Birds in Murchison Falls National Park unquestionably make Murchison falls park among the top Uganda bird-watching areas.
It is indeed a birder’s paradise with over 556 Uganda bird species that can be witnessed on your birding safaris.
The Uganda bird list of the park ranges from endemic species and migratory phenomenal bird species. These unspoken-for species flourish within the parks’ vegetation whistling, chirping, trilling, and rattling. Wow!!
Most of the birds in Murchison park are savannah birds, water birds, and forest birds and a few are Albertine rift endemics.
Did you know that the big five bird species are citizens in Murchison falls park? There is no doubt about this, the big five are 100% present.
These are the Shoebill, Grey crowned cranes, Great blue turaco, Long-crested eagle, and the Black and white casqued Hornbill.
The park is as well home to most of Uganda’s endangered and vulnerable bird species. These are the Shoebill, Grey crowned cranes, Vultures, and the Papyrus Gonolek.
Uganda birds in Murchison Falls National Park colonize the savannah grasslands, woodlands, riverine vegetation, and forest vegetation.
Have you seen the shoebill before while on your Africa birding safari? Well, am glad to tell you that prehistoric-looking Shoebill is a resident in the park.
A 4-5 hour Albert Delta launch trip will guarantee you sightings of the bird in relation to other water-associated birds.
These include Grey Crowned Cranes, African Jacana, Saddle-billed stork, Great White Pelican, Great Cormorant, African Darter, etc.
Murchison park is the best place in Uganda and East Africa to spot the Red-throated bee-eater on your Uganda birding tour. The bird is seen in a colony of over 200 individuals on the Nyamusika cliff towards the bottom of the falls.
The park hosts nocturnal birds like the Eagle Owl and 3 seasonal Africa’s distinctive nightjar species. These are the Long-Tailed Nightjar (Mar-Aug), Pennant Winged Nightjar (March-Sep), and the Standard-Winged Nightjar (Sep-Apr).
Where In Murchison Falls National Park Are Birds Spotted?
Uganda bird watching safaris in Murchison falls park are done in the Buligi area where variant savannah and woodland birds are present.
Some of these birds include the Secretary bird, Eastern Plantin Eater, Hooded Vultures, Guinea Fowls, Barbets, Kingfishers, Rollers, etc.
The delta area is another rewarding prize for birding tours in the park, especially for those interested in spotting water-related birds.
The other area is Budongo Forest which has Guinea-Congo biome bird species. It is the best place to for seeing forest associated birds.
The Yellow Footed Flycatcher and Puvel’s Illadopsis birds are only residents in the forest not anywhere else in East Africa.
The best way to see birds in Murchison Falls National Park is through boat cruises, nature walks, and safari game drives.
For successful and rewarding Uganda birding safaris, Murchison park should indeed be on everyone’s buck list.
Below, we have listed for you the top 100 most sought-after birds in Murchison Falls National Park.
Top 100 Notable Birds In Murchison Falls National Park | Sought-After Birds In Murchison Falls National Park
2. Grey Crowned Crane
3. Secretary bird
4. Papyrus Gonolek
5. Black-headed gonolek
6. African Jacana
7. Long-Toed Lapwing
8. Spur-Winged Lapwing
9. African Wattled Lapwing
10. Great White Pelican
11. Pink-backed Pelican
12. Crested Francolin
13. Egyptian Plover
14. Long-Tailed Cormorant
15. Great Cormorant
16. White-Faced Whistling Duck
17. Fulvous Whistling Duck
18. Egyptian Goose
19. Spur-Winged Goose
20. Black Crake
21. African Fin foot
22. Senegal Thick-Knee
23. Abyssinian ground hornbill
24. Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill
25. African Open-Billed Stork
26. Saddle-Billed Stork
27. African quail finch
28. Hammer Kop
29. Red-fronted Barbet
30. Black-billed Barbet
31. Double-toothed Barbet
32. Palm-nut vulture
33. Lappet-Faced Vulture
34. Hooded Vulture
36. Red-throated bee-eater
37. Cinnamon-Chested Bee-Eater
38. Speckle-fronted weaver
39. White-browed sparrow-weaver
41. Swamp flycatcher
42. Great Blue Turaco
43. Ross’s Turaco
44. Black-billed Turaco
45. White-crested Turaco
46. Eastern grey plantain-eater
47. African pied wagtail
48. Black-Crowned Night Heron
49. Striated Heron
50. Squacco Heron
|51. Grey Heron|
52. Goliath Heron
53. Purple Heron
54. Martial Eagle
55. Black-Breasted Snake Eagle
56. Long Crested Eagle
57. African Fish Eagle
58. Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl
59. Pel’s Fishing-Owl
60. Greyish Eagle Owl
62. Great White Egret
63. Cattle Egret
64. Little Egret
65. Sacred Ibis
66. African Darter
67. Common Ringed Plover
68. Great Snipe
69. Common Sandpiper
70. Collared Pratincole
71. Rock Pratincole
72. Grey-Headed Gull
73. White-Winged Tern
74. Malachite Kingfisher
75. Giant Kingfisher
76. Pied Kingfisher
77. Bare-Faced Go-Away-Bird
78. Helmeted Guinea Fowl
79. Western Crested
80. Denham’s Bustard
81. European Roller
82. Abyssinian Roller
83. Lilac-Breasted Roller
84. Long-Tailed Nightjar
85. Pennant Winged Nightjar
86. Standard-Winged Nightjar
87. African Gray Woodpecker
88. Brown-eared Woodpecker
89. African Harrier-Hawk
90. Black-winged Kite
91. Cassin’s hawk-eagle
92. Blue-headed coucal
93. White-browed coucal
94. African emerald cuckoo
95. Great spotted cuckoo
96. Pin-tailed Whydah
97. Red-billed oxpeckers
98. Yellow-billed oxpeckers
99. Yellow bishop
100. Northern red bishop
Details On Uganda Birds In Murchison Falls National Park
A. Order; PELECANIFORMES
A.I. Family; Balaenicipitidae
A.I (1) The Shoebill (Shoebill Balaeniceps rex)
The shoebill is on every birder’s bucket list to see. However, did you know about anything concerning this bird? Well, I will give you a hint.
A shoebill is also known as a whale bill and gets its name from its enormous shoe-shaped bill. This bird is in its own family of Balaenicipitidae in the order Pelecaniformes.
It is taken to be the world’s most vulnerable bird. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates the number of adult shoebills to be between 3,300 and 5,300 individuals left. Yes, that’s how vulnerable the species is!
The prehistoric-looking bird is said to be the only bird to have lived closest to the dinosaur error. It as well survived the historic ice age.
Did you know that the Shoebill’s flapping when flying is one of the slowest among other birds? When flying, it approximately flaps 150 times per minute.
The Shoebill is only native to swamps and wetlands of Central and East Africa. As shy as the Shoebill is, believe me, you cannot win a staring contest with this bird.
A Shoebill is a big bird with a body height of about 115cm (3.8 feet). Females weigh around 11 pounds and males weigh around 12 pounds.
Adults are usually grey and juveniles are browner. Shoebills have broad wings and long blackish legs. They have a small feathered crest on the back of their heads.
They have short necks and a big stork bill proportion to their body.
The eyes are yellowish or grayish-white in color and exceptionally large as well.
Usually, the shoebill claps the mandibles of its bill jointly as a display. This act produces a loud hollow sound.
Shoebills are solitary birds and are never found in groups of more than two. Unless when there is a food shortage supply then these birds may forage each other. Also in a breeding season, a female can rarely be seen with a female.
The males gular-flutter during the breeding season to keep cool. How amazing!!
Shoebills are non-migratory birds as long as good foraging conditions exist. However, they can make seasonal movements between their feeding and nesting zones.
On hot days, shoebills are seen soaring in the air above their territories with the neck retracted. They do this to cool their bodies.
Shoebill birds form monogamous pairs during the breeding season. The breeding season is usually at the start of the dry season. These birds clear a 3-meter diameter area to form their nest. It is usually located on a small island or floating vegetation.
1-3, normally 2 whitish eggs are laid. Incubation takes about 30 days until the eggs thatch. However, after thatching, the stronger young shoebill kills the other relatives as their mother watches on. This is done to avoid competition for food.
Development of young shoebills is slow compared to other bird species. The birds fledge at 95 days though their feathers do not fully develop for around 60 days.
After fledging, they cannot fly for about 105-112 days. They remain dependent on their parents for one more month. After that time the shoe bills are on their own and independent from their parents.
the average life span of a Shoebill in the wild is 35 years whereas in captivity is about 50 years.
Shoebills are carnivores and feast on lungfish, catfish, water snakes, or even young crocodiles. They spend most of their time in swamps and aquatic environments in await of this delicacy.
The bird is patient when hunting as it stands and waits, wades, and walks slowly until it spots its prey. The shoebill uses the “collapse” technique to capture its prey.
In this technique, the head and neck swiftly stretch in front into the water making the bird overbalanced and collapsing forward and downwards.
This is done continuously, however, after one collapse it cannot perform another straight away. It waits again until it gains balance and starts from the standing position again.
When the Shoebill collects its prey, it comes along with various vegetation. To remove the vegetation, the bird sways the prey from side to side as it keeps hold of the prey.
Since the shoebill doesn’t have teeth, when swallowing it usually decapitates the prey.
Shoebills are occasionally natives in freshwater swamps with dense marshes. These birds are strange as they hate flooded swamps with papyrus and reedbeds.
However, when in an area with deep water, there should be floating vegetation. If not the bird can drown if not saved since it cannot swim.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Shoebill is spotted along the Albert Delta area. The 4-5hour boat cruise will guarantee you sightings of the prehistoric-looking bird.
The Shoebill is also spotted in Mabamba swamp, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo NP, and Semuliki NP.
A.II. Family; Scopidae
A.II (2) Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)
A Hamerkop is an amazing medium-sized wading bird. It is the only bird in the family of scopidae. The Hamerkop is the closest relative to pelicans and the prehistoric-looking Shoebill.
The bird species is not endangered or vulnerable globally and it is not a migratory bird. It is found in tropical African countries.
A Hamerkop is a medium-sized bird having brown plumage with long legs. The shape of their head, a long bill, and crest at the back resemble a hammer, hence their name.
Size and weight
This bird usually stands an average height of 50cm. A female Hamerkop can weigh about 470g as the male weighs about 530g.
The Hamerkop is so active during the day and tends to rest at noon when the day is hot. They also are active around dusk. However, hamerkops are not nocturnal birds.
It mostly feeds in shallow water preying on fish and amphibians though, shrimps, insects, and rodents are taken too.
these wading birds are monogamous meaning that an individual can have one partner for the rest of her life.
They lay 3-9 eggs in their giant stick tree nests (about 1.5m in size across) in large trees. Incubation begins once the third egg has been laid.
If not disturbed the nests can be used for four years consecutively.
Hamerkops live around mangrove swamps and usually on the edges of lakes and rivers.
In Murchison Falls National Park, this bird is seen along the shores of Victoria Nile and on the backs of Hippos. When on an Albert Delta boat cruise, this adding bird cannot be missed.
A.III. Family; Ardeidae
A.III. (3) Black-Crowned Night Heron Nycticorax Nycticorax
Black-crowned Night Heron is sometimes called the Black-capped night heron. Others prefer to shorten its name and just call it night heron.
It is a medium-sized heron found on all continents of the world. The bird is not endangered or vulnerable.
Black-Crowned Night Herons are medium-sized with rather squat and thick proportions.
Their necks are thick, large, flat heads and dense thick pointed bills. The legs of night herons are short and in flight, they barely reach the end of the tail. Their wings are rounded and broad.
Adult Night herons are light grey and have a neat black back, a black crown, and a black bill. Immatures are usually brown having large white spots on their wings and unclear streaks on the underparts. They have yellow and black bills.
Size and weight
Black-Crowned Night Herons can weigh around 727-1014 g and have a length of 58-66 cm. Their wing span is at a length of 115-118 cm
These birds are funny as they spend most of their days perched on tree branches. In the evenings and at night, they forage in water and on land.
When flying, Night herons fold their heads back against their shoulders and if not observant enough, you may think that the neck disappeared.
the lovely birds are carnivores and feast on small fish, earthworms, frogs, snakes, and other aquatic insects. They usually stand still at water edges in wait to ambush their prey.
Black-Crowned Night Herons are among the 7 herons that are involved in bait fishing. What a wise bird!!
night herons nest in big colonies, and a tree can have more than a dozen nests. A male selects a nesting site and displays himself to attract a female. When a female chooses him, the construction of the nest begins.
They lay about 3-5 eggs. These eggs are incubated by both parents for around 24-26 days. The young cannot fly until they are 5 weeks old.
Night Herons like wetlands and swampy areas where they can hunt for their prey.
In Murchison Falls National Park, this heron is spotted along the Victoria Nile banks. However, sightings are guaranteed along the Albert Delta stretch.
A.III. (4) Squacco Heron (Ardeola Ralloides)
A Squacco Heron is a relatively small stout Heron that’s commonly found in areas with freshwater marshes, lakes, and ponds with reeds.
This bird is not endangered or vulnerable. It is a migrant bird however in Europe it migrates to the Sahara regions from February to May.
Identification; this bird appears buffy brown overall with a streaked head and back. In breeding, it ten grows a black and white mane. However, as in flight, it looks almost white when the white wings and tail are exposed
Size and weight; it is a small heron about 44-47cm long, its body is about 20-23cm, and its wing span at about 80-92cm. They weigh between 230-370 g.
Behavior; the Squacco heron mostly nests in small colonies with other wading birds in trees or shrubs.
Feeding; they are carnivores and feed on fish, snakes, frogs, and insects.
Reproduction; breeding of Squacco herons usually takes place in or immediately after the rainy season. They lay 3-4 eggs and incubation takes around 22-24 days.
The young ones are taken care of by both parents. After 30 days, they can fly and fledge at 45 days. After 45 days, they become independent.
Habitat; it likes residing in marshy wetlands in warm countries.
In Murchison Falls National Park, Squacco herons are hardly missed in the Nile delta region.
A.III. (5) Grey Heron (Ardea Cinerea)
A Grey Heron is a nice-looking quiet Heron, commonly spotted within wetland habitats such as marshes, tidal flats, and wet fields.
They are members of the family Ardeidae. The majority of the extant bird species in the family of Ardeinae are known as typical herons.
The bird is not endangered or vulnerable and it is not a migrant bird.
Grey herons have long legs that are brown, pinkish, or yellowish. Its plumage is generally grey, with a whitish neck. Adults hold a white crown, black eyebrows, and a black shoulder patch.
They have a black crest and along straight thick pinkish-yellow beak.
Size and weight
Grey herons weigh between 1.5-2kg with a length of 90-98cm and their wing span is about 175-195cm.
this bird is mainly seen singly however, sometimes small groups can be spotted. They stand quietly in or at the edges of the water and hunt less often in fields.
Just like other herons and egrets, it flies with its neck pulled in, to form a bulge. It flies with slow wing beats and glides for short distances.
They usually hunt during dawn and at dusk though can be active at other times of the day.
Feeding; Grey herons are carnivores and mostly feast on fish. They as well feed on snakes, frogs, small birds, and rodents depending on the season on what is available.
Reproduction; they are monogamous birds as they form pairs during the breeding season. Their breeding colonies are known as heronries.
They lay 3-5 eggs and both parents incubate them for around 25-26 days. The young herons can fly at around 50 days and becomes independent.
Habitat and where to see it in Murchison Fall National Park
It is spotted within the Paraa area (Nile delta region) while on a Nile boat cruise which is done mostly in the morning.
A.III. (6) Goliath Heron (Ardea Goliath)
The Goliath Heron is as well-known as a giant heron. It is a large wading bird in the family of Ardeidae. It is the world’s largest heron.
The bird is not endangered or vulnerable. It is not a migrant bird and it is mostly found in sub-Sahara Africa.
Males and females look alike. This incredible giant heron has slate-grey plumage, with a chestnut-colored head and a striped neck plus a white chin and throat.
It has black legs and yellow eyes with a yellow eye ring plus a strong dagger-like bill.
Size and weight
This heron species weighs over 4-5kg and is 6-7ft tall with a wingspan of 2m
Goliath Herons are solitary birds and territorial unless in the breeding season when they form pairs.
