Birds of Serengeti national park
Birds of Serengeti national park Serengeti national park is situated in the northern region of Tanzania mostly referred as north tourism sector
Serengeti national park is undeniably one of the best habitat of birds in Tanzania with over 500 species of birds, the park is dominated by swamps, forest galleries, woodland and grasslands where a variety of birds thrive in the park. Serengeti national park’s birds are easily distinguished as endemic species to mara Serengeti, species restricted to Serengeti area, endemic species to Tanzania and migratory bird species. These species are found in a restricted range for example the grey – breasted spurfowl is easily spotted and found in Seronera area, Fischer’s lovebird and rufous-tailed weaver found in the woodland areas.
Endemic species (only found in Tanzania) include Fischer’s lovebird, Grey-breasted spurfowl, and Rufous-tailed weaver
Near endemic species (also found in areas near Tanzania) include Grey-crested helmet-shrike and Hildebrandt’s starling, Usambiro barbet.
Endemics to mara- Serengeti include Usambiro barbet
Since Serengeti national park habits a huge population of birds, they further grouped according to their types and families as listed below
Ducks in the park include White-faced Whistling-Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Knob-billed Duck, Egyptian Goose, Spur-winged Goose, African Pygmy-Goose, Garganey, Hottentot Teal, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, African Black Duck, and Yellow-billed Duck Cape Teal, Red-billed Duck, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Southern Pilchard and maccoa duck
There is only common ostrich in the park
There is two species of flamingoes that is greater flamingo and lesser flamingo
These species include helmeted Guinea fowl and crested Guinea fowl
Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies
These species include harlequin Quail, Scaly Francolin, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Yellow-necked Francolin, Gray-breasted Francolin, Red-necked Francolin, Crested Francolin, Coqui Francolin, Red-winged Francolin and Shelley’s Francolin.
These include Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe and Eared Grebe
Pigeons and Doves
These species include Rock Pigeon, Speckled Pigeon, Dusky Turtle-Dove, Mourning Collared-Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Ring-necked Dove, Laughing Dove, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Tambourine Dove, Namaqua Dove and African Green-Pigeon.
These species include Kori bustard, Denham’s Bustard, White-bellied Bustard, Buff-crested Bustard Black-bellied Bustard and Hartlaub’s Bustard.
These include Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse and Black-faced Sandgrouse
They include Schawlow’s Turaco, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, White-bellied Go-away-bird and Eastern Plantain-eater.
These species include red-chested cuckoo, black cuckoo, common cuckoo, African cuckoo, black coucal, white-browed coucal, pied cuckoo, Levaillant’s cuckoo, great spotted cuckoo, Klaas’s cuckoo, African emerald cuckoo and Dideric cuckoo.
Nightjars and Allies
These species include pennant-winged nightjar, sombre nightjar, freckled nightjar, slender-tailed nightjar and square-tailed nightjar.
Sifts include scarce swift mottled swift , common swift, Nyanza swift, African swift, little swift, Horus swift, white-rumped swift and African palm-swift
Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
These species include African Crake, lesser moorhen, Eurasian moorhen, red-knobbed coot, Allen’s gallinule, African swamp hen and black crake
There is only one kind of cranes that is Gray Crowned-Crane
These species include Water Thick-knee and Spotted Thick-knee
Stilts and Avocets
These species include Black-winged Stilt and Pied Avocet
Plovers and Lapwings
These species include black-bellied plover, long-toed lapwing, blacksmith lapwing, spur-winged lapwing, white-headed lapwing, Senegal lapwing, black-winged lapwing, crowned lapwing, wattled lapwing, brown-chested lapwing, lesser sand-plover, Caspian plover, Kittlitz’s plover, common ringed plover, little ringed plover, three-banded plover, white-fronted plover and chestnut-banded plover
There only one kind that is Greater Painted-Snipe
There is one kind of jacana that is African Jacana
Sandpipers and Allies
These species include Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Sanderling, Little Stint, Jack Snipe, Terek Sandpiper, Common Snipe, African Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sand piper and Common Redshank
Pratincoles and Coursers
These species include Temminck’s courser, double-banded courser, three-banded courser and collared pratincole
Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers
These species include gray-hooded Gull, black-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, gull-billed tern, white-winged tern, whiskered tern and African skimmer
Storks in Serengeti national park include African open bill, black stork, abdim’s stork, woolly-necked stork, white stork, saddle-billed stork, marabou stork and yellow-billed stork
There is only one kind that is African Darter
Cormorants and Shags
These include Long-tailed Cormorant Great Cormorant
They include Great White Pelican and Pink-backed Pelican
There is only Hammerkop
Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns
Little Bittern, Dwarf Bittern Gray Heron Black-headed Heron, Goliath Heron , Purple Heron, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Black Heron, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Striated Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis, African Sacred Ibis, Hadada Ibis, and African Spoonbill.
There is only one species that is Secretary bird
They include Osprey
Hawks, Eagles, and Kites
They include Black-winged Kite, African Harrier-Hawk, Bearded Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, African Cuckoo-Hawk, White-headed Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Hooded Vulture, White-backed Vulture Rueppell’s Griffon, Bateleur, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Brown Snake-Eagle, Bat Hawk, Crowned Eagle, Martial Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle , African Hawk-Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Eastern Chanting-Goshawk, Gabar Goshawk , Eurasian Marsh-Harrier , African Marsh-Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier , Shikra, Little Sparrow hawk, Ovambo Sparrow hawk, Black Goshawk, Black Kite, Yellow-billed Kite, African Fish-Eagle, Common Buzzard and Augur Buzzard.
