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Unique Birds of Uganda

Unique Birds of Uganda

Unique Birds of Uganda, Uganda has a highly diverse bird population with over 1,090 species recorded in the Country including the rare Shoebill.

During your Uganda birding safari, you will encounter some of those bird species like the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Shelly’s Crimson wing, Hadada Ibises, Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, White-tailed Lark, Grant’s Bluebill, Egyptian Geese, Black Kites, African harrier hawks, Eurasian Hobby, Cinnamon-breasted Rock-warbler, Red-throated Flycatchers and Papyrus Yellow Warbler among others.

Some species are common in the region and also some African countries like the Palearctic migrants such as White Storks, Black Kites and Spotted Flycatchers. There are also resident species such as Ground Hornbill, Martial Eagle, Crowned Hornbill, Great White Pelican, Palm-nut Vulture and Black-headed Gonolek among others.


Shoebill Stork (Uganda’s Feathered Celebrity)

Hunt into the World of Shoebill Stork, a charismatic giant that captures the hearts of birders Worldwide. Learn about its habits, habitats and also the conservation efforts in place to protect it. Unleash the thrill of spotting the rare shoebill Stork in its Natural Environment.


The Grey Crowned Crane (Uganda’s National Bird)

Meet the elegant Grey Crowned Crane during your safari in Uganda. The Grey Crowned Crane is a National bird and a symbol of grace and beauty in Uganda. Explore its cultural significances, breeding habits as well as the efforts to protect this regal species from the threats it faces in the wild. The Crane found in many different parts of Uganda and are among the birds to look out for while on any bird watching Safari in Uganda.


The Great Blue Turaco (Uganda’s Avian Jewel)

Explore the enchanting World of the Great Blue Turaco, a bird of majestic beauty and significance. Understand its role in the Ugandan culture, its distinctive blue and green plumage and also the conservation initiatives aimed at preserving this iconic species. These brightly-colored birds are one of the most common birds seen across Uganda’s Tropical forests. They are also endemics to the Albertine rift including many forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


African Fish Eagle

The African Fish Eagle is common in Uganda and can be spotted near water bodies especially around lakes and rivers. With its impressive vocalizations and striking plumage, it is a majestic sight to behold in the wild. This beautiful bird of prey has become a symbol of freedom and strength in the Ugandan culture. The Fish eagle is a species in Africa that belongs to the Prey family of birds, it largely feeds on fish and other small prey in the waters. It is a medium-sized bird that makes its nest on the tree branches near the water bodies.


Green-Breasted Pitta (Jewel of the Forest)

Unveil the beauty of the Green-Breasted Pitta, a jewel hidden within Uganda’s forests. Witness its mesmerizing colors and get to learn about its role in the balance of the ecosystem, it changes in the lowland tropical forests and photographing one of these little birds is a very big challenge.


Abyssinian Hornbills

The Abyssinian Hornbill is a striking bird found in Uganda’s national parks and savannas. With its distinctive red bill and also the black and white plumage, it is a popular sight for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. These hornbills are also known for their Unique Calls and can be seen oftenly perched on tree branches or soaring through the skies.


King fishers

Kingfishers are a common sight along Uganda’s Waterways and Wetlands like Lake Mburo, Murchison falls, Kazinga channel among other places. These brilliantly colored birds are known for their renown fishing skills, diving from perches to catch their prey with precision. With their vibrant plumage and distinctive hunting behavior, kingfishers are a delight for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts in Uganda.



Finfoots are elusive and rare birds found in the wetlands of Uganda. These secretive birds are known for their unique webbed feet and are often seen near the edges of swamps and rivers. Due to habitat loss and hunting, finfoots are considered a vulnerable species in Uganda and are a priority for conservation efforts.



The Common Ostriches are found mainly in the Eastern and Northeastern parts of Uganda and also in the Sub-Saharan Africa.  However, In Uganda, they are in Kidepo Valley National Park and Karamoja region, Pian-Upe and also Matheniko Wildlife reserves. Ostriches are the largest birds in the World and are common in Uganda, these birds are adapted to the savannah grasslands where they roam freely in search for food.



The flamingos are a stunning sight, with their vibrant pink feathers and graceful wading in the shallow waters of various lakes and wetlands. Mainly found in Lake Munyanyange and Katwe in Queen Elizabeth National park Uganda. These birds are also a common sight in areas of Lake Albert. As well as Lake Nakuru in Kenya where they gather in large flocks to feed and breed, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for visitors and wildlife enthusiasts in East Africa.