It hunts by standing in shallow waters and staring at the water at its feet. It can decide to move into deep waters because of its large size. Mostly it perches on floating vegetation preventing water from swelling around them.
A Goliath Heron is so aquatic as it rarely wanders away from water. It mostly inhabits shallow freshwater swamps, marshes, and wetlands. It cannot be found in areas of human disturbance.
The goliath heron is a carnivore and feeds on fish from the water, water snakes, frogs, and aquatic insects.
Reproduction; they lay 3-4 pale blue eggs. Both parents begin incubating the eggs after the first egg has been laid and it takes between 24-30 days.
Both parents take care of the young ones for about 40 to 80 days until they become independent.
In Murchison falls park, the Goliath Heron is mostly spotted while on a boat cruise to the Nile delta region.
A.III. (7) Purple Heron (Ardea Purpurea)
A purple is a wide-wading bird in the subfamily of Ardeidae.
The bird is mostly found in Africa and some parts of Europe and Asia. In Africa, the Purple Heron is not a migrant as populations are primarily sedentary.
No documentation is talking about the bird being endangered or vulnerable.
The Purple heron is more similar to the Grey heron. However, it is smaller, slender, and has darker plumage. Its bill is noticeably thinner and nearly level with a flat head.
Mature birds have black stripes along the rufous flanks of the neck. Immature purple herons have more rambling streaks and are sandy brown but not grey.
When flying, the dark underwings are seen of adults.
Size and weight
Purple Herons have a length of 78-90 cm and a wingspan length of between 120-150cm. They weigh between 525-1218 g.
Purple herons are secretive birds as they spend less time in the open. Its flight is slow as it retracts its neck and extends its legs along way behind the tail.
It’s most active during dawn and dusk and can rest with other birds in the middle of the day or even at night. When hunting it occasionally waits motionless for prey.
The heron species likes marshes and freshwater swamps or living near dense vegetation surrounding lakes or rivers.
it is a carnivore and feeds on fish, water snakes, amphibians, and aquatic insects. It hunts its prey by stalking or it can wait and ambushes its prey.
the female Purple Heron lays about 5 bluish-green eggs which are incubated by both parents. Eggs hatch after four weeks and can fledge after six weeks.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Purple Heron is a resident at the Nile Albert Delta stretch.
A.III. (8) Great Egret (Ardea Alba)
The Great egret is also called the Common Egret, Large Egret, Great White Egret, or Great White Heron. It’s a spectacular large gangly, long-necked White Heron identified from other white egrets.
It is a resident in tropical and warm countries. Worldly, the species is not vulnerable and neither is it a migrant in Africa.
Great Egrets are tall and long-legged wading birds. They have long S-curved necks with long dagger-like bills that are yellowish-orange.
However, the bill becomes darker and the lower legs lighter in the breeding season.
All their feathers are pure white and their legs are black.
Size and weight
Great Egrets weigh up to 1000g and have a length between 94-104 cm and a long wing span between 131-145 cm.
The egret species spend most of their time in wetlands waiting for their prey. They stand still and patiently wait for prey to pass by. When they spot the prey, they increase their speed and strike with a prod of their long bills.
These loving egrets inhabit freshwater swamps and marshes. They build their nest near water-surrounded areas in colonies.
The bird is a carnivore and feasts on fish, snakes, worms, and amphibians.
Great Egrets are monogamous and lay 3-4 eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for around 3-4 weeks. After thatching, the stronger younger egret kills the weaker siblings to avoid competition for food.
The surviving great egret fledges in 2-3 weeks.
When on your Uganda birding safari, it can be spotted in the Nile Delta area in Murchison Falls National Park.
A.III. (9) Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
The cattle Egret is in the family of Ardeidae. The species is found in the tropics, subtropic, and zones with warm temperatures.
Cattle egrets are mainly white with a yellow bill and greyish-yellow legs. They are moderately short with a thick neck and a bent posture.
Juveniles do not have colored plumes and have a black bills.
Size and weight
Cattle Egrets weigh between 270-512 g and have a length of 46-56cm. their wing span has a length of 88-96cm.
The beautiful egret stalk animals on the ground in savannah grassy plains and as well insects. They are less seen in water areas. They nest in small colonies and can mix with other species of herons.
Cattle egrets mostly move in flocks in pastures and fields. They focus on drier habitats, unlike herons.
They feed on particularly insects like flies, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, maggots, and other insects.
Cattle egrets are seasonally monogamous. Female cattle egrets lay 3-4 eggs.
Both parents incubate the eggs for 24 days. Young egrets fly at the age of 4 weeks and become independent at the age of 6-7 weeks.
In Murchison Falls National Park on your birdwatching tours, you can spot the bird on the Northern banks of the park. They are mostly sighted following buffalo herds.
A.III. (10) Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta)
The Little Egret is a nice-looking small heron similar to the Great Egret in the family Ardeidae.
The bird is found in tropical countries of Africa and on other continents. It is not vulnerable and in Africa, it is not a migrant.
The Little Egret is all snow white having a slim dark bill, long blackish legs, and yellowish feet. While in the breeding season, long plumes develop on their head and neck.
Size and weight
An adult egret is usually 55-65cm long and weighs between 350-550g. Their wing span is between 88-106cm.
This bird is social and is seen in small flocks with other birds. Little Egrets feed in the morning and late afternoon.
They stalk their prey when in water areas and chase after them on dry land. The birds are peaceful and quiet though they can make a harsh alarm call when disturbed.
These birds are usually spotted mostly within water habitats that have fish. Water habitats are mostly wetlands, lakes shores, rivers, and marshes.
They ate carnivore birds and feed on fish, amphibians, and as well small reptiles.
Little Egrets breed colonially. They lay about 3-5 bluish-green eggs with are incubated by both parents for around 3 weeks. The young little egrets can fly at the age of 6 weeks.
When birdwatching in Uganda in Murchison park, this bird is sighted along the Nile Delta region.
Other birds in the family of Ardeidae
- Little Bittern
- Black-headed Heron
- Squacco Heron
- Striated Heron
- Intermediate Egret
- Little Egret
A.IV. Family; Threskiornithidae
A.IV. (17) African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis Aethiopicus)
The African Sacred ibis is an amazing-looking species of ibis, a wading bird of the family Threskiornithidae native to Africa and the Middle East.
The bird species is about to become vulnerable as it exists in specific few places in the world. It is not a migrant bird.
This striking white ibis is easily identified by its bald black head, thick curved black bill, and black legs. They have white plumage with some black color edged on their wings and tails.
Size and Weight
Male sacred African Ibis is slightly bigger than females. They have a body length of 68cm and weigh between 1.35-1.5kg. the wing span of the bird is between 112-124 cm.
The African Sacred Ibis inhabits freshwater swamps or wetlands that are marshy and mud-flat. They nest in trees occasionally near water sources.
They are carnivore birds and mainly feed on insects, worms, fish, and amphibians. However, they at times feed on seeds.
this bird is monogamous. It lays up to 5 eggs which are incubated by both parents for around 30 days. The young African Sacred Ibis fledge at 37 days and become independent at around 6-7 weeks.
When birding in Uganda in Murchison falls park, the African Sacred Ibis is spotted around the Nile Albert Delta area. The best way to see this bird is when you are on a morning boat cruise.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Threskiornithidae
- Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
- Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
- African Spoonbill Platalea alba
A.V. Family; Pelecanidae
A.V. (21) Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
The Great white pelican is also called the Eastern White Pelican (White Pelican).
It is one of the largest flying birds. Mostly it is found in swamps in Africa.
The bird is rated as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species (IUCN)
In Africa, the bird is not migratory.
is truly unmistakable due to its enormous and awkward bill that has a yellow-orange throat pouch.
This amazing bird has pink legs with webbed feet and pink bare skin around its eyes that extends towards the bill.
Juveniles are browner overall while the adults are white
Size and weight
male Great White Pelicans are slightly bigger than the female. They have a body length which is between 140-180 cm, and a wing span between 226-360 cm.
Males weigh between 9-15 kg whereas females weigh between 5-9 kg.
Great White Pelicans are social birds as they live in groups. They are great swimmers and flyers as they can fly during the day and at night. They mostly fly in a V-shape.
It is difficult to see this bird elsewhere if not in water-logged areas. The Great White Pelican is silent though noisy during the breeding season.
This bird is found in freshwater swamps, marshes, lakes, rivers, and along water deltas.
Great White Pelicans mainly feed on fish. Normally, they fish cooperatively, swimming in a wide arc, rounding up the fish, and then scooping them into their pouch.
these sweet birds nest in quite big colonies. Females lay 2 chalky white eggs and are incubated for around 29-36 days.
Both parents take care of the chicks and fledge at around 65-75 days. Their life span goes over 16 years.
Great White Pelicans are spotted within the Paraa region and at the Nile Albert Delta area in Murchison falls park. The best way to see these birds is when you are on a boat cruise.
A.V. (22) Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens
The Pink-backed Pelican is a relatively small Pelican when it comes to pelican standards.
The bird is native to swampy African areas. As of 2016, the Pink-backed Pelican has been assessed for the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
In Africa, the bird is not migratory unless when there are natural disasters in its habitat area.
These great birds have pale grey plumage, a pinkish bill, a grey crest, and a pinkish hue on the back. (not in the deep pink of a flamingo).
Immatures have darker grey plumage.
Size and Weight
These pelicans weigh between 4-7kg. They have a length between 125-155cm and a wing span length of about 2.15-2.9m.
The bill of the Pink-backed Pelican has a length between 30-38cm.
These birds share habitats with the Great White Pelicans. However, they can easily be identified by their much smaller size and pinkish bill.
They like living in swampy and water-logged areas and nest in trees.
Pink-backed Pelicans are carnivores and mainly feast on fish and amphibians.
Females lay 2-3 white eggs which are incubated by both parents. The young pelicans fledge around 65-67 days and become independent afterward.
In Murchison park Uganda, Pink-backed Pelicans are spotted within the Paraa region just on the banks of the Victoria Nile. However, for guaranteed sightings, the Albert Delta area is highly recommended.
B. Order; GRUIFORMES
B.I. Family; Gruidae
B.I. (23) Grey Crowned-Crane Balearica regulorum
The grey crowned crane is also known as the African Crowned Crane, Golden Crested Crane, Golden Crowned Crane, and Crested Crane.
Its other names are the East African Crane, East African Crowned Crane, African Crane, Eastern Crowned Crane, Kavirondo Crane, and South African Crane
It is only endemic in Eastern and southern Africa. It is the national bird of Uganda.
The bird is not migratory and it is endangered.
Grey Crowned Cranes have grey bodies, white cheeks, and white wings with brown and gold feathers. They have long legs with red bright gular pouches under their chins.
The most amazing is the spray of golden feathers that form a crown around the bird’s head.
Size and weight
These beautiful birds are 1 m tall and weigh up to 3.5 kg. they have a wing pan of about 2 m.
Grey Crowned Cranes move in flocks and are territorial. In the breeding season, these birds put up quite a show as they dance, bow and jump.
Immature birds usually join them and the show becomes massive.
This bird likes nesting in wetter areas where there are swamps and marshes. They can as well inhabit grassy flat lands near lakes and rivers.
Grey-crowned cranes are omnivores as they feed on seeds and small worms, insects, and invertebrates.
The bird is monogamous and gets only one partner for life. Females lay 2-5 white eggs and are incubated by the two parents for about 28-31 days.
The young cranes fledge between 56–100 days and become independent forming their own families.
On your birdwatching safari in Uganda in Murchison Falls National Park, Grey Crowned Cranes are present in the Albert Delta area.
A 4-5 hours boat cruise to the Albert Delta is the best way to see the national bird of Uganda.
B.II. Family; Heliornithidae
B.II. (24) African Finfoot (Podica Senegalensis)
The African Finfoot is an aquatic bird. The bird is endemic in Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern Africa.
The bird is a non-migrant. Its population status is the least concern though its numbers are decreasing.
Identification; the African Finfoot has a long neck, a sharp red beak, and red-lobed feet. Their plumage is pale underneath and dark on top.
Behavior; in most cases, this water bird is seen singly or in pairs during the breeding season.
It is so secretive that’s why it is not known if they spend most of their time in the water or on land.
Habitat; this bird inhabits areas with lakes, rivers, streams, and freshwater swamps. However, these areas should have good coverage.
Feeding; the African Finfoot is a carnivore as it feeds on invertebrates, dragonflies, snails, and amphibians.
Reproduction; female Finfoots lay 2 eggs and she incubates them solely. The young African Finfoots fledge after a few days of leaving the nest.
In Murchison park, the bird is seen along the Victoria Nile, especially in the Nile Albert Delta area.
B.III. Family; Rallidae
B.III. (25) Black Crake (Zapornia Flavirostra)
A Black crake is a nice-looking water bird in the Rail and Crake family.
The bird is found in tropical countries in water-swampy areas. In Africa, the bird is not a migrant and its population status is the least concern.
It’s a lovely small blackish water-bird having a yellowish bill, reddish eyes, and long pink-red legs and toes.
Juveniles are browner and have duller legs and bills.
Size and Weight
The Black crake weighs about 69-118 g and has a body length between 19-23 cm. Its wing span is about 25cm.
this bird is not so secretive compared to other rails as it is seen in the open air. Usually, it’s a single bird unless in the breeding season when they make pairs. It walks with its head lowered down.
The Black Crake is mostly spotted along the edges of swamps and other water bodies. It prefers moist reedbeds and other emergent vegetation to forage on.
It is an omnivore bird as it preys on other living organisms and as well feeds on seeds. It eats small fish, worms, and amphibians.
The Black crake is monogamous as it pairs with another sex for only one breeding season.
The female lays 2-6 eggs that are either cream or white and incubates for around 13-19 days before hatching.
By 5-6 weeks, the chicks can fly and become independent at around 6-12 weeks.
On a birding tour in Murchison Falls National Park, the Black Crake is spotted within the Nile Delta region.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Rallidae
- African Crake
- Lesser Moorhen
- Allen’s Gallinule
- African Swamphen
C. Order; ACCIPITRIFORMES
C.I. Family; Sagittariidae
C.I. (30) Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius)
The Secretary bird is a large bird of prey endemic to Africa. This bird is in its own family of Sagittariidae.
It spends most of its time in Open savannah grasslands. The bird species is taken to be endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Identification; the Secretary bird is a large bird and resembles an eagle. However, the sexes of this bird are similar in appearance.
They have grey plumage, with a compressed dark crest and black flight feathers and thighs. Mature secretary birds have a red-orange faces with no feathers with long eyelashes. They as well have long legs.
Size and weight; the bird has a height of 1.3m and weighs between 3.74-4.27kg. it has a length of between 1.1-1.5m. its wing span is between 1.9-2.1m.
Behavior; Secretary birds are in most cases solitary birds as they are seen singly or sometimes in pairs.
They prefer walking to flying as they are always seen walking in savannah grasslands. They are most active in the first two hours of the day after sunrise as they don’t want the morning dew.
They usually feed in late afternoons and fly at great heights.
Habitat; Secretary birds like living in open savannah grasslands that are 1 meter or less of their height. This is because they don’t want to get obstructed in search of prey.
Feeding; the bird is a carnivore. Unlike other predator birds, the secretary bird hunts its prey on the ground, not in the air.
Its main delicacy is snakes, rodents, amphibians, and reptiles.
Reproduction; the bird mates for life. The female secretary bird lays 3 blue-green eggs which are incubated by both birds for around 50 days. Usually, the young chicks will fledge after 3 weeks.
The Secretary bird is present in the Nothern bank of Murchison Falls National Park in the Buligi game area. C.II. Family; Pandionidae
C.II. (31) Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
The Osprey is a predator bird also known as Sea Hawk, River Hawk, and Fish Hawk. It is the only one in the family of Pandionidae.
The bird is found mostly in tropical countries and it is not a migrant in Africa. Its population is increasing.
Identification; Ospreys are large birds that are hawk shaped. They have slender bodies with long narrow wings and long legs. When flying they make an M-shape when seen from below.
This bird is brown from the top and white at the chest, the wings have dark patches at the wrists.
