East Africa

241,550 km²



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), including Albertine Rift endemics (ARE)
Western Crested Guineafowl
Nahan’s Partridge
Ring-necked Francolin
Heuglin’s Spurfowl
Eastern Plantain-eater
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo
White-naped Pigeon
Brown-chested Lapwing
Black-and white-casqued Hornbill
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher
Black-breasted Barbet
Speckle-breasted Woodpecker
Grauer’s Broadbill | African Green Broadbill (ARE)
Green-breasted Pitta
Ituri Batis
Papyrus Gonolek
Willard’s Sooty Boubou (ARE)
Yellow-eyed Bristlebill
White-throated Greenbul
White-headed Saw-wing
Papyrus Yellow Warbler
White-winged Swamp Warbler
Carruthers’s Cisticola
Scaly-breasted Illadopsis
Puvel’s Illadopsis
Green White-eye
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 (ARE)
Grant’s Bluebill
Red-headed Bluebill

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE or BT (1/2)
Elgon Francolin
Jackson’s Spurfowl
Sassi’s Olive Greenbul
Golden-naped Weaver

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) and more ARE
Clapperton’s Spurfowl (gedgii)
Handsome Spurfowl (ARE)
Rwenzori Turaco (ARE)
Forest Wood Hoopoe
Jackson’s Hornbill
Red-faced Barbet
Black-billed Barbet
Dwarf Honeyguide (ARE)
Willcocks’s Honeyguide
Red-headed Lovebird
Rwenzori Batis (ARE)
Jameson’s Wattle-eye
Doherty’s Bushshrike
Albertine Sooty Boubou (ARE)
Stripe-breasted Tit (ARE)
Joyful Greenbul
Toro Olive Greenbul
Neumann’s Warbler (ARE)
Red-faced Woodland Warbler (ARE)
Uganda Woodland Warbler
Grauer’s Warbler (ARE)
Grauer’s Swamp Warbler (ARE)
Highland Rush Warbler
Foxy Cisticola
Rwenzori Apalis (ARE)
Red-winged Grey Warbler
Mountain Masked Apalis (ARE)
Green-backed Eremomela
Black-eared Ground Thrush (ESS kibalensis)
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher (ARE)
Red-throated Alethe (ARE)
Archer’s Ground Robin (ARE)
Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat
Blue-headed Sunbird (ARE)
Purple-breasted Sunbird (ARE)
Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird (ARE)
Regal Sunbird (ARE)
Orange-tufted Sunbird
Shelley’s Sparrow
Strange Weaver (ARE)
Brown-capped Weaver
Black Bishop
Dusky Crimsonwing (ARE)
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
Crawshay’s Francolin
Archer’s Francolin (B2)
Schuett’s Spurfowl (B2)
Cranch’s Spurfowl (BT)
Black-shouldered Nightjar (B2)
Abyssinian Nightjar
Rwenzori Nightjar (B2)
Black-faced Go-away-bird
Eastern Black-billed Turaco (B2)
Neumann’s Coucal (BT)
Chestnut Owlet (1/2)
Congo Pied Hornbill
Eastern Piping Hornbill
Eastern Little Hornbill (BT)
Eastern Long-tailed Hornbill
Grey-headed Barbet (B2)
Northern Red-fronted Tinkerbird
Eastern Yellow-spotted Barbet
Streaky-throated Barbet
Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet
Northern Olive Woodpecker
Grey-headed Parrot
Albertine Bushshrike (BT)
Singing Bush Lark
African Reed Warbler
Rufous-crowned Cisticola
Mongalla Cisticola (BT)
Eastern Buff-throated Apalis (kigezi)
Tawny-breasted Camaroptera (BT)
Grey-caped Capuchin Babbler (BT)
Kivu Ground Thrush (B2)
Eastern Forest Robin (BT)
Emin’s Weaver
Reichenow’s Weaver
Stuhlmann’s Weaver
Victoria Masked Weaver (E)
Yellow-shouldered Widowbird (B2)
Black-faced Quailfinch
Black-chinned Quailfinch
Grey Firefinch

