Uganda

SUB-REGION
East Africa

SIZE
241,550 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity

Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 1,060 recorded species (4th longest bird list of any country in the ABC region)

Fox’s Weaver (Jonathan Onongo)
Shoebill (Adam Riley)
Jameson’s Antpecker (David Hoddinott)

Endemics (E)
Fox’s Weaver (NT)

Near-endemics (NE)
Weyns’s Weaver

Birds best found in Uganda but occurring more widely (BT)
Nahan’s Partridge
Ring-necked Francolin
Heuglin’s Francolin
Shoebill
Brown-chested Lapwing
White-naped Pigeon
Eastern Grey Plantain-eater
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher
Black-and white-casqued Hornbill
Black-breasted Barbet
Speckle-breasted Woodpecker
African Green Broadbill
Green-breasted Pitta
Ituri Batis
Papyrus Gonolek
Willard’s Sooty Boubou
White-throated Greenbul
White-headed Saw-wing
Papyrus Yellow Warbler
White-winged Warbler
Carruthers’s Cisticola
Red-pate Cisticola
Scaly-breasted Illadopsis
Puvel’s Illadopsis
Dusky Babbler
Purple-headed Starling
Oberländer’s Ground Thrush
Brown-backed Scrub Robin
Swamp Flycatcher
Chapin’s Flycatcher
Grey-headed Sunbird
Red-chested Sunbird
Slender-billed Weaver
Northern Brown-throated Weaver
Northern Red Bishop
Jameson’s Antpecker
White-collared Oliveback
Shelley’s Crimsonwing
Grant’s Bluebill
Red-headed Bluebill

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE or BT
Elgon Francolin

Green-breasted Pitta (Nik Borrow)
Grauer’s Broadbill (Tasso Leventis)

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2), including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Clapperton’s Francolin (gedgii)
Handsome Spurfowl
Black-billed Turaco
Rwenzori Turaco
Black-shouldered Nightjar
Forest Wood Hoopoe
Jackson’s Hornbill
Red-faced Barbet
Black-billed Barbet
Dwarf Honeyguide
Willcocks’s Honeyguide
Red-headed Lovebird
Rwenzori Batis
Jameson’s Wattle-eye
Doherty’s Bushshrike
Albertine Sooty Boubou
Stripe-breasted Tit
Joyful Greenbul
Toro Olive Greenbul
Short-tailed Warbler
Grauer’s Warbler
Red-faced Woodland Warbler
Uganda Woodland Warbler
Highland Rush Warbler
Grauer’s Swamp Warbler
Foxy Cisticola
Collared Apalis
Red-winged Grey Warbler
Mountain Masked Apalis
Green-backed Eremomela
Black-eared Ground Thrush (ESS kibalensis)
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher
Red-throated Alethe
Archer’s Ground Robin
Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat
Blue-headed Sunbird
Purple-breasted Sunbird
Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird
Regal Sunbird
Orange-tufted Sunbird
Shelley’s Sparrow
Strange Weaver
Brown-capped Weaver
Black Bishop
Dusky Crimsonwing
Dusky Twinspot (graueri)
Black-bellied Firefinch
Western Citril
Papyrus Canary

Joyful Greenbul (Paul van Giersbergen)
Rwenzori Turaco (John Caddick)
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher (Peter Hills)

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Western Crested Guineafowl (BT)
Cranch’s Spurfowl (BT)
Kikuyu Red-winged Francolin
Archer’s Francolin (B2)
Rwenzori Nightjar (B2)
Eastern Black-billed Turaco
Neumann’s Coucal (BT)
Eastern Black Dwarf Hornbill (BT)
Eastern Grey-throated Barbet (B2)
Common White-headed Barbet (leucocephalus)
Northern Olive Woodpecker
Albertine Bushshrike (BT)
Yellow-eyed Bristlebill (BT)
Mongalla Cisticola (BT)
Eastern Buff-throated Apalis (kigezi)
Eastern Olive-green Camaroptera (BT)
Grey-caped Capuchin Babbler (BT)
Kivu Ground Thrush (B2)
Central Forest Robin (BT)
Albertine Yellow White-eye (BT)
Victoria Masked Weaver (E)
Reichenow’s Weaver
Stuhlmann’s Weaver
Yellow-shouldered Widowbird (B2)

