized bird of prey you can recognize from its brilliant yellow beak and feet and V-shaped tail. These birds measure about 55 cm tall and have a wingspan of as much as 1.5 meters.

Kites are quick and fast fliers, able to sudden bursts of pace, and might catch and eat bugs in flight. They are additionally scavengers and are daring round people, even generally stealing meals from picnic tables or different birds.

Where to see yellow-billed kites in Africa

Yellow-billed kites aren’t thought-about threatened and could be seen all throughout sub-Saharan Africa in virtually all varieties of habitats and even city areas. I photographed this one flying low over the shore of Lake Victoria at Entebbe, Uganda.

16. Oxpecker

The oxpecker is one other characterful African bird that you’re virtually assured to see in the event you do a recreation drive or safari in Africa.

There are two varieties of oxpecker: red-billed (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) and yellow-billed (Buphagus africanus), and each stays fortunately alongside massive mammals like buffalo, giraffes, and zebras, consuming the flies and ticks that feast on the blood of those animals.

However, whereas this would possibly seem to be an ideal relationship – the oxpecker will get a superb meal whereas the animal will get aid from parasites – the story has a darker aspect. Oxpeckers’ favorite meals are definitely blood, and whereas they do eat ticks, additionally they open up wounds and eat the flesh and blood of their hosts.

Where to see oxpeckers in Africa

Oxpeckers are widespread to the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa, and you’ll simply spot them in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and more. Look out for them wherever you see massive mammals; there’s sure to be an oxpecker perched on somebody’s head or back, one of the African birds.

17. Tawny eagle

The tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) is a medium-sized eagle recognizable by its lighter brown head, darkish brown body, and feather-covered legs (not all eagles have this; people who do are known as ‘booted eagles’).

This bird prefers semi-dry habitats like desert areas and open savanna plains and primarily hunts small mammals, although they can even scavenge for carrion and even steal meals from different birds.

Where to see tawny eagles in Africa

The tawny eagle is among the commonest varieties of eagles in Africa. There is a declining inhabitant in North Africa in nations like Morocco, Mali, and Chad; however, your greatest probability of seeing one is both in east Africa (together with Kenya, Tanzania, and DR Congo), the place they’re probably the most regularly-sighted brown eagle, or in southern Africa, the place they’re ceaselessly noticed in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and a few elements of Namibia and South Africa.

18. Common Ostrich

The ostrich (Struthio camelus) is the biggest dwelling bird. It’s far too heavy to fly, however, it’s the quickest bird or animal on two legs and might dash at over 70 km/hr, protecting as much as 5 meters in a single stride.

Their long legs can be highly effective weapons, capable of kill a human, or a would-be predator like a lion, with a single kick. They lay monumental eggs that are the biggest of any dwelling bird and are roughly the equal of two dozen hens’ eggs.

Ostriches spend the winter months in pairs or alone, however throughout breeding season these African birds congregate in ‘herds’, with one male presiding over a harem of as much as seven females, one of the African birds.

Where to see ostriches in Africa

Ostriches are widespread throughout the entire of Africa, all the best way from North Africa (together with Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco) to East and Southern Africa.

They favor grasslands and savanna areas just like the Serengeti and Maasai Mara, the place they’re pretty straightforward to identify due to their size. In South Africa, you may also go to ostrich farms if you wish to stand up shut.

19. African wattled lapwing

The African wattled lapwing (Vanellus senegallus), also called the wattled plover, is a medium-sized brown wading bird with long, brilliant yellow legs, a white brow, and brilliant red and yellow wattles on its face.

It’s fairly a loud bird and makes a loud peep-peep-peep call, which you will properly hear before you see it. Wattled lapwings principally feed on bugs together with locusts, beetles, and termites.

Where to see wattled lapwings in Africa

These African birds are non-threatened and are widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and might normally be noticed in moist lowland areas, like damp grasslands and marshlands. I photographed this one in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

20. Secretary bird

The secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is among the most impressive-looking birds of Africa. Standing more than 4 feet tall, this principally ground-based bird of prey is immediately recognizable from its long pink legs, naked red face, and sharp, curved yellow beak.

It’s thought the name comes from the concept that with its knee-length black ‘pantaloons’, black ‘coat’, and quill-like head feathers, this bird appears a bit like a 19th-century clerk or secretary.