Other taxa of interest, including more ESS
African Pygmy Goose
Slender-tailed Nightjar
Long-tailed Nightjar
Standard-winged Nightjar
Pennant-winged Nightjar
Scarce Swift
Mottled Spinetail
Sabine’s Spinetail
Great Blue Turaco
White-crested Turaco
Ross’s Turaco
Denham’s Bustard
Black Coucal
Blue Malkoha
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo
Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo (montanus)
Four-banded Sandgrouse
Afep Pigeon
Dusky Turtle Dove
African Finfoot
White-spotted Flufftail
Red-chested Flufftail
Nkulengu Rail
African Rail | African Water Rail
African Crake
Lesser Moorhen
Grey Crowned Crane
Long-toed Lapwing
Black-headed Lapwing
Senegal Lapwing
Lesser Jacana
Bronze-winged Courser
Rock Pratincole
African Skimmer
Dwarf Bittern
Rufous-bellied Heron
Pink-backed Pelican
Western Banded Snake Eagle
Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle
Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk
Mountain Buzzard
Red-chested Owlet (medje)
Marsh Owl
Bar-tailed Trogon
White-headed Wood Hoopoe
Black Scimitarbill (emini)
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
Northern Red-billed Hornbill
White-thighed Hornbill
Blue-throated Roller
Shining-blue Kingfisher
Black Bee-eater
Blue-breasted Bee-eater
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater
Red-throated Bee-eater (frenatus)
Western Tinkerbird (hildamariae)
Spot-flanked Barbet
Double-toothed Barbet
Cassin’s Honeybird
Least Honeyguide
Buff-spotted Woodpecker
Nubian Woodpecker
Little Green Woodpecker
Little Spotted Woodpecker
Fine-banded Woodpecker
Elliot’s Woodpecker
African Grey Woodpecker
Brown-backed Woodpecker
Fox Kestrel
Grey Parrot
Rufous-sided Broadbill (budongoensis)
Western Black-headed Batis
Chestnut Wattle-eye
Black-throated Wattle-eye
Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye
Many-colored Bushshrike
Bocage’s Bushshrike
Marsh Tchagra
Pink-footed Puffback
Lowland Sooty Boubou
Lühder’s Bushshrike
Black-headed Gonolek
African Shrike-flycatcher
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher
Grey Cuckooshrike
Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike
Purple-throated Cuckooshrike
Yellow-billed Shrike (affinis)
Northern White-crowned Shrike
Emin’s Shrike
Mackinnon’s Shrike | Mackinnon’s Fiscal
Grey-backed Fiscal
Mountain Oriole
Sharpe’s Drongo
Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher
Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher
White-necked Raven
White-tailed Blue Flycatcher
Dusky Crested Flycatcher
White-bellied Crested Flycatcher
White-tailed Crested Flycatcher
White-shouldered Black Tit
White-winged Black Tit
Dusky Tit
Grey Penduline Tit
Western Nicator
Rufous-rumped Lark
White-tailed Lark
Sun Lark
Spotted Greenbul
Honeyguide Greenbul
Kakamega Greenbul
Olive-breasted Greenbul
Red-tailed Greenbul
Plain Greenbul
Little Grey Greenbul
Ansorge’s Greenbul
Cabanis’s Greenbul
Yellow-streaked Greenbul (olivaceogriseus)
Blue Swallow
Angola Swallow
Yellow Longbill
Grey Longbill
Northern Crombec
Red-faced Crombec
Green Crombec
White-browed Crombec
Green Hylia
Tit Hylia
Brown Woodland Warbler
Mountain Yellow Warbler
Bamboo Warbler
Evergreen Forest Warbler (barakae)
Cinnamon Bracken Warbler
Trilling Cisticola (woosnami)
Chubb’s Cisticola (chubbi)
Long-tailed Cisticola
Black-backed Cisticola
Wing-snapping Cisticola
Banded Prinia
Black-faced Prinia
White-chinned Prinia
Buff-bellied Warbler
Lowland Masked Apalis
Black-throated Apalis
Black-capped Apalis (collaris)
Chestnut-throated Apalis
Karamoja Apalis (ESS karamojae)
Grey Apalis
Grey-capped Warbler
Miombo Wren-Warbler
Black-faced Rufous Warbler
Green-capped Eremomela
Rwenzori Hill Babbler
Brown Illadopsis
Mountain Illadopsis
Brown Babbler
Black-lored Babbler
Grey-chested Babbler
Yellow-bellied Hyliota
Bronze-tailed Starling
Splendid Starling
Purple Starling
Rüppell’s Starling
Slender-billed Starling
Waller’s Starling
Stuhlmann’s Starling
Sharpe’s Starling
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Fraser’s Rufous Thrush (vulpina)
White-tailed Ant Thrush
Abyssinian Ground Thrush (piaggiae + ruwenzorii)
Abysinnian Thrush
Fire-crested Alethe (woosnami)
Forest Scrub Robin (collsi)
Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher
Grey Tit-Flycatcher
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher
African Dusky Flycatcher
Dusky-blue Flycatcher
Sooty Flycatcher (minuscula)
Brown-chested Alethe (carruthersi)
White-bellied Robin-Chat (rufescentior)
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
White-starred Robin
Grey-winged Robin-Chat
Equatorial Akalat
Spotted Palm Thrush (guttata)
Sooty Chat
Ruaha Chat
White-fronted Black Chat (clericalis)
Western Violet-backed Sunbird
Little Green Sunbird
Grey-chinned Sunbird
Pygmy Sunbird
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird
Bronzy Sunbird
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird
Golden-winged Sunbird
Tiny Sunbird
Northern Double-collared Sunbird
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver
Speckle-fronted Weaver
Black-billed Weaver
Orange Weaver (rex)
Heuglin’s Masked Weaver
Vieillot’s Black Weaver
Golden-backed Weaver
Yellow-mantled Weaver
Compact Weaver
Dark-backed Weaver
Red-headed Malimbe
Cardinal Quelea
Marsh Widowbird
Magpie Mannikin
Yellow-bellied Waxbill
Abyssinian Crimsonwing
Red-faced Crimsonwing (ocularis)
White-breasted Nigrita
Grey-headed Oliveback
Black-faced Waxbill (delamerei)
Black-crowned Waxbill
Kandt’s Waxbill
Fawn-breasted Waxbill (roseicrissa)
Black-rumped Waxbill
Black-bellied Seedcracker
Red-winged Pytilia
Brown Twinspot
Bar-breasted Firefinch
Oriole Finch (prigoginei)
White-rumped Seedeater (leucopygia)
Black-throated Canary (somereni)
Thick-billed Seedeater
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)

