AFROTROPICAL Tropical & Subtropical Savanna
passerine birds

Most people look for large mammals in the African savanna, but the songbird life is equally impressive. Many of the species are simply beautiful to look at, with stunningly colourful groups such as starlings and sunbirds. 

Family Malaconotidae: Bush-shrikes & Puffbacks

Laniarius major, 'Tropical Boubou' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).

Family Platysteiridae: Wattle-eyes & Batises

Family Dicruridae: Drongos

Family Laniidae: Shrikes

Family Corvidae: Crows & Jays

Family Macrosphenidae: Crombecs & African Warblers

Family Cisticolidae: Cisticolas

Prinia subflava, 'Tawny-flanked Prinia'. (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).

Family Pycnonotidae: Bulbuls

Family Zosteropidae: White-eyes

Zosterops virens, 'Cape White-eye' (Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa).

Family Leiothrichidae: Laughingthrushes Babblers

Babblers often hang out in noisy 'gangs'.  

'Arrow-marked Babbler' Turdoides. The bright-eyed adult on the left, the darker eyed juvenile on the right (Enjojo Lodge, Uganda).

Family Buphagidae: Oxpeckers

Family Sturnidae: Starlings & Mynas

Lamprotornis corruscus, 'Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling'. Large and striking. Common and seems comfortable near roads and lodges. 

Cinnyricinclus leucogaster, 'Violet-backed Starling', (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

Family Nectariniidae: Sunbirds

Nectarinia kilimensis, 'Bronze Sunbird' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).

Cinnyris venusta, 'Variable Sunbird' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).

Chalcomitra senegalensis, 'Scarlet-chested Sunbird' (Kilwa, Tanzania).

Family Ploceidae: Weavers

Family Ploecidae: Widowbirds 

The breeding males of Widowbirds have long black tails. 

Euplectes ardens, 'Red-collared Widowbird' (Enjojo Lodge, Uganda).

Euplectes albonotatus, 'White-winged Widowbird' ( (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

Family Viduidae: Indigobirds & Whydahs

Vidua macroura, 'Pin-tailed Wydah' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).

Family Ploecidae: Quelea

Quelea Quelea, 'Red-billed Quelea'. Usually seen in large flocks, and often claimed to be the most numerous bird in the world.

Family Estrildidae: Estrildid Finches

Family Passeridae: Sparrows

Passer griseus, 'Northern Grey-headed Sparrow' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).

Family Motacillidae: Wagtails & Pipits

Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.