Birds in Uganda
Dubbed a birdwatcher’s paradise, Uganda is a habitat to 1065 species of birds. 60% of this population is found in national parks. The other species reside in forests, wetlands, semiarid sites, grasslands, and farmland.
Uganda’s bird list
The length of Uganda’s bird list is overwhelming! The country is endowed with a myriad species. Birds in Uganda include:
Ostriches, guineafowl, ducks, waterfowl, and geese, pheasants, allies and grouse, New World quail, grebes, flamingos, pigeons, and doves, turacos, bustards, cuckoos, swifts, nightjars, flufftails, rails, coots, and gallinules.
Cranes, finfoots, Egyptian plovers, thick-knees, oystercatchers, plovers and lapwings, stilts and avocets, painted-snipes, buttonquails, jacanas, pratincoles and coursers, storks, gulls and terns, skuas and jaegers, and shoebills.
Hamerkop, ibises and spoonbills, secretary birds, osprey, herons, egrets, and bitterns, barn-owls, eagles, hawks, mousebirds, trogons, hornbills, hoopoes, bee-eaters, African barbets, and woodpeckers.
Falcons and caracaras, pittas, Old World parrots, Asian and Grauer’s broadbills, African and green broadbills, Old World orioles, bush shrikes, drongos, wattle-eyes and Batises, jays, crows, and magpies.
Flycatchers, hyliotas, chickadees, tits, and titmice, nicators, larks, warblers, grassbirds, bulbuls, swallows, parrotbills, yuhinas, laughing thrushes, oxpeckers, treecreepers, starlings, sunbirds, spiderhunters, weavers, waxbills, indigobirds, pipits, and wagtails, Old Word buntings, euphonias, and finches. The list of birds in Uganda is inexhaustible!
Uganda’s prime birdwatching destinations
Uganda Birds species found in the Queen Elizabeth Park
Over 600 species of the birds in Uganda can be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth is Uganda’s most visited tourist destination.
Resident in the park are water birds, woodland and forest species, raptors and migratory birds.
The park’s key species include the; Greater and Lesser Flamingos, African Skimmer, Martial Eagle, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Bar-tailed Godwit, White-tailed Lark, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Broad Bill, and the Shoebill.
The Mweya peninsula, Kazinga channel, Maramagambo forest, Kasenyi area, Isasha sector, Katunguru bridge area, Lake Kikorongo, and the Katwe area, are the park’s key birding sites.
Uganda Bird species found in the Murchison falls National Park Uganda
The shoebill is the park’s star bird attraction. Waterbirds, savannah forest birds, and Albertine rift endemics are among the birds in Uganda which are commonly sighted in Murchison Falls National park.
The park’s plains are habitat to species like the; Secretary bird, Marabou Stork, Widow bird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black-bellied Bustards, and Open-billed Storks.
In the thickets and woodlands close to the Nile river, birds commonly seen include; Red-throated and Swallow-tailed bee-eaters, Woodpeckers, Warblers, Crombecs, Shrikes, Woodland, Giant, Pied, and Malachite Kingfishers.
Game drives, nature walks, and launch trips on the Nile are some of the ways to spot birds in Murchison falls.
Uganda Birds found in the Rwenzori Mountains
The resident in the inhospitable Rwenzori is over 217 of the species of birds in Uganda. Robins, Bee-eaters, Barbets, and Sunbirds are among the key species commonly sighted in the mountains.
The other species usually seen include; the Rwenzori Turaco, Black Eagle, Long-eared Owl, swifts, and vultures.
Birds Species found in the Mount Elgon Uganda
An extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya, Mount Elgon is a great birding destination. Several of the species of the birds in Uganda can be seen around Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre; in the thick shrub and secondary forest along the loop trail to Cheptui Falls.
The White-chinned Prinia, Chinspot Batis, Chubb’s Cisticola, African Blue Flycatcher, Cinnamon Bee-eater, Tacazze Sunbird, Black Kite, and Black-collared Apalis, Baglafecht Weaver, Hartlaub’s Turaco, and the Olive and Bronze-napped pigeons are some of the mountain’s key resident species.
Uganda Bird species found in the Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park is a haven for forest birds. Easily seen species include the; Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Piping Hornbill, Great Blue and Ross’ Turacos, and Yellow-throated Nicator.
The area around Kirumia River, Sempaya and Ntandi, the Forest, and Lake Albert, are some of the park’s most spectacular viewing sites. Semuliki is a good place to visit for sating ‘birds in Uganda’ encounter.
Uganda Birds found in the Lake Mburo National Park
Many bird species can be sighted in the park, including the rare red-faced barbet.
Commonly sighted birds include the; Bateleur, Rufous-bellied Heron, Brown-chested Lapwing, Bare-faced Go-away bird, Finfoot, White-winged tit, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Ross’s Turaco, Grey-crowned Crane, Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrike, Common Scimitarbill, Brown Parrot, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, and Long-tailed Cisticola.
Lake Mburo’s key birding sites are; the salt licks, Miriti valley, Rubanga forest, the swampy valleys of Miriti and Warukiri, and the roadsides between Rwonyo camp and the jetty. Birds in Uganda find Lake Mburo a great haven.
Birds of Uganda found in the Kidepo Valley National Park
The Purple Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller, and Clapperton’s Francolin, are some of the rare birds found only in Kidepo. Several of the rare birds in Uganda are found in the very distant Kidepo, one of Africa’s finest wildernesses.
Great birding spots in the park include; Apoka Rest Camp, Namamukweny valleys, and the fringes of the Narus.
350 bird species have been recorded in the park including 23 endemics. Easily sighted birds include; the Common Bulbul, African Emerald Cuckoo, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, and Red-headed Bluebill.
Birdwatching in the park is usually done along the main trail, the bamboo zone, Buhoma waterfall trail, and the Mubwindi Swamp found in Ruhija region. Besides being a habitat to the endangered mountain gorillas, several species of the birds in Uganda are found in Bwindi.
Birds of Uganda species found in Kibale Forest National Park
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is the park’s key birding spot. Guided walks along the boardwalk trial and viewing platforms, is the best way to spot the over 138 species residents in the area.
Rare species found in the park include the; Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek, White-collared Oliveback, and White-winged Warbler.
The White-breasted Negrofinch, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Western Nicator, White-spotted Flufftail, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Superb Sunbird, and White-tailed ant-thrush, are some of the other birds that reside in Kibale. Safaris to the park undoubtedly give tourists a real encounter with birds in Uganda.
Uganda bird species found in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Common sightings in Mgahinga include the; Cape Robin Chat, Dusky Turtle Dove, Kivu Ground Thrush, Bronze, Regal, and Blue-headed Sunbirds, Olive Thrush, Rwenzori Batis, Streaky Seedeater, Black-headed Waxbill, and Brown-crowned Tchagra.
The Gorge trail between Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo, bamboo belt, tall montane forest, and the areas along the Uganda – Congo border, are some of the best birding spots in the park. A ‘birds in Uganda’ safari is incomplete without visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.