Swamps, montane forest, tropical forest, moist savanna

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

Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve for Fox’s Weaver
Mabamba Swamp for Weyns’s Weaver
Ruhiza, Buhoma and The Neck at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (NP), Mgahinga Gorilla NP and Rwenzori Mountains NP for montane forest species, including Albertine Rift endemics
Mount Elgon for Elgon Francolin, Jackson’s Spurfowl, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Moustached Tinkerbird, Pallid Honeyguide, Hunter’s Cisticola, Black-collared Apalis, African Hill Babbler, Brown Parisoma, Moorland Chat, Tacazze Sunbird and Southern Citril
Kibale NP, Budongo Forest, Semuliki NP (Bwamba Forest) and Mabira Forest for lowland forest species, including Hartlaub’s Duck, Latham’s Francolin, Bates’s Nightjar, Cassin’s Spinetail, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Grey-throated Rail, Spot-breasted Ibis, Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black-casqued Hornbill, African Dwarf Kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Zenker’s Honeyguide, Spotted Honeyguide, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, African Piculet, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Gabon Woodpecker, Black-collared Lovebird, Fiery-breasted Bushshrike, Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Western Oriole, Black-winged Oriole, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Nicator, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Simple Greenbul, Eastern Bearded Greenbul, Xavier’s Greenbul, Icterine Greenbul, Red-tailed Leaflove, White-bibbed Swallow, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Chestnut-winged Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Grey Ground Thrush, Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Lowland Akalat, Superb Sunbird, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Blue-billed Malimbe, Red-bellied Malimbe, Crested Malimbe, Chestnut-breasted Nigrita, Pale-fronted Nigrita and Orange-cheeked Waxbill
Queen Elizabeth NP, Murchison Falls NP and Lake Mburo NP for savanna species
Karamoja for arid savanna species, including Common Ostrich, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Nyanza Swift, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Buff-crested Bustard, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Black-throated Barbet, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Pygmy Falcon, Pygmy Batis, Three-streaked Tchagra, Slate-coloured Boubou, Taita Fiscal, Fan-tailed Raven, White-bellied Tit, Acacia Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark, Pink-breasted Lark, Foxy Lark, Red-winged Lark, Northern Brownbul, Rock-loving Cisticola, Boran Cisticola, Lynes’s Cisticola, Pale Prinia, Red-fronted Prinia, Brown-tailed Apalis, Grey Wren-Warbler, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Rufous Chatterer, Superb Starling, Bristle-crowned Starling, Red-billed Oxpecker, African Grey Flycatcher, Little Rock Thrush, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, Shining Sunbird, Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow, Chestnut Sparrow, Parrot-billed Sparrow, White-billed Buffalo Weaver, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, White-headed Buffalo Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Steel-blue Whydah, Straw-tailed Whydah, Long-tailed Paradise Whydah, Black-cheeked Waxbill, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Cut-throat Finch, Purple Grenadier, Reichenow’s Seedeater and White-bellied Canary

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
Afro-Palearctic migrants are present Oct–Mar
Avoid the main rains in the south (Mar–May, Oct–Nov)

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

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)

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), African Skimmer, etc.

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

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)


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
Village Bird Clubs – Kibale Forest
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)
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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