Birds of Uganda in Murchison falls National Park

Birds of Uganda in Murchison falls National Park

March 25, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

Birds of Uganda in Murchison Falls National Park: One of the top tourist spots in Uganda and East Africa is Murchison Falls National Park. Situated northwest of Uganda in Masindi district in western Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is the country’s largest national park, with an area of 1952 square kilometres. The stunning Murchison Falls, as well as many wildlife and birds, are among the many alluring aspects of Murchison Falls National Park. It is ranked the 9th best birding destination in Africa.

Bird of Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is home to a variety of bird species, with 451 species known to be easily spotted there. The park’s predominant vegetation types are riverine forests, woodlands, and savannah grasslands, which make them ideal habitats for a wide variety of bird species.

Together with the banks of the Albert Nile and Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls National Park is home to a wide variety of bird species, including endemic birds of the Guinea-Congo biome, water birds, tropical rain forest species, and savannah birds. A few bird species found within the park are uncommon, common, and rare. The Grey Crowned Crane, Goliath Heron, Shoebill Stork, Back-bellied Bustard, Giant Kingfisher, Nightjars, Black-headed Lapwing, Marabou Stork, and many other uncommon and sporadic birds can be seen within the vicinity and environs of Murchison Falls National Park.

The park’s birdlife includes the most wanted Shoebill Stork, Black-billed Barbet, African Darter, Giant Kingfisher, , Martial Eagle, the visiting Osprey, Long-toed Plover, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Vinaceous Dove, Black-headed Lapwing, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Rock Pratincole, Long-tailed Nightjar, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Red-headed, Vitelline-masked, Heuglin’s Masked and Black-headed Weaver Birds, Yellow-billed Stork, Silverbird Sandpipers, Pied Kingfishers, Pennant-winged and Standard-winged Nightjar, Grey-crowned Crane, Malachite Kingfishers, Denham’s Bustard, Swamp Flycatcher, Goliath Heron, African Jacana, Secretary Bird, Blue-headed Coucal, Spotted, Eurasian and Senegal Thick-Knee, Saddle-billed Stork, Red-throated Bee-eater, African Jacana, Quailfinch, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Senegal Coucal, White-browed Sparrow-weaver, Palmnut Vulture, Piapiac, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Squacco Heron, Red-winged and Red-Winged Grey Warbler, Dusky Babbler, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Green-wood Hoopoe, Black Scimitarbill, Abyssinian Roller, Southern and Northern Carmine Bee-eater have been identified in the area, mostly on the northern dry savannahs of the Park

From November through April, migrating bird species make their way into Murchison Falls National Park. These birds come from North, West and Southern Africa, while many are palearctic migrants.

Areas for Spotting Bird species in Murchison Falls National Park

Albert Delta Region

Located in the southwest of Murchison Falls National Park, the Victoria Nile empties into Lake Albert. Here, you may observe a variety of birds hiding in the bushes and fronting flora in the waters. Birds include the Shoebill, Giant, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, African Darter, Black-winged Stilt, Senegal Thick-knee, Lesser-swamp Warblers, Comb Ducks, Egyptian Geese, Grey Heron, Sacred Ibis, Open-billed Stork, Grey-headed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, African Skimmer, Yellow-billed and Saddle-billed Stork, Glossy Ibis and many others. When taking a boat ride along the base of the waterfalls, it is easy to spot these birds.

Budongo forest – Royal Mile and Busingiro tourism sector

When visiting Murchison Falls National Park, one can witness a variety of bird species in the Budongo Forest, home to about 360 different bird species including the Pygmy, Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted and  African Dwarf Kingfisher, Ituri Batis, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Blue-throated Brown, Superb and Little Green Sunbird, White-throated, Honeyguide and Spotted Greenbul, Green Twinspot, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Cassin’s, Sabine’s and Mottled Spinetail, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Nahan’s Partridge, Western Crested Guineafowl, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Grey-headed Sunbird, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, Fire-crested and Brown-chested Alethe, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Blue-throated Roller, Grey-headed and Yellow-billed Barbet, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Forest Robin, Chestnut and Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Green and Tit Hylia, White-thighed Hornbill, Narina Trogon and many more.

Budongo forest – Kaniyo Pabidi Forest

It is a great place to go birdwatching and is located in the southern portion of Murchison Falls National Park, 8 km from Kichumbanyobo Gate. This woodland is home to a wide variety of bird species, including the two rare species in East Africa, the Puvel’s Illadopsis and the Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Ituri Batis and White-thighed Hornbill, Rufous-sided Broadbill has been reported here, Grey and Yellow Longbill, African Emerald Cuckoo, Western-black Headed Oriole, Golden-crowned and Brown-eared Woodpecker, Afep Pigeon and many more that can be sighted at the Royal mile since this area is a continuum eco-system can stretch up to here.

Areas of Parra and Red Chili

Many birds in Murchison Falls National Park are attracted to the rolling savannah grasslands, thickets, and prickly shrubs surrounding the sections of Paraa and Red Chili Safari Lodges. These birds include the Grey-crowned Crane, Spotted Palm-thrush, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, African Grey Hornbill, Vitelline-masked and Blacke-headed Weaver, Grey Heron, Beautiful Sunbird, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Black-headed Gonolek, Bar-breasted Firefinch, White-rumped Seedeater, Silverbird, Pin-tailed Whydah, Black-billed Wood-Dove, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Black-billed Barbet and Palm-nut Vultures among others.

Bird species in Murchison National Park are easily spotted on activities like:

In the thick forests and savannah habitats, you can view both common and uncommon bird species, like Marabou Storks, Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, Secretary Bird, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Stock, and many more. These opportunities include game drives on the northern banks and guided nature walks mostly in the southern section of the protected area.

During a boat ride, you can see a variety of water bird species that live in the thickets and woodland along the riverbanks, such as Kingfishers, Francolins, Herons, Woodpeckers, Warblers, Ducks, Geese, Darters, Pratincoles, Bee-eaters, Rollers, Eagles, Swifts, Swallows, Crakes. Thick-knees and many others.

Best time to go bird-watching in Murchison Falls National Park

The best times to visit Murchison Falls National Park are from January to March and from November to April if you are a tourist hoping to see the park’s colourful bird life. The park is home to a large population of birds that can be seen throughout the year. January through March is usually a dry and low season, making it easier to navigate the park and see different bird species (there are a lot of birds there). The best times to go bird-watching in Murchison Falls National Park are between November and April, when migratory bird species arrive in the park.

Murchison Falls National Park usually receives high rainfall from April to May and August to October, resulting in muddy and slippery pathways. This can make birdwatching somewhat challenging, but not impossible.

What to carry to bird-watching safari in Murchison Falls National Park

By making it easier to view the birds, the right tools and devices can make your time spent bird-watching in Murchison Falls National Park unforgettable. Some of these tools and gadgets include binoculars, sunglasses, comfortable hiking shoes, a bird’s-eye guide book, a laser pointer, a bag pack, drinking water as it really gets humid during the dry seasons, of course a telescope always makes birding fun and easy and many more that you might deem necessary to make your birding here more productive.

Accommodation facilities in Murchison Falls National Park

The park has a great selection of Lodges both on the Southern and Northern banks that include among others; Fort Murchison Safari Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, Pakuba Game Lodge, Murchison Tree House, Kabalega Wilderness Lodge, Hornbill Wilderness Lodge, Heritage Safari Lodge, Twiga Safari Lodge, and many more offer lodging while on a safari in the Murchison Falls National Park. These places provide delectable dining options along with cosy lodging.