Maasai Mara Birds | The Birds of Maasai Mara

Maasai Mara Birds | The Birds of Maasai Mara While not the most apparent choice for birding in Kenya, which is home to some of the top birding hotspots in the world, Masai Mara is nevertheless a very excellent area for Ornithological excursions, with over 500 species documented, many of which are raptor species. Masai […]
Maasai Mara Birds

Feb 19, 2023

Maasai Mara Birds | The Birds of Maasai Mara

While not the most apparent choice for birding in Kenya, which is home to some of the top birding hotspots in the world, Masai Mara is nevertheless a very excellent area for Ornithological excursions, with over 500 species documented, many of which are raptor species.

Masai Mara’s Abdim’s Stork

Abdim’s Stork (Ciconia abdimii) The smallest of all storks is the Abdim’s stork, commonly known as the white-bellied stork. It features long grey legs with red knees and feet, as well as a grey beak. It has red skin adjacent to the eye and blue skin near the bill during the mating season. This species is ubiquitous and frequent over its vast habitat and may be observed in portions of Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara’s Abdim’s Stork

Darters from Africa in Masai Mara

Darter of Africa (Anhinga rufa)
African Darters are huge, thin water birds with long, rounded tails that average around 80 cm in length. The neck of these cormorant-like birds is often seen above water. They have long, keen beaks that they utilize to pierce their slick fish food. They are restricted to tropical Sub-Saharan Africa, where they may be found in or near bodies of both salty and fresh water. These birds are usually found in Kenya’s Lake Baringo and Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara’s African Grey Hornbills

Hornbill of Africa (Tockus nasutus)
The African grey hornbill is the hornbill family’s smallest member. It is a frequent resident breeder over most of Sub-Saharan Africa. These hornbills mostly consume insects, fruits, and reptiles. They browse in trees most of the time.

Masai Mara’s African Fish Eagles

Eagle of the African Fish (Haliaeetus vocifer)
The African fish eagle is a huge species of eagle found across Sub-Saharan Africa anywhere there are vast amounts of open water with an ample food source. The adult is easily identified by its predominantly brown body, white head, and enormous, strong black wings. The head, breast, and tail are all pure white, save for the yellow featherless face. These birds are usually found in Kenya’s Lake Baringo and Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara’s African Fish Eagles

Masai Mara’s African Harrier Hawks

Hawk of the African Harrier (Polyboroides typus)
A medium-sized raptor is the African Harrier Hawk. The top body, head, and breasts are light grey. White with delicate dark banding on the belly. The light grey wide wings have a black trailing edge edged with a short white line. The tail is black with a single wide white stripe running across it.

The sexes are identical, except that young birds have light brown instead of grey and dark brown instead of black. It may be found in natural forests, tree plantations, and cities. Lake Nakuru National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve are the best spots to see this bird.

Masai Mara’s African Harrier Hawks

Maasai Mara African Openbill

Stork, African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)
The African openbill is a stork species in the Ciconiidae family. It is a stork that is 80-94 cm tall and weighs 1-1.3 kg. It has dark overall plumage with glossy green, brown, and purple on the mantle and breast.

The bill is brownish in color and rather big. The legs and the eye are both black. The juvenile plumage is duller and browner, with light feather tips. The African openbill eats nearly entirely aquatic snails and freshwater mussels.

Masai Mara African Spoonbill

Spoonbill on the African continent (Platalea alba)
The African Spoonbill is a wading bird with long legs. Apart for its red legs, face, and bill, its body is mostly white. This bird is readily identified by its distinctive spoon-shaped beak.

Male and female birds have similar appearances. Fish and aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans or shellfishes, insects, larvae, and mollusks make up the majority of the African Spoonbill’s diet. These birds are abundant in numerous nations in southern Africa and may be seen in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

 

Masai Mara’s African White-backed Vultures

Vulture, African White-backed (Gyps africanus)
The African White-backed vulture is the most common big vulture in Africa. It is an Old-World vulture. The white-backed vultures have a grey neck with a collar of white feathers at the top of their back and other grey plumage.

They mostly graze on animal corpses and bone pieces. African white-backed vultures are very gregarious and active throughout the day. They are present in all East African National Parks and Reserves, including Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara’s African White-backed Vultures

Masai Mara Bateleur Eagle

Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) (Terathopius ecaudatus)
The Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) is a medium-sized, multicolored Eagle with a short tail. The snake eagles are their closest cousins. Bateleurs are unique to Africa and may be found in sections of Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara’s Black Chested Snake Eagles

Eagle with a Black Chested Snake (Circaetus pectoralis)
The Black Chested Snake Eagle is a huge African bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. It is frequent in moderately forested parts of Kenya, although not often seen. It eats snakes as well as lizards and bats. It is readily recognized by its dark brown head and breast, which give it its name.