Other taxa of interest, including more ESS
Dwarf Bittern
Pink-backed Pelican
Western Banded Snake Eagle
Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle
Mountain Buzzard
White-spotted Flufftail
African Finfoot
Nkulengu Rail
African Rail | African Water Rail
African Crake
Grey Crowned Crane
Long-toed Lapwing
Black-headed Lapwing
Senegal Lapwing
Lesser Jacana
Rock Pratincole
Afep Pigeon
White-crested Turaco
Ross’s Turaco
Black Coucal
Yellow-throated Cuckoo
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo
Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo (montanus)
Red-chested Owlet
Chestnut Owlet (castaneum)
Standard-winged Nightjar
Pennant-winged Nightjar
Bar-tailed Trogon
Blue-throated Roller
African Dwarf Kingfisher
Shining-blue Kingfisher
Black Bee-eater
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater
Red-throated Bee-eater (frenatus)
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
White-headed Wood Hoopoe
Black Scimitarbill (emini)
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
White-thighed Hornbill
Green Tinkerbird (hildamariae)
Fine-banded Woodpecker
Brown-eared Woodpecker
Elliot’s Woodpecker
Rufous-sided Broadbill (budongoensis)
Lowland Sooty Boubou
Black-headed Gonolek
Petit’s Cuckooshrike
Yellow-billed Shrike (affinis)
Mackinnon’s Shrike | Mackinnon’s Fiscal
Montane Oriole
Velvet-mantled Drongo
Piapiac
White-bellied Crested Flycatcher
White-tailed Lark
Red-winged Lark (kidepoensis)
Olive-breasted Greenbul
Red-tailed Greenbul (emini)
Yellow Longbill (hypochondriacus)
White-browed Crombec
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher (congicus)
Mountain Yellow Warbler
Trilling Cisticola
Boran Cisticola
Black-faced Prinia
Black-capped Apalis (collaris)
Chestnut-throated Apalis
Karamoja Apalis (ESS karamojae)
Grey-capped Warbler
Black-faced Rufous Warbler
Mountain Illadopsis
Black-lored Babbler
Grey-chested Babbler
Stuhlmann’s Starling
Fraser’s Rufous Thrush (vulpina)
Fire-crested Alethe (woosnami)
Forest Scrub Robin (collsi)
Grey-throated Flycatcher
Sooty Flycatcher (minuscula)
Silverbird
White-bellied Robin-Chat (rufescentior)
Lowland Akalat (lopezi)
Equatorial Akalat
Spotted Morning Thrush (guttata)
White-fronted Black Chat (clericalis)
Little Weaver (kavirondensis)
Orange Weaver (rex)
Compact Weaver
Cardinal Quelea
Red-headed Quelea
Marsh Widowbird
Brown Twinspot
Fawn-breasted Waxbill
Kandt’s Waxbill
Magpie Mannikin
Oriole Finch (prigoginei)
White-rumped Seedeater (leucopygia)
Streaky Seedeater (graueri)
Brown-rumped Bunting (affinis)

Yellow-throated Cuckoo (Pete Morris)
Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle (Pete Morris)
Black Bee-eater (Paul van Giersbergen)

National bird
Grey Crowned Crane | Ngaali | Owalu (EN)

MAIN HABITATS
Swamps, montane forest, tropical forest, moist savanna

BIRD AREAS
Albertine Rift mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
Eastern Zaïre lowlands EBA
Kenyan mountains EBA
North Ugandan swamps Secondary Area (SA)
Dry woodlands west of Lake Victoria SA
North-east Uganda SA
34 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Ruhiza, Buhoma and The Neck at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (NP) and Mgahinga NP for montane forest species
Kibale Forest, Budongo Forest, Semuliki NP and Mabira Forest for lowland forest species
Queen Elizabeth NP, Murchison Falls NP and Lake Mburo NP for savanna species
Mabamba Swamp for Shoebill

TIMING (Jan, Jul–Aug)
Best when it is dry in the south (Dec–Feb, Jul–Sep) and wet in the north (Jul–Sep)
Green-breasted Pitta is best Jul–Aug
Palaearctic migrants are present Oct–Mar
Avoid the main rains in the south (Mar–May, Oct–Nov)