Reed Warblers and Allies
These species include Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Mountain Yellow-Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Lesser Swamp Warbler and Great Reed Warbler
Grass birds and Allies
That is Fan-tailed Grass bird
They include Plain Martin, Bank Swallow, Banded Martin, Rock Martin, Barn Swallow, Angola Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Lesser Striped Swallow, Rufous-chested Swallow, Mosque Swallow, Common House-Martin and White-headed Sawwing, Black Sawwing and Gray-rumped Swallow
They include Gray-olive Greenbul and Common Bulbul
They include Wood Warbler and Willow Warbler
Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies
These species include Eurasian Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Banded Parisoma and Greater Whitethroat
White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies
They include African Yellow White-eye
Laughing thrushes and Allies
These species include, Rufous Chatterer, Black-lored Babbler and Arrow-marked Babbler .
These species include Red-billed Oxpecker and Yellow-billed Oxpecker
These species include wattled starling, violet-backed starling, red-winged starling, Waller’s starling, Hildebrandt’s starling, rueppell’s starling, superb starling, and greater blue-eared starling
Thrushes and Allies
There is only one kind that is Kurrichane Thrush
Old World Flycatchers
These species include Spotted Flycatcher, Swamp Flycatcher, African Gray Flycatcher, Pale Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Silver bird, Northern Black-Flycatcher, Southern Black-Flycatcher, Red-backed Scrub-Robin, White-browed Robin-Chat, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Spotted Morning-Thrush, White-throated Robin, Common Nightingale, Little Rock-Thrush, Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush, Whinchat, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Sooty Chat, Northern Anteater-Chat, Northern Wheatear, Capped Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear and Abyssinian Wheatear
Sunbirds and Spider hunters
These species include Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Green-headed Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Bronze Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Mariqua Sunbird, Red-chested Sunbird, Purple-banded Sunbird, and Variable Sunbird
Weavers and Allies
These species include Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver, White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Gray-headed Social-Weaver, Red-headed Weaver, Baglafetch Weaver, Little Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Spectacled Weaver, Holub’s Golden-Weaver, Lesser Masked-Weaver, Vitelline Masked-Weaver, Speke’s Weaver, Village Weaver Black-headed Weaver, Golden-backed Weaver, Chestnut Weaver, Cardinal Quelea, Red-headed Quelea, Red-billed Quelea, Southern Red Bishop, Black-winged Bishop, Black Bishop, Yellow Bishop, White-winged Widowbird, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Red-collared Widowbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Jackson’s Widowbird and Grosbeak Weaver
Waxbills and Allies
These species include Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Common Waxbill, Black-faced Waxbill, Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Blue-capped Cordonbleu, Purple Grenadier, Green-winged Pytilia, Red-billed Fire finch, African Fire finch, Jameson’s Fire finch, Cut-throat, Zebra Waxbill, Qualifinch, Gray-headed Silver bill, Bronze Mannikin, Black-and-white Mannikin and African Silver bill
These species include Pin-tailed Whydah, Eastern Paradise-Whydah, Steel-blue Whydah, Straw-tailed Whydah, Village Indigo bird and Parasitic Weaver
Old World Sparrows
These species include House Sparrow, Kenya Rufous Sparrow, Northern Gray-headed, Swahili Sparrow, Passer suahelicus, Chestnut Sparrow and Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow
Wagtails and Pipits
These species include western yellow wagtail, African pied wagtail, African pipit, long-billed pipit, tawny pipit, plain-backed pipit, tree pipit, red-throated pipit, yellow-throated longclaw, Pangani longclaw and rosy-throated longclaw
Finches, Euphonias, and Allies
These species include Yellow-fronted Canary, Reichenow’s Seedeater, White-bellied Canary, Southern Grosbeak-Canary, Brimstone Canary and Streaky Seedeater
Old World Buntings
These species include Cinnamon-breasted Bunting and golden-breasted bunting
There is many other bird species which are not mentioned here but are easy to spot in Serengeti national park.
Best time for bird watching in Serengeti national park
Bird watching is very much possible in Serengeti national park throughout the year and many beautiful and colorful species are spotted, as a tourist on a safari you always need a best time so as to get value for your time and money. The best time of the year to visit Serengeti national park for safari is during the period of November to April, in this period is a nesting time frame for resident bird species of Serengeti national park and also the park receives migratory bird species that is European and north African migratory birds.
How to get to Serengeti national park
Most of the safaris and trips to Serengeti national park begin from Arusha town including birding watching safari, to get to Arusha town the best option is to fly to the town using Kilimanjaro international airport, Nyerere international airport and also you can use a domestic flight to Arusha airport. From Arusha town it is a drive of 318.1 kilometers by road to connect to the park taking 6-8 hours and you can use either use a private means of transport or public means of transport to get to the park, the distance from Arusha to Serengeti takes a little bit of time but it is very rewarding as it offers you scenic views as you drive to and from the park.
Domestic chartered flights to Serengeti national park are offered by many flight companies such as Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Regional Air, ZanAir, safari Air link and Coastal Aviation offering daily flights.
Where to stay in Serengeti national park
There is a variety of accommodation facilities to choose from while on a bird watching safari in Serengeti national park, these lodges/ camps are situated either inside the park or outside the park but regardless of their location they offer the best home to stay while on a safari in Serengeti national park. These facilities include sand river Maasai mara, cottar’s safaris, four seasons safari lodge Serengeti, Kati Kati camp, Serengeti migration camp, Serengeti sopa lodge, Serengeti Simba lodge, serene lodge, Singita Sasakawa lodge, Ikoma tented camp, Serengeti Serena safari lodge, Sala’s camp, Mbalageti tented camp, Seronera wildlife lodge and many.