Blue Waxbill (Uraeginthus angolensis)

The Blue Waxbill (Uraeginthus angolensis), also called Southern Blue Waxbill, Blue-breasted Waxbill, Southern Cordon-bleu, Blue-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Blue-breasted Cordon-bleu and Angola Cordon-bleu, is a common species of estrildid finch found in Southern Africa.

They have a very large range all over Southern Africa so you are quite likely to see them.  I’ve seen them at Mosi-oa-Tunya NP in Zambia and Kruger NP in South Africa.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLUE WAXBILLS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Biodiversity Explorer

SA Venues

VIDEOS

Getting up close and personal with this little cutie!

I don’t know if this one is tired or just bored.

 

Foraging on the ground.

 

Bare-faced Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides personatus)

The Bare-faced (or Brown-faced) Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides personatus) is a species of bird in the family Musophagidae which is native to the eastern Afrotropics. It is named for its distinctive and uniquely bare, black face. Although the genus is named for the g’way call of its near relation, the grey go-away-bird; this bird seemed friendlier and didn’t tell us to “go’way”!

They are endemic to a small area of Ethiopia so I considered myself very lucky to see them near the Hara Langano Lodge.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BARE-FACED GO-AWAY BIRDS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Turacos.org

VIDEOS

Hardly anything on Youtube for these guys!

The call

Soundless clip of foraging.

At least you can learn to draw one!

White-cheeked Turaco (Tauraco leucotis)

The White-cheeked Turaco (Tauraco leucotis) is a species of bird in the family Musophagidae.  I saw a couple of them at Hara Langano Lodge in Ethiopia but I didn’t get very good photos of them.  There are better images in the links below.

They have a large range throughout Ethiopia and Eritrea but logisitically speaking, the Lake Langano area is the easiest place to see them.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHITE-CHEEKED TURACOS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Turacos.org

VIDEOS

There wasn’t much available on wild birds so I have to use some videos of captive birds to show them in action.  The first one shows some cute chicks!

 

 

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)

The Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) is a turaco, a group of African near-passerines. It is the largest species of turaco.

They have a large range across Central Africa but the easiest place to see them is in Uganda.  I saw them both at Entebbe Botanical Gardens and Mpanga National Forest.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GREAT BLUE TURACOS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Turacos.org

HBW

VIDEOS

Thankfully I was able to find a couple good clips (both filmed in Uganda) on Youtube, mostly because these birds were hungry and therefore sitting still-ish!

Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)

The Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus) also known as the Grey-cheeked Hornbill, is a large—approximately 70 cm (28 in) long—black and white hornbill. It has an oversized blackish bill with a large casque on top. The female is slightly smaller than the male and has a significantly smaller casque.

Although their range covers a large part of Africa it is very spread out so you have to be lucky to see one but they are well worth it, they are such cool looking birds!  I saw this one in the Entebbe Botanical Gardens in Uganda.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLACK & WHITE CASQUED HORNBILLS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

HBW

VIDEOS

Hungry birds!

Just impressive!

 

 

Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae)

Ross’s Turaco or Lady Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae) is a mainly bluish-purple African bird of the turaco family, Musophagidae.

They have large range throughout central Africa.  I saw this one in Entebbe Botanical Gardens in Uganda.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ROSS’S TURACO

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Turacos.org

VIDEOS

I couldn’t find any Youtube clips of wild birds so I will have to use some captive birds to show the call and behaviour of this beautiful bird.  The call is very distinctive and that was how our guide located the birds we saw in Entebbe.

 

Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus)

The Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus) is a river kingfisher which is widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara. It is largely resident except for seasonal climate-related movements.  This little beauty is only around 5 inches or 13 cm long so they can only eat small fish or insects.

They have a large range across central and southern Africa so your odds of seeing one is good.  They may be small but their brilliant colours make them stand out.  I have personally seen them in Mabamba Swamp, Uganda; South Luangwa, Zambia and Kruger NP, South Africa.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MALACHITE KINGFISHERS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

The Guardian

VIDEOS

Malachite kingfishers perched and looking for fish.

 

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

The Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) also known as whalehead or shoe-billed stork, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill.

They are found in East/Central Africa.  One of the best places to see them is Mabamba Swamp in Uganda where there is a whole day trip dedicated to them with a high rate of successful sightings.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SHOEBILL STORKS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Audubon

Africa Geographic

VIDEOS

OMG, the look on this guy’s face!

 

The Shoebill Safari Experience

Lunchtime!

Pacific Emerald Dove/Brown-capped Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps longirostris)

The Pacific Emerald Dove or Brown-capped Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps longirostris) is a pigeon which is a widespread resident breeding bird in the tropical and sub-tropical parts of Indonesia to northern and eastern Australia. It was formerly conspecific with the common emerald dove (found in Asia).  More information about the taxonomy is in the links below.

They have a large range throughout Northern & Eastern Australia and also in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.  I stumbled upon this one by sheer luck near a beach in Darwin.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PACIFIC EMERALD DOVES

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Bird Forum

VIDEOS

Since the taxonomy is recently split, I had to search clips that were filmed in Australia.

Here we see courting behaviour.

Ground foraging