Budongo Forest Reserve was gazetted as a Central Forest Reserve (CFR) in 1932. The Reserve, which is a mixture of tropical high forest with a large population of mahoganies and savanna grasslands and woodland, covers 79,300 ha, making it Uganda’s biggest Forest Reserve and the second most important after Semliki National Park.
It has one of the longest continuous research records of any tropical rain forest, with permanent plots dating back to the beginning of 20th century.
This forest type is classified as medium altitude semi deciduous moist forest with a high biodiversity of over 360 species of birds; 24 species of small mammals; nine being primates; 465 species of trees and shrubs; 289 species of butterflies; and 130 species of moths
There is Prolific Birdlife with two species not found elsewhere in East Africa: 10 of the 22 species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea–Congo Forests biome that occur in Uganda have been recorded at this site.
Rare species to catch here will include the Puvel’s Illadopsis, Nahan’s Francolin, and the Chocolate–Backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Little Crake, Yellow-billed Barbet, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Moustached Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-throated Greenbul, African Citril, African Golden-breasted Bunting, Black-crowned Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin, Black-billed Bluebill, Black-winged Red Bishop, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Spectacled Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Compact Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Red-headed Weaver, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Purple Starling, Purple-headed Starling, Splendid Starling, Northern Puffback, Black-headed Gonolek, Tropical Boubou, Isabelline Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Western Violet-backed Sunbird and many more.
Four tree species of conservation concern: Cordia millenni, Irvingia gabonensis, Milicia excelsaand Entandrophragma angolense have been recorded.
White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis)
The very gregarious White-throated Bee-eaters grow to 19–21 cm length, excluding the tail streamers, which can exceed an additional 21 cm length.
Sexes are similar and weigh between 20 and 28 grams.
White-throated Bee-eaters breeds in dry sandy open country, where nest colonially in sandy banks or open flat areas. They make a relatively long 1–2 m tunnel in which 6 to 7 spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs, but up to five helpers also assist with caring for the young.
Predominantly, they eat insects, especially bees, wasps, ants, beetles and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.