List of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Kenya

List of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Kenya

December 31, 2021
Safari Tips

Are you looking for Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Kenya? Yes, Kenya has a total of 68 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Kenya and they collectively host about 1,090 bird species. Of them, 11 are endemic, and 3 have been introduced by humans, while others are migratory and only visit for feeding and breeding.

Whichever the case, it is no secret that Kenya is one of the best birdwatching destination with great number of avifauna including endemic and near-endemic species that can easily be seen on any birding safari in Kenya. The European and North Africa migrants are always present from September to April.

The following are the Endemic & Near-Endemic Birds in Kenya; Aberdare cisticola (E), Clarke’s weaver (E), Hinde’s pied babbler (E), Montane white-eye (E), Taita thrush (E), Tana River cisticola (E), Williams’s lark (E), Amani sunbird (NE), Grey-crested helmet-shrike (NE), Jackson’s hornbill (NE), Jackson’s francolin (NE), Sharpe’s longclaw (NE), Sokoke pipit (NE), Taveta golden weaver (NE), Sokoke scops owl (NE) and Abbott’s starling (NE).

You can visit all Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Kenya all year-round, however the best time to go for birdwatching is from September to April when the migratory bird species from Europe and northern Africa are present. During this period, many resident bird species normally nest and breed in plumage. Kenya also holds a world record of watching over 342 bird species within 24 hours.

Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Kenya cover all the key habitats types that is to say 22 forests (20 of them protected areas); 12 semi-arid and arid areas (7 are protected); 19 wetlands (only 5 protected); 6 moist grasslands (3 are protected); and 2 other unprotected sites. Of the 61 sites, 47 IBAs shelter globally threatened bird species, 29 are home to range-restricted birds, 32 contain biome-restricted bird species, and 13 IBAs hold large congregations of birds. The following is a List of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Kenya;

Aberdare Mountains

Amboseli National Park

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest

Busia Grasslands

Cherangani Hills

Dakatcha Woodland

Dandora Ponds

Kakamega Forest

Kinangop Grasslands

Kisite Island

Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Lake Bogoria National Reserve

Lake Elmenteita

Lake Magadi

Lake Naivasha

Lake Ol’ Bolossat

Lake Turkana

Masai Mara

Meru National Park

Mida Creek, Whale Island and the Malindi – Watamu Coast

Mount Elgon (Kenya)

Mount Kenya

Mukurweini Valleys

Nairobi National Park

North Nandi Forest

Ruma National Park

Sabaki River Mouth

Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves

Shimba Hills

South Nandi Forest

Taita Hills Forests

Tana River Delta

Tana River Forests

Tsavo East National Park

Yala Swamp Complex

Masai Mara and Amboseli national parks offer a solid introduction to East Africa’s common birds while the great rift valley lakes such as Lake Nakuru, Naivasha and Bogoria host a good number of waterbirds. More still, the northern arid areas like Samburu are home to many dry-country specials. The Arabuko-Sokoke and Kakamega Forest are hot birding spots in Kenya.

The following is a list of globally threatened bird species in Kenya; Taita Apalis, Taita Thrush, Basra Reed-warbler, Amani Sunbird, Sokoke Pipit, Madagascar Pond-heron, Grey Crowned-crane, Aberdare Cisticola, Turner’s Eremomela, Saker Falcon, White-backed Vulture, Rueppell’s Vulture, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Hooded Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Sokoke Scops-owl, Clarke’s Weaver, Spotted Ground-thrush, White-winged Apalis, Karamoja Apalis, Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Black Crowned-crane, Southern Ground-hornbill, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Abbott’s Starling, Madagascar Pratincole, Blue Swallow, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Grey Parrot, Secretarybird, Lappet-faced Vulture, White-headed Vulture and Hinde’s Pied-babbler

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