Their heads are mostly white with a brown stripe over the eye. Juvenile Ospreys have white spots on their backs.
Size and weight; Ospreys have a length of 54-58 cm and weigh between 1400-2000 g. Their wing span is about 150-180 cm.
Behavior; this bird searches for fish in relatively shallow water by flying on wing beats circling in the sky. They grab the fish in the water by diving with their feet first.
Habitat; Opreys like living near water bodies like lakes, rivers, ponds, and deltas where it can fish. However, they build their nests on top of open trees or poles.
Feeding; the bird is carnivorous and mainly feasts on fish.
Reproduction; Ospreys lay typically 3 eggs and are incubated by both parents however, the eggs don’t hatch at once. Their life span is 30 years.
On your Uganda birding tour in Murchison park, the Osprey is spotted around the Paraa area. The other area is around the Nile Delta.
C.III. Family; Accipitridae
C.III. (32) Martial Eagle (Polemaetus Bellicosus)
The Martial Eagle is a large eagle native to sub-Saharan Africa.
This endangered attractive eagle is the only member of the genus Polemaetus. It’s the largest Eagle in Africa.
The bird species is not migratory in Africa.
Identification; this giant eagle has a short but prominent crest. Martial Eagles have dark brown plumages on their upper parts (head, back, and chest) with undersides covered in brown blotches.
In flight, its underwings are brown. The eyes of a mature eagle are yellow.
Size and Weight; Martial eagles weigh between 3-6kg and have a length of about 78-79cm. Their wing span is about 188-260cm
Behavior; the bird is solitary and it is rarely seen alone or two during the breeding season. They don’t tolerate or associate with other eagles.
They are shy birds as they fear to be near humans though they at times pass in the air near crowded places. It has superb keen eyes that can locate prey from 6km away.
Feeding; Martial Eagles are carnivorous and prey on small antelopes, other birds, snakes, reptiles, etc.
Reproduction; the eagles are monogamous and form pairs for life. The female eagle lays one egg and it is incubated for around 45-53 days.
Both parents take care of the eaglet and become independent at around 9-15 months.
When in Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, Martial Eagles are mostly spotted in the Buligi game area.
C.III. (33) Black-chested Snake Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis)
The Black Chested Snake Eagle is a large African bird of prey. The bird is endemic to Africa and its population status is the least concern.
Identification; the bird has a brown-black head and chest. Both sexes look similar with the same plumage.
Its breast is unmarked and has white underwings. It has bright yellow-orange eyes with the bill and legs being of pale grey.
Below the thighs of the Black Chested Snake Eagle is unfeathered.
Habitat; the eagle species likes living in open acacia grasslands. Forests and mountains are not good places for the Black-chested snake eagle.
They as well build their nests on top of open trees and electric poles.
Feeding; it feeds mostly on snakes hence, the other name though, it even feeds on lizards, insects, small mammals, and frogs.
Reproduction; the female only lays one white egg and it is incubated by the female alone for 52 days. After hatching, the eaglet remains in the nest for 90 days.
The Black Chested Snake Eagle can be spotted in the Buligi game area while on safari game drives in Murchison park Uganda.
C.III. (34) Long Crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)
A Long-crested Eagle is a giant African bird of prey locally known as Kamusungu-sungu in Luganda.
The bird is endemic to Africa and its numbers are increasing however its population status is the least concern.
Identification; it has blackish-brown plumage and long thin feathers that grow from the rear of the crown, usually held erect.
Their secondary feathers are black, barred with light grey, and have broad black tips. The primary feathers and underwings are white and have a black tail striped with pale grey.
Their eyes are bright yellow though, females have darker and their cere and feet are yellow, fading to white in males.
Size and weight; it has a body length of about 53-58cm and females weigh between 1,300-1,500g. The body weight for males is between 912-1,300g.
Behavior; the Long-crested Eagle is a solitary bird that is occasionally seen singly unless in the breeding season when they form pairs.
Habitat; the Long-Crested eagle likes inhabiting forest edges and moist woodlands. However, these particular areas mentioned have to be near grasslands, marshes, a river, or a lake.
Feeding; this eagle is carnivorous and mostly feeds on rodents.
Reproduction; females lay 1-2 eggs and incubate them solely for 42 days as the male-only provides food.
Taking care of the eaglets is the job of the male. The young ones fledge in about 53 days and remain dependent for about 2-3 more months.
When birding in Uganda in Murchison Falls National Park, the bird can be spotted in the Buligi plains.
C.III. (35) African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus Vocifer)
The African Fish Eagle also known as the African Sea Eagle is a large eagle species found in Sub-Saharan Africa.
They like areas with open water body sources where the food supply is abundant.
The population of the African Fish Eagle is stable and least concerned. It is not a migrant bird.
Identification; mature adult African Fish Eagles have a white head and are regularly brown.
They have a yellow featherless face with the head, breast, and tail all covered in snow white. Their eyes are dark brown and have a hook-shaped beak.
Size and Shape; the eagle species weigh between 2-3.6kg with a body length between 63-75 cm. they have a wing span of 2-2.4m.
Behavior; African Fish Eagles move in pairs and are active during the day. They perch on tree branches near water bodies where they await their prey in water.
They as well steal a catch from other birds like Herons.
Habitat; the eagle species lives near freshwater bodies like rivers, lakes, and deltas where food is abundant.
Feeding; the African Fish Eagle are carnivore and mainly feeds on fish. However, they also feast on other small birds and small antelopes, and monkeys.
Reproduction; African Fish Eagles are monogamous and mate for life. Females lay 1-3 eggs and incubation is done by both parents for about 42-45 days.
Eaglets fledge when they are about 70-75 days and become independent at 5 months
In Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, the bird is seen in the Buligi game area during safari game drives.
C.III. (36) African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides Typus)
The African Harrier Hawk is a bird of prey endemic to Africa. This bird is not a seasonal migrant.
It is not endangered or vulnerable as its population is stable.
Identification; it is a medium-sized raptor with its head and breast being pale grey. Its belly is white with dark barring, its wings are pale grey, and has a black tail edge with a narrow white line.
Its beak is hooked like that of an African Fishing Eagle. The bird as well posses jointed knees.
It has a body length between 60-66cm.
All genders look alike and you need to be more observant to identify the sex of the individual.
Habitat; African Harrier Hawks are adaptable in areas of agriculture as they have abundant food. These hawks do not like living in forests or thick bushes.
They are also able to live in both urban and rural areas
Feeding; these hawks are omnivores as they feed on other small birds from their nests like barbets and woodhoopoes. They as well feed on fruits and seeds.
Reproduction; African Harrier Hawks lay 1-3 eggs and are incubated by both parents for 30 days.
Chicks start fledging at around 60 days and become independent between 4-5 months.
African Harrier Hawks are common in the Buligi area and the southern sector of the park.
C.III. (37) Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)
The Black-winged Kite is also known as the Black-shouldered Kite. It is a small bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. This bird likes hovering over open grasslands in the same way as smaller kestrels.
It is not a migrant bird and its population status is stable as it is not endangered or vulnerable.
Identification; this wonderful bird of prey is grey, and white with black shoulders and reddish eyes.
Their head is white, with a black mask around their eyes, and have a short bill that is hooked black with yellow cere in color.
Its wings are long and pointed and have a round tail. All in all both sexes look similar.
Size and weight; The Black-winged Kite has a body length between 35-38cm with a weight between 197-343g. They have a wingspan of around 80-95 cm.
Behavior; the bird usually perches on open trees as it awaits its prey. It hovers in the air and when prey is seen, it grabs it silently with its feet first and wings in a V shape.
They hunt mostly at dusk. During breeding, these birds are very aggressive to other birds who come near the nest.
Habitat; the bird leaves in savannah areas or in steppes, cultivated plains with thickets however it requires a lot of water.
Mostly it is found in areas with 2700m above sea level.
Feeding; the Black-winged Kite is a carnivore and feeds on rodents, other small birds, and reptiles.
Reproduction; female Black-winged Kites lay 3-5 eggs and are incubated solely by her for about 25-28 days. The eggs hatch at different intervals.
Chicks reach their plumage in 3 weeks and start flying between 30-35 days.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the bird is sighted on the northern bank during safari game drives.
C.III. (38) African Hawk Eagle (Aquila spilogaster)
The African Hawk Eagle is a large bird of prey belonging to the family of Accipitridae. The bird breeds in tropical Sub-Saharan Africa.
It is not a migrant and its population status is stable and least concerned meaning it is not vulnerable.
Identification; African Hawk Eagles have a small head and a long neck with a prominent beak.
They have a longish tail, slender feathered legs, and large robust feet. They have a slate black-grey coloration above and whitish coloration below.
Size and weight; Both males and females look similar in terms of size. The average body length of the bird is between 55 to 68 cm with a wing span of 130 to 160 cm.
They weigh between 1,250 to 1,750 g (males) and 1,480 to 2,470 g ( Females).
Behavior; the African Hawk Eagle is commonly spotted singly or in pairs, especially during the breeding season.
They like perching in trees or soaring high overhead.
Habitat; they prefer making their homes in dry savannah areas with trees or woodland habitats.
Feeding; The African Hawk Eagle is a carnivore bird and mainly feeds on small antelopes, rodents, and reptiles.
Reproduction; females lay 1-2 eggs and incubate them for around 43 days. After the eggs hatch, eaglets practice siblicide, this is where the stronger eaglet kills the weaker one.
The remaining eaglet usually fledges at around 61-71 days.
On your Uganda birding safaris in Murchison park, the African Hawk Eagle is a resident in the northern sector of the park. The best way to see the bird is through game drives along the Buligi area.
C.III. (39) Palm-nut vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)
Also called the Vulturine Fish Eagle, the Palm-nut Vulture is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.
The bird breeds in forest and savannah areas in sub-Saharan Africa. The Palm-nut Vulture is not migratory and it’s not endangered or vulnerable globally.
However, in Uganda, the species is vulnerable.
Identification; It features a white plumage except for black areas on its wings and tail. A palm-nut vulture has a red patch around its eyes.
In flight, the palm-nut vulture resembles more like an eagle than a typical vulture. It can be confused with the African fish eagle, but this vulture has red bare skin around each eye. It has yellow eye patches.
Size and weight; the Palm-nut Vulture is the smallest old-world vulture. It weighs around 1.3-1.7 kg, its body length is about 60 cm and its wing span is 150 cm.
Habitat; the vulture species likes inhabiting coastal forests and mangrove swamps but is mostly seen in wet savannahs. It likes leaving in areas with 1,500m elevated from sea level.
Feeding; The Palm-nut Vulture is a bird of prey but mainly feeds on fleshy fruit husks of the oil palm.
However, this bird feeds on crumbs of dead meat as well like frogs, small animals, and reptiles.
Reproduction; These amazing birds mostly breed in areas where raphia palms are present. Females lay one white and brown egg which is incubated by both parents for around 4-6 weeks.
The chicks fledge when around 85-90 days.
When birdwatching in Uganda in Murchison falls park, the Palm-nut Vulture is present in the Paraa expanse.
C.III. (40) Lappet-Faced Vulture (Torgos Tracheliotos)
The Lappet-faced Vulture is the only member of the genus Torgos.
It is the biggest vulture in Africa and the only endemic to the continent.
The Lappet-faced Vulture is not migratory and its population is critically endangered in Uganda and globally.
Identification; it is a large and long-winged vulture it ranks 1 among other vultures. It is large with a bare pink head and some fleshy folds of the skin (lappets) on both sides of its neck.
Their beak is hooked and yellowish.
Size and weight; The Lappet-faced Vulture weighs between 4.4-9.4 kg and has a body length of 95-115cm. Its wing span is between 2.5-2.9m.
Habitat; they usually live in dry savannah areas, arid plains, and thornbushes. They like living in undisturbed environments with minimal grass cover. They like areas with elevations 4,500 m above sea level.
Feeding; Lappet-faced Vulture is a scavenger bird that mostly feeds on animal carcasses. They usually stand on trees as they wait for predators to leave so that they eat the remaining flesh.
Reproduction; Palm-nut Vultures are monogamous and mate for life. Females lay one egg which is incubated by both parents for around 7 to 8 weeks.
The chick fledges at around 125-135 days and becomes independent from its parents. It will breed when it is about 6 years of age.
The Lappet-faced Vulture is a native of the northern sector of Murchison falls national park. The best way to see the bird is through safari game drives.
C.III. (41) Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes Monachus)
A Hooded Vulture is a lovely small vulture. It is not a migratory bird and it is only native to sub-Saharan Africa.
The bird is critically endangered globally and in Uganda at large.
Identification; the bird is typically brown and has a small neck and a pink head that is covered in velvety white fluff-like feathers.
This Vulture has a drooping slender black bill and a blue eye ring which is seen at close range. Juveniles have grey facial skin and brown feathers on their nape.
While in flight, this vulture has silvery flight feathers and a rounded tail.
Size and weight; Hooded Vultures weigh about 1.5-2.6kg and have a body length of 62-72 cm. their wing span is 155-165 cm.
Behavior; these birds travel in flocks. They are occasionally seen soaring in the air during the day. Hooded vultures are shy when it comes to human presence as they fly away immediately when they recognize humans.
Since they are small vultures, they quickly take off and adults are quite unlike chicks when are being fed.
Habitat; though it’s rare, it can be spotted in open savannahs, and also possible along forest edges, and in towns.
Feeding; Hooded Vultures are scavenger birds that mostly feed on animal carcasses. However, they can as well prey on small reptiles and rodents.
Reproduction; this vulture species form monogamous pairs and live for life. Females lay only one egg and are incubated by both parents for around 48-54 days.
The chick remains dependent on its parents for more than 7 months and later becomes independent.
While on your birding tours in Uganda in Murchison park, the Hooded Vulture is spotted in the northern sector. Safari game drives are the best way to see the bird in the park.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Accipitridae
|42. Black Kite|
43. Egyptian Vulture
44. White-headed Vulture
45. White-backed Vulture
46. Rüppell’s Griffon
47. Short-toed Eagle
48. Beaudouin’s Snake-Eagle
49. Black-chested Snake-Eagle
50. Brown Snake-Eagle
51. Banded Snake-Eagle
52. Lesser Spotted Eagle
53. Wahlberg’s Eagle
54. Booted Eagle
56. Tawny Eagle
57. Steppe Eagle
58. Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle
59. African Hawk-Eagle
|60. Bat Hawk|
61. Lizard Buzzard
62. European Honey-buzzard
63. Grasshopper Buzzard
64. Dark Chanting-Goshawk
65. Eastern Chanting-Goshawk
66. Gabar Goshawk
67. Western Marsh Harrier
68. African Marsh Harrier
69. Pallid Harrier
70. Montagu’s Harrier
72. Little Sparrowhawk
73. Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk
74. Black Goshawk
75. Common Buzzard
76. Mountain Buzzard
77. Augur Buzzard
D. Order; STRIGIFORMES
D.I. (78) Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl (Bubo lacteus)
The Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl is also known as the Milky Eagle Owl or Giant Eagle Owl. The bird is the largest African owl with a wide spread in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is non-migratory and according to IUCN, the bird species is the least concern.
Identification; Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl is big and mainly grey, has pink eyelids, and has long wings.
The eyes are dark brown, a black back with white spots on the shoulder, and their oval facial disc is paler.
Their beak is hooked like that of a Martial Eagle with feathered thighs and black-brown feet.
Size and Weight; Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl has a body length of 66 cm with a wing span between 140-164 cm. they weigh about 56-110 oz.
Behavior; it is a nocturnal bird and roots by day in trees. They sleep lightly as they can awaken at any time to defend its self during the daytime.
Family groups usually roast together during the day. It has been known that this eagle owl bathes in rain.
Habitat; the eagle owl species like living in savannah areas with dotted trees and thorny shrubs.
Feeding; Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl is a carnivore bird and feeds on snakes, other birds, and reptiles.
Reproduction; these birds do not build their own nests, they use other birds’ nests for breeding. They are monogamous as they stay with one partner for life.
Females lay 2 eggs that are incubated solely by her for 30 days. The male-only provides food to the female and the young one if it hatches.
The chicks tend to start walking around the nest when at 60 days however they cannot fly. The checks remain in their parents’ nest until they are 2 years and can now get a partner.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl is spotted in the Paraa area as well in the northern sector.