Masai Mara Black-Headed Heron

Heron with a Black Head (Ardea melanocephala)
Black-headed Herons are wading birds in the heron family that reach 85 cm tall and have a wingspan of 150 cm. Its plumage is mostly grey on top and lighter grey on the bottom. It has a strong dark bill. These birds may be found over most of Africa south of the Sahara, including the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.

Masai Mara Black Winged Kite

Kite with a Black Wing (Elanus caeruleus)
The black-shouldered kite, sometimes known as the black-winged kite, is a tiny diurnal bird of prey of the Accipitridae family. Black Winged Kites are prevalent in wide grasslands and may be seen at Masai Mara, Samburu, and other parks.

Masai Mara Black Winged Kite

Maasai Mara Coqui Farncolins

Francolin Coqui (Francolinus coqui)
The Coqui francolin (Peliperdix coqui) is a bird species in the Phasianidae family. It is mostly prevalent in Africa’s southern half, although it is also found in the western Sahel and Ethiopia. It is said to be the most common francolin in Africa. It is primarily resident throughout its range and may be found in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Egyptian geese in the Maasai Mara

The Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
The Egyptian Goose is quite widespread in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. It feeds on grass, seeds, and leaves. It will sometimes consume locusts, worms, or other tiny animals. It belongs to the shelduck family and couples for life.

Masai Mara Fisher’s Sparrow Larks

Lark of Fischer’s Sparrow (Eremopterix leucopareia)
Fischer’s sparrow-lark is a passerine bird in the Alaudidae family. This unassuming dull-colored bird lives on short grass plains in subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland. Nairobi National Park and the Northern Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya are excellent sites to see this bird.

Masai Mara Fisher’s Sparrow Larks

Masai Mara’s Green Wood Hoopoes

Hoopoe, Green Wood (Phoeniculus purpureus)
The Green Wood Hoopoe is a big, near-passerine tropical bird endemic to Africa that may grow to be 44cm long. It was formerly known as the red-billed wood hoopoe. Outside of the mating season, it eats mostly on the ground, termite mounds, or tree trunks, and forms flocks. It’s a frequent resident breader in Kenya’s Lake Baringo and Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara Grey-Headed Kingfishers

The Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala) dwells in dry forests, generally near a river or lake, and may be found across Africa. It mostly hunts lizards.

Grey Kestrels in Masai Mara National Reserve

Kestrel, Grey (Falco ardosiaceus)
The grey kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus) is a species of falcon in the Falconidae family. While at rest, it is a tiny, stocky kestrel with a broad, flat-topped head and relatively short wings that do not extend beyond the tip of the tail. Grey kestrels may be found in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve, where they live in savannas, open woodland, and forest clearings.

Maasai Mara Hamerkop

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) (Scopus umbretta)
The Hamerkop is a medium-sized wading bird native to Africa. Its plumage is dark with traces of iridescent purple on its back. The tail has a slight barring of deeper brown. Hamerkops loves marsh areas, which are numerous in the area.

Maasai Mara Hamerkop

Masai Mara’s Hadeda Ibis

Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash) The Hadeda ibis, also known as Hadada, is called from the loud three to four note sounds it makes in flight, particularly in the mornings and nights as it leaves or returns to its roost trees.

These are medium-sized birds with robust legs and a characteristic down-curved mouth, and their wing coverts are iridescent with a green or purple shine. Hadadas may be found in a variety of African nations, including open grasslands, savanna, and wetlands, as well as urban parks, school fields, green corridors, and huge gardens.

Maasai Mara Kori Bustards

Bustard, Kori (Ardeotis kori)
The kori bustard (Ardeotis kori) is Africa’s biggest flying bird. This species, like the majority of bustards, is a ground-dwelling opportunistic omnivore. These birds may be found across Kenya, notably in the Masai Mara National Reserve, and throughout much of Africa in open, semi-arid, or seasonally dry environments. They are mostly permanent throughout their range, with occasional irregular, migratory migration in response to rains.

Masai Mara Lappet-Faced Vultures

The Lappet Faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus), often known as the Nubian Vulture, is a massive bird that ranks second only to the closely related cinereous vulture in terms of length and size. The dry savannah, thornbush, arid plains, deserts with scattered trees in wadis, and open mountain slopes are preferred habitats for this vulture. Most of Kenya’s national parks and reserves, including the Masai Mara National Reserve, are home to the Lappet-faced vulture.

Masai Mara Lilac Breasted Rollers

Roller, Lilac Breasted (Coracias caudata)
Lilac-breasted Rollers may be seen on treetops in several of Kenya’s national parks. They are an African member of the roller bird family. Widespread throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, preferring open forest and grasslands. These brightly colored creatures feed on insects, tiny rodents, and lizards.

Masai Mara Lilac Breasted Rollers

Maasai Mara Marabou Storks

Stork of Marabou (Leptopilos crumeniferus)
The bald-headed marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer) is a huge wading bird with hollow legs and toe bones. African marabou storks have a barren, dreary appearance with a red-spotted head and long black legs. They are mostly dark grey on top and white on the bottom. They mostly eat carrion and scraps.

