a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
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.
Laniarius major, 'Tropical Boubou' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).
Prinia subflava, 'Tawny-flanked Prinia'. (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).
Zosterops virens, 'Cape White-eye' (Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa).
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).
One of the most stunning groups of birds in the African bush. Luckily, many of these starlings are easily seen around lodges and camps.
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).
Lamprotornis regius, 'Golden-breasted/Royal Starling'. Long tail. Found in open habitats in eastern and north-eastern Africa.
Nectarinia kilimensis, 'Bronze Sunbird' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).
Cinnyris venusta, 'Variable Sunbird' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).
Chalcomitra senegalensis, 'Scarlet-chested Sunbird' (Kilwa, Tanzania).
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).
Vidua macroura, 'Pin-tailed Wydah' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).
Quelea Quelea, 'Red-billed Quelea'. Usually seen in large flocks, and often claimed to be the most numerous bird in the world.
Passer griseus, 'Northern Grey-headed Sparrow' (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).
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