Fascinating birds of prey in Uganda
Uganda is the pearl of Africa according the first explorers and some have gone as far as describing it as the paradise on earth with a number of birds of prey in Uganda. The country boosts of about 1060 bird species. This is about 10% of the total bird population in the world. With the many other wonders like the gorillas, many people would think that’s all for Uganda but this country never get enough wonders, with a lot of wildlife and culture.
There are many species of birds in Uganda but today our interest runs to the birds of prey. Uganda is a haven to over 90 species of Raptors also known as birds of prey and they range from the small Pygmy Falcons within Kidepo Valley National Park and the Northern region to the great Crowned Eagles found within the tropical rainforests.
Category birds of prey in Uganda
The owls are probably the most common birds of prey that every birder would easily think of. These are divided into other 18 species the most common ones being the giant Pel’s fishing Owls to the small African scop’s owls.
These are also bird of prey despite the fact that they are carrion eaters and some of the attributes of these is that they also eat flesh just like the other bird of prey.
For example, the Palm-nut vultures eat palm-nut just as their name suggests.
The common species of buzzards are the Red-necked Buzzard. It is a medium sized bird that migrates from Mauritania (South of Angola) and Central Ethiopia to the North Western part of Uganda especially in the areas within Otzi East Forest Reserve, west of the White Nile. These bird feed on other birds, small mammals and reptiles. They mostly prefer to reside on forest edges, woodlands, farmlands and secondary forests.
These birds have been listed as threatened species by IUCN. This is usually due to the habitant loss. Other Buzzard species include the Steppe buzzards, Lizard buzzard, Honey buzzards and the Grasshopper Buzzards among others.
The eagles are another prominent bird species that you don’t have to miss while on a birding safari to Uganda. There about 20 species of eagles in Uganda, the common one being the crowned eagle (scientifically known as Stephanoaetus coronatus). This species of eagles is also the most charismatic of them all. They are good with hunting, clever and cunning.
Their prey always includes smaller antelopes like oribis, mongoose, young warthogs, monitor lizards and vervet monkeys. Other species of eagles include the stunning Bateleur and the long-crested eagles among others.
Falcons are also species of raptors/birds of prey and some of their sub-species include the fast Peregrine falcons, the beautiful Grey Kestrel with an all grey but dark yellow facial skin. The shy Red-necked falcons are common with Murchison Falls National Park One fascinating fact about majority of Uganda’s raptors is that they from as far as Europe (such as the steppe Buzzard, Booted eagles, Honey Buzzard and Osprey among others), from South Africa, Egypt, Tanzania and Somalia. Other species of raptors or birds of prey in Uganda include the Bat Kites, the African Goshawk and the Lizard Buzzard among others.