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Sought After Birds of Uganda

Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Family: Eurylaimidae, Genus: Pseudocalyptomena, Species: Pseudocalyptomena graueri

The Grauer’s Broadbill or African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) is an actual broadbill, one of the only a few African representatives of a primarily Asian family. It is bright green with a blue throat and vent and a small bill, quite unlike those of the other broadbills. It is endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests where it forages in canopies.

It is one of the African Big Five bird species, highly sought after by ornithologists but very elusive.

The species is globally endangered

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Pittidae

Species: Pitta reichenowi

Diet:

Habitat: subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests

Location: Uganda, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon

Karamoja Apalis (Apalis karamoja)

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Cisticolidae

Species: Apalis Karamojae

Diet: Invertebrates

Habitat: Accacia Woodland

Location: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

There is little known about this 12-13cm vulnerable species. The Karamoja Apalis in Uganda has Grayish upper parts, darker wings and tail, whitish underparts, and very noticeable white outer tail feathers.

The bird forages for invertebrates in small family parties, and often joins mixed-species flocks.

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Malaconotidae

Species: Laniarius mufumbiri

Diet: Ants, beetles, weevils, small flies, Hymenopterans, caterpillars, snails and fruit

Habitat: Fresh water bodies Papyruses

Location: Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi

Puvel’s Illadopsis (Illadopsis puveli)

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Timaliidae

Species: Illadopsis puveli

Diet:

Habitat:Subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland.

Location:Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Togo

Shelley’s Crimsonwing (Cryptospiza shelleyi)

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Estrildidae

Species: Cryptospiza shelleyi

Diet:

Habitat:Under storey of closed-canopy moist forest, often in lush valley bottoms near water, as well as low secondary growth at forest edges, forest clearings and glades dominated by large herbs, bamboo thickets and the upper forest/moorland ecotone.

Location: Albertine Rift: Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi

The species first got on record in 1902.

The brightly-coloured elusive Shelley’s Crimson-wing is approximately 13cm long. The cock bird has a bright red crown, face and back, with contrasting black wings and tail, as well as olive-yellow underparts with warmer tones on flanks and belly. The hen bird has an olive head and some red on mantle and rump. Both sexes have bright red bills.

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum:Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Ciconiiformes

Family: Balaenicipitidae

Species: Balaeniceps rex

Diet: Lungfishes, Catfish, Tilapia, Frogs, Reptiles, and small mammal

Habitat and feeding: Swamps, marshes, particular floating vegetation, generally muddy areas on fresh water bodies

Location: In the wild, the Shoebill is only found on the African Continent

The Shoebill Bird’s scientific name, Balaeniceps Rex, which means ‘the most extraordinary bird I have seen for many years’ causes doubtless echo through many people’s minds when they have their first good view of the species

The Shoebill is a massive bird, growing to heights of 3-1/2ft to 4-1/2ft tall. The shoebill is also referred to as the Whale-headed stork and both of these common names reflect the distinct broad bill this bird processes. The plumage of the shoebill is various shades of grey and both sexes exhibit similar plumage. Shoebills have very sharp edges on their bills that are ideal for capturing and eating prey. Shoebills use these sharp edges to cut up their food prior to swallowing it.

This species was first classified in the 19th century when some skins were taken to Europe. It was not until years later that live specimens reachedthe scientific community. However, the bird was known to both ancient Egyptians and Arabs. There are Egyptian images depicting the Shoebill bird.

Different origins have different names in reference to the bird; the Arabs refered the bird to as abu markub which means father of the shoe,the English, King Whalehead, and the Germany, Schuhschnabel.

At any rate, ‘Shoebill’ has gradually gained ascendancy as the name for one of the most exciting and sought-after of all the birds of the African continent.

The birds nest solitarily, laying one to three eggs in a large flat nest built amid swamp grasses or sedges, usually in remote areas. It takes 140 days of nest-attendance to get from new-laid egg to independent offspring and it takes three to four years to get from newly independent offspring to mature adult.

  • Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea)
  • Chapin’s Flycatcher (Muscicapa lendu)
  • Dwarf Honeyguide (Indicator pumilio)
  • Grauer’s Swamp-Warbler (Bradypterus graueri)
  • Great Snipe (Gallinago media)
  • Kivu Ground-thrush (Zoothera tanganjicae)
  • Lagden’s Bush-shrike (Malaconotus lagdeni)
  • Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor)
  • Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)
  • Malagasy Pond Heron (Ardeola idae)
  • Nahan’s Francolin (Ptilopachus nahani)
  • Oberl√§nder’s Ground-thrush (Zoothera oberlaenderi)
  • The Orange Weaver (Ploceus aurantius)
  • Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
  • Papyrus Canary (Serinus koliensis)
  • Papyrus Yellow Warbler (Chloropeta gracilirostris)
  • Red-faced Barbet (Lybius rubrifacies)
  • Sassi’s Olive Greenbul (Phyllastrephus icterinus lorenzi)
  • White-naped Pigeon (Columba albinucha)
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