Secretary birds are considered one of solely two birds of prey that hunt on the ground as an alternative to the air (the opposite is the South American caracara). They eat small rodents, amphibians, and reptiles, and famously use their sharp claws and highly effective feet to stomp their prey to die.

Where to see secretary birds in Africa

The secretary bird is normally discovered within the open grasslands and savanna of the sub-Saharan area, from Senegal to Somalia and all the way down to South Africa.

veautiful birds of Africa

21. Hamerkop

Hamerkops could seem like geese, however, they’re most intently associated with pelicans and shoebills. They’re wading African birds with partially webbed feet, about the identical size as a duck.

Their name, which suggests ‘hammerhead’ in Afrikaans, is claimed to come back from the brown crest on the back of the top, which along with the broad bill, makes them seem like a hammer.

Hamerkops (Scopus umbretta) is well-known for the large, cumbersome nests they construct in timber. Nests can attain as a lot as 5 feet throughout and are sturdy sufficient to help the burden of an individual. Each breeding pair could make three to 5 nests per year, although lots of them go unused.

Where to see hamerkops in Africa

Hamerkops could be discovered throughout the entire of sub-Saharan Africa near shallow water, equivalent to rivers, reservoirs, marshes, and estuaries, one of the African birds.

Their enormous nests are straightforward to identify, and in the event, you see one there’s a superb probability the owner will not be too distant. I photographed the one above in Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Uganda.

22. Grey topped crane

Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum), or Crested Cranes, attain about 1 meter tall, with a wingspan of two meters. They’re one of many best African birds to recognize due to their brilliant red throat pouch, white face, blue eyes, and attention-grabbing crown of brilliant gold feathers. They are considered one of solely two varieties of crane that may roost in timber.

Like many birds, Grey Crowned Cranes have an elaborate mating dance involving bowing, leaping, spreading their wings, and hopping. But they don’t simply do that throughout the mating season – you may even see this display at any time of year, so have your digicam prepared!

Grey Crowned Cranes are endangered, due to habitat destruction and persecution by some farmers, who see them as pests.

African birds

Where to see gray topped cranes in Africa

Grey Crowned Cranes could be discovered throughout Eastern and Southern Africa, together with Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. It’s additionally the national bird of Uganda and seems within the center of the nation’s flag.

23. Lilac-breasted curler

The lilac-breasted curler is arguably one of many prettiest and most vibrant of all African birds. It’s a part of the curler family, which get their name from the wonderful aerial acrobatics they carry out.

Lilac-breasted rollers (Coracias caudatus) are extremely territorial and can violently defend their nests, even taking up a lot greater birds. During breeding season the males fly high before diving and swooping down whereas making loud calls to draw females, one of the African birds.

Where to see lilac-breasted rollers in Africa

These birds are discovered all through eastern and southern Africa. They stay in open woodland and bushy savannah the place they will typically be seen perched alone or in pairs on a tree, looking for bugs and beetles, their unmistakeable brilliant plumage glowing within the daylight.

24. African fish eagle

There are 60 species of eagles, most of which stay in Europe and Africa. They are massive, highly effective birds of prey with extraordinary eyesight – eight instances stronger than that of a human – which permits them to identify even a tiny meal like a rabbit from more than a mile away.

The African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) is among the most iconic of all African birds of prey and one of the many largest African eagles, with a wingspan reaching up to an enormous 2.Four meters. Its distinctive screeching call is claimed to be one of many ‘sounds of Africa’. As its name suggests, it principally eats fish and has sharp barbs on its toes to assist its grip on its slippery prey.

Where to see African fish eagles in Africa

The African fish eagle is the national bird of Namibia and Zambia however with its enormous range it may be discovered right throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Since its major meal is fish, it may possibly normally be noticed perched prominently close to lakes and rivers. A very good place to see them is close to Lake Victoria in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

25. Red-throated bee-eater

There are 27 various kinds of bee-eater, and the red-throated bee-eater (Merops bulocki) is among the commonest in Africa. Like the sunbirds, they’re simply noticed due to their vibrant plumage and long, pointed beak.

As their name suggests, they principally eat bees and wasps, which they catch on the wing. To keep away from being stung, the bee-eater repeatedly bashes or rubs the insect on a tough floor, which forces it to launch many of the venom contained in its stinger.