Other Bird species found in Uganda

It is difficult to choose the top ten species of the Ugandan birding list, this is just because every bird in Uganda is unique and special. Here below is a list of many other birds that equally qualify to be among the top birds of Uganda. But the list is just small. To look out for and tick off your list why you join us on a bird watching safari to the Pearl of Africa; (listed with English and scientific names)

  • Heuglin’s francolin, Pternistis icterorhynchus
  • Blue quail, Synoicus adansonii
  • Crested francolin, Dendroperdix sephaena
  • Coqui francolin, Peliperdix coqui
  • Harlequin quail, Coturnix delegorguei
  • Latham’s francolin, Peliperdix lathami
  • Common quail, Coturnix coturnix (A)
  • Orange River francolin, Scleroptila gutturalis
  • Moorland francolin, Scleroptila psilolaemus
  • Handsome francolin, Pternistis nobilis
  • Scaly francolin, Pternistis squamatus
  • Shelley’s francolin, Scleroptila shelleyi (U)
  • Clapperton’s francolin, Pternistis clappertoni
  • Yellow-necked francolin, Pternistis leucoscepus
  • Red-necked francolin, Pternistis afer
  • Jackson’s francolin, Pternistis jacksoni
  • Red-winged francolin, Scleroptila levaillantii
  • Ring-necked francolin, Scleroptila streptophorus


Ducks, waterfowl and geese
  • Comb duck, Sarkidiornis melanotos
  • Yellow-billed duck, Anas undulata
  • Hartlaub’s duck, Pteronetta hartlaubii
  • White-backed duck, Thalassornis leuconotus
  • Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus
  • Spur-winged goose, Plectropterus gambensis
  • African pygmy goose, Nettapus auritus
  • Garganey, Spatula querquedula
  • White-faced whistling-duck, Dendrocygna viduata
  • Fulvous whistling-duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
  • Eurasian wigeon, Mareca Penelope (A)
  • African black duck, Anas sparsa
  • Hottentot teal, Spatula hottentota
  • Northern shoveler, Spatula clypeata
  • Cape teal, Anas capensis (A) (U)
  • Green-winged teal, Anas crecca
  • Red-billed duck, Anas erythrorhyncha
  • Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
  • Maccoa duck, Oxyura maccoa (A)
  • Southern pochard, Netta erythrophthalma
  • Northern pintail, Anas acuta
  • Common pochard, Aythya ferina
  • Ferruginous duck, Aythya nyroca (A)



New World quail

  • Stone partridge, Ptilopachus petrosus
  • Nahan’s francolin, Ptilopachus nahani



  • Crested guineafowl, Guttera pucherani
  • Helmeted guineafowl, Numida meleagris
  • Vulturine guineafowl, Acryllium vulturinum

There are over 1,100 one hundred bird species in Uganda, but only 1,085 species recorded in Uganda as of 2024. The list is rich with small birds to large birds, some of these are African birds while other are migratory birds which come during certain seasons. Most of these are common birds that can be seen in Uganda on most of our birding tours.


Shoe Bill Stork

The Shoebill Stork (Balaeniceps rex) is an endangered African bird. Swamps and wetlands are its primary habitats in tropical east and southeast Africa. However, because of their concentration in wetlands, shoebill storks are mostly seen in Uganda, especially around Lake Victoria. This bird can be found during a trip to the Mabamba swamp on the edges of Lake Victoria. During the Mabamba Swamp tour, visitors can get close and personal with various bird species, including the rare shoebill stork.


Orange-breasted waxbill

The orange-breasted waxbill belongs to the Estrildidae family, including finches, sleeves, and munias. This species is classified as common, with a wide distribution. Ugandan savanna grasslands, woodlands, and forests are frequently home to this species.

In addition to its bright orange rump and head, it can also have yellow or green features. The Orange-breasted Waxbill feeds on insects, worms, and seeds as a source of its protein.


Chapin’s Flycatcher

The Chapin’s Flycatcher is considered to be of the least concern in terms of conservation status because of its wide range and relatively stable population. This bird lives in a wide range of habitats, from forests and savannahs to swamps. Despite its name, it can sometimes be found in much higher elevations than expected. In Uganda, you can see this bird om Pian Upe Nature reserve, Murchison falls National Park etc.


Green-breasted Pitta

The Green-breasted Pitta is a fairly common sight in the wooded areas of Uganda, especially in Kibale National Park, Maramagambo forest, and some parts of Bwindi forest National park. It can also be found in nearby areas along the Albertine Rift. The bird lives in dense vegetation, is shy, and lives a secret life; you will probably hear its call and might not see it since it is so secretive. Its call is a loud and ringing whistle and often has two or more notes. The best time to find this species is in the rainy season, from April to October, when it is more active and vocal.


African Green Broadbill

The African Green Broadbill is found in various habitats across Western and Central Africa and in parts of East Africa. It is typically found in rain forests and woodlands along river the Nile and other water sources. The African Green Broadbill normally feeds on insects, fruit, and nectar.

Many factors contribute to the extinction of African Green Broadbills. These include habitat loss caused by deforestation and fragmentation, hunting for food, and the pet trade. The African Green Broadbill is also listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 2009.


Saddle-Billed Stork

The Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis), also known as the Senegalese Stork, is a large species of tropical stork found in the East and Southern parts of Africa. The Saddle-billed Stork is mostly found in Uganda’s wetlands and shallow lakes where it feeds on fish, frogs, and insects wherever there are wetlands.

The saddle-billed stork isn’t endangered. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says it’s not endangered.

This majestic bird is not to be underestimated. During its lifetime, it can grow up to 1.5 meters in height. The average male weighs 7 kg, whereas the average female weighs 5 kg.