D.I. (79) Pel’s Fishing-Owl (Scotopelia Peli)
The Pel’s Fishing Owl is among the large species of owls. The bird is endemic in Africa and mostly lives near water sources.
The bird is not migratory and according to IUCN, the bird’s population is the least concern.
Identification; this owl has a reddish-brown coloring. They have rounded, large, dark eyes on a rounded head with no ear tufts.
It has a short tail with dark plumage with even dark markings and underneath is pale with muted markings.
Size and weight; the Pel’s Fishing Owl has a body weight between 2-2.3kg and a body length of 55-63 cm. Their wing span is 150 cm.
Habitat; the bird occupies forests and wood areas that are close to water sources where it can fish.
Feeding; the Pel’s Fishing Owl is carnivorous and mostly feasts on fish. However, it can as well feed on other prey like frogs, crabs, and juvenile crocodiles.
Reproduction; the bird is monogamous and mates with one partner for life. The female lays two eggs which are incubated by the female for 32 to 33 days.
Chicks fledge at 70 days and remain dependent on their parents for nine months.
The Pel’s Fishing Owl in Murchison Falls Park can be spotted around the Paraa area and the delta area.
D.I. (80) Greyish Eagle Owl (Bubo Cinerascens)
The Grey Eagle Owl, also known as Vermiculated Eagle-Owl is also a large owl species. It is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and it is not a migratory bird.
The IUCN considers the species population to be the least concern.
Identification; The Grey Eagle Owl is gray and has mottled dark brown, buff, and white upper parts.
It has dark brown eyes with a brownish facial disk marked with a heavy brown circle around each eye.
Size and weight; the owl species has a body length of 43cm and weighs about 500 g.
Behavior; These are nocturnal birds and mostly solitary. They hunt at the night and rest during the day.
Habitat; The Grey Eagle Owl inhabits dry rocky areas, open savannah, and lowland forests.
Feeding; this bird is carnivorous and feeds on small antelopes, rodents, and other birds.
Reproduction; female Grey Eagle Owls lay 2-3 eggs that are incubated by her solely.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Strigidae
- Northern White-faced Owl
- Spotted Eagle Owl
E. Order; ANSERIFORMES
E.I. Family; Anatidae
E.I. (83) White-Faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna Viduata)
The White-faced Whistling Duck is a whistling duck endemic to Africa. The bird is not migratory and its population is stable.
According to IUCN the population status of the bird is least concern meaning it is not endangered or vulnerable.
Identification; Males and females look similar. The White-faced whistling duck has a long grey bill, a long head, and longish legs.
The neck and head of the duck are black with a white face. They as well have webbed feet for swimming.
They weigh between 1-2 kg
Behavior; The White-faced whistling duck is not solitary as they move in flocks.
Habitat; this bird inhabits freshwater wetlands or swamps, marshes, and lakes.
Feeding; the bird feeds on grass, seeds, aquatic plants, and aquatic invertebrates.
Reproduction; female White-faced Whistling Ducks lay 8-12 white eggs and are incubated by both parents between 27-32 days. The ducklings fledge at around 8 weeks
They take 2 years to mature and their life span in the wild is 10-12 years.
In Murchison Falls National park, the bird is spotted in the Nile Albert Delta area.
E.I. (84) Fulvous Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna Bicolor)
The Fulvous Whistling Duck also known as the Fulvous-tree Duck is a whistling duck that breeds in tropical regions.
This bird is not migratory and its population is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; The Fulvous Whistling Duck has long legs and a bill that is dark gray. Their neck is long and has white stippling and their flanks are long white stripped.
The tails are black and white under. Females are more blackish on the crown and back of the neck compared to males.
Behavior; The Fulvous Whistling Duck often forages at night by dubbling and deeping its neck and head into the water to reach food.
Usually, they feed at dawn and dusk in groups.
Habitat; These birds inhabit freshwater swamps, wetlands, and marshes.
Feeding; the bird feeds on grass, seeds, aquatic plants, and aquatic invertebrates.
Reproduction; female ducks lay 12-13 eggs which are incubated by both parents between 24-29 days. The ducklings fledge in 9 weeks and are sexually mature in a year.
The Fulvous Whistling Duck is present and can be spotted in the Nile Albert Delta area.
E.I. (85) Egyptian Goose (Alopochen Aegyptiaca)
The Egyptian Goose is a member of the duck, goose, and swan family Anatidae. It breeds in sub-Saharan Africa and the Nile Valley.
It is not a migratory bird and its population status according to IUCN is Least Concern.
Identification; The Egyptian Goose is pale brown and grey. It has chestnut markings around its eyes, the neck, on a portion of the wings, and a black tail. The wings are crisp white marked and have a brown patch on their chests.
Females are smaller than males.
Size and weight; The goose weighs between 1.1-3.5kg with a body length of 63 cm-73 cm. their wing span is around 134 cm-154 cm.
Habitat; The Egyptian Goose inhabits freshwater swamps, wetlands, and marshes. They live in long grasses where they can get food easily.
Feeding; the bird feeds on grass, grain, and aquatic plants. However, they can as well feast on earthworms, moths, termites, ants, and beetles.
Reproduction; females lay 10-12 eggs which are incubated by both parents for around 28-30 days.
Both parents take care of the young ones until they become independent. Their life expectancy is between 20-25 years.
When birding in Uganda Murchison Falls National Park, the Egyptian Goose is spotted around the Albert Delta area.
E.I. (86) Spur-Winged Goose (Plectropterus Gambensis)
The Spur-winged Goose is a large bird breeding in Sub-Saharan Africa. The species is not migratory and its population status is least concern.
Identification; Males are larger than females. These goose are mainly black with white faces and big white patches. They have long legs that are pinkish and their bills are red.
Size and weight; Adult Spur-Winged Goose has a body length of 75-115cm and can weigh between 4-6.8kg. their wing span ranges from 150-200cm.
Behavior; they are not solitary birds as they move in groups.
Habitat; the goose species likes inhabiting freshwater swamps, marshes, wetlands, and seasonal open pools.
Feeding; the bird’s diet is grass, grain, and aquatic plants. However, they can as well feast on earthworms, moths, termites, ants, and beetles.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Spur-Winged Goose is spotted along the Victoria Nile and around the Albert Delta area.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Anatidae
- White-backed Duck
- Knob-billed Duck
- African Pygmy-Goose
- Yellow-billed Duck
- Southern Pochard
F. Order; GALLIFORMES
F.I. Family; Numididae
F.I. (93) Helmeted Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris)
The Helmeted Guinea Fowl is in the family of Numididae and is the only member in the genus Numida. It breeds in Africa and it is not a migratory bird.
According to IUCN the bird’s population is stable and is Least concern.
Identification; the Helmeted Guinea Fowl is a big bird with a round body and small unfeathered head. The head is decorated with dull yellow or reddish bony knob and bare skin which is blue.
Its plumage is gray-black springled with white spots
Size and weight; their body length is about 53-58cm and weighs about 1.3 kg.
Behavior; the bird species form flocks of about 25 birds outside the breeding season. Helmeted Guinea Fowls can walk for more than 10 km in a day.
They tend to run rather than fly when alarmed. They as well fly for short distances. When disturbed, they make loud harsh calls.
Habitat; the Helmeted Guinea Fowl likes inhabiting open dry scattered shrubs and savannah areas.
Feeding; the bird is omnivore as it feeds on grain, grasses, and insects. However, it can as well feed on worms.
Reproduction; Females lay 6-12 eggs which she incubates solely for about 26-28 days. The keets fledge at around 10-14 days and around after 50-75 days they become independent.
In the Murchison Falls National Park, the bird species are spotted in the northern sector of the Buligi game area.
F.I. (94) Western Crested Guinea fowl (Guttera verreauxi)
The Western Crested Guinea fowl is also known as Crested Guinea fowl. The bird is native to Sub-Saharan Africa.
It is not a migrant and its population is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; the Western Crested Guineafowl plumage is blackish with dense white spots. It has a black crest on top of its head that varies from small curly feathers. It has reddish eyes.
Size and weight; their body length is about 50cm and can weigh about 721-1,543 g
Habitat; the bird inhabits open forest, woodland, and forest-savanna mosaics.
Feeding; the Western Crested Guineafowl is an omnivore and feeds on grain and insects.
Reproduction; Females lay 6-12 eggs which she incubates solely for about 26-28 days. The keets fledge at around 10-14 days and around after 50-75 days they become independent.
Western Crested Guineafowl is spotted in the northern sector in the Buligi game area and Budongo forest in Murchison park.
F.II. Family; Phasianidae
F.II. (95) Crested Francolin (Ortygornis sephaena)
The Crested Francolin is a beautiful bird in the family of Phasianidae. It is sometimes considered a separate species, Kirk’s francolin.
It is only endemic in Africa and it is not migratory. IUCN considers the population to be stable as it is least concern.
Identification; this bird is medium-sized, buff-brown, and has a raised bushy crest. They as well have a broad string of pearls collar around the white throat.
Behavior; They are usually spotted in duets and make rapid and repeated sounds at dawn and dusk.
They walk confidently with a cocked tail giving them a chicken’s gait.
Habitat; the Crested Francolin inhabitants in savannah and riverine forests.
Feeding; This bird is an omnivore and feeds on grain, plants, and small insects.
The Crested Francolin can be spotted in the Paraa area and the Buligi game area near the different tracks in Murchison park.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Phasianidae
- Coqui Francolin
- Ring-necked Francolin
- Scaly Spurfowl
- Heuglin’s Spurfowl
- Red-necked Spurfowl
- Blue Quail
- Common Quail
G. Order; OTIDIFORMES
G.I. Family Otididae
G.I. (103) Denham’s Bustard (Neotis Denhami)
The Denham’s Bustard also known as Stanley’s Bustard is a large bird that breeds in Sub-Sahara Africa.
In Africa, the bird is migratory and its population is near threatened according to IUCN.
Identification; The Denham’s Bustard has a chestnut, hind neck, and pale gray fore neck. Their heads are grayish with distinct black and white crown stripes.
Females and juveniles are always smaller than males.
Size and weight; males weigh around 9-10kg with a body length of 100-116cm. the females weigh around 3-4kg with a body length of 80-87cm.
Behavior; They always move in pairs or small groups and march purposely.
Habitat; they inhabit dried marshes, wooded savanna, and cereal fields.
Feeding; The Denham’s Bustard feeds on plants, seeds, and other small animals.
Reproduction; the female lays 1 or 2 eggs and she incubates them solely and takes care of the chicks alone.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Denham’s Bustard is spotted in the northern sector in the Buligi game area if lucky.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Otididae
- Black-bellied Bustard Lissotis melanogaster
- Hartlaub’s Bustard
H. Order; CHARADRIIFORMES
H.I. Family; Burhinidae
H.I. (106) Senegal Thick-Knee (Burhinus senegalensis)
The Senegal Thick-Knee is a wading bird in the family of Burhinidae. It is a large shorebird similar to Water Thick-Knees. This bird breeds only in Africa.
The bird is not migratory and its population is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; Senegal Thick-Knees strong heavy black and yellow bills with big yellow eyes. They have a reptilian appearance with cryptic plumage. In flight, this bird strikes with a broad white wing bar.
Behavior; The bird is most active at dawn and dusk. It is a quiet bird as it takes a long to whistle.
Habitat; this species prefers dry open habitats with bare ground. Mostly they like inhabiting near water areas.
Feeding; Senegal Thick Knees feed on insects, other invertebrates, and on small prey.
Reproduction; the reproduction of this bird is unclear, however, they lay two light brown eggs on a ground scrape.
The Senegal Thick-Knee is spotted around the Paraa area in Murchison falls park if lucky. Also one can look for the bird around the Nile Delta area when on a bird watching safari in Uganda.
Other Birds In The Family Of Burhinidae
- Water Thick-knee
- Spotted Thick-knee
H.II. Family; Pluvianidae
H.II. (109) Egyptian Plover (Pluvianus aegyptius)
The Egyptian Plover is also known as the Crocodile bird. This wading shorebird is in its own family of Pluvianidae.
It is called a crocodile bird because it flies inside the reptile’s mouth when it is resting. It then feeds on the decaying meat in the Crocodiles’ teeth.
The population status of the bird species is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; Egyptian Plovers have a blue-gray back and their underparts are salmon. Their heads and breasts are marked with black and white boldly.
In flight, they show a striking pattern of black and white in the outer wing.
Usually, immature is duller than matures though still distinctive.
Behavior; they usually fly and move in pairs or small groups of individuals near water sources.
Habitat; Egyptian Plovers likes inhabiting on sandbars in slow-flowing rivers or wetland areas.
Feeding; the bird feeds on small insects and seeds near water shores.
Reproduction; 2- 3 eggs are laid but are not incubated, instead, they are buried in the warm sand. The parents only come to cool them down using their wet soaked breasts.
The chicks hatch, they immediately start running and feeding themselves though cannot fly at that age.
When birding in Uganda Murchison Falls National Park, the Egyptian Plover is spotted around the Paraa area if lucky. The other place to spot the bird is around the Albert Delta area.
H.III. Family; Jacanidae
H.III. (110) African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)
The African Jacana is a wader breeding in Sub-Saharan Africa. The bird is not migratory and its population is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; this unusual bird has long legs with elongated toes and claws that prevent it from sinking into the water. It has a distinctive chestnut, white, and has a sky blue bill. Immature don’t have the blue bill and are brown-headed.
Behavior; The African Jacana is weak when flying as it flies low over water with its legs dangling behind awkwardly. They often make noises during the night.
Habitat; this bird inhabits freshwater swamps, wetlands, and marshes.
Feeding; African jacanas feed on insects and other invertebrates picked from the floating vegetation or the surface of the water.
Reproduction; This weird bird mates with multiple males in a Harlem. Females lay eggs that are incubated by either parent for 26 days.
It is the male who raises and takes care of the chicks alone. Chicks fledge at 35 days and become independent at around 70 days.
The African Jacana is spotted in the Albert Delta area in Murchison Falls National Park.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Jacanidae
- Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis
H.IV. Family; Charadriidae
H.IV. (112) Long-Toed Lapwing (Vanellus Crassirostris)
The Long-toed Lapwing is a medium-sized shorebird in the family of Charadriidae. This bird is only endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa and is not migratory.
It is only nomadic as it flies to new areas in case water levels have increased in its habitat.
According to IUCN, the birds’ population status is least concern.
Identification; The Long-toed Lapwing is large and has long pinkish legs. The face of this bird is white and its throat is framed by a black nape and breast band.
The southern parts of the wings are white with black patches at the tip. The northern parts of the wings are half black and half white.
The Long-toed Lapwing has pinkish-reddish eyes with a black iris and its bill is pinkish with a black tip.
Behavior; the birds’ behaviors are unclear but are mostly seen singly and sometimes in pairs.
Habitat; this bird inhabits freshwater swamps, marshes, and wetlands with floating vegetation.
Feeding; it feeds on vegetation, aquatic insects, and invertebrates that it finds in swamps floating on water.
Breeding; The Long-toed Lapwing lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 27 days. The chicks fledge at about 2 months.
When on a birding safari in Murchison park, the Long-toed Lapwing is spotted in the Albert Delta area.
H.IV. (113) Spur-Winged Lapwing (Vanellus Spinosus)
The Spur-winged Lapwing is also known as a Spur-winged Plover and it is in the group of largish waders.
This bird breeds in Sub-saharan Africa and around the eastern Mediterranean.
In Africa, the bird is not migratory though nomadic, its population is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; this unmistakable bird is medium-large with a black crown, chest, foreneck stripe, and tail.
The face of the bird, neck, and belly are all white whereas its wings and back are light brown. Its bill and legs are all black.
Habitat; The Spur-winged Lapwing inhabits freshwater swamps, marshes, and wetlands but also in cultivated areas.
Feeding; It forages mainly for arthropods, but also for small reptiles and amphibians.
Reproduction; the breeding of the bird is unclear, however, it lays usually 4 blotchy yellowish eggs. It is so aggressive to anyone who comes near its young ones.
