Birds of Serengeti national park

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

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

Ostriches

There is only common ostrich in the park

Flamingoes

There is two species of flamingoes that is greater flamingo and lesser flamingo

Guinea fowl

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.

Grebes

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.

Bustards

These species include Kori bustard, Denham’s Bustard, White-bellied Bustard, Buff-crested Bustard       Black-bellied Bustard and Hartlaub’s Bustard.

Sandgrouse

These include Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse and Black-faced Sandgrouse

Turacos

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.

Cuckoos

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.

Swifts

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

Cranes

There is only one kind of cranes that is Gray Crowned-Crane

Thick-knees

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

Painted-Snipes

There only one kind that is Greater Painted-Snipe

Jacanas

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

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

Anhingas

There is only one kind that is African Darter

Cormorants and Shags

These include Long-tailed Cormorant Great Cormorant

Pelicans

They include Great White Pelican and Pink-backed Pelican

Hammerkop

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.

Secretary-bird

There is only one species that is Secretary bird

Osprey

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

Swallows

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

Bulbuls

They include Gray-olive Greenbul and Common Bulbul

Leaf Warblers

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             .

Oxpeckers

These species include Red-billed Oxpecker and Yellow-billed Oxpecker

Starlings

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

Indigo birds

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.

book a trip