With almost 40 cm long legs, it is a very long-legged bird. Beaks can grow up to 35 cm! On average, its wings measure 2.5 meters – sometimes even more.

The saddle-billed stork has long legs and they are not just for beauty. They’re more likely to succeed in their endeavors with it.

To begin with, they are capable of wading through fairly deep water in search of food. I love watching long-legged water birds like saddle-billed storks gracefully move through shallow waters. By using their long bills, they can reach deep into the water to find prey.


Goliath Heron

A Goliath heron is a large gray heron found in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the southern and western parts. The species is common in Uganda, where it is found in wetlands, lake margins, and open woodlands, among other places. Generally, its diet consists of fish, frogs, and other aquatic prey, though it may also eat insects and rodents. It is known to roost in tall trees near water sources.

Are Goliath Herons endangered? No, Goliath herons are not endangered. Goliath herons are classified as the least concern by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).


African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagles (Haliaeetus vocifer) are large eagles throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Its distinctive call, a high-pitched “quet-quet-quet,” is a familiar sound in many of Uganda’s wetlands and open areas near water bodies where this species occurs. African Fish Eagles, also known as African Fish Eagles, are among the most recognizable raptors on the African continent.

They are particularly common in the western and northwestern parts of Uganda, where there are plains and wetlands, and Lake Victoria. Their scientific name is Haliaeetus vocifer, which means “sea eagle with a loud voice.”

The African Fish Eagle is a big bird with a nearly two-meter wingspan. Their heads are characteristically large, their beaks are large, and they have white heads and necks with darker brown backs and tails. The adults have yellow legs, black talons, and white underwings. In contrast, the juveniles have light brown eyes, grey talons, and lighter brown feathers.

Although it sometimes catches water snakes, turtles, and other aquatic creatures, the African Fish Eagle feeds almost exclusively on fish. As it glides above the water, it plunges with its wings folded to capture prey. With its powerful talons, the bird catches its prey and returns to a perch, where it eats it or brings it to its nest to feed the juveniles. Nests are generally found in tall trees near lakes and rivers.


Great Blue Turaco

Great blue turacos are beautiful, large, subtropical, and tropical African birds, especially in Uganda and East Africa. It belongs to the Musophagidae family and is one of the most common turacos.

Males are larger than females and have bright blue feathers and white stripes down their backs. During the day, the great blue turaco is fairly active and feeds on various fruits, nuts, flowers, and small animals.

A great blue turaco  one of the more famous species of the Musophagidae family of birds. Because of its loud and raucous calls  heard from many miles away. High branches are perfect for breeding as they breed in colonies. One of Uganda’s most popular and iconic bird species and is a reminder of the diversity and uniqueness of Uganda’s natural beauty. The Great blue turaco  an important part of African folklore, seen as a symbol of love, peace and luck.


Long crested Eagle

The Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) a large species of raptor found in sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda. Distinguished by its long crest, rufous back and head, and boldly patterned underparts. Its wingspan can reach 1.8 meters, and it weighs up to 1.3 kilograms. The long-crested eagle is very common in Uganda and you will often see it besides the roads especially the Entebbe Express highway around Nambigirwa swamp.

There are many birds, mammals, and reptiles that it preys on, including the helmeted guinea fowl. It nests in tall trees and breeds in the dry season, laying two to three eggs. As a result of habitat destruction and hunting, the Long-crested Eagle  listed as near threatened. As its small populations throughout East Africa are at risk, especially in Dr. Congo, due to habitat destruction and bush meat. It is now a protected species in Uganda, and hunting it can lead to imprisonment.


The Secretary Bird

The Secretary Bird is a large, mostly terrestrial bird native to the African savannahs. It is believed that the bird gets its name from the large crest of feathers resembling a quill pen – reminiscent of a secretary seated at a writing desk. In Uganda, Secretary Birds are mainly found along the River Nile, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison falls National Park and Pian Upe reserve. In some African cultures, the secretary bird is traditionally considered a symbol of strength and courage. With their powerful feet, they can easily stalk and kill snakes, rats, lizards, and other small prey due to their strong hunting abilities. A female secretary bird will lay three eggs per nesting season, and they’re monogamous, unlike some other bird species.

With their long legs, Secretary birds can reach 44 miles per hour, making them surprisingly fast.


Black Bee Eaters

Black Bee Eaters belong to a group of dark-forest dependent bee-eaters inhabiting Uganda’s open and bushy woodlands, savannahs, and grasslands, where they thrive. In Uganda, it’s a pretty common species, and it feeds on insects like bees, wasps, and termites. The Black Bee-eater normally nests in holes in high banks on open terraces near water or on sandy riverbanks in Murchison falls, National Park.

Found in places like Bwindi and the woodland along the Kyambura and Ishasha rivers in the western parts of Uganda.

The Black Bee Eater is among the 12 most sought-after bee-eaters in Uganda.  Thus The Black Bee Eater is one of those beautiful birds to look out for in Uganda. You won’t go wrong adding it to your checklist.