The Spur-winged Lapwing is present around the Nile Albert Delta in Murchison Falls National Park. The best way to see the bird is in the morning on the Albert Delta boat cruise when on your bird-watching tours.
H.IV. (114) African Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus Senegallus)
The African-wattled Lapwing is also known as the Senegal-wattled Plover or simply Wattled Lapwing. It is a large lapwing bird that breeds in Sub-saharan Africa outside the rainforests.
This unmistakable bird is not migratory although it makes seasonal movements. The birds’ population is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; it has a black crown, a white forehead, and big yellow facial wattles. The bird’s tail is white and tipped black and its legs are long and yellow.
In flight, the underwings are white with black flight feathers.
Habitat; The African-wattled Lapwing prefers inhabiting wet grasslands as well as swamps. They can as well be found in dry savannah and cultivated fields.
Feeding; the bird feeds on drier grounds on seeds and insects.
Reproduction; this amazing bird lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both parents for around 28-32 days.
One parent attends to the young ones for the next 6 weeks.
In Murchison Falls National Park, The African-wattled Lapwing is spotted around the shores of Victoria Nile and the Abert Delta area.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Charadriidae
|115. Black-headed Lapwing|
116. Senegal Lapwing
117. Crowned Lapwing
118. Brown-chested Lapwing
119. Caspian Plover
|120. Kittlitz’s Plover|
121. Common Ringed Plover
122. Little Ringed Plover
123. Three-banded Plover
H.V. Family; Glareolidae
H.V. (124) Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)
The Collared Pratincole is also known as the Common Pratincole or red-winged Pratincole. It is a native of the old world.
It is migratory and spends its winter in tropical Africa. Its population is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; This amazing bird has short legs, a long forked tail, long pointed wings, and a short bill. Their backs and head are brown, their belly is white, and their wings are brown with darker flight feathers.
Habitat; The Collared Pratincole usually inhabits near water sources like rivers, swamps, and lakes.
Feeding; it feeds on insects.
Reproduction; Females lay 2-3 eggs which are cream with black or dark brown spots. They are incubated by both parents and hatch after around 17-19 days.
The chicks leave the nest after 2-3 days and are cared for by their parents.
They fledge after around 25-30 days.
When on a birding safari in Murchison Falls National Park, the bird is spotted around the Paraa area.
H.V. (125) Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis)
The Rock Pratincole is a small bird in the family of Glareolidae. This wonderful bird is endemic to Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is not migratory and its population is stable as its least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; this bird has dark gray or brown plumage. It has a white line at the beginning beneath the eye extending to the back of the neck like a collar.
The wings are long and dark with a white patch on the underwing. The tails are forked and have white bellies. Its bill is black with a red base and the legs and eyes are coral red.
Size and weight; The Rock Pratincole has a body length of 16.5-19.5cm and a weight of around 43–52 grams. Their wing span is about 14.3–16.0 cm
Behavior; they move in flocks of around 25 individuals. They make seasonal movements depending on the water levels in the local area.
Habitat; The Rock Pratincole likes inhabiting areas around rivers and lakes.
Feeding; these birds feast on insects, flies, moths, ants, beetles, and grasshoppers.
Reproduction; the reproduction of this bird is unclear however, females lay 1-2 eggs and are incubated by both parents. Usually, parents come with wet soaked feathers to cool the eggs during hot temperatures.
When in Murchison Falls National Park, the Rock Pratincole is spotted around the Paraa area along the Victoria Nile.
Other Birds In The Family Of Glareolidae
- Black-winged Pratincole
- Temminck’s Courser
H.VI. Family; Laridae
H.VI. (128) White-Winged Tern (Chlidonias Leucopterus)
The White-winged Tern also known as White-winged Tern is a small bird in the family of Laridae.
This spacious bird is migratory and comes from Europe and spends its winter days in tropical Africa. The population status of this bird is stable and is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; The White-winged Tern has two appearances that is breeding and non-breeding plumages.
Breeding adults are conspicuous in flight and have black and white plumages. The rest of their shoulders are white contrasting with a black body.
The non-breeding are white with gray patches and have black earmuffs.
Behavior; these birds don’t dive for fish, they instead fly slowly over water surfaces to pick insects.
They move in flocks of very many individuals.
Their wing beats during flights are shallow and leisurely.
Habitat; The White-winged Tern inhabits around rivers, swamps, and wetlands
Feeding; these birds feed on insects and small fish.
Reproduction; the breeding or reproduction of these birds is not clear, however they nest on floating vegetation. They also lay 2-4 eggs.
The White-winged Tern is found along the Victoria Nile in the Paraa area in Murchison Falls National Park.
H.VI. (129) Gray-Hooded Gull (Chroicocephalus Cirrocephalus)
The Gray-hooded Gull is also known as the Grey-headed Gull that breeds in Sub-saharan Africa. This bird is not migratory and its population is stable as its population status is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; this wonderful bird has a gray hood, pale eyes, and red bill and legs. Their backs are medium gray with wings that have dark flight feathers. All these features are for breeding adults.
However, these birds lose the gray hood in the non-breeding season which is replaced by a dark cheek spot.
Behavior; the Gray-hooded Gulls move in hundreds or thousands if the feeding conditions favor. They usually feed in the morning and roost in the evenings.
Habitat; these birds like inhabiting freshwater areas like swamps, rivers, lakes, and wetlands.
Feeding; they feed on insects and invertebrates from the water.
Reproduction; the reproduction and breeding of these birds are not so clear however they lay 2-3 eggs in their nests.
In Murchison Falls National Park, they are spotted along the Victoria Nile around the Paraa area and the Albert Delta area.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Laridae
- Black-headed Gull
- Lesser Black-backed Gull
- Gull-billed Tern
- Whiskered Tern
H.VII. Family; Rostratulidae
- Greater Painted-Snipe
H.VIII. Family; Scolopacidae
H.VIII (135) Common Sandpiper (Actitis Hypoleucos)
The common Sandpiper is a small Palearctic wader in the family of Scolopacidae that migrates from Europe to Africa.
This bird’s population is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; the bird has greyish-brown upperparts, white underparts, and short dark-yellowish legs and feet. Its bill has a pale base and a dark tip.
Adults have a body length of around 18–20 cm with a wing span of about 32–35 cm.
Behavior; The common Sandpiper is seen in large flocks and flies low over water surfaces.
Habitat; this gregarious bird likes living in wetland areas. They are usually seen on rocky stony grounds along rivers and lakes. They as well mix with other species.
Feeding; the bird feeds on small food items like insects and other invertebrates that it picks in flight or on shallow water.
Breeding; The common Sandpiper nests on grounds near freshwater. When scared or threatened, the young cling to their parents to be flown away for safety.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Common Sandpiper is spotted along the Victoria Nile in the Paraa area. The best way of seeing this bird is by getting on a boat cruise.
Other Birds In The Family Of Scolopacidae
|136. Black-tailed Godwit|
138. Little Stint
139. Common Snipe
140. African Snipe
141. Green Sandpiper
|142. Curlew Sandpiper|
143. Marsh Sandpiper
144. Wood Sandpiper
145. Spotted Redshank
Other Birds In The Order Of CHARADRIIFORMES
H.IX. Family; Turnicidae
- Small Buttonquail
- Black-rumped Buttonquail
I. Order; CICONIIFORMES
I.I. Family; Ciconiidae
I.I. (149) African Open Bill (Anastomus lamelligerus)
The African Open Bill is a stork in the family of Ciconiidae. This bird breeds in Sub-saharan Africa and the western regions of Madagascar.
Its population is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN and it is not migratory. In Africa, the bird is not a migrant, however, it is nomadic when weather conditions change in its habitat.
Identification; it’s a medium-sized bird all dark with a greenish gloss and a unique long bill that has a gap between the two halves of the bill.
It has long legs and a neck that separate it from other dark waterbirds.
Size and weight; The African Open Bill is a stork with a body length between 80-94 cm and weighing about 1-1.3 kg.
Habitat; this bird inhabits freshwater swamps, wetlands, marshes, and around shallow rivers and lakes. It uses its strange bill for extracting food from these areas.
Feeding; it’s a carnivore bird as its feeds on snails, mussels from their shells, and fish.
Reproduction; The African Open Bill form monogamous pairs and breed in colonies with over 40 individuals. These can only be of their race or other bird species.
Females lay 3-4 oval chalky white eggs which are incubated by both parents for around 25-30 days.
When chicks have hatched, at around 50-55 days, these chicks will leave the nest and fledge.
The African Open Bill is sighted in the Albert Delta area in Murchison Falls National Park. A 4-5hr boat launch to the Albert Delta is the best way of seeing the bird.
I.I. (150) Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus Senegalensis)
The Saddle-billed Stork is a large wading bird in the stork family of Ciconiidae.
This incredible bird is a resident breeder in Sub-saharan Africa and is not migratory. It can however make nomadic movements in case of any trouble in its natural habitat.
Its population is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; This bird is a medium-sized tall black and white stork with a long red, yellow and black bill. Males have dark brown eyes whereas females have yellow eyes.
Their legs and feet are black with pink hocks.
Size and weight; The Saddle-billed Stork has a height of about 145 to 150 cm with a body length of 148cm. they have a wing span of about 2.4 to 2.7 m.
They weigh between 5.1–7.52 kg.
Behavior; it is a silent bird except for bill clattering in its nest. They are usually seen singly or in pairs, especially in the breeding season.
Habitat; this bird species likes inhabiting freshwater swamps, marshes, and wetlands where there are no other storks.
Feeding; The Saddle-billed Stork is carnivorous and feeds on catfish, frogs, birds, and insects.
Reproduction; these birds are monogamous and mate for life. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated for around 30-35 days.
Chicks take another 70-100 days to fledge. They remain dependent on their parents until the next breeding season.
The Saddle-billed Stork is one of the unique birds in Uganda and is spotted in the Albert Delta area in Murchison park.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Ciconiidae
- Black Stork
- Abdim’s Stork
- African Woolly-necked Stork
- Marabou Stork
- Yellow-billed Stork
J. Order; SULIFORMES
J.I. Family; Anhingidae
J.I. (156) African Darter (Anhinga rufa)
The African Darter is sometimes known as the snake bird that breeds in Sub-saharan Africa and Iraq.
This water bird is non-migratory and its population status is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; the African Darter has a very long neck with males having glossy black with white streaking. Females and immatures are browner.
They have a thin white lateral neck stripe against a rufous background color. Their pointed bill prevents confusion with cormorants.
Behavior; this bird swims with only its S-shaped neck out. It is mostly seen singly drying its feathers along the water shores since it does not have oil on its feathers like others cormorants.
It dives into the water to get prey on fish.
Habitat; the African Darter likes inhabiting freshwater areas like swamps, rivers, and lakes.
Feeding; it is a carnivore bird and mostly feasts on fish and other small aquatic animals.
Reproduction; the reproduction process of the bird is unclear, however it nests with herons and egrets. Females lay 3-6 eggs.
The African Darter is spotted in the Albert Delta area or around the Paraa area in Murchison Falls National Park.
J.II. Family; Phalacrocoracidae
J.II (157) Long-tailed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus)
The Long-tailed Cormorant is also known as the Long-tailed Cormorant that breeds much in Africa.
This bird is non-migratory though it makes nomadic movements. Its population is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; the bird is all black with a green gloss in the breeding season. It has a long tail with silvery wing converts.
It has a short head crest and a red or yellow face patch with a yellow bill. Non-breeding adults and juveniles are browner with white bellies.
This is a small cormorant with a body length between 50-55cm and its wing span is about 80-90cm.
Habitat; The Long-tailed Cormorant inhabits freshwater swamps and wetlands where it can easily collect food.
Feeding; this bird is carnivorous and mainly feeds on fish. However, it can as well feast on frogs and other aquatic animals.
Reproduction; the breeding of this bird is not so clear but they lay 3-4 eggs in hidden nests in trees covered by tall grasses.
The Long-tailed Cormorant is sighted in the Albert Delta area in Murchison park.
J.II (158) Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
The Great Cormorant is formerly known as the Great-black Cormorant across the Northern Hemisphere.
This bird is a migrant spending its winter days in Africa. It is not endangered or vulnerable as its population status is stable. According to IUCN, the bird species is least concern.
Identification; The Great Cormorant is not big having a white patch on the throat and lacks a crest. During breeding, adults show a circular white patch on the flanks.
Immatures have contrasting white bellies with white underparts in all plumages. Their feet are webbed enabling them to swim.
Weight; males typically are larger than females. Their weight range is about 1.5-5.3 kg.
Habitat; this bird likes inhabiting freshwater wetland areas and swamps. They as well live on the rocks near rivers and lakes.
Feeding; Great Cormorants are carnivores and feed on fish that is got when diving.
Reproduction; females lay 3-5 pale blue eggs that are incubated for around 28-31 days.
In Murchison Falls National Park, Great Cormorants are can be spotted in the Albert Delta area or if lucky around the Paraa area.
K. Order; BUCEROTIFORMES
K.I. Family; Bucorvidae
K.I. (159) Abyssinian Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus)
The Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is also called the Northern Ground Hornbill. This terrestrial lovely hornbill is the 2nd largest African hornbill after the Southern Ground Hornbill.
It breeds in Sub-sahara Africa and it is not migratory. According to IUCN, the bird population is Vulnerable as a few are still living.
Identification; the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill holds a black plumage, though has some white primary feathers only visible when in flight.
It has a long black bill which has a red patch at its base and a short open-ended black casque on top.
Males have a patch of bare blue skin around the eyes and an inflatable red patch of bare skin on the neck and throat. Females have bare skin which is dark blue.
Though nearly similar to the Southern Ground Hornbill, it’s identified by its blue facial skin.
Weight and size; the bird has a body length of about 90-110cm and a height of 90-100cm. Their body weight is approximately 4kg.
Behavior; the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is seen in pairs or small family parties. This bird can move for about 11km looking for food.
They have territories of about 2-100 square miles and are more active during the day.
Habitat; this beautiful bird lives in dry open savannah grasslands.
Feeding; Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is omnivorous and feeds on tortoises, lizards, snakes, birds, spiders, beetles, and caterpillars. They also take carrion, some fruits, seeds, and groundnuts
Reproduction; females lay 1-2 eggs in 5 days. The incubation of each egg is between 37-41 days. The male is only responsible for providing food for the incubating female.
One chick usually hatches first then the other like 4 days before and the last one to hatch may die of hunger.
The remaining chick will then grow and leave the nest when it is around 80-90 days.
On your birding tour in Uganda Murchison falls national park, the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is spotted in the Buligi game area.
K.II. Family; Bucerotidae
K.II. (160) Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)
The Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill is also known as the Grey-cheeked Hornbill. This species breeds in Africa and it is not migratory.
This bird species is assessed as least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Identification; it is a large black and white hornbill. It’s easily identified by its enormous blackish bill with a large casque on top.
Males have relatively large black and white bills while females are smaller.
In flight, they show a broad white patch at the back of the wing and a black tail with white sides.
Similar to the White-thighed Hornbill, but has a black center to the tail, black wingtips plus a darker bill and casque.
Size and weight; The Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill has a body length of 60-70 cm and a wing span of about 70-96 cm.
Males weigh between 1 kg and 1.5 kg, the females weigh between 1 kg and 1.25 kg.
Behavior; this bird is commonly seen in pairs and shows emotions by uplifting its feathers on the heady forming a crown.
Habitat; this bird inhabits savannah wooded areas.
Feeding; the diet of the bird consists mainly of figs, fruits & insects.
On your birding tour in Uganda Murchison falls national park, the Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill is spotted in the Buligi game area.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Bucerotidae
- Crowned Hornbill
- African Grey Hornbill
- Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill
- Northern Red-billed Hornbill
Other birds in the order of Bucerotiformes
K.III. Family; Phoeniculidae
- Green Woodhoopoe
- Black Scimitarbill
- Abyssinian Scimitarbill
K.IV. Family; Upupidae
- Eurasian Hoopoe
M. Order; MUSOPHAGIFORMES
M.I. Family; Musophagidae
M.I. (169) Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)
The Great Blue Turaco is a bird species in the family of Musophagidae. This bird mostly breeds in the African tropical rainforest.
This bird is not endangered as its population status is least concern according to IUCN. It is not migratory as well.
