One of the most mesmerizing and biologically diverse Rift Valley lakes in Africa is Lake Bogoria in Kenya. The lake is a Ramsar (designated of international importance) site, along with Lake Bogoria National Reserve, which attained the status of a protected area since 1973. Though the lake is relatively shallow, the presence of a wide variety of birds makes it a slice of paradise for bird lovers.
This alkaline and saline lake provides ideal conditions for a wide range of birds. With scant safari tours, the lake remains a quiet destination for wildlife lovers. Take a look at 23 birds that one can observe on Lake Bogoria, Kenya.
You can see the following birds on a birding safari at Lake Bogoria. Book here with BookallSafaris.com
1. African Fish Eagles
Found in sub-Saharan Africa, the African fish eagle is a huge eagle species often found near Lake Bogoria. The adults have brown coloration with black wings and a white head. These birds need open water where they can hunt prey and have a good perch.
African Fish Eagles are extremely territorial and are carnivores. These birds mate for life and are monogamous. Tossing its head back, the bird lets out a penetrating and distinctive call, making it Africa’s iconic sound.
2. Lesser Flamingo
Interestingly, the Lesser Flamingo consists of small-sized flamingos yet they have the largest population. Their bill is of deep red coloration along with black tips. Males are slightly taller than females and have narrow wings.
These birds inhabit inland and coastal wetlands and do not migrate. Though they are herbivores, you can also see them feeding on small insects and crustaceans. These bird species are serially monogamous. Since they have no sense of taste or smell, they rely on sound. Book a safari to see the lesser flamingo at Lake Bogoria.
3. Greater Flamingo
One of the most common species of the flamingo family is the Greater flamingo. These birds look extremely gorgeous with white and pinkish features along with pink bills tipped with black and pink legs. They are mostly found in shallow water bodies.
These bird species are migratory, partially dispersive, and very social. They are carnivores and are known for being serially monogamous. The birds emit a goose-like, loud call that is quite impressive. Book a trip to see these magnificent birds.
4. Little Grebe
Mainly located in open water bodies, the Little grebe is small in size and has dark coloration. These have a Rufus-colored neck along with a yellow gape. They are migratory if their local (often European) water bodies freeze. These diminutive birds are talented swimmers and are diurnal.
Clumsy onshore and are very shy, Little Grebes tend to hide or dive into vegetation when disturbed. These birds are carnivores and feed on small fish, crustaceans, insects, etc. They are monogamous throughout their life.
5. Tawny Eagle
One of the most regal birds of prey that inhabits Africa is the Tawny Eagle. You can observe this bird on the south and north of the Sahara. The bird gets its name from the tawny coloration of the upper section of the body, along with black feathers. Acute eyesight and hearing aid them in hunting.
These birds prefer dry open habitats and are carnivores. They are also scavengers and are powerful hunters. These diurnal Eagle species are monogamous and tend to mate for life. The tawny eagle is a sight to behold gliding over Lake Bogoria. See details of safaris at Lake Bogoria
6. Little Bee-eater
Found mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, the little bee-eater has a slender body and bright coloration on its plumage. The yellow throat, along with the green coloration of the body, makes them beautiful sights on the savannah. They are mainly seen in open areas or trees beside water bodies. The birds feed on flying insects.
These are insectivores and do not touch insects on the ground, preferring to catch them mid-air. The male and the female species are alike in appearance. These birds breed in pairs, towards the end of the dry season.
7. Yellow-billed Stork
Belonging to the Stork family, the yellow-billed stork is one of a kind. These are mainly found in shallow water, lagoons, swamps, wetlands, and lakes. One of the most distinctive characteristics of the yellow-billed stork is the brightly colored yellow bill. These are carnivores and consume worms, small birds, frogs, and fish.
The yellow-billed storks usually live in colonies or groups. These birds initiate breeding at the end of the rainy season. The breeding takes place on trees in colonies.
8. African Spoonbill
One of the most iconic birds that you will come across on Lake Bogoria is the African spoonbill. These are wading birds with red faces and legs, grey bills, and white bodies and feathers. The long-legged birds fly with outstretched necks and are mainly found in marshy wetlands.
These birds are social and remain active throughout the day. They are piscivores and consume mollusks, fish, crustaceans, and more. African spoonbills form pairs and are mainly monogamous.
9. Augur Buzzard
Augur Buzzards are bulky birds of prey that are predominantly found in East Africa. These are also known as the African red-tailed hawk for their uncanny resemblance to America’s red-tailed hawk. These birds have black or dark grey coloration, along with white underparts and chestnut tails. They are found in high-altitude habitats.
These are opportunistic predators and prey on lizards, rodents, reptiles, snakes, etc. The non-migratory birds often mate for life. However, some population exhibits another mating behavior. The Augur buzzards are loud and use different calls for communication.
10. Gabar Goshawk
Also known as Autour Gabar, the Gabar Goshawk is a bird of prey found widespread in Southern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. There are three distinct subspecies. These birds have two distinctive polymorphs. The pale bird has a dark gray-white plumage. You will find a black plumage on the black one.
They are carnivores and feed on small birds, reptiles, and mammals. These are solitary creatures and appear in pairs during the breeding season. They are monogamous, and the adult ones are non-migratory. These birds are not dangerous.
11. Water Dikkop
The Water Dikkops, also known as the Water Thick-Knee, are water birds from the Genus Burhinus. These are mainly seen in sub-Saharan Africa and have brown plumage, along with white and black speckles. They are found in wetlands, mangroves, rivers, and lakes.
These birds are monogamous and mate for life. Moreover, the males become extremely territorial at the onset of the breeding season. These are omnivorous and feed on a wide range of insects and small animals. The birds are nocturnal predators.