Maasai Mara Martial Eagles

The Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)
With a wingspan of up to 2.75m, the Martial Eagle is Africa’s biggest eagle. With a mesmerizing set of brilliant yellow eyes, a slate-grey back and crest, a white belly with black speckles, and gigantic feet with stunning 6cm hind talons, they are nothing short of amazing. They live in Africa’s savanna grasslands and may be seen at the Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Maasai Mara ostrich

Ostrich (Struthio camelus) (Struthio camelus)
The ostrich is the biggest living bird and is easily distinguished. It is found across Kenya’s savannah plains and is especially prevalent in the southern parks and reserves of Masai Mara, Amboseli, and Tsavo. Ostriches are classed as ratites, a category of birds that includes all extant species that are flightless, such as kiwis, emus, and rheas.

Maasai Mara ostrich

Masai Mara’s Rufous Naped Larks

Lark with a Rufous Naped (Mirafra africana)
The rufous-naped lark (Mirafra africana) or rufous-naped bush lark is a common and noticeable species of lark in the Afrotropics’ sparsely forested grasslands, open savannas, and farmlands. They have rufous outer wings and a small erectile crest, but the remainder of their plumage colors and patterns vary by individual and geographical location. They are found in the Kenyan highlands and the Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Maasai Mara Ruppell’s Vultures

Vulture of Ruppell (Gyps rueppellii)
The Ruppell’s Vulture is a big vulture found in the Sahel area of central Africa. With a wingspan of 8 feet, it holds the world record for the tallest flying bird. They may consume the hide as well as the bones of a cadaver.

Masai Mara Secretary Birds

The secretary bird ( Sagittaruis serpentaruis)
The secretary bird is a big, mostly terrestrial bird of prey. It is easily identified by its eagle-like body on crane-like legs, hooked beak, and rounded wings. It is only found in Africa, mostly in the wide grasslands and savannah of the Sub-Saharan area. These birds may be seen in areas of Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara Secretary Birds

Masai Mara’s Southern Ground Hornbills

Ground Hornbill of the South (Bucorvus leadbeateri)
The Southern Ground Hornbill is one of two ground hornbill species found only in Africa, and it is the world’s biggest hornbill. It prefers open environments, moves in groups, and feeds on insects, small reptiles, and mammals. If you can locate it, it’s a delightful bird to watch.

Masai Mara’s Southern Masked Weavers

Masked Weaver of the South (Ploceus velatus)
The Southern Masked Weaver may be found in a variety of habitats, such as shrubland, savanna, grassland, open woodland, inland marshes, and semi-desert environments. It may also be found in suburban gardens and parks. These birds may be seen on the treetops of several of Kenya’s national parks and reserves, including the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Maasai Mara Speckled Mousebirds

Mousebird with Speckles (Colius striatus)
The speckled mousebird (Colius striatus) is the biggest and most frequent species of mousebird, and it may be found in Masai Mara National Reserve in particular. It is a lively and playful-looking bird with a long tail and an alert crest that is entertaining to watch.

Maasai Mara Speckled Mousebirds

Thick Knees Seen in Masai Mara

Thick Spotted Knee (Burhinus capensis)
The spotted thick-knee has long legs and brown-and-white speckled plumage that offers camouflage, making it difficult to see the bird in the grasslands and savannas where it lives. The spotted thick-knee is nocturnal and spends the day squatting on the ground, making it difficult to see. It only hunts on the ground, eating insects, small animals, and lizards. These birds may be found in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

Maasai Mara striped kingfishers

Kingfisher with Stripes (Halcyon chelicuti)
The Striped Kingfisher may be found in dry scrub and open forests, particularly near the Masai Mara. It is the smallest and least colorful of the non-aquatic kingfishers, making it difficult to identify.

Excellent starlings in Maasai Mara

Excellent Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)
The Superb Starlings are noticeable birds in open disturbed areas. Frequent in East Africa, and if you’re in Kenya, you’ll almost certainly see their multicolored body accentuated by a white breast band.

Maasai Mara Usambiro Barbets

The Usambiro Barbet (Trachyphonus usambiro) is a subspecies of the African barbet family Lybiidae. It is found in Maasai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The species prefers open habitats such as savannah, grassland, shrubland, and pastures. Feeds mostly on seeds, fruit, and a variety of insects.

Masai Mara vulturine Guineafowls

Guineafowl with Vulturine plumage (Acryllium vulturinum)
The Vulturine Guineafowl is a magnificent bird with a beautiful physique and a traditionally “homely” bald head. It is the biggest surviving species of guineafowl, with larger wings, neck, legs, and tail than other guineafowls.

It subsists on seeds, worms, and insects. Common in Kenya’s National Parks and Reserves, including as Samburu and Masai Mara National Reserves, as well as Tsavo East National Park.

Masai Mara vulturine Guineafowls

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