Identification; Unquestionably, the Great Blue Turaco is one of the most attractive birds in Uganda.
It has a tall black crest, a red-and-yellow bill plus black bars at the end of the tail. It has grey-blue upper parts, a white chin, a yellow-green lower breast, and a yellow belly darkening to chestnut brown posteriorly.
Size and weight; this bird has a body length of 70-76 cm and weighs about 800-1,231 g.
Behavior; The Great Blue Turaco is gregarious, with birds forming small troops of six or seven individuals
Habitat; This bird likes inhabiting rainforests.
Feeding; the bird feeds on leaves, and flowers, as well as the fruits of many plant species
Reproduction; females lay 2-3 greenish-white eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 29-31days.
On your Uganda birding tour in Murchison park, you can spot it on nature walks in the Budongo forest.
M.I. (170) Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae)
The Ross’s Turaco is a handsome purple turaco of the family Musophagidae also known as Lady Ross’s Turaco.
This bird is not a migrant and its population status is stable. According to IUCN, this bird is least concern.
It’s one of the most beautiful and unmistakable birds in Uganda Murchison falls national park.
Identification; It has a purple plumage and holds a vivid yellow bill and face, as well as a puffy red crest.
In flight, it exhibits a vibrant color of crimson wing patches just like all the other turacos.
Habitat; It’s commonly spotted within forest margins and forests.
Feeding; the bird species is largely frugivorous as it mostly feeds on fruits, flowers, and leaves of different plant species.
Reproduction; The Ross’s Turaco is monogamous as it mates for life. Females lay 2-3 eggs which are incubated for about 25 days.
Chicks remain dependent on their parents for around 4-7 weeks until they fledge. They reach their sexual maturity in one year.
M.I. (171) Bare-faced Go-away Bird (Corythaixoides personatus)
The Bare-faced Go-away Bird is a beautiful bird in the family of Musophagidae native to the Afro tropics.
It is non-migratory and its population is stable as it is assessed as least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; this bird is gray with a bushy crest and mostly has a white head and breast. The face and eyes are all black with a long tail and beak.
Both sexes of this bird species look similar other than the female’s green beak.
Behavior; this bird is noisy and restless and usually moves singly or in groups.
Habitat; the Bare-faced Go-away Bird likes inhabiting moist savanna, woodland, and gardens.
Feeding; it feeds on fruits, leaves, and seeds.
Reproduction; the reproduction process of the bird is unclear however, it lays 2-3 eggs.
When on your bird watching safaris, the Bare-faced Go-away Bird can be spotted in the northern sector of the Buligi game area in Murchison falls park.
M.I. (172) Eastern Plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus)
The Eastern Plantain-eater is also known as the Eastern Grey Plantin-eater breeding mostly in tropical east Africa.
This large turaco bird is not endangered or vulnerable as its population is stable. According to IUCN, the birds’ population is least concern.
It is not a migratory bird.
Identification; The Eastern Plantain-eater is a common grey Turaco with a long tail and bushy crest.
While in flight, this bird displays white bars on the outer wing and white sides to the tail.
The Eastern Plantain-eater can be confused in shape with the White-bellied go-away-bird. However, it’s distinguished by its darker belly and yellowish bill.
Habitat; These birds are commonly found in savannas, and woodlands, mostly in small groups.
Feeding; this bird feeds on fruits, flowers, and seeds.
Reproduction; the reproduction of this bird species is unclear however it is known for laying 2 or 3 eggs. It lays the eggs in tree platform nests.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Eastern Plantain-eater is spotted within the Buligi plains.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Musophagidae
- Black-billed Turaco
- White-crested Turaco
N. Order; CUCULIFORMES
N.I. Family; Cuculidae
N.I. (175) Blue-headed coucal
N.I. (176) White browed coucal
N.I. (177) African emerald cuckoo
N.I. (178) Great spotted Cuckoo
Other Birds In The Family Of Cuculidae
|178. Blue Malkoha|
180. Senegal Coucal
181. Black Coucal
182. Levaillant’s Cuckoo
183. Pied Cuckoo
184. Dideric Cuckoo
|185. Klaas’s Cuckoo|
186. Black Cuckoo
187. Red-chested Cuckoo
188. African Cuckoo
189. Common Cuckoo
O. Order; CAPRIMULGIFORMES
O.I. Family; Caprimulgidae
O.I. (190) Pennant-winged Nightjar (Caprimulgus vexillarius)
The Pennant-winged Nightjar is a species of nightjar in the family of Caprimulgidae. This spacious bird breeds in Africa and it’s an intra-African migrant.
Its population is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; males are characteristic in having a broad white band over the black primaries. The males as well acquire a striking 2nd primary feather during the breeding season.
These pennant feathers grow to greater lengths in the next years twice the body length. They then drop off immediately after the completion of the breeding.
Behavior; they are most active during late evenings and at early sunrise. They drink water while they fly on top of water surfaces. They move in groups.
Habitat; The Pennant-winged Nightjar inhabits moist savannah areas and broadleaved woodlands.
Feeding; the species feeds on insects flying and beetles.
Reproduction; Breeding takes place from spring to early summer while south of the equator. Males usually separate from their territories to attract passing females.
Laying eggs coincides with the full moon. In mid-summer, most birds start returning to the northern hemisphere.
When birding in Uganda Murchison Falls National Park, the Pennant-winged Nightjar is spotted at the top of the falls. This species is usually along the Tebito track in the late evenings.
O.I. (191) Long-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus climacurus)
The Long-tailed Nightjar is a small bird in the family of Caprimulgidae. This bird only breeds in Africa and its population is stable as it is least concern.
It is an intra-Africa migrant.
Identification; it has a very long tail. The plumage of this bird depends geographically, it is rufous-brown or gray-brown though dark brown locally.
It has a large pale mark on the outer wing and along the sides of the tail. Males are mostly white and bluff in females. Non-breeding birds can have a shorter though still elongated tail.
Feeding; the bird feeds on insects in the air.
Habitat; it inhabits areas where trees litter the ground, in weeds and bushes providing suitable conditions matching its color.
In Murchison falls park, the Long-tailed Nightjar is seen at the Tebito track at top of the falls and around the Paraa area.
O.I. (192) Standard-winged Nightjar (Caprimulgus longipennis)
The Standard–winged Nightjar is a nocturnal bird that breeds in Africa. It intra-migrates in Africa.
Its population is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; Adult males have a bizarre and unusual wing ornament during the breeding season. It consists of a central flight feather on each wing much longer than the bird’s body.
In flight, this bird makes the impression of two bats chasing after it. When roosting during the day, this bird is grey with a browner collar. It has a short tail and lacks white in the wings or tail.
Behavior; this small bird flies at dusk and most often at sundown. It spends most of its day time roosting on the grounds.
Habitat; The Standard–winged Nightjar inhabits Savannah, broadleaf woodland, forest clearings, and open fields.
Feeding; the bird feeds on insects that are flying in the air.
Reproduction; The bird’s reproduction is unclear but it lays 2 elongated eggs on the bare ground, not in nests.
When on your Uganda bird watching safari in Murchison falls, the Standard–winged Nightjar is spotted in the Paraa area and along the Albert Nile swamps.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Caprimulgidae
- Fiery-necked Nightjar
- Swamp Nightjar
- Plain Nightjar
- Slender-tailed Nightjar
- Square-tailed Nightjar
More Birds In The Order Of Caprimulgiformes
O.II. Family; Apodidae
|198. Scarce Swift|
199. Alpine Swift
200. Mottled Swift
201. Common Swift
202. Nyanza Swift
|203. African Swift|
204. Little Swift
205. Horus Swift
206. White-rumped Swift
207. African Palm Swift
P. Order; CORACIIFORMES
P.I. Family; Alcedinidae
P.I. (208) Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle Maxima)
The Giant Kingfisher is an amazing bird breeding in Africa. This bird is not a migrant and its population is stable.
According to IUCN, the bird species’ population is least concern.
Identification; it is the largest Kingfisher species in Africa (about 42- 46cm long). It’s easily identified by its large bushy crest, a large black bill, and fine white spots on the black upper parts.
Males have a chestnut breast band while females have a white-spotted black breast band and a chestnut belly.
Behavior; they always move in pairs. They are quiet birds as they take quite some time to make a sound.
Habitat; they are always seen up on trees or poles near freshwater rivers, swamps, wetlands, and lakes.
Feeding; the Giant Kingfisher is a carnivore bird that mostly feeds on fish. It as well feeds on frogs and crabs from water.
Reproduction; the reproduction of this bird species is unclear, however, it lays around 3 eggs.
On your Uganda birding trip in Murchison park, you can spot the Giant Kingfisher around Lake Albert Nile delta. The best way to see this bird is when on a boat cruise that goes to the Abert Delta.
P.I. (209) Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis Cristata)
The Malachite Kingfisher is a river kingfisher that breeds widely in Africa. It is not a migrant except for seasonal movements related to climate.
This bird is not endangered nor Vulnerable as its population status is stable (Least Concern).
Identification; A Malachite Kingfisher is a relatively small Kingfisher, about 13cm in length. This lovely colored kingfisher holds a short black crest with blue feathers.
It’s much noticed by its vivid orange underparts and the blue upper parts. Note the white patches on its throat and rear neck sides and the bright red legs, plus a reddish-orange bill.
Behavior; It is usually seen in pairs. It sits motionless for long periods before diving into the water to snatch its prey.
Habitat; the bird is commonly found almost in habitats near water, such as lakes, rivers, streams, and rice gardens.
Feeding; Malachite Kingfisher is carnivores and feeds on fish and aquatic birds.
Reproduction; this bird breeds in burrows chambered in tree holes. Females lay 3-4 eggs which are placed on the litter of fish bones.
In Murchison Falls National Park, this bird is hardly missed in the Paraa area.
P.I. (210) Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle Rudis)
The Pied Kingfisher is a small water kingfisher that breeds in Africa and Asia. This bird is non-migratory.
Its population is stable as it is assessed by IUCN as least concern for the red list endangered species.
Identification; The Pied Kingfisher is a lovely species of Kingfisher easily identified by its black and white striped plumage.
It has a short, bushy crest and silky dark bill. Males are double banded across the breast and females have a single gorget that’s usually broken in the middle.
Behavior; They’re commonly seen resting in small groups or pairs and commonly hovering over clear water before diving for fish.
Habitat; the bird is commonly found almost in habitats near water, such as swamps, lakes, rivers, and streams.
Feeding; the Pied Kingfisher is a carnivore and mainly feasts on fish and aquatic insects.
Reproduction; this bird is a bit funny, it reproduces co-operatively with other non-breeding birds from an earlier brood assisting parents. It may as well reproduce unrelated older birds.
The Pied Kingfisher is more spotted in the Paraa region, especially on a boat cruise to the Nile delta.
Other Birds In The Family Of Alcedinidae
- Shining-blue Kingfisher
- African Pygmy Kingfisher
- Grey-headed Kingfisher
- Woodland Kingfisher
- Blue-breasted Kingfisher
- Striped Kingfisher
P.II. Family; Meropidae
P.II. (217) Red-throated Bee-eater (Merops bulocki)
The Red-throated Bee-eater is a nice-looking species of bird in the family Meropidae.
It mostly breeds in tropical Africa and it’s non-migratory. Its population status is stable as it is least concern.
Identification; this pretty bee-eater is identified from other bee-eaters by its red throat. It has a black face mask, green upper parts, and a pale orange breast.
Please, also note the bright blue under tail coverts and thighs.
In flight, they show cinnamon underwings with a trailing black edge.
Habitat; they’re often found in savanna habitats, usually near water, in small groups. These birds nest in tunnels along cliffs.
Feeding; The Red-throated Bee-eater feeds on honey bees and stingless bees as well as other insects.
On your birding safaris in Uganda Murchison Falls NP, the bird species is spotted at the Nyamusika cliff towards the falls.
The best way to see them is by boarding a thrilling Nile boat cruise to the bottom of the Murchison falls.
P.II. (218) Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater (Merops oreobates)
The Cinnamon-Chested Bee-eater is a smaller bee-eater breeding in East Africa.
This bird is non-migratory and its population is stable (Least Concern). It’s not endangered or vulnerable.
Identification; The Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater is a medium-sized impressive bird with rich rufous underparts.
This bee-eater holds a green head, upperparts, and tail while its throat. It has a yellow chin, separated by the black strike from the cinnamon-brown breast.
Their tail base is yellow and features a white tip on the blackish tail when seen from the front.
Though much similar to the Little and Blue-breasted bee-eaters, these birds are much bigger and richly colored below.
Habitat; These birds are usually spotted in woodlands, in small flocks, resting high in visible places.
Feeding; The Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater diet consists of honey bees, moths, butterflies beetles, and other insects.
On your Uganda birding holiday in Murchison falls park, they can be spotted within the Paraa area. Also, it is possible to spot the bird within the Buligi game area.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Meropidae
|219. Little Bee-eater|
220. Blue-breasted Bee-eater
221. Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
222. White-throated Bee-eater
223. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
|224. Madagascar Bee-eater|
225. European Bee-eater
226. Northern Carmine Bee-eater
227. Southern Carmine Bee-eater
P.III. Family; Coraciidae
P.III. (228) European Roller (Coracias garrulous)
The European Roller is a beautiful bird that mostly breeds in Europe. Its population status is stable as it is not endangered or vulnerable.
This bird is a long-distance migrant as it spends its winter season in Africa.
Identification; The European Roller is a colorful stocky bird with vivid blue overall, a warm brown back, and a crow-like bill.
Juviles have a duller plumage.
Behavior; this bird vomits a foul-smelling orange liquid onto itself to deter a predator. The smell also warns the parents on their return to the nest.
This roller species is usually spotted singly or in small flocks, resting on visible tree branches.
Habitat; this bird dwells in a wide variety of environments however, it avoids treeless plains.
It’s mostly spotted in open savannas having scattered trees with wooded perches.
Feeding; It feeds mostly on large insects such as grasshoppers.
Reproduction; females lay 2-6 white smooth eggs at intervals of 2 or 3 days. They are incubated by both parents for about 17-19 days before they hatch. Chicks usually fledge after 26 or 27 days.
The chicks first bread when they are two years old.
In Murchison Falls National Park, it can be spotted within the Buligi plains.
P.III. (229) Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssinicus)
The Abyssinian Roller is also known as the Senegal Roller. It breeds in tropical Africa.
They are short migrants flying further south after the wet season. Their population is stable as it is not endangered or vulnerable.
Identification; An Abyssinian Roller is a slim lovely bird having a distinct brown back and the rest of its plumage blue.
Note its long outer tail feathers. While in flight, its gorgeous wings are half dark blue and half pale blue.
It can be easily identified from the Lilac-breasted roller by the blue throat.
Also, it’s separated from the much similar European roller, however, distinguished by its dark blue rather than a black outer wing.
Behavior; these birds perch on trees, and posts whilst watching for large insects and small rodents. They are fearless as they can fly into the smoke of a forest fire to catch disturbed invertebrates.
They as well dive and roll at humans and other intruders.
Habitat; this nice-looking bird is mostly found in open dry savanna, often spotted singly or in pairs.
Feeding; the Abyssinian Roller feeds on insects and small invertebrates.
Reproduction; Their reproduction is unclear however, they nest in tree holes where they lay 3- 6 eggs.
On your Murchison falls safari in Uganda, it can be spotted within the Buligi plains.
P.III. (230) Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)
The Lilac-breasted Roller is a small good looking bird that breeds in Sub-saharan Africa.
This bird is non-migratory and it is not endangered or vulnerable. Its population status is just stable.
Identification; A Lilac-breasted Roller is an attractive unmistakable chunky. It is a large-headed bird having a prominent lilac breast, spring-green crown, and rusty cheeks.
Behavior; This bird has an amazing display while in flight which includes, side-to-side rolling thus, its name.
They are usually spotted alone or in pairs, perched visibly on tree tops.
Habitat; These birds mostly prefer open woodlands and savannas of treeless areas.
Feeding; the diet of this bird consists of arthropods and small vertebrates like ground-dwelling insects.
Reproduction; the Lilac-breasted Roller lays 3-4 eggs in a breeding season which are incubated by both parents for about 22- 24 days.
Chicks fledge for 19 days.