Hornbills are without a doubt, one of the most majestic creatures on Lake Bogoria, Kenya. These birds have broad wings, long tails, and grey-black feathers. Their most distinctive feature is the bright-colored neck along with their bill and face. The different-colored faces make them look gorgeous.
These birds develop interesting relationships with different wildlife species. Amazingly, Eastern yellow-billed hornbills work in harmony with dwarf mongooses to hunt food.
The red-billed dwarf hornbill, also follows squirrels and swarms of driver ants to snatch up the insects that are disturbed by their foraging.
They mainly live in the rainforest, savanna, and forests. Hornbills roost in large numbers and are mostly omnivores. The males woo the females during the breeding season and exhibit courtship behaviors.
13. Grey Crowned Crane
A Grey Crowned Crane is one of the most beautiful bird species in Africa. The bird gets its name due to the yellow crown and blacktip features on the head. They are found in savannahs, wetlands, and open grasslands.
These are diurnal creatures and are extremely territorial with their nesting sites. The Grey Crowned Cranes feed on plant matter, insects, frogs, lizards, and more. These are monogamous birds and tend to mate for life. However, due to rapid declination, these birds have attained an endangered status.
14. Abyssinian Scimitarbill
One of the most graceful birds that you will come across in Lake Bogoria is the Abyssinian Scimitarbill. The birds have an all-black encompassing body with a long tail and bright orange bill. The southern birds have long black wings, while the northern ones have white bars in the wings.
These birds are mainly distinctive due to their curved orange bill, making them look spectacular. Moreover, they have a wide range of vocalizations, including rising notes and agitated tones.
15. African Wattled Lapwing
The African Wattled Lapwing is a resident breeder of sub-Saharan Africa and is a group of large waders. These are terrestrial bird species and are oviparous. The birds have brown coloration in their body and are seen with black crowns, white foreheads, long legs, and streaked faces.
These are carnivores and generally prey on insects. They prefer drier habits, and not much is known about their social behavior. These birds are extremely territorial and monogamous. Territorial disputes are often seen during the breeding season.
16. Narina Trogon
Narina Trogon has four recognized subspecies – Apaloderma Narina, Apaloderma Narina Narina, Apaloderma Narina Brachyurum, and Apaloderma Narina Littorale. These birds also have different vernacular names in various African languages. The brightly colored bird exhibits sexual dimorphism. The males have a brighter appearance than the females with a green coloration.
These birds mostly inhabit subtropical and tropical forests. They nest in the tree cavities are known for being solitary creatures. The males seek out the females during flight, and the females make their choice among the flock. Narina trogons generally feed on invertebrates and small insects and can fly up to a significant height in the air.
17. Black-necked Grebe
The Black-necked Grebe is often found in Lake Bogoria and inhabits both saline and freshwater bodies. These birds exhibit a vibrant plumage at the onset of the mating season, but the plumage turns dull the rest of the year. These small birds are idle and often avoid flying. These are carnivores and prey on small fishes, insects, etc.
These birds are highly social and mainly live in groups. During the breeding season, they tend to develop big colonies. The birds communicate via low sounds.
18. Sombre Nightjar
A distinct species of nightjar, the Sombre Nightjar is a native bird of East Africa. These birds are medium-sized and have a golden-buff collar. There are tiny pale marks present on the outer wings along with tail corners. The birds have a distinctive high-pitched voice, which they use for communication.
19. Cape Teal
Cape Teal, a duck species, is found in different areas of Africa. These birds prefer to live near water bodies and thus can be seen near open wetlands. They do not migrate but shift to other places to find good breeding grounds. These birds are monogamous, and the pair last for multiple seasons.
These aquatic bird species have a pale brown body along with white feathers. You can see spots in the entire body along with a red bill and gray face. They are omnivores and mainly consume amphibians and invertebrates.
20. Southern Pochard
Southern Pochards are duck species and have a dark coloration. These birds have a white wing band that is often seen during flights. Males and females have slightly different appearances. They mainly inhabit the water bodies having abundant vegetation. These nocturnal predators feed on aquatic plants, small fish, and mollusks.
21. Steel-blue Whydah
Mainly found in Africa, the Steel-blue Whydah belongs to the Viduidae family. These birds have a dazzling coloration with an extremely long tail. Their natural habitat is the dry savanna. These terrestrial birds depend on the flight to move around.
22. Egyptian Vulture
Egyptian Vultures are old-world vulture species that are small in size. The white plumage, along with a few black feathers on the tail and wings, makes them magnificent. These small vulture species are endangered and are at the threat of extinction. They are diurnal, and their social behavior varies depending on the available resources.
These birds are scavengers and carnivores. Egyptian vultures are notoriously monogamous and tend to migrate between the breeding seasons in pairs.
23. Grosbeak Canary
The Grosbeak Canary, often spotted in Kenya and Tanzania, is also known as Kenya grosbeak canary or Southern Grosbeak Canary. These are small finch species and have a thick and pink bill. Their body consists of brownish-olive at the top followed by yellow on the underside.
These birds are mainly found in the dry Savanna. They usually travel in small groups or pairs.
These are 23 birds that you can see at close quarters, birding on Lake Bogoria in Kenya. The ethereal sight of these avian creatures is enough to create long-lasting memories of your trip to Kenya and are only some of the 135 bird species. From thousands of flamingo feathers turning Lake Bogoria pink to more diminutive species like the Bee-eater, this land of geezers, wetlands, gently sloping hills is a fascinating part of the Great Rift Valley and worthy of a Safari holiday. Here we found a reasonably priced tour at BookallSafaris (we may get a small commission for purchases).
- Read about the Lesser Flamingo of Africa
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