Where to see bee-eaters in Africa

Bee-eaters are listed by IUCN as being of ‘least concern’ and have a big inhabitants, so shouldn’t be too laborious to identify. You can discover red-throated bee-eaters right throughout the tropical areas of Africa, together with within Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, and Uganda.

26. Kori bustard

Although it is among the largest and heaviest flying birds in Africa, the Kori bustard (Ardeotis kori) spends most of its time on the ground, taking to the air solely to flee from predators and landing once more as quickly as possible.

They can attain three feet tall and males can weigh as much as 40 kilos, which is sort of a distinction from the agile flamingo! Male kori bustards are regarded as the heaviest flying birds on the planet.

Sometimes you may even see them taking a ‘dust bath’ – it is because not like different African birds they don’t have a preening gland that produces oil to maintain their feathers clear from parasites.

In some elements of Africa, kori bustards are hunted for his or her meat.

Where to see kori bustards in Africa

These birds could be discovered throughout eastern and southern Africa, particularly in Botswana, Namibia, and Tanzania. They primarily stay in open grassy areas and savannas, and infrequently observe herds of zebras or antelopes on the lookout for creatures which were disturbed by their hooves.

27. Pelican

There are eight species of pelican, of which two, the great white (Pelecanus onocrotalus) and Pink-backed (Pelecanus rufescens) stay in Africa.

Pelicans are simply recognized by their long bill and enormous throat pouch, which they use to scoop up fish and drain away from the water before swallowing. It’s mentioned {that a} pelican can match 3 times as a lot of fish into its throat pouch as it may possibly in its abdomen.

They’re closely-related to shoebills, and fossil data present that the pelican family dates back as a lot as 30 million years!

Where to see pelicans in Africa

Pelicans are water birds, so you may see them around lakes, coasts, and rivers. You can see each Pink-backed and great white pelicans right throughout sub-Saharan and southern Africa, the place their conservation standing is assessed as being of least concern.

28. Saddle-billed stork

Another interesting-looking stork that you could be properly see in your African safari is the saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis). At virtually 5 feet tall, that is the tallest stork on the planet, taller than the big marabou, however not as heavy.

It will get its name from its eye-catching vibrant beak, with the vivid red bands and brilliant yellow frontal defend – the ‘saddle’. You’ll additionally discover it has an uncommon yellow and red patch on its chest: that is the ‘brood patch’, a space of naked pores and skin richly provided with blood capillaries that are used throughout breeding season to ensure body warmth can simply be transferred between the parent and the egg.

African fsafari birds

Where to see saddle-billed storks in Africa

Unlike marabou storks which type colonies, these birds stay alone or in pairs. They are widespread all through sub-Saharan Africa together within Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in East Africa, and the Gambia, Senegal, and Chad in West Africa. You can also see in them in South Africa, the place they’re thought-about endangered.

29. Shoebill

This scarily prehistoric-looking African bird captures the creativeness as a result of it actually does seem like the dinosaurs from which birds are descended, one of the African birds.

The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is big – measuring as much as 1.5 metres tall and with a wingspan of as much as 2.5 metres. It’s named after its monumental bill which some say appears like a shoe and which may develop as much as 24cm long and 20cm huge.

Although they’re principally silent, they use this enormous bill to make loud, scary clattering sounds to speak with different birds.

The shoebill (also called the shoebill stork) is a solitary bird, dwelling alone in marshy swap areas the place it may possibly sit nonetheless, ready for fish, frogs and water snakes, for long durations without shifting.

Where to see shoebills in Africa

There are solely about 5,000 to eight,000 of those wonderful birds left in Africa, dwelling in freshwater swamps in central and east Africa, together with Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, western Tanzania, and northern Zambia.

30. Vulture

Vultures are nature’s garbage collectors – they scavenge on the flesh and bones of lifeless and dying animals. While they like recent meat, they will eat flesh that’s so decayed it’s toxic to different animals, and a flock of vultures can decide a carcass clear in only a few hours.

These birds have few feathers on their heads and necks in order that once they bury their faces inside rotting carcasses, microorganisms and different parasites can’t infect them so simply.

A vulture’s senses of sight and odor are among the many better of any bird and they can discover a lifeless animal from a mile or more away. Because of this, vultures have enormous territories and spend some time flying around on the lookout for their next meal.

Where to see vultures in Africa

There are 23 vulture species, of which 11 stay in Africa. However, sadly they’re now threatened because of lack of habitat and battle with people, who see them as pests.