On your Uganda birding trip in Murchison falls park, it can be spotted within Buligi plains.
Other Birds In The Family Of Coraciidae
- Broad-billed Roller
Q. Order; PICIFORMES
Q.I. Family; Lybiidae
Q.I. (231) Double-toothed Barbet (Lybius bidentatus)
The Double-toothed Barbet is a nice-looking bird breeding in tropical Africa. This bird is non-migratory and its population status is not endangered as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; this barbet has a black and red coloring with a large bill that is off-white. The skin around its eye is yellow.
It is black on the top side of its body with a patch of white feathers on its back. Its breast is red with a white patch on both sides.
Females have lines of black feathers on the white side patch. Juveniles are duller with dark grey feathers.
Behaviors; Double-toothed Barbets are seen in pairs or small family groups. They are territorial with big spaces.
This bird roosts communally as all birds in a group roost in the same hole. Usually, those in pairs will both defend their nesting hole. These holes are usually 46 cm deep.
Habitat; Double-toothed Barbets inhabit dense woodlands and occupy forests as well as gardens.
Feeding; the bird feeds on fruits and seeds.
Breeding; Breeding of the barbet species happens year-round. Females lay 2-4 white eggs which are incubated for 13 days.
Chicks are fed by both parents and after 37-39 days they fledge.
The Double-toothed Barbet in Murchison park is spotted in the Paraa area and the northern sector in the Buligi area.
Q.I. (232) Red-fronted Barbet (Tricholaema diademata)
The Red-fronted Barbet is an attractive bird that breeds in East Africa. This bird is not endangered as its population is stable.
It’s not migratory.
Identification; It is a medium-sized black-and-white barbet.
Note its bright red patch above the bill, and the white eyebrow and breast. Juveniles don’t have the red patch above the bill.
This bird can be confused with the Spot-flanked and Black-throated Barbets, however, easily distinguished by the absence of a black throat patch.
The amount of spotting on the underparts varies geographically.
Habitat; This beautiful bird is commonly spotted within dry woodlands and savannas.
Feeding; The Red-fronted Barbet feeds on fruits and seeds.
It is spotted within the woodlands in the Paraa area while on your Murchison falls safari
Q.I. (233) Black-billed Barbet (Lybius guifsobalito)
The Black-billed Barbet is a stunning bird of the Lybiidae family that breeds in the Afrotropical realm.
This bird is non-migratory and its population status is stable as it is least concern according to IUCN.
Identification; It’s a black barbet of modest size with a distinct crimson head. This bird has visible pale margins on its wing feathers which are visible with close inspection.
The beak is rather strong and black, the featherless skin of the face is gray, and the eyes are reddish brown.
It’s much similar to the Red-faced barbet but, their range differs and can be identified by its more extensive red on the head.
Habitat; They’re commonly found in pairs or small flocks often at moderate elevations in woodlands, and scrubs.
In Murchison park Uganda, the Black-billed Barbet is spotted within the woodlands in Paraa and also in the Buligi area.
Other birds In Murchison Falls National Park from the family Lybiidae
- Red-and-yellow Barbet
- D’Arnaud’s Barbet
- Yellow-throated Tinkerbird
- Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird
- Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
- Spot-flanked Barbet
- White-headed Barbet
- Black-breasted Barbet
Q.II. Family; Picidae
Q.II. (242) African Gray Woodpecker (Chloropicus goertae)
The African Grey Woodpecker is a small bird in the woodpecker family of Picidae. This bird breeds only in Sub-saharan Africa and equatorial Africa.
It’s non-migratory and it is not endangered or vulnerable.
Identification; it is a mid-sized woodpecker with a yellow-green back and gray underparts. Males have a red crown and plain gray females. They usually show a small orange or a bright red patch on their belly.
It’s slightly similar to the Mountain Gray Woodpecker. However, it is distinguished by the barring on the wing and undertail and the lack of a large, deep red belly patch.
It has a body length of 20 cm.
Behavior; this bird regularly taps and drums and makes a loud and fast call peet-peet-peet-peet.
Habitat; The African Grey Woodpecker inhabits savannas, woodland, gardens, mangroves, and forest edges.
Feeding; this bird is an insectivore, it is seen trapping insects near its hole tree.
Reproduction; its reproduction is unclear however it is known that it lays 2-4 eggs in tree holes.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the African Grey Woodpecker is both in the southern and northern sectors. It cannot be missed in the Paraa area and Buligi game area. It can as well be spotted in the Budongo forest.
Q.II. (243) Brown-eared Woodpecker (Campethera caroli)
The Brown-eared Woodpecker is a dark, medium-sized woodpecker breeding in Africa’s tropical rainforests.
This bird is non-migratory. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of least concern.
Identification; this bird is mostly dark olive green having a unique glossy-brown ear patch. Its underparts are heavily marked with yellowish spots.
Males have a small red patch on the back of the head while females do not have it. Their long beak is bluish-grey, the legs are olive, and the iris chestnut
Behavior; it is a shy bird and mostly moves singly.
Habitat; The Brown-eared Woodpecker inhabits dense tropical forests, riverine forests, and more open locations with grassy woodland.
Feeding; This bird feeds on insects like ants and other small invertebrates.
When on your birding tour in Murchison park, the Brown-eared Woodpecker is spotted in the Budongo forest.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Picidae
- Eurasian Wryneck
- Cardinal Woodpecker
- Nubian Woodpecker
- Other birds in the order of Piciformes
Q.III. Family; Indicatoridae
- Lesser Honeyguide
- Greater Honeyguide
R. Order; PASSERIFORMES
R.I. Family; Buphagidae
R.I. (250) Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorynchus)
The Red-billed Oxpecker is a beautiful bulbul-sized brown passerine bird breeding in Sub-saharan Africa.
This bird is not migratory and it’s not endangered or vulnerable as its population status is stable.
Identification; It has a bright red bill and red eyes surrounded by a fleshy yellow wattle. They as well have a pale black-light brownish plumage.
Juveniles don’t have a bright bills and eye coloration.
Though a little similar to the Yellow-billed oxpeckers, the Red-billed Oxpecker has a bright red bill
Behavior; they move in small groups and usually follow herds of animals in the park.
Habitat; On Uganda safaris, these birds are commonly spotted in savannas.
Feeding; the Red-billed Oxpecker is carnivorous. It gleans ticks, and mites plus goes ahead to peck directly from a mammal’s wounds.
They can be spotted within the Paraa region, perched on resting animals on the river banks.
The Red-billed Oxpeckers are as well spotted in the northern sector of the park on herds of buffaloes during game drives.
R.I. (251) Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus)
The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is a gorgeous passerine bird in the family Buphagidae. This bird breeds in savannas and Sub-saharan Africa.
It is not a migratory bird and it is not endangered or vulnerable.
Their name arises from their custom of perching on large wild mammals such as buffaloes, and antelopes, eating arthropod parasites.
Identification; They’ve brown upperparts and heads, buff underparts, and a pale rump. They have yellow bills at the base and red at the tip and have strong feet.
Though similar to Red-billed Oxpeckers, Red-billed Oxpeckers have a red bill, a yellow eye wattle, and a dark rump.
Habitat; the Yellow-billed Oxpecker in habits in savannah areas where there are herds of animals to feed on.
Feeding; their best food is blood. They can peck directly from a mammal’s wounds until blood flows and mammals can no longer tolerate them.
The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is spotted pecking on Buffaloes in the Paraa region along the Nile banks. It is as well spotted in the Buligi area during safari game drives.
R.II. Family; Malaconotidae
R.II. (252) Papyrus Gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri)
The Papyrus Gonolek is a beautiful bird species in the family Malaconotidae breeding in East Africa.
This bird is non-migratory and it is nearly threatened because of the destruction of swamps.
Identification; It’s a handsome black and red medium-sized bush shrike with a yellow crown.
Its upper parts, the wings & tail are black except for a broad white bar on the wings. The breast and upper belly are vivid orange crimson, and the lower belly is whitish.
Behavior; this bird is observed usually singly or in pairs flying occasionally from one papyrus to another.
Habitat; the Papyrus Gonolek is restricted in Papyrus swamps.
Feeding; its diet is made up of insects like ants and beetles. It as well feeds on snails and fruits.
On your birding safari in Uganda Murchison Falls NP, it can be spotted in the Nile delta area.
R.II. (253) Black-headed Gonolek (Laniarius erythrogaster)
The Black-headed Gonolek is a magnificent bird species in the family of Malaconotidae.
This bird breeds in tropical Africa and it is not a migrant. Its population is stable as it is not endangered or vulnerable.
Identification; this beautiful bushshrike is identified easily by its shining red and black.
Though similar to the Papyrus Gonolek, the Black-headed Gonolek has an all-black head lacking a yellow crown.
Habitat; It mostly dwells in dry savanna, tropical moist shrubs, and seasonally flooded lowland areas.
Feeding; the Black-headed Gonolek feeds on insects like ants and other small invertebrates.
On your Uganda birding tour in Murchison park, it can be spotted while on a game drive in the scenic Buligi game area.
It can as well be spotted in the Nile Delta area.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Malaconotidae
255. Northern Puffback
256. Marsh Tchagra
257. Black-crowned Tchagra
258. Brown-crowned Tchagra
259. Tropical Boubou
260. Slate-coloured Boubou
261. Fork-tailed Drongo
262. Red-backed Shrike
263. Turkestan Shrike
|264. Isabelline Shrike|
265. Emin’s Shrike
266. Lesser Grey Shrike
267. Grey-backed Fiscal
268. Yellow-billed Shrike
269. Northern Fiscal
270. Woodchat Shrike
271. Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike
272. Grey-headed Bushshrike
R.III. Family; Corvidae
R.III. (273) Piapiac (Ptilostomus afer)
The Piapiac is a lovely African bird in the Crow family, the only member of the genus Ptilostomus.
It’s non-migratory and its population is stable as it is not endangered or vulnerable.
Identification; this exceptional slender and magpie-like bird has a long narrowing tail and a chunky bill.
Adults have a glossy black plumage with black heavy bills, black legs, and feet plus a purplish Irish with a bluish-purple outer ring.
Juveniles have black-tipped pink bills.
Behavior; they move in flocks with over 10 individuals.
Habitat; this bird inhabits savanna areas, cultivated lands, or areas with fields or pastures.
They’re mostly spotted in groups riding on the back of the mammal or perched on treetops.
Feeding; the Piapiac feeds on insects and other invertebrates.
Reproduction; the breeding of the Piapiac is unclear though they nest in palm trees where the female lays eggs between March and April.
They are pale blue or greenish-blue with a few brown blotches.
The Piapiac is spotted as you are on game drives in the Buligi game expanse in Murchison park.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Corvidae
- Pied Crow Corvus albus
- Fan-tailed Raven
R.IV. Family; Muscicapidae
R.IV. (276) Swamp Flycatcher (Muscicapa aquatic)
The Swamp Flycatcher is a small bird in the family of Muscicapidae. It’s a breeding bird in tropical Africa.
This bird’s population is stable and it is not endangered. It is not a migratory bird.
Identification; this bird is chunky brown with a white throat and brown chest band. In the eastern part range, birds show a lot of contrast on the underparts whereas those in the west are duller.
Habitant; it inhabits papyrus swamps, marshes, riverbanks, and lakeshores.
Feeding; this bird mostly feeds on insects from swamps.
The Swamp Flycatcher is spotted along the Victoria Nile in the Paraa area and the Nile Albert Delta area in Murchison park.
R.IV. (277) Silver bird (Melaenornis semipartitus)
The Silver bird is an Old World flycatcher native to Eastern Africa. It’s not a migrant and its population is stable (least concern) as it is not endangered.
Identification; A Silver bird is a nice-looking unique Flycatcher having gorgeous orange underparts and silver-grey upper parts.
Juveniles are buff and grey, without orange, and are covered in a complex scalloped marking plumage.
Habitat; this spectacular bird is mostly spotted in savannah and open woodlands on the thorn trees.
On your birding safari in Murchison falls, it can be encountered within the Buligi plains.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Muscicapidae
|278. African Thrush|
279. African Dusky Flycatcher
280. Spotted Flycatcher
281. Gambaga Flycatcher
282. Pale Flycatcher
283. Grey Tit-Flycatcher
284. Northern Black-Flycatcher
285. White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher
286. Brown-backed Scrub-Robin
287. Red-backed Scrub-Robin
288. White-browed Robin-Chat
|289. Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat|
290. Spotted Morning-Thrush
291. Common Redstart
293. African Stonechat
294. Sooty Chat
295. Northern Wheatear
296. Isabelline Wheatear
297. Pied Wheatear
298. White-fronted Black-Chat
299. Familiar Chat
300. Red-capped Robin-Chat
R.V. Family; Motacillidae
R.V. (301) African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp)
The African Pied Wagtail is also known as the African Wagtail. It is a striking species of bird in the family Motacillidae.
This bird breeds in tropical Africa and it is non-migratory. It’s not endangered as its population status is stable.
Identification; this bird is black-and-white showing a bold white eyebrow and wing panels plus a broad black throat patch. Juveniles are brownish.
Habitat; they’re usually spotted in pairs and family groups, living in a range of habitats, including around humans plus watersides.
Feeding; It usually runs on the ground foraging for insects, usually wagging its tail up and down in an amazing motion.
Reproduction; African Pied Wagtails start breeding before the rainy season. Usually, they breed for six months.
Females lay 3-6 eggs which are incubated solely by her but parenting is for both parents.
African Pied Wagtails can be spotted in the Paraa area in Murchison Falls National Park.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Motacillidae
- Western Yellow Wagtail
- African Pipit
- Long-billed Pipit
- Plain-backed Pipit
- Tree Pipit
- Yellow-throated Longclaw
- White-rumped Seedeater
R.VI. Family; Viduidae
R.VI. (309) Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)
A Pin-tailed whydah is a small gorgeous songbird with an exclusive pennant-like tail in breeding males. This bird breeds most in Africa and is non-migratory.
Their population status is stable as they are not threatened.
Identification; Males are easily identified by their black backs and crown plus a very long black tail.
Their wings are dark brown with white patches and have white underparts plus a short orange-pink bill.
Females don’t have a long tail extension, they’ve streaked brown upperparts, and white underparts with buff flanks. They as well have a buff black face pattern however, they hold an orange-pink bill.
Behavior; Males are territorial and can have several females in their group.
Habitat; they like inhabiting savannah grasslands and scrubs.
Feeding; the Pin-tailed Whydah is an insectivore and mostly feeds on insects.
Reproduction; this bird is a brood parasite as it lays 2-4 eggs in the nests of finches. However, it doesn’t destroy the eggs of the host like the common Cuckoo.
The eggs look alike though the Pin-tailed Whydahs’ is a bit bigger.
On your bird watching safari in Murchison falls, the bird is spotted in the Buligi game area during game drives.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Viduidae
- Village Indigobird
R.VII. Family; Ploceidae
R.VII. (311) Speckle-fronted Weaver (Sporopipes frontalis)
The Speckle-fronted Weaver is a small bird in the family of Ploceidae. This bird breeds in Africa and it is not migratory.
Its population status is stable.
Identification; it is a small, unique sparrow-like weaver. They have a crown that is black with white speckles.
Their backs on the neck and collar are pale rufous and their face shows a black moustache stripe.
Habitat; they inhabit dry or moist savanna and woodland in small flocks.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Speckle-fronted Weaver is spotted in the Paraa area and Buligi game area.
R.VII. (312) White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali)
The White-browed Sparrow Weaver is a small bird in the weaver family endemic in Africa.
This bird is not a migrant and not endangered as its population status is stable.
Identification; this bird has a white eyebrow stripe and a white rump which is visible in flight. Males have a black bill whereas females’ bill is horn colored or light gray.
The bill for juveniles is pinkish brown
Behavior; The White-browed Sparrow Weaver stays in groups of and waived U-shaped nests where they roost or breed.
Habitat; they inhabit dry or moist savanna and woodland.
The White-browed Sparrow Weaver is spotted in the Paraa area and Buligi game area in Murchison Falls National Park.
R.VII. (313) Northern Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus)
The Northern Red Bishop also known as the Orange Bishop is a small passerine bird in the family Ploceidae.
