Category: African Birds


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Red-billed oxpeckers squabble over prime seating on the back of an African buffalo. These birds are famous for travelling on tolerant buffalo and other mammals, feeding on various insects on their hosts or nearby.

When the time comes, these birds build nests in tree cavities, which makes this photo all the more interesting. This group of birds seem to be using a rudimentary nest made out of mud and hair plucked from the back of this buffalo. This is the first time I have seen this and I haven’t been able to find any reports elsewhere, so if anyone has some insights into this behaviour, please share!

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Liliac Breasted roller flight WM

For good reason, the lilac-breasted roller is one of the most photographed birds in Eastern Africa. A stunningly colourful bird that I wanted to try to photograph in mid-flight. The hardest part was predicting the flight path, but with a bit of luck and a couple of attempts I came away with a few keepers.

Southern yellow-billed hornbills perched together in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

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The crested guineafowl, with bright red eyes and the the best feather mohawk I’ve seen, is one funky bird.

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A flock of them visited our campsite in Kruger to take dust baths in the fine, dry soil right next to our tent.

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The fine dirt is perfect for getting down between the feathers and to the skin to kill off lice, as well as to remove excess oils and keeps the feathers in good condition to allow for a quick escape from predators.

 

A male pied kingfisher scans the water for fish. Males have a double band across the breast, while females only have one.

A crown crane takes flight in Murchison Falls National Park. Crown cranes are the national bird of Uganda.

Another new species for me on this trip. These lapwings are usually found in more arid areas, so it was a bit of a surprise to find it along the shores of Lake Albert in Murchison Falls National Park.

Moments before I spotted this bird, I was looking through my bird book and thinking it would be neat to see this kingfisher species. Almost on cue, this male obliged.  Giant kingfishers are, as you might have guessed, are the largest kingfisher species in Africa. They get to be about 40cm in length.

Appropriately named, this huge heron species takes off for a new fishing location along the Nile. Many of the wading birds were in lower numbers than usual this year due to the much higher water levels that had flooded many of the surrounding marshes.

A colony of red throated bee eaters creates numerous nest cavities in clay cliffs along the Nile.

With so many beautiful birds in Uganda, its impossible to pick a favourite but these red throated bee eaters are high up on my list. So colourful, with remarkable flying abilities, they snatch fast flying insects (including but not limited to bees) out of mid air in a blink of an eye. Trying to capture these birds in flight was extremely difficult.

This prehistoric looking hornbill slowly flew across the sky in Murchison Falls National Park.