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Top bird species in Uganda

Top bird species in Uganda : Welcome to Intaresafaris, your window into the captivating realm of birdwatching in Uganda. As passionate nature enthusiasts, we are thrilled to guide you through the extraordinary diversity of avian life that graces this East African nation. Embark on a journey of discovery as we unveil the top bird species in Uganda, each a testament to the country’s vibrant ecosystems.

Detailed Top bird species in Uganda

1. Crested Crane

If you want to see what the crested crane looks like, take a look at the Ugandan flag, which features this national bird. Standing over 3 feet (1 meter) tall with a 6-foot wingspan, the crested crane only weighs approximately 7 pounds and can live up to 22 years. While many cranes make a gobbling call similar to a turkey, the crested crane honks more like a goose.

The crested crane loves living among the grassy wetlands of Uganda and rarely migrates. This bird is smart and has learned to protect itself from predators by hiding among cattle herds.

Many birds of Uganda have a mating dance, but the crested crane loves dancing so much that it dances all year round, in and out of mating season.


Named for its large bill that is shaped like a shoe, the shoebill is one of the most coveted birds among birders. Featuring a prehistoric appearance, the shoebill looks like it survived the dinosaur age. Without a doubt, this is one of the weirdest birds on the planet.

While it can be tricky to spot this elusive bird, you will most likely find it around swampy areas such as those found within Murchison Falls National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and along the shores of Lake Victoria.

Shelley’s Crimsonwing

Your chances of spotting this colorful finch are pretty slim as it is an incredibly shy bird. It flies only short distances and takes cover (most of the time) in bamboo thickets and dense forest growth within the Albertine Rift that borders the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

As of 2008, there are only two known photographs in the world of this Crimsonwing. If you are a serious birder intent on glimpsing this rare bird, one of the best places to start in Uganda is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Great Blue Turaco

Native Africans have traditionally believed that this brilliant bird brings good luck. It is one of the most common birds, but the great blue turaco is also one of the most beautiful birds of Uganda

With a turquoise blue body, yellow breast and reddish-yellow beak, the great blue turaco’s brightly-colored feathers have been used among native African tribes for many generations as a symbol to distinguish tribal leaders.

Marabou Stork

There is no mistaking the marabou stork. With cloak-like wings, skinny legs and weird-looking air sacs hanging down from the base of its neck, this tall wading bird is often regarded as one of the ugliest birds of Uganda.

The marabou’s appearance isn’t the only strange thing about this bird. It has many odd behaviors as well.

For example, instead of flying away from grass fires like other birds, the marabou uses the blazes to its advantage to swoop in and feed on small fleeing animals.If the marabou gets too hot, it cools off by excreting feces on its legs.

African Green Broadbill

If you want to see the African green broadbill when visiting Uganda, you will need to go to the Bwindi National Park because this is the only place in the country where this small, elusive bird lives.

This tiny bird features a body of mostly green feathers, with light blue on the throat, breast, and tail as well as a tan forehead with black streaks. While conservationists are putting forth serious efforts to protect this little rare bird, climate change and deforestation continue to threaten its numbers.

Doherty’s Bushshrike

If you are trekking through the tropical forests or shrublands, you may hear the loud, territorial whistle of the Doherty’s bushshrike before you ever see it.

One of the more common birds of Uganda, the Doherty’s bushshrike even sports the vivid black, red and yellow colors of the Ugandan flag. This little solitary bird loves to feed on grasshoppers and beetles.

Saddle-billed Stork

Owing its name to the patch of yellow on its red bill and white back, the saddle-billed stork is noted for several unique facts.

For one, this wading bird is among the tallest in the world, growing to a height of nearly five feet.

Unlike most birds, the saddle-billed stork doesn’t have a vocal organ and only makes sound by clacking its bill. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs dating back more than 5,000 years depict this bird to symbolize part of the pharaoh Khaba’s name.

Your best chances for spotting this interesting bird are in Sumuliki National Park and along the Kazinga Channel.

Green-Breasted Pitta

The green-breasted pitta is one of the most difficult birds of Uganda to spot, making it one of the most sought-after birds. This pitta lives well-camouflaged in the forests of the Kibale National Park.

The best time to catch a glimpse of this bird is in the early mornings between June and August when it flitters about on the forest floor searching for food.

Standard-Winged Nightjar

The standard-winged nightjar is an impressive bird that sleeps by day and flies out at dusk to feed on various insects.

What really sets this nightjar apart from others is the male’s special wing shaft that extends further out behind the body with plumed feathers on the end during mating season.

To attract females, the male can display his ornamental wings vertically during flight. After mating season ends, these decorative wings fall off.

Black-Breasted Barbet

The black-breasted barbet may be difficult to find because it is a solitary bird that likes to nest in dense vegetation and dead trees. However, you can easily distinguish the black-breasted barbet from other black and white birds by its large, white bill.

You will also improve your chances of seeing this barbet by going where fruit trees grow because this bird loves to eat fruits such as mangoes, figs, and guavas. Sadly, there is some concern that the population of this species may be in decline due to deforestation.

Bar-tailed Trogon

Another of the rare birds of Uganda, the bar-tailed trogon is seldom seen. A medium-sized bird measuring about 11 inches (28 cm) long, this bird makes its home in high-altitude forests.Both males and females feature yellow bills and feet with long, wide tails. The male bar-tailed trogon features a shimmery blue-green or violet breast and iridescent blue-black head with yellow patches above and below the eyes. The female bar-tailed trogon is less brilliant with a brown head and reddish-brown breast and throat.

Tour Inclusives

  • Bottled Water
  • English Speaking Guide
  • Park Entrance Fees

Tour Excludes

  • Tourist Entry Visa
  •  International Flight Tickets
  •  Travel Insurance
  •  Items of Personal Nature
  •  Tips and Gratuities

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