RESOURCES
Apps
Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)
eGuide to Birds of East Africa

Field guides
Birds of East Africa by Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe (2020)
Birds of Eastern Africa by Ber Van Perlo (2009)
Birds of Uganda: a Perfect Safari Companion by Quentin Meunier & Sherry McKelvie (2015)
Pocket Guide Birds of East Africa by Dave Richards (2016)
Collins Traveller’s Guide to Wildlife of Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda by David Hosking & Martin Withers (2007) is a pocket-sized photographic guide covering over 475 commonly-seen species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, trees and flowers

Sounds
African Bird Sounds Vol 2: West and Central Africa by Claude Chappuis
100 Common Bird Calls in East Africa by Dave Richards & Brian Finch

Site guides
Where to Watch Birds in Uganda by Jonathan Rossouw & Marco Sacchi (1998)
Where to Watch Birds in World Cities by Paul Milne (2006) covers sites in and around Kampala and Entebbe
10,000 Birds’ How to Bird Murchison Falls by Mike Bergin (2019)

Atlases
African Bird Atlas Project
The Bird Atlas of Uganda by Margaret Carswell, Derek Pomeroy, Jake Reynolds & Herbert Tushabe (2005)

Further reading
The State of Uganda’s Birds: Indicators of Our Changing Environment compiled and edited by Achilles Byaruhanga, Dianah Nalwanga & Michael Opige Oduli (2014)
Uganda by Achilles Byaruhanga, Pantaleon Kasoma & Derek Pomeroy in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Birds of the Kampala Area by Margaret Carswell (1986) with an Update by NatureUganda (2012)
Towards Developing Sustainable, Biodiversity-Rich Agricultural Systems in Uganda by D E Chamberlain, R Katebaka, I Senfuma, D Pomeroy, D Nalwanga-Wabire, A Byaruhanga, P W Atkinson & J A Vickery (2009)
Uganda Wildlife Trafficking Assessment by Alessandra Rossi (2018)
Birds of East Africa: Their Habitat, Status and Distribution edited by P L Britton (1980)
The Breeding Seasons of East African Birds by L H Brown & P L Britton (1980)
Articles in Scopus, Journal of East African Natural History, Bull. ABC, The Naturalist (NatureUganda newsletter), etc.

Websites
Birding Uganda
Uganda Bird Guides: Uganda Birding Information, Tips & Resources
UNESCO World Heritage List: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Venture Uganda

Facebook groups
Birds of Uganda

Blogs
Birding Uganda by Derek Kverno (2015-2017)
Bukoba Steve’s Uganda Birding Blog (2016-2017)
Some of Uganda’s Top Birding and Wildlife Sites by Harriet Kemigisha (2020)

ORGANISATIONS

NatureUganda is the BirdLife Partner in Uganda

The Ringing Scheme of Eastern Africa coordinates and promotes bird ringing (banding) throughout the East African region and beyond through issuing of rings to qualified ringers, curating ringing data and tracking ring recoveries

The East African Rarities Committee assesses records of new and very rare birds occurring in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Uganda include –
Uganda Wildlife Society (UWS)
The Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST)
Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF)
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC)
A Rocha Uganda
Endangered Wildlife Conservation Organisation (EWCO)
Pro-Biodiversity Conservationists in Uganda (PROBICOU)
Uganda Safari Guides Association
Uganda Bird Guides Club
Uganda Women Birders
Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust (BMCT) 
Fort Portal Bird Guides Association
Musambwa Islands Joint Conservation Organisation (MIJCO)
Mabamba Wetland Eco-tourism Association (MWETA)
Lutembe Wetland Users Association (LWUA)
Katwe Tourism Information Centre (KATIC)
Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS)
NABU
Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
WWF Uganda
WCS Uganda

The Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (MUIENR) in Kampala promotes the management of environmental and natural resources through training and research
Within MUIENR, the National Biodiversity Databank (NBDB) monitors the national biological resources in Uganda, including the country’s birds, and provides information to all those interested in the conservation and sustainable utilisation of these resources


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