Best time for Uganda birding safari

Best time for Uganda birding safari

May 19, 2020
Safari Tips

Best time for Uganda birding safari: You can visit Uganda any time of the year for the birding safaris in the different destinations around the pearly pearl of Africa, however, the finest timing for birding enjoyment in the national parks of Uganda is always the dry season, the dry season gives you chance to spot the birds flying under the clear skies of the sunny day through the year. It is best if you book for you birding safari in Uganda during the month of December, January and February. You can enjoy the Uganda birding safaris for 2 days or three days depending on the number of destinations you want to visit. However, you can also enjoy a single day’s birding experience in Entebbe such as lutembe bay, mabamba bay and botanical gardens or mabira forest along the Kampala -Jinja highway.

Best time for Uganda birding safari: Expect to see the following species during your birding safari

Gulls, terns, and skimmers

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years. Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish.

  • Slender-billed gull,
  • Gray-hooded gull,
  • Black-headed gull,
  • Pallas’s gull,
  • Lesser black-backed gull,
  • Gull-billed tern,
  • Caspian tern,
  • White-winged tern,
  • Whiskered tern,
  • Common tern,
  • Lesser crested tern,
  • African skimmer,

Herons, egrets, and bitterns

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons, and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises, and spoonbills.

  • Great bittern,
  • Little bittern,
  • Dwarf bittern,
  • Gray heron,
  • Black-headed heron,
  • Goliath heron,
  • Purple heron,
  • Great egret,
  • Intermediate egret,
  • Little egret,
  • Western reef-heron,
  • Black heron,
  • Cattle egret,
  • Squacco heron,
  • Madagascar pond-heron,
  • Rufous-bellied heron,
  • Striated heron,
  • Black-crowned night-heron,
  • White-backed night-heron,

Ibises and spoonbills

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers found in different African birding destinations.

  • Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
  • African sacred ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus
  • Olive ibis, Bostrychia olivacea
  • Spot-breasted ibis, Bostrychia rara
  • Hadada ibis, Bostrychia hagedash
  • Eurasian spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia (A)
  • African spoonbill, Platalea alba

Hawks, eagles, and kites

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight.

  • Black-winged kite,
  • Scissor-tailed kite,
  • African harrier-hawk,
  • Palm-nut vulture,
  • Bearded vulture,
  • Egyptian vulture,
  • European honey-buzzard,
  • African cuckoo-hawk,
  • White-headed vulture,
  • Lappet-faced vulture,
  • Hooded vulture,
  • White-backed vulture,
  • Rüppell’s griffon,
  • Bateleur,
  • Congo serpent-eagle,
  • Short-toed snake-eagle,
  • Beaudouin’s snake-eagle,
  • Black-chested snake-eagle,
  • Brown snake-eagle,
  • Banded snake-eagle,
  • Bat hawk,
  • Crowned eagle,
  • Martial eagle,
  • Long-crested eagle,
  • Lesser spotted eagle,
  • Greater spotted eagle,
  • Wahlberg’s eagle,
  • Booted eagle,
  • Ayres’s hawk-eagle,
  • Tawny eagle,
  • Steppe eagle,
  • Cassin’s hawk-eagle,
  • Verreaux’s eagle,
  • African hawk-eagle,
  • Lizard buzzard,
  • Dark chanting-goshawk,
  • Eastern chanting-goshawk,
  • Gabar goshawk,
  • Grasshopper buzzard,
  • Eurasian marsh-harrier,
  • African marsh-harrier,
  • Pallid harrier,
  • Montagu’s harrier,
  • Red-chested goshawk,
  • African goshawk,
  • Shikra,
  • Levant sparrowhawk,
  • Red-thighed sparrowhawk,
  • Little sparrowhawk,
  • Ovambo sparrowhawk,
  • Rufous-breasted sparrowhawk,
  • Black goshawk,
  • Long-tailed hawk,
  • Black kite,
  • African fish-eagle,
  • Common buzzard,
  • Mountain buzzard,
  • Long-legged buzzard,
  • Red-necked buzzard,
  • Augur buzzard,

Owls

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.

  • Eurasian scops-owl,
  • African scops-owl,
  • Northern white-faced owl,
  • Southern white-faced owl,
  • Cape eagle-owl,
  • Spotted eagle-owl,
  • Grayish eagle-owl,
  • Fraser’s eagle-owl,
  • Verreaux’s eagle-owl,
  • Pel’s fishing owl,
  • Pearl-spotted owlet,
  • Red-chested owlet,
  • African barred owlet,
  • Chestnut owlet,
  • African wood-owl,
  • Marsh owl,

Mouse birds

Order: Coliiformes   Family: Coliidae

The mouse birds are slender greyish or brown birds with soft, hairlike body feathers and very long thin tails. They are arboreal and scurry through the leaves like rodents in search of berries, fruit, and buds. They are acrobatic and can feed upside down. All species have strong claws and reversible outer toes. They also have crests and stubby bills.

  • Speckled mousebird,
  • Blue-naped mousebird,

Trogons

Order: Trogoniformes   Family: Trogonidae

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage.

  • Narina trogon,
  • Bar-tailed trogon,

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