However you may nonetheless see vultures within the savanna areas of many sub-Saharan nations together with Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Look out for them perched in timber or, in the event you’re fortunate, feeding on an animal carcass.

31. African barbet

There are 43 species of African barbet, that are small, chunky and brightly-coloured African birds. They’re associated with toucans however they’re much smaller, solely about 20-25 cm long, with massive heads and a brief, thick bill.

Barbets are primarily solitary birds and feed on bugs and fruit, which they swallow complete after which later regurgitate the indigestible elements just like the seeds.

The bird within the photograph is a crested barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii), generally nicknamed ‘fruit salad’ due to its combined red and yellow plumage. They’re one of many more simply noticed barbets, due to their distinctive colors and the truth that they’re widespread.

Many barbets have bristles around their payments, which is how they get their name: from the French phrase ‘barbe’, that means ‘beard’.

Where to see African barbets in Africa

Barbets favor open woodland areas or scrub savanna with scattered timber and bushes. They’re principally present in southern Africa, in nations like Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa.

32. Hornbill

Hornbills (Bucerotidae) are native to Africa and Asia and are simply recognized by their long, curved bill. To help its weight, hornbills are the one birds which have their first and second neck vertebrae fused collectively. They even have very sturdy neck muscle tissues, one of the African birds.

There are 55 species of hornbill, of which 24 are present in Africa. These birds are available a large range of sizes, from the tiny black dwarf hornbill which is in regards to the size of a pigeon and lives within the African tropical rainforest, to the southern ground hornbill which lives within the savannas of southern Africa and has an almost 2-metre wingspan.

Hornbills are well-known for his or her breeding behavior: the feminine lays her eggs in a gap in a tree or crevice, after which utterly seals herself inside with mud and droppings, leaving solely a tiny opening. The male then brings her meals whereas she incubates the eggs.

Where to see hornbills in Africa

Of the 24 varieties of hornbill dwelling in Africa, 13 could be present in open woodlands and savanna, and the remaining are present in dense forests. Red and yellow-billed hornbills are pretty widespread throughout the entire of eastern and southern Africa, so you shouldn’t have any downside recognizing one in your African safari.

African birds

33. Flamingo

There are six species of flamingo, of which two stay in Africa: the better and lesser flamingos. These within the photograph are lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor), the smallest species, which I photographed at Lake Natron in Tanzania.

Adult flamingos could be 4 to 5 feet tall, however weigh solely 4 to eight kilos. That’s wonderful when you think about {that a} wholesome five-foot-tall human weighs round 100 lb – which most likely explains why these African birds can fly however we are able to.

Flamingos feed by scooping up mud from the lakebed and utilizing their specially-adapted payments to filter out small crustaceans and plankton. They’re pink due to the color of the tiny shellfish that they eat.

Where to see flamingos in Africa

Flamingos primarily congregate at particular breeding grounds around salty lakes, so that you’ll need to make a particular journey if you wish to see these wonderful African birds. However, if you may get to considered one of these locations, you’ll be rewarded with the spectacular sight of hundreds of flamingos all collectively. Breeding grounds embody Lake Natron in Tanzania, Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria, and Lake Elmenteita in Kenya, and Kamfers Dam in South Africa.

34. Cormorant

Cormorants are one other kind of African waterbird generally discovered around rivers, lakes, and estuaries. In Africa, the one you’ll most simply see is the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), which is available in two varieties: black and white-breasted, like these within the photograph above.

To catch fish, cormorants dive underwater and use their wings like fins to swim. But surprisingly for a waterbird, their feathers aren’t waterproof. That’s why you typically see these birds standing with their wings outspread, drying them in the sun, one of the African birds.

You’ll additionally discover all of the birds are going through the identical approach with their beaks open. It’s believed they face the solar after feeding as the heat aids their digestion of the chilly fish.

Where to see cormorants in Africa

Africa is house to a number of species of cormorants, together with great cormorants, topped, long-tailed, and Cape cormorants. In sub-Saharan Africa the most typical is the white-breasted, which is a freshwater-only bird and could be simply noticed around lakes and rivers throughout the complete area from west to east and all the way down to South Africa.

You will be able to photograph these guys on a ship journey on the Kazinga Channel, Uganda. Learn more about the best-safari-destinations-in-the-world.

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