This amazing bird is not migratory and its population status is stable as it is not endangered.
Identification; Breeding males have a black face and crown with brown wings and long reddish-orange upper tail converts.
Nonbreeding males and females are distinguished from similar Black-winged Bishop by smaller size and bill. And the Yellow-crowned Bishop by buffier coloration and more limited streaking on the chest.
Habitat; this bird inhabits agricultural areas and edges of marshes.
Behavior; the Northern Red Bishop moves in flocks and roosts together.
Feeding; they feed on grass feeds and insects.
Reproduction; Females lay 2-5 white eggs which are incubated by the mother solely as the male provides food.
Chicks fledge when are about 27-30 days.
The Northern Red Bishop is spotted in the Paraa area and the Buligi game expanse in Murchison park.
R.VII. (314) Yellow Bishop (Euplectes capensis)
The Yellow Bishop is a small bird also known as Cape Bishop, Cape Widow, or Yellow-rumped Widow. It is a resident in Africa.
The bird is not migratory and its population status is stable.
Identification; it is a chunky and large-billed bishop. Males show yellow shoulders and rump in all plumages.
However, the black in breeding plumage and streaky brown in non-breeding plumage.
The female is brown and heavily streaked below, without yellow highlights.
Behavior; In the breeding season the Yellow Bishop are usually solitary or in pairs. Non-breeding bishops form flocks and are mixed with other bird species.
Habitat; they are found in grasslands, open woodland, and in cultivated farmlands.
Feeding; the Yellow Bishop feeds on seeds, grains, and some insects.
On your birding tour in Uganda Murchison Falls NP, this bird is spotted in the Paraa area and the Buligi game area.
Other Birds In Murchison Falls National Park In The Family Of Ploceidae
|316. Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver|
317. Red-headed Weaver
318. Baglafecht Weaver
319. Little Weaver
320. Slender-billed Weaver
321. Black-necked Weaver
322. Spectacled Weaver
323. Northern Brown-throated Weaver
324. Lesser Masked-Weaver
325. Vitelline Masked-Weaver
326. Heuglin’s Masked-Weaver
327. Village Weaver
328. Golden-backed Weaver
|329. Black-headed Weaver|
330. Compact Weaver
331. Cardinal Quelea
332. Red-headed Quelea
333. Red-billed Quelea
334. Black-winged Bishop
335. Black Bishop
336. White-winged Widowbird
337. Yellow-mantled Widowbird
339. Fan-tailed Widowbird
340. Grosbeak Weaver
Other Birds in the Order of Passeriformes
R.VIII. Family; Nectariniidae
|341. Western Violet-backed Sunbird|
342. Collared Sunbird
343. Pygmy Sunbird
344. Green-headed Sunbird
345. Scarlet-chested Sunbird
347. Olive-bellied Sunbird
|348. Northern Double-collared Sunbird|
349. Beautiful Sunbird
350. Mariqua Sunbird
351. Red-chested Sunbird
352. Purple-banded Sunbird
R.IX. Family; Campephagidae
- Black Cuckooshrike
- Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike
R.X. Family; Oriolidae
- African Black-headed Oriole
R.XI. Family; Platysteiridae
- Brown-throated Wattle-eye
- Chinspot Batis
- Western Black-headed Batis
R.XII. Family; Vangidae
- White Helmetshrike
R.XIII. family; Dicruridae
- Fork-tailed Drongo
R.XIV. Family; Laniidae
|362. Red-backed Shrike|
363. Turkestan Shrike
364. Isabelline Shrike
365. Emin’s Shrike
366. Lesser Grey Shrike
367. Grey-backed Fiscal
|368. Yellow-billed Shrike|
369. Northern Fiscal
370. Woodchat Shrike
371. Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike
372. Grey-headed Bushshrike
R.XV. Family; Hyliotidae
- Yellow-bellied Hyliota
R.XVI. Family; Stenostiridae
- African Blue Flycatcher
R.XVII. Family; Paridae
- White-shouldered Black-Tit
R.XVIII. Family; Alaudidae
- Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark
- Rufous-naped Lark
- Flappet Lark
- White-tailed Lark
- Sun Lark
R.XIX. Family; Nicatoridae
- Northern Crombec
- Red-faced Crombec
R.XX. Family; Cisticolidae
|383. Green-backed Eremomela|
384. Green-backed Camaroptera
385. Yellow-breasted Apalis
386. Tawny-flanked Prinia
387. Red-winged Prinia
388. Red-faced Cisticola
389. Singing Cisticola
390. Whistling Cisticola
391. Rattling Cisticola
|392. Winding Cisticola|
393. Carruthers’s Cisticola
394. Croaking Cisticola
395. Siffling Cisticola
396. Foxy Cisticola
397. Zitting Cisticola
398. Black-backed Cisticola
399. Wing-snapping Cisticola
R.XXI. Family; Acrocephalidae
|400. Eastern Olivaceous Warbler|
401. Icterine Warbler
402. Common Reed Warbler
403. Lesser Swamp Warbler
404. Greater Swamp Warbler
|405. Grey-capped Warbler|
406. Moustached Grass-Warbler
407. Buff-bellied Warbler
408. Red-winged Grey Warbler
409. African Paradise-Flycatcher
R.XXII. Family; Locustellidae
- Highland Rush Warbler
R.XXIII. Family; Hirundinidae
|411. Plain Martin|
412. Sand Martin
413. Banded Martin
414. Barn Swallow
415. Ethiopian Swallow
416. Angola Swallow
417. Wire-tailed Swallow
|418. Red-rumped Swallow|
419. Lesser Striped Swallow
420. Rufous-chested Swallow
421. Mosque Swallow
422. Common House Martin
423. White-headed Sawwing
424. Black Sawwing
R.XXIX. Family; Pycnonotidae
- Yellow-throated Greenbul
- Yellow-whiskered Greenbul
- Little Greenbul
- Common Bulbul
R.XXX. Family; Phylloscopidae
- Willow Warbler
R.XXXI. Family; Sylviidae
- Brown Parisoma
R.XXXII. Family; Zosteropidae
- Common Whitethroat
- Green White-eye
R.XXXIII. Family; Leiothrichidae
- Brown Babbler
- Arrow-marked Babbler
- Dusky Babbler
R.XXXIV. Family; Leiothrichidae
|437. Wattled Starling|
438. Violet-backed Starling
439. Rüppell’s Starling
440. Splendid Starling
441. Superb Starling
|442. Lesser Blue-eared Starling|
443. Greater Blue-eared Starling
444. Purple Starling
445. Bronze-tailed Starling
R.XXXV. Family; Estrildidae
|446. Bronze Mannikin|
447. Black-and-white Mannikin
448. African Silverbill
449. Grey-headed Nigrita
450. Black-crowned Waxbill
451. Fawn-breasted Waxbill
452. Common Waxbill
453. Black-rumped Waxbill
454. Crimson-rumped Waxbill
456. Yellow-bellied Waxbill
|458. Red-cheeked Cordon bleu|
459. Green-winged Pytilia
460. Orange-winged Pytilia
461. Red-winged Pytilia
462. Brown Twinspot
463. Red-billed Firefinch
464. African Firefinch
465. Black-bellied Firefinch
466. Bar-breasted Firefinch
467. Black-faced Firefinch
R.XXXVI. Family; Passeridae
- Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow
- Northern Grey-headed Sparrow
- Chestnut Sparrow
R.XXXVII. Family; Fringillidae
- White-rumped Seedeater
- Yellow-fronted Canary
- White-bellied Canary
- Brimstone Canary
R.XXXVIII. Family; Emberizidae
- Brown-rumped Bunting
- Cabanis’s Bunting
- Golden-breasted Bunting
- Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
R.XXXVIX. Family; Leiothrichidae
- Brown Babbler
480 Arrow-marked Babbler
- Dusky Babbler
S. Order; FALCONIFORMES
S.I. Family; Falconidae
|482. Lesser Kestrel|
483. Common Kestrel
484. Fox Kestrel
485. Grey Kestrel
486. Red-necked Falcon
|487. Sooty Falcon|
489. Peregrine Falcon
490. Eurasian Hobby
491. African Hobby
T. Order; PSITTACIFORMES
T.I. Family; Psittaculidae
- Red-headed Lovebird
- Ring-necked Parakeet
T.II. Family; Psittacidae
- Meyer’s Parrot
U. Order; COLIIFORMES
U.I. Family; Coliidae
- Speckled Mousebird
- Blue-naped Mousebird
V. Order; COLUMBIFORMES
V.I. Family; Columbidae
|497. Rock Dove|
498. Speckled Pigeon
499. Mourning Collared Dove
500. Red-eyed Dove
501. Ring-necked Dove
502. Vinaceous Dove
503. Laughing Dove
|504. Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove|
505. Black-billed Wood-Dove
506. Blue-spotted Wood-Dove
507. Tambourine Dove
508. Namaqua Dove
509. Bruce’s Green-Pigeon
510. African Green-Pigeon
Murchison Falls National Park is indeed a birders’ haven for those on Uganda birdwatching safaris.
These birds are phenomenal and unique in their way. The prehistoric-looking Shoebill and many un rare water birds are present in the park.
This park receives migrant birds from November to April. If you are a birder, then you shouldn’t miss the opportunity of seeing birds in Murchison falls park on your birding tour.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Most Sought-After Bird In Murchison Falls National Park?
The Shoebill is the most sought-after bird in Murchison Falls National Park by birders on Uganda birdwatching safaris.
This amazing bird is spotted in the Nile Albert delta area. A 4-5 hour delta boat launch is the best way of seeing this bird.
How Many Species Of Birds Are There In Murchison Falls?
Murchison falls park is one of the best birdwatching areas in Uganda with over 556 bird species.
Uganda birding safaris in the park are memorable as you get to see Water birds, Savannah birds, and forest-related birds.
This park has the big five birds that can be spotted which is not so common in the other bird watching areas.
Where To Spot Birds In Murchison Falls National Park?
While on your Uganda birding tour in Murchison park, there are various bird watching areas you cannot miss to visit.
The Nile Albert Delta area is the most rewarding place. It’s where you can spot the rare Shoebill and other water-associated birds which are not seen easily anywhere else.
The Buligi game area in the northern sector of the park is rewarding with savannah and woodland birds. The best way to see birds in this area is through game drives when on your Uganda safari.
Budongo Forest is another ideal place to see birds in Murchison Falls National Park. This forest has over 360 bird species with 60 of those being West or Central African birds.
It is the only place in Uganda and East Africa to spot the Yellow Footed Flycatcher and Puvel’s Illadopsis.
The other place is Rabongo forest which is only one hour away from Paraa. This place has suitable trails for bird lovers during Uganda birding tours in the forest.
Birds in Rabongo forest are almost the same as those in Budongo forest.
For unforgettable birding safari in Uganda, all those places should be combined when in Murchison park.
What Are The Big Five Birds In Murchison Falls National Park?
Murchison Falls National Park has the big five birds you can enjoy when birding in Uganda.
The big five birds are;
- Grey Crowned Cranes
- Great Blue Turaco
- Long Crested Eagle
- Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill
What Is The Best Time Of The Day To See Birds In Murchison Falls National Park?
Birds in Murchison Falls National Park can be seen all day though the best time is in the morning and evening.
This is when the birds are most active. They are sighted leaving their nests in the morning to feed and returning in the evening.
What Is The Best Season Of The Year To See Birds In Murchison Falls National Park?
Birds in Murchison falls national park are sighted all year throughout. However, the best time for Uganda birding safaris in the park is after the rainy seasons.
This is from December to March and from June to August. The rain is little during this time leading to successful Uganda birding tours.
In the wet season, the rain may be heavy and harsh causing delays in seeing birds and also making the trails slippery. Since Murchison park has murram roads, they may as well flood and be forced not to visit some birdwatching areas in the park.
However, migratory birds are in the park from November to April.
What To Wear For A Uganda Birding Safari In Murchison Falls National Park?
There is specific wear you need to put on when going bird watching in Murchison Falls National Park.
This wear depends on the day’s weather conditions. It may be cold or hot, so choose to mind that.
This is what you can wear;
- Long-sleeved shirts and trousers
- Comfortable hiking shoes
- A hat
Long-sleeved shirts and trousers; this wear will protect you from small biting insects and can as well keep you warm when it’s cold.
Avoid putting on bright colors during your birding tours like white as birds relate to danger. Brown and khaki are recommended.
Comfortable shoes; shoes will protect your feet from getting damaged by fallen tree branches. They will also keep you stable on slippery trails.
Ahat or cap; this will protect your head from the direct hot sunlight rays since it covers your entire head.
Sunglasses; you are advised to always put on polarized sunglasses to reduce the glare of the sun. This will protect your eyes from the strong sunlight rays.
What To Carry For A Uganda Birdwatching Safari In Murchison Falls National Park?
When birding in Uganda Murchison Falls National Park, there are essential items you need to carry.
These items will contribute to successful birdwatching safaris in the park.
Essential items to carry include;
- A pair of Binoculars
- A field guide (bird guidebook)
- Notebook and pen
- Water bottle
- Backpack or a waist bag
- Insect repellent
- Poncho or rain jacket
A pair of binoculars; is the primary essential item one should have for a birding tour in Murchison park.
It will help you zoom in on birds that are at a far distance for you to get clear viewings. Binoculars with a magnification between 7x and 10x are highly recommended for birding.
A field guide (bird guidebook); this guide has full information concerning birds. It will give you ultimate data in that you get to know about the bird in full detail.
Notebook and pen; a notebook is where you will record your findings about a bird and a pen is used in writing.
Camera; A camera will help you capture birds in their natural habitats for future remembrance or reference. This Camera should be at least between 200-500mm focal length range for clear capturing.
Water bottle; a water bottle should be carried and filled with water to keep you hydrated during bird watching.
Backpack or waist bag; this is where you will keep your other essential items like a notebook, sunscreen, insect repellent, and many others.
Insect repellent; this will protect you from dangerous insects biting you which may infect you with diseases. An insect repellent will keep them away.
Sunscreen; Always carry sunscreen that you will smear on your body to protect your skin from direct sunlight. The sun may damage your skin.
Poncho or rain jacket; this will protect you from getting wet from rain when on your birdwatching safaris in the park.
What Is The Importance Of Birds In Murchison Falls National Park?
Have you ever imagined a country or a world without birds? Birds play an important role in the world’s ecosystem.
This may be direct or direct like they play an important role in food production. So birds have an essential role in the functioning of the world and should be conserved.
These are some of the importance of birds.
Birds play an important role in Environmental conservation and this is how;
They Are Nature Cleaners
Birds especially scavengers feed on dead decaying animals which may lead to the spread of diseases from bacteria.
If a dog or rat dies it may spread rabies but vultures will eat the dead animal indirectly preventing the spread.
Birds Disperse Seeds In Different Places
After birds have eaten fruit, they fly away to other areas where they dispose off the seeds in their droppings.
This brings up the growth of plants in the ecosystem that have been destroyed creating more habitats for wildlife.
Birds are the main seed dispersers in the entire world.
Birds Pollinate Plants
Not only bees or butterflies pollinate plants, but also birds especially nectar eaters also play this role.
Through this process, it’s when we humans and other wildlife get food to feed on. How strange is this!!
Birds Play A Big Role In Tourism
Did you know that the most selling tourist attraction on average worldwide now are birds?
Many tourists move a thousand miles to go explore birds in their natural habitats. Some of the birds are endangered and live in specific areas of countries. So for you to see them you need to travel and pay a small fee.
Like the Shoebill, it’s almost on every bird lover’s bucket list. Many birders have come to Uganda specifically for this bird.
Birds Are Cultural Emblems
Birds work as cultural emblems, like in Uganda, the Baganda tribe takes some of the birds to be their totems.
This totem is to be respected and protected in that you cannot kill or eat it. You are not supposed to marry someone from the same clan/totem.
Some of the birds that are totems in the Baganda tribe are;
- Cattle Egret ( Nyonyi Nyange)
- Pied Crow (Nnamung’oona)
- Grey Crowned Crane (Ng’aali)
- Fire Finch (Kasanke)
- Birds Boost Science Research
New species of birds are being discovered every day. Research has to be made on the new species like habitations, feeding, breeding, and distribution.