If you are interested in seeing some of the birds of Zambia, you won't be disappointed. In fact Zambia boasts of more than 750 different bird species including the one on the country's national emblem, the African fish eagle.
So, if you want to learn about birding in Zambia, this is the right place for you.
The country has spectacular areas for birding safaris. The Lonchivar national park is Zambia's premiere birding spot with over 420 bird species recorded within its 428 square kilometres. Birding safaris in many wild areas in Zambia opens up a new experience of bird–viewing possibilities.
The next time you are on a birding safari in Zambia, and of course if you want to know more about the birds of Zambia put the Lonchivar national park in you diary or you can opt for a canoeing safari down the Zambezi River and alternatively the Luangwa River.
Zambia has waterfowls, raptors, woodland species and migrants within its different habitats. The country has three distinct living environments where birding lovers can enjoy the unspoilt scenery the country has to offer. The country's savanna grasslands and wetlands have high diversity of bird species. They have adapted to an amazing variety of habitats.
With varying topography, such as the miombo woodland, the savanna grasslands, the wetlands of Lonchivar national park and the Blue lagoon on the Kafue flats, the variety of bird species also vary according to the environment.
A number of species have been documented throughout Zambia. The miombo woodlands are home to the folk tailed drongo, scrub robin, the horn bill, the arnot's chart and a host of other sun birds. Most of the country lies under the miombo woodland.
The wetlands of the Kafue flats, Lonchivar and Blue lagoon national parks have got species like the malachite king fisher, the common squacco, yellow billed egret, the secretary bird, the wattled crane and a lot others. Some of the birds of Zambia you will encounter are the following:
Since there are more than 750 bird species, let's just look at just a few that you are likely to see in the country:
The crowned eagle (the leopard of the skies) is found along the Kafue and Luangwa Rivers as well as in the lower Zambezi.
This is a bird of the large and diverse cuckoo family. It is a long-tailed bird of about 33 cm, ashy gray above and white in color. Like many other cuckoos, it is a brood parasite.
It belongs to a family of birds with long legs and long necks. It's a large wadding bird which is pinkish-whitish in colour. The paler flamingo inhabits most areas of Zambia. The family of flamingos includes the Teal, duck, Egret, Grebe, Heron, Ibis, and Spoonbill.
The African species is the smallest of the jacana family. Female Jacanas are able to mate with several males, who then incubate the eggs and raise the young alone.
The Guinea fowl is native to Africa and has long been domesticated. The species are the same in colour, dotted with small black spots. The most common species in Zambia are the crested guinea fowl and the helmeted guinea fowl.
They are common and they belong to a large family. Some of the fly catchers you are likely to encounter are the pallid [pale] flycatcher, the slaty fly catcher, the southern black, spotted, dusky and several others. But they all share something in common. Like their name implies, they catch flying insects.
The birds are widely distributed, with the common quail, the harlequin and the blue quail most prevalent in Zambia. They breed rapidly and are easy to spot as they move in flocks.
Woodpeckers are known for their habit of hammering on trees with their hard bills. There are about 210 species worldwide and they vary in size from 15 to 53 cm. Woodpeckers feed almost exclusively on insects and the eggs and pupae of insects. They are common in woodlands in much of Zambia.
There many species of a family of swallow birds within the Zambian wild. Their diet usually consists of flying insects. There are about 80 known species worldwide and Zambia is home to several of these.
Smaