|Ethiopia Travel & Tour Information
other aspect of Ethiopia’s biology typifies its unique situation
more than does its bird fauna. Best known for the enormous
diversity and richness of its wildlife
the extensive highland-island surrounded by arid lands has enabled
the evolution of many birds in the region into unique forms and
species, Ethiopia hosts 862 known bird species, of which 23 are
considered Endemic, limited within the confines of the Ethiopian
borders, and some 225 winter migrants including 176 from the
of the endemic species present on the western and south- eastern
highland plateau are common and surprisingly easy to see, even in
the environs of a city. Endemic species include the Heavy- Headed
Thick- Billed Raven; the Wattled Ibis, with its raucous call and
unsightly habit of clasping its partners wattles and pulling; the
Black- Winged Lovebird, which whirrs through the sky like a
miniature helicopter; and the White- Collared Pigeon, a
delicate-gray bird with a neat white collar and white wing
of the forests
highland forests are home to birds less easily seen. Their song is
usually the first sign of their presence. The Abyssinian Catbird
has one of the most beautiful calls, the male and female
performing a duet in the seclusion of thick bush. The Black-
Headed Forest Oriole has a distinctive call and its yellow color
shows clearly in the upper storey of the tall trees it favors.
endemics birds are found in the southern edge the Yabello area.
These are the White- Tailed Swallow, and the colorful Prince
Bale highland, also called the land of endemism, harbors over 60
percent of the species of birds found in the country. Totally 161
bird species are recorded in the
these are the Blue- Winged Goose, whose closest relative is in the
Andes mountains of
. The Spot- Breasted Plover can also be seen in large numbers. The
comical Rougets Rail is often seen in grass clumps near water
while Yellow-Fronted Parrot can usually be noted by their calls
and typical fast speed flies.
to be seen around the park are the Banded Barbet, Golden- Backed
Wood Pecker, Abyssinian Long- Claw, White- Winged Cliff Chat,
Ruppells Chat, White- Backed Black Tit, Black- Headed Siskins and
is the extensive high- altitude plateau that forms the
quintessential Ethiopian habitat - for birds in particular, but
also for other forms of wild life. Most of the endemics are to be
found here, as well as a considerable number of other species.
Some of the richest areas are the small patches of natural forest
on gorge edges, in inaccessible valley bottoms, and the often
sacred groves on hilltops and around churches.
migrants are also widely seen at certain periods of the year.
of the most popular of these migrant birds also include the yellow
and green white-eyes, fire-finches, indigo birds, waxbills cordon
bleu, dusky & spotted fly-catchers and paradise fly-catchers.
pigeons, red-wing starling, slender-bill chestnut wing starlings
are also seen in abundance.
life at the lake
's lakes are famous for the sheer numbers of birds they harbor.
The Lakes Region covers Lakes Ziway, Langano, Abijatta, Shalla,
Awassa, Abaya, and Chamo. Over 50 percent of all bird species have
been recorded in the Rift Valley because of the proximity to
numerous aquatic and terrestrial habitats.
is a feeding ground for numerous great white pelicans and greater
& lesser flamingos as well as flocks of little grebes. An
island in neighboring
is a regular breeding ground for great white pelicans and a
nesting spot for the greater flamingo.
, a regular breeding ground for Great White Pelicans, is also
known to be a nesting spot for the greater Flamingo. The thousands
of ice-pink birds coming and going over the water against the
background of the lake shores are as wonderful bird spectacle as
anywhere in the World. In the Northern winters the shores of these
lakes are ringed with all sorts of waders - Ruff, Plovers,
Sandpipers, Stints and many other species well known to
bird-watchers of the Northern hemisphere. At the same time a large
number of Ducks, will be found further from the shores,
particularly Garganey, Shovellers and Wigeon.
lakes produce a greater quantity and variety of fish. Here the day
is punctuated by the haunting cry of the Fish Eagle soaring high
above, with the occasional Osprey in the season. Malachite
Kingfishers flit like jewels along the banks and the Pied
Kingfisher carries out its spectacular bombing runs on surface
fish further out. In nearby grasslands other Kingfishers species
plaque the insects, the lovely duet ting call of the Gray-headed
being typical of grasslands in drier areas.
mouth of the
, which flows from
, is an excellent site for bird watching, as it provides fresh
water for the birds to bathe. The Goliath Heron await fish near
the shore while Marabou Stork watchs for weaker birds in the
milling flocks. There are also the Black-Headed and Gray Herons,
which can be found inland feeding on the grass and crops. Egyptian
Geese are also very common in these areas. Chestnut-Bellied Sand
Grouse fill the air in their thousands near the lakes, leaving the
water in groups that fly high and fast, wheeling and spinning,
while giving their guttural calls. Spur-Winged Plovers are
striking as they stand among the trees near the lakes, and the
Crowned Plover resides closer to the shore here in more open
too offer a great opportunity for bird-watchers. These areas are
rich in seed-eating and insectivorous birds. It is also among the
lowland birds that bird-watchers find more birds with which they
may be familiar from neighboring Eastern African countries.
birds in the lowlands include weavers, white-browned sparrow
weaver and white headed buffalow weaver. Red billed buffalow
weaver, chestnut weavers and cut throat finches, wattled statling,
hildebrandi’t starlings, ruppell long tailed glossy starling
or the bone breaker is quite common in the
. Shoebill or Whale headed stork is also common in Gambella and
Ethio-Sudan border. Ethiopian Bush Crow is a localized endemic
bird distributed throughout Borena area up to Murle. Prince
Ruspli's Turaco too is considered as a localized bird found in
Borena area alone.
abundant feed habitat, the varying altitude and climate has quite
spread the birdlife in the country form south to north and west to
best season for bird-watching is from the beginning of September
up to February. Between November and February, migrant birds also
raise the bird population and widen species diversity as well.
Ethiopia is a bird watcher's haven. Travel to Ethiopia and get to watch some of the most incredible exotic birds.