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Birdlife in Kenya

The numbers of species for each family given below should be treated as approximate figures only. New birds are discovered every year, ornithologists change their minds about which are species and which sub-species (and don't all agree). As a result different books, and different editions of the same book, may give different figures.

 

Struthionidae, Ostriches

Species - World: 2, Africa: 2, Kenya: 2, Featured: 1

Common Ostrich

 

Pelecanidae, Pelicans

Species - World: 8, Africa: 3, Kenya: 2, Featured: 2

Great White Pelican , Pink-backed Pelican

 

Phalacrocoracidae, Cormorants

Species - World: 32, Africa: 7, Kenya: 2, Featured: 2

Great Cormorant , Long-tailed Cormorant

 

Anhingidae, Darters

Species - World: 4, Africa: 1, Kenya: 1, Featured: 1

African Darter

 

Ardeidae, Herons, Egrets and Bitterns

Species - World: 65, Africa: 22, Kenya: 19, Featured: 11

Black-crowned Night Heron , Cattle Egret , Little Egret , Squacco Heron , Rufous-bellied Heron , Green-backed Heron , Great Egret , Grey Heron , Purple Heron , Goliath Heron , Black-headed Heron

 

Scopidae, Hamerkop

Species - World: 1 species endemic to Africa, Kenya: 1, Featured: 1

Hamerkop

 

Ciconiidae, Storks

Species - World: 19, Africa: 8, Kenya: 8, Featured: 5

Woolly-necked Stork , Saddle-billed Stork , Marabou Stork , Yellow-billed Stork , African Open-billed Stork

 

Threskiornithidae, Ibises and Spoonbills

Species - World: 34, Africa: 11, Kenya: 6, Featured: 5

Sacred Ibis , Hadada Ibis , Glossy Ibis , Eurasian Spoonbill , African Spoonbill

 

Phoenicopteridae, Flamingoes

Species - World: 5, Africa: 2, Kenya: 2, Featured: 2

Greater Flamingo , Lesser Flamingo

 

Anatidae, Ducks and Geese

Species - World: 155, Africa: 55 Kenya: 24, Featured: 22

Fulvous Whistling Duck , White-faced Whistling Duck , Spur-winged Goose , Egyptian Goose , Knob-billed Duck , Mallard , African Black Duck , Cape Teal , Eurasian Wigeon , Gadwall , Common Teal , Garganey , Yellow-billed Duck , Northern Pintail , Red-billed Teal , Hottentot Teal , Northern Shoveler , Southern Pochard , Common Pochard , Ferruginous Duck , Tufted Duck , Maccoa Duck

 

Sagittariidae, Secretarybird

Species - World: 1 species endemic to Africa, Kenya: 1, Featured: 1

Secretary Bird

 

Accipitridae, Vultures, Eagles, Hawks, Kites, Buzzards and Osprey

Species - World: 240, Africa: 77, Kenya: 60, Featured: 27

Black-shouldered Kite , Black Kite , Hooded Vulture , African White-backed Vulture , Rüppell's Griffon Vulture , Lappet-faced Vulture , White-headed Vulture , Black-chested Snake Eagle , Brown Snake Eagle , Banded Snake Eagle , Bateleur , African Harrier-Hawk , Pallid Harrier , Gabar Goshawk , Dark Chanting Goshawk , Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk , Shikra , Great Sparrowhawk , Lizard Buzzard , Augur Buzzard , African Fish Eagle , Palm-nut Vulture , Tawny Eagle , Steppe Eagle , African Hawk-Eagle , Long-crested Eagle , Martial Eagle

 

Falconidae, Falcons

Species - World: 63, Africa: 20, Kenya: 19, Featured: 3

Pygmy Falcon , Grey Kestrel , Lesser Kestrel

 

Phasianidae, Quail and Francolins

Species - World: 177, Africa: 45, Kenya: 17, Featured: 5

Coqui Francolin , Crested Francolin , Hildebrandt's Francolin , Red-necked Spurfowl , Yellow-necked Spurfowl

 

Numididae, Guineafowl

Species - World: 6, Africa: 3, Kenya: 3, Featured: 2

Vulturine Guineafowl , Helmeted Guineafowl

 

Rallidae, Rails, Coots and Gallinules

Species - World: 142, Africa: 26, Kenya: 17, Featured: 4

Black Crake , Allen's Gallinule , Common Moorhen , Red-knobbed Coot

 

Gruidae, Cranes

Species - World: 15, Africa: 6, Kenya: 3, Featured: 1

Grey Crowned Crane

 

Otididae, Bustards

Species - World: 25, Africa: 19, Kenya: 8, Featured: 5

Kori Bustard , Crested Bustard , White-bellied Bustard , Black-bellied Bustard , Hartlaub's Bustard

 

Jacanidae, Jacanas

Species - World: 8, Africa: 2, Kenya: 2, Featured: 1

African Jacana

 

Haematopodidae, Oystercatchers

Species - World: 10, Africa: 2, Kenya: 1, Featured: 1

Eurasian Oystercatcher

 

Recurvirostridae, Avocets and Stilts

Species - World: 10, Africa: 2, Kenya: 2, Featured: 1

Black-winged Stilt

 

Burhinidae, Thick-knees

Species - World: 9, Africa: 4, Kenya: 4, Featured: 3

Stone Curlew , Water Thick-knee , Spotted Thick-knee

 

Glareolidae, Coursers and Pratincoles

Species - World: 18, Africa: 13, Kenya: 11, Featured: 3

Two-banded Courser , Somali Courser , Collared Pratincole

 

Charadriidae, Plovers

Species - World: 66, Africa: 30, Kenya: 22, Featured: 11

Northern Lapwing , Long-toed Plover , Blacksmith Plover , Spur-winged Plover , Black-headed Plover , Crowned Plover , African Wattled Plover , Grey Plover , Ringed Plover , Kittlitz's Plover , Three-banded Plover

 

Scolopacidae, Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Snipes

Species - World: 88, Africa: 44, Kenya: 33, Featured: 7

Ruff , Black-tailed Godwit , Marsh Sandpiper , Common Greenshank , Green Sandpiper , Wood Sandpiper , Common Sandpiper

 

Laridae, Gulls and Terns

Species - World: 94, Africa: 46, Kenya: 25, Featured: 3

Grey-headed Gull , Black-headed Gull , White-winged Tern

 

Pteroclidae, Sandgrouse

Species - World: 16, Africa: 12, Kenya: 5, Featured: 3

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse , Black-faced Sandgrouse , Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse , Yellow-throated Sandgrouse

 

Columbidae, Pigeons and Doves

Species - World: 310, Africa: 37, Kenya: 18, Featured: 7

African Green Pigeon , Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove , Namaqua Dove , Speckled Pigeon , African Mourning Dove , Ring-necked Dove , Laughing Dove

 

Psittacidae, Parrots and Lovebirds

Species - World: 358, Africa: 19, Kenya: 8, Featured: 1

African Orange-bellied Parrot

 

Musophagidae, Turacos

Species - World: 23 species endemic to Africa, Kenya: 11, Featured: 2

Ross's Turaco , Bare-faced Go-away-bird , White-bellied Go-away-bird

 

Cuculidae, Cuckoos and Coucals

Species - World: 138, Africa: 26, Kenya: 19, Featured: 5

Black and White Cuckoo , Great Spotted Cuckoo , Eurasian Cuckoo , White-browed Coucal , Blue-headed Coucal

 

Strigidae, Typical Owls

Species - World: 162, Africa: 35, Kenya: 17, Featured: 2

Verreaux's Eagle-Owl , Marsh Owl

 

Caprimulgidae, Nightjars

Species - World: 75, Africa: 22, Kenya: 15, Featured: 1

Slender-tailed Nightjar

 

Coliidae, Mousebirds

Species - World: 6 species endemic to Africa, Kenya: 3, Featured: 3

Speckled Mousebird , White-headed Mousebird , Blue-naped Mousebird

 

Trogonidae, Trogons

Species - World: 39, Africa: 3, Kenya: 2, Featured: 1

Narina Trogon

 

Alcedinidae, Kingfishers

Species - World: 94, Africa: 18, Kenya: 12, Featured: 7

Grey-headed Kingfisher , Woodland Kingfisher , Striped Kingfisher , Malachite Kingfisher , African Pygmy Kingfisher , Giant Kingfisher , Pied Kingfisher

 

Meropidae, Bee-eaters

Species - World: 25, Africa: 18, Kenya: 12, Featured: 8

Eurasian Bee-eater , Madagascar Bee-eater , Blue-cheeked Bee-eater , White-throated Bee-eater , White-fronted Bee-eater , Blue-headed Bee-eater , Little Bee-eater , Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater , Somali Bee-eater

 

Coraciidae, Rollers

Species - World: 12, Africa: 8, Kenya: 5, Featured: 4

Eurasian Roller , Lilac-breasted Roller , Rufous-crowned Roller , Broad-billed Roller

 

Upupidae, Hoopoe

Species - World: 2 species endemic to Africa, Kenya: 2, Featured: 1

African Hoopoe

 

Phoeniculidae, Wood-hoopoes and Scimitarbills

Species - World: 8 species endemic to Africa, Kenya: 7, Featured: 2

White-headed Wood-hoopoe , Green Wood-hoopoe

 

Bucerotidae, Hornbills

Species - World: 56, Africa: 24, Kenya: 12, Featured: 7

Southern Ground Hornbill , Red-billed Hornbill , Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill , Von der Decken's Hornbill , Jackson's Hornbill , Crowned Hornbill , African Grey Hornbill

 

Capitonidae, Barbets and Tinkerbirds

Species - World: 80, Africa: 41, Kenya: 22, Featured: 7

Red-fronted Tinkerbird , Red-fronted Barbet , Spot-flanked Barbet , Black-throated Barbet , White-headed Barbet , Red-and-yellow Barbet , D'Arnaud's Barbet

 

Picidae, Wrynecks and Woodpeckers

Species - World: 215, Africa: 31, Kenya: 16, Featured: 2

Nubian Woodpecker , Bearded Woodpecker

 

Alaudidae, Larks

Species - World: 83, Africa: 67, Kenya: 21, Featured: 7

Rufous-naped Lark , Red-winged Lark , Fawn-colored Lark , Pink-breasted Lark , Red-capped Lark , Fischer's Sparrow-Lark , Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark

 

Motacillidae, Pipits, Wagtails and Longclaws

Species - World: 63, Africa: 35, Kenya: 21, Featured: 8

African Pied Wagtail , Grey Wagtail , Yellow Wagtail , Grassland Pipit , Plain-backed Pipit , Golden Pipit , Yellow-throated Longclaw , Pangani Longclaw

 

Hirundinidae, Swallows and Martins

Species - World: 82, Africa: 42, Kenya: 18, Featured: 4

Banded Martin , Wire-tailed Swallow , Barn Swallow , Red-rumped Swallow

 

Pycnonotidae, Bulbuls

Species - World: 130, Africa: 58, Kenya: 24, Featured: 4

Yellow-whiskered Greenbul , Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul , Joyful Greenbul , Dark-capped Bulbul , Dodson's Bulbul

 

Timaliidae, Chatterers and Illadopses

Species - World: 265, Africa: 42, Kenya: 14, Featured: 3

Black-lored Babbler , Brown Babbler , Northern Pied Babbler , Rufous Chatterer , Scaly Chatterer

 

Turdidae, Thrushes, Chats and relatives

Species - World: 300, Africa: 126, Kenya: 49, Featured: 10

White-browed Robin-Chat , Spotted Morning Thrush , Common Stonechat , Pied Wheatear , Brown-tailed Rock Chat , Northern Anteater Chat , Sooty Chat , Common Rock Thrush , Abyssinian Ground Thrush , Olive Thrush , African Thrush , Bare-eyed Thrush

 

Muscicapidae, Flycatchers

Species - World: 100, Africa: 34, Kenya: 16, Featured: 5

Spotted Flycatcher , African Dusky Flycatcher , White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher , African Grey Flycatcher , Silverbird

 

Sylviidae, Warblers

Species - World: 350, Africa: 200, Kenya: 102, Featured: 10

Sedge Warbler , Common Whitethroat , Chiffchaff , Willow Warbler , Hunter's Cisticola , Chubb's Cisticola , Zitting Cisticola , Grey Wren Warbler , Grey-backed Camaroptera , Buff-bellied Warbler

 

Monarchidae, Monarch Flycatchers

Species - World: 98, Africa: 15, Kenya: 7, Featured: 1

African Paradise Flycatcher

 

Platysteiridae, Batises and Wattle-eyes

Species - World: 28, Africa: 27, Kenya: 13, Featured: 2

Chin-spot Batis , Pygmy Batis

Prionopidae, Helmet-shrikes

Species - World: 9 species endemic to Africa, Kenya: 5, Featured: 2

White-crested Helmet-shrike , Northern White-crowned Shrike

 

Laniidae, Shrikes

Species - World: 26, Africa: 17, Kenya: 14, Featured: 6

Red-backed Shrike , Red-tailed Shrike , Grey-backed Fiscal , Long-tailed Fiscal , Taita Fiscal , Common Fiscal

 

Malaconotidae, Bush-shrikes

Species - World: 45, Africa: 45, Kenya: 24, Featured: 7

Grey-headed Bush-shrike , Rosy-patched Bush-shrike , Black-headed Gonolek , Tropical Boubou , Slate-coloured Boubou , Northern Puffback , Eastern Nicator

 

Campephagidae, Cuckoo-shrikes

Species - World: 82, Africa: 10, Kenya: 6, Featured: 1

Grey Cuckoo-shrike

Dicruridae, Drongos

Species - World: 24, Africa: 4, Kenya: 3, Featured: 1

Common Drongo

Oriolidae, Orioles

Species - World: 29, Africa: 9, Kenya: 6, Featured: 1

 

Black-headed Oriole

Corvidae, Crows, Ravens and Piapiac

Species - World: 118, Africa: 15, Kenya: 7, Featured: 3

Pied Crow , White-necked Raven , Cape Rook

 

Sturnidae, Starlings and Oxpeckers

Species - World: 110, Africa: 48, Kenya: 26, Featured: 12

Red-winged Starling , Bristle-crowned Starling , Greater Blue-eared Starling , Lesser Blue-eared Starling , Rüppell's Long-tailed Starling , Hildebrandt's Starling , Superb Starling , Golden-breasted Starling , Fischer's Starling , Wattled Starling , Red-billed Oxpecker , Yellow-billed Oxpecker

 

Nectariniidae, Sunbirds

Species - World: 120, Africa: 74, Kenya: 34, Featured: 4

Hunter's Sunbird , Tacazze Sunbird , Bronze Sunbird , Beautiful Sunbird

Passeridae, Sparrows and Petronias

Species - World: 30, Africa: 18, Kenya: 6, Featured: 3

Grey-headed Sparrow , House Sparrow , Yellow-spotted Petronia

 

Ploceidae, Weavers

Species - World: 113, Africa: 101, Kenya: 60, Featured: 25

White-headed Buffalo-Weaver , Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver , White-billed Buffalo-Weaver , Donaldson-Smith's Sparrow-Weaver , White-browed Sparrow-Weaver , Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver , Grey-capped Social-Weaver , Black-capped Social-Weaver , Speckle-fronted Weaver , Baglafecht Weaver , Little Weaver , Black-necked Weaver , Golden Palm Weaver , Taveta Golden Weaver , Jackson's Golden-backed Weaver , Vitelline Masked Weaver , Northern Masked Weaver , Speke's Weaver , Black-headed Weaver , Red-headed Weaver , Red-billed Quelea , Yellow-crowned Bishop , Zanzibar Red Bishop , Yellow-mantled Widowbird , Jackson's Widowbird

 

Estrildidae, Waxbills, Whydahs and Indigobirds

Species - World: 144, Africa: 82, Kenya: 44, Featured: 9

Green-winged Pytilia , Red-billed Firefinch , Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu , Purple Grenadier , Bronze Mannikin , Cut-throat Finch , Steel-blue Whydah , Straw-tailed Whydah , Paradise Whydah

 

Fringillidae, Seedeaters and Canaries

Species - World: 163, Africa: 44, Kenya: 15, Featured: 6

Streaky Seedeater , Yellow-rumped Seedeater , Thick-billed Seedeater , Yellow-fronted Canary , White-bellied Canary , Brimstone Canary

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Witness the ‘Great Migration’ in the Maasai Mara.
  • Take pictures of pink flamingoes in lake Nakuru.
  • Discover the great herds of elephants in Tsavo.
  • Wake up to the scenic sights of Mt Kilimanjaro in Amboseli.
  • Spot the Big 5 in our national parks.

WHERE TO STAY
THINGS TO DO
HOW TO GET THERE

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