Uganda, A Birder’s Paradise

Water Thick-Knee, Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda

Water Thick-Knee, Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda

Uganda is home to 11% of the world’s bird population with nearly 1,061 different bird species. It’s a paradise for bird watchers.

Over the last few years I have taken to bird-watching – nothing serious but from time to time I will take my binoculars for a walk as I try to spy different species in my neighborhood in North America, however I could never imagine seeing over 100 different species let alone thousands as you can in Uganda.

I love birds- everything about them – the way they fly and soar over the horizon; the way they all fly together – birds of a feather flocking together and that sort of thing, their small and large beady eyes, their beaks…you get the picture!

On my last trip to Uganda I was excited to see Uganda’s national bird, the Grey Crowned Crane. On our tour through Lake Mburo, National Park – the only park you can exit the car and walk amongst the animals – I saw the Crane out of the side of the car. I grabbed my camera and before the driver could safely stop the car I was walking swiftly to where one was eating something near the bush. Unfortunately for me, the bird saw me before I could get there and started to play chicken with me. I would go to one side and it would go to the other and finally I got tired of the game and waited patiently standing still. It finally appeared to the left of me and I was able to get some shots before it flew away into the trees above.

I also saw such beautiful birds, such as the Water Thick-Knee, the ugly Stork that is everywhere you go and is a nuisance – similar to our Canadian Geese – pooping everywhere. The difference is that the poop of the Stork can rot through the paint on a vehicle and also put holes in rooftops.

In June I will return and hope to get some more shots of the various bird species – this time I will be armed with a Birder’s guide book, my binoculars and also hopefully a better and longer range lens.