Jump to content

Bird Lists for Kenya and Tanzania


LPhoto
 Share

Recommended Posts

Where can I find a list of birds that I may find in the safari locations I’m visiting? Specifically for this year Kenya and Tanzania and next year Zambia. I tried googling but lots of websites just saying “400 species here, including these 20…” which isn’t helpful. 
I already have a bird book for Eastern Africa, but I was hoping for a place where I could look at say Selous and Ruaha in Oct/Nov what might I see and in Amboseli, Laikipia and Mara on Dec/Jan, etc. 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@LPhoto

The best website for bird lists that I use is Avibase, you can download bird lists for every country in the world, it will also give you lists for individual provinces and I've just looked at Tanzania and you can certainly get a list for Ruaha, so I didn't see Selous or Nyerere NP as it now is, but I only had a quick look, so I likely overlooked it, you should be able to get lists for those Kenyan locations as well, I don't think it will give you lists for different months, but otherwise it should be what you are looking for. I use it to create my own paper checklists if I am going on a trip where I know I won't be given one, I simply download a country list from Avibase and then copy and paste the birds on to an Excel spreadsheet, then I can create a daily checklist for however many days I need it to be, I then add on a list of mammals (excluding most really small species) and some blank pages for reptiles or anything else I want to record.  I hope that helps.    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much!! What you do is what I was planning to do too so I can have a list with me. Is there a similar website where you find mammal lists? I know the major things obviously, but don’t know for one example if a honey badger or serval is something I may see in Southern Tanzania.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello @LPhotoMy parents travelled to Kenya and Tanzania in February/March of this year.  I made them up an extensive list (Mammals/Birds/Reptiles) for each of the camps they visited (Porini Camps).  It turned out to be rather an extensive list, but I used Avibase and several other sources too.  I would be happy to share the PDF or Word version of that list if you think you might find it useful (I don't think I can attach here, but I could email it to you if you are interested).

Cheers

Heather

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@LPhoto

 

In the past for mammal lists I’ve often just typed one myself using The Kingdon Field Guide as a reference for Africa, when choosing which mammals to include, usually when it comes to small mammals I stop at squirrels and don’t bother with smaller rodents or include many if any bats, but I may sometimes put on rodents or bats that I have seen on previous safaris. There obviously aren’t nearly as many mammals as birds, particularly as you are not going to be listing all of them, so it’s not a huge deal to just type a list, I think my list for Tanzania has 140 mammals on it.  

 

Finding lists online is not quite as easy as for birds, generally if you do a Google Search for mammals of Tanzania, you will likely end up on Wikipedia, that would give you a basic list of the main mammal species, but such lists on Wikipedia aren’t always 100% accurate. I nearly always try to create full country lists, on the basis that I may revisit the country again sometime in the future, going to different locations, so if I have a list covering the whole country, on my PC, I can just print it out whenever I need to. Generally, for Africa if I need to create a list for a new country, I can usually just take one of my existing lists and edit it, adding and subtracting species, for mammals I might use a combination of Wikipedia and Kingdon, to edit an existing list, this doesn’t take very long.

 

My last safari was in Chad, I already had a checklist for Zakouma National Park, once I’d got a complete Chad bird list from Avibase, I then used Wikipedia to get a list of the mammals of Chad and just added the extra species, to turn my Zakouma park list into one for the whole country, to cover the other locations I was going to there. Using Kingdon just to check the accuracy of the Wikipedia list, when I was dubious about something, the Wikipedia list originally had African Wild Ass on it, I thought was very unlikely, checked my books as well as online and then edited Wikipedia and removed it.  

 

Both Serval and Honey Badger are possible in Southern Tanzania, I guess if you are able to go out on night drives you might be in with a chance, but I wouldn’t count on seeing either, but they are certainly there. Servals are better seen in northern Tanzania, I’ve seen Honey Badgers in Katavi, I’ve not seen them in Ruaha, the book A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania says

 

Quote

There are frequent sightings at night in the grounds of the Vuma Hills Lodge (Mikumi NP) and at several of the lodges in Ruaha NP. Honey Badgers often visit lodge or bush camp kitchens or garbage sites in search of food, so it’s always worth enquiring with lodge or camp staff if they are seeing them.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pictus Safaris

@LPhotoHi! In addition to @inyathi's helpful suggestions, it might also be worth doing an advanced search on the IUCN Red List, which allows you to search by location very easily using their in-built maps. It's not as fool-proof as one might like (quite a few ranges are wrong, for example), but it should give you a pretty good idea of what occurs where. Of course, this doesn't help if you want to know specifically where in a park you might see a certain species, or in what densities they occur, but it will confirm the presence of species in the park itself pretty reliably. It can be a helpful resource for birds too, but it doesn't provide the nuance you are looking for about seasonal presence, which of course is a huge factor.

 

Regarding the mammals you mention in Ruaha and Nyerere, both serval and honey badger are indeed definitely present, but not easy to see. There will be lots of people on the forum with their own experiences of both parks, but on my visits, I have only seen both in Mikumi when on the Southern circuit. Often your time in Nyerere will be spent in close proximity to the Rufiji River system, so your chance of dry-country species is much higher in Ruaha. 

 

I hope that's at least a little helpful - if there are any species you have a burning desire to see, I'm sure there will be no shortage of advice forthcoming.

 

Tom

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pictus Safaris
1 hour ago, inyathi said:

when I was dubious about something, the Wikipedia list originally had African Wild Ass on it, I thought was very unlikely, checked my books as well as online and then edited Wikipedia and removed it.  

 

Now wouldn't that be something, @inyathi! I had a report of wild ass recently from Algeria, which I have tossed in the 'when pigs fly' category....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Pictus SafarisYes, I think the question of whether there was ever a true Saharan wild ass is still debated, but I think the consensus seems to be certainly not in modern times, that was why I was surprised seeing it listed for Chad as I was confident that African Wild Ass is restricted to the Red Sea Coast and the Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia region, but I didn't know if perhaps there had been asses in Chad in the past. Under Taxonomy on the IUCN Redlist website it says 

Quote

Groves (2002) lists a third unnamed subspecies from the Sahara, although these may not have been true Wild Asses.

 

There certainly appears to have been a wild ass in North Africa in ancient times, that is sometimes called the Atlas or Algerian Wild Ass (Equus africanus atlanticus) as it is frequently depicted in rock art, but it was last seen in Roman times, I think if anyone claims to have seen one recently, they were looking at a feral donkey, I think that would explain any claimed sightings of asses from Chad. 

 

To get bit more on topic, the book I mentioned A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania has a short section at the back on the national parks, with a mammals list for each one, obviously only the species covered in the book are listed and it's just Tanzania.

Edited by inyathi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy