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(non-passerine) birds 
AFROTROPICAL Tropical & Subtropical Savanna 

Birdwatching in the African savanna is easy and very rewarding. The open habitat means the birds are easy to see compared to the closed habitat of rainforest. The diversity of the birds here is high, and repeated trips will reward the visitor with new species.

Family Phasianidae: Fowl

Pternistis natalensis, 'Natal Spurfowl/Francolin' (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

Family Columbidae: Doves and Pigeons

Turtur chalcospilos, 'Green/Emerald-spotted Wood Dove' (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

Family Musophagidae, Turacos

Tauraco porphyreolophus, 'Purple-crested Turaco', (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

Family Cuculidae: Cuckoos

Centropus superciliosus, 'White-browed Coucal' (Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda).

Family Gruidae: Cranes

Grus paradisea, 'Blue Crane' , 'Paradise/Stanley Crane', (outside of Cape Town).

Family Burhinidae, 'Thick-knees'

Burhinus vermiculatus, 'Water Thick-knee'


Family Ciconiidae, 'Storks'

Ciconis episcopus, 'Woolly-necked Stork' (Enjojo Lodge, Uganda).

Family Accipitridae, Eagles, Hawks and Old World Vultures

Long-crested Eagle (Bigodi, Uganda)

Family Coliidae: Mousebirds

Family Upupidae: Hoopoes

Family Bucorvidae, Ground Hornbills

Family Bucerotidae, Hornbills

Hornbills are an old world tropical group, found in Africa and Asia, and extending to the Solomon Islands in the east. They are large birds with huge bills, the ecological and morphological equivalent to the new world tropical Toucans.

'Crowned Hornbill' (Enjojo Lodge, Uganda)

Family Meropidae: Bee-eaters

One of the most diverse and pretty groups of birds in the African woodlands. They are often very obvious and easy birds to see as they tend to to perch on exposed branches. 

'White-throated Bee-eater' (image by Damon Ramsey)'White-throated Bee-eater' (Kilwa, Tanzania)

Merops albicollis, 'White-throated Bee-eater'.


Merops albicollis, 'Blue-cheeked Bee-eater'. Breeds in dry habitats in the middle east, then most migrate to overwinter in woodlands and forest in tropical Africa.

Family Alcedinidae: Kingfishers

(African) Mangrove Kingfisher (image by Damon Ramsey)(African) Mangrove Kingfisher (Mozambique)

Halcyon senegaloides, '(African) Mangrove Kingfisher'. Large Kingfisher coloured a very bright blue, which can make it easily visible in open areas, and a contrasting red bill. Similar to Woodland Kingfisher, but that species has lower black mandible  and cleaner white head. Found in mangroves, and open habitats, including human settlements, along east coast of Africa.

Halcyon senegalensis, 'Woodland Kingfisher'. Large Kingfisher coloured a very bright blue, which can make it easily visible in open areas, and with a contrasting red bill. Similar to African Mangrove Kingfisher, but that species has an all red bill and grey wash to head. Found in open habitats, including human settlements, throughout tropical Africa.

Family Lybiidae: African Barbets & Tinkerbirds

Yellow-billed Barbet (Bigodi, Uganda)

Lybius bidentatus, Double-toothed Barbet (Isunga Lodge, Uganda).

Family Picidae: Woodpeckers

Campethera abingoni 'Golden-tailed Woodpecker', (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

the Birds of the African Savannas continued at:
Afrotropical Tropical Savanna passerine birds 

For the page on the African savanna

Can't go travelling until everything settles down? Here I am doing a virtual guided walk for Noble Caledonia, and here I am doing other virtual guided walks...