Top 10 fascinating birds in samburu national reserve

Top 10 fascinating birds in samburu national reserve

Top 10 fascinating birds in samburu national reserve : Samburu national park is a great habitant for bird life hosting over 350 bird species, samburu national reserve is situated in the samburu county of Kenya and lies on the banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River. This park was established in 1985 covering an area of 165 square kilometers, the park is a famous birding destination and this articles lists the top 10 fascinating bird species you are to encounter while in samburu national reserve.

  1. The Somali ostrich

Somali ostriches are one of the most fascinating birds in the world declared as a distinct bird in 2004, Somali ostriches are flightless birds due to their large body and they are also known as the blue-necked ostriches. Ostriches are endemic to Africa though they used to also be found in Europe and Asia, to back up their existence their fossils were found in Greece, Russia, Mongolia and India.

The Somali ostrich is a native bird of horn of Africa Somali that is why they are called Somali ostrich and they are one of the birds you will encounter in Samburu national reserve, Somali ostriches are similar to other ostriches but their appearance slightly differ as they the skin on their neck and thighs are blue in color. The necks of these Somali ostriches are typically broad white and the tail feathers are white in color, also the shade of these ostriches differ in male and female as the males are browner.

The size of the Somali ostrich differ according to sexes, the female Somali ostriches are a bit larger than the female.

  1. Dusky and Donaldson’s smith night jars

Dusky and Donaldson’s smith night jars are beautiful and fascinating birds you will encounter in Samburu national park.

The Dusky night jars are small sized birds fairly around 1,500 meters, these birds’ bodies are intricately patterned with dark brown, black and buff the entire body which makes them fascinating to look at. These birds have pale corners in the tail which differs in the sexes, in the males are white and females are buffy and they are easily sighted in the forest galleries in the park and thickets.

Donaldson’s smith night jars are also part of the nightjar species in the family of caprimulgidae, these birds are only found in 4 countries in Africa that is Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. Like Dusky night jars, these birds are small in size with plumage patterned brown feathers.

  1. White-headed mousebird

White-headed mousebird are another fascinating bird species found in samburu national park, these bird species are only found in East African region that is some regions of Kenya, Tanzania and southern region of Ethiopia. White headed mousebird belong to the coliidae family, in size these birds are 32 cm long with a tail half of its body length.

In appearance these birds’ plumage is mainly grayish, the back, neck and breast of the bird consists of black and white barring. Down the back there is a white stripe which is visible as the bird flies, the bill is bluish-white above and buff below and the eye has patches of dark shade and bare skin.

White-headed mouse bird is sighted in the arid bush land and short Savannah grassland of the park.

  1. D’Arnaud’s barbet

D’Arnaud’s barbet is belongs to Lybiidae family, this bird is one of the barbets and toucans, D’Arnaud’s barbet is also referred to as African barbet and one of the smallest birds in East Africa growing to a length of about 8 inches. These birds feed on insects, birds, fruits and a seed, what makes these birds fascinating is that they have a striking dance where a male and a female face each other on nearby twigs and twitch bobbing and singing like mechanical toys.

  1. Somali bee-eater

Somali bee-eater is a small bird depending on eating bees that is why it is called a bee- eater, this bird is part of the meropidae family and it is found of living in arid and desert area which is why they are found in Ethiopia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Tanzania.

In samburu national park, Somali bee-eaters are easily spotted in the woodlands and forest galleries of the park.

Somali bee-eaters are apparently the smallest bird in its genus growing to the length of 16-18 centimeters, in appearance both the sexes of these birds appear the same as they are slender with plumage on the head. The crown of this bird is glossy green, the eyebrow is blue, and the cheeks, chins and throat are white. The upper parts of their body vary in shades of green, the lower and rump are bright blue and the tail is bluish-green. The breast and belly are cinnamon-buff, the beak is black, the eyes are reddish brown, and legs are dark grey. Because of different shades of color the Somali bee-eater is fascinating to spot.

  1. Golden pipit

Golden pipit is part of the pipit bird group belonging to Motacillidae family, this bird is a distinct pipit fond of living in dry country grassland, savanna and shrub land regions of East Africa. Golden pipit is a native bird species to Ethiopia, Kenya, Somali, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Unlike other pipits, golden pipits are easily identified because of their striking yellow colored body with patches of black, in appearance the golden pipits have a resemblance with yellow-throated long claw. This bird has a shade of yellow below its body, wings and a black line in the face, in samburu national park these birds are easily spotted on branches of thickets and trees.

  1. Donaldson’s smith sparrow weaver

Donaldson’s smith sparrow weaver is a fascination bird easily spotted in the plains of Samburu national park, this bird belongs to ploceidae family and it follows under sparrow bird species. Donaldson’s smith sparrow weaver is found in most regions of Africa such as southern Ethiopia, central Kenya and southern Somalia including Samburu national park.

Donaldson’s smith sparrow weaver is a small bird in size, in appearance this bird has a brown plumage which varies from dark to lighter shade, the beak is short and black and their legs are covered with white feathers.

  1. Golden-breasted starling

Golden-breasted starling a medium sized passerine belonging to a family of starlings, the golden-breasted starling are also referred to as royal starling and they are fond of living in grassland, savannah, thickets of acacia, dry-thorn forests and shrub land. This bird species is distributed in numerous regions of north eastern Africa including Somalia, Kenya Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Golden-breasted starlings have an average body length of about 14 inches, in appearance an adult golden-breasted starling has a metallic green head and upper back, violet blue on wings, bright golden yellow on the breast and belly, dark bill and legs, white iris and its long tail feathers are metallic violet blue.

  1. Rosy-patched bush shrike

Rosy-patched bush shrike belongs to Malaconotidae family and it is fond of living in subtropical and tropical dry shrub land, Rosy-patched bush shrike are found in regions of countries like Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somali, Sudan and Tanzania. This bird is small in size with brown shade on the back and the tail, black beak, bright yellow color on the lower body and black iris.

  1. Black-capped social weaver

Black-capped social weaver is a sparrow like bird belonging to the weaver family found in various regions of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania, these bird species breed in colonies and roofed nests which have an entrance at the bottom. These nests are built on branches of thorny trees like acacia trees and it is a responsibility of the male to build the nest, the nests are built using grass stems.

In appearance these birds have a large black cap, ivory-colored bill, red eyes, brown back and wings, the tail is blackish brown, the throat is white, underparts have black midline and legs are dark horn colored.

Once in samburu national park on a bird watching safari activity you are sure to spot these birds, book your bird watching safari to Samburu national park using Focus East Africa Tours by sending your safari inquiry on

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