Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Backyard birding - In my garden

Birds of Uganda

Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)

Lesser Masked Weaver (Ploceus intermedius)

Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola)

Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullata)
Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix) and a African Yellow White-eye (Zosterops senegalensis)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

African Finfoot

Birds of Uganda

African Finfoot (Podica senegalensis)

Backyard birding - Green-headed Sunbird

Birds of Uganda

Backyard birding - Green-headed Sunbird (Cyanomitra verticalis)

 Green-headed Sunbird (Cyanomitra verticalis) female

 Green-headed Sunbird (Cyanomitra verticalis) female

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Birds of Uganda - Shoebill

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

The shoebill is a tall bird, with a typical height range of 110 to 140 cm (43 to 55 in) and some specimens reaching as much as 152 cm (60 in). Length from tail to beak can range from 100 to 140 cm (39 to 55 in) and wingspan is 230 to 260 cm (7 ft 7 in to 8 ft 6 in). Weight has reportedly ranged from 4 to 7 kg (8.8 to 15.4 lb). A male will weigh on average around 5.6 kg (12 lb) and is larger than a typical female of 4.9 kg (11 lb). The signature feature of the species is its huge, bulbous bill, which is straw-coloured with erratic greyish markings. The exposed culmen (or the measurement along the top of the upper mandible) is 18.8 to 24 cm (7.4 to 9.4 in). The sharp edges in the mandibles help the shoebill to decapitate their prey and also to discard any vegetation after prey has been caught. As in the pelicans, the upper mandible is strongly keeled, ending in a sharp nail. The dark coloured legs are fairly long, with a tarsus length of 21.7 to 25.5 cm (8.5 to 10.0 in). The shoebill's feet are exceptionally large, with the middle toe reaching 16.8 to 18.5 cm (6.6 to 7.3 in) in length, likely assisting the species in its ability to stand on aquatic vegetation while hunting. The neck is relatively shorter and thicker than other long-legged wading birds such as herons and cranes. The wings are broad, with a wing chord length of 58.8 to 78 cm (23.1 to 30.7 in), and well-adapted to soaring.

The plumage of adult birds is blue-grey with darker slaty-grey flight feathers. The breast presents some elongated feathers, which have dark shafts. The juvenile has a similar plumage colour, but is a darker grey with a brown tinge. When they are first born, shoebills have a more modestly-sized bill, which is initially silvery-grey. The bill becomes more noticeably large when the chicks are 23 days old and becomes well developed by 43 days. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoebill

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Backyard birding - Collared Sunbird

Birds of Uganda

Collared Sunbird (Anthodiaeta collaris)

Collared Sunbird (Anthodiaeta collaris) male

Collared Sunbird (Anthodiaeta collaris) female

Backyard birding - Wahlberg's Eagle

Birds of Uganda

Wahlberg's Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Backyard birding - African Harrier-hawk

Birds of Uganda

This African Harrier-hawk (Polyboroides typus) flew over my house and landed on the pole in front of me.

Backyard birding - Arrow-marked Babbler

The Arrow-marked Babbler (Turdoides jardineii) is found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Birds of Uganda - African Pygmy-kingfisher

The African Pygmy-kingfisher (Ispidina picta) is a small insectivorous kingfisher found in the Afrotropics, mostly in woodland habitats. This photo was taken at Engagi Lodge in the Bwindi Impenetrable Naional Park.

Backyard birding - Little Bee-eater

The Little Bee-eater (Merops pusillus) is very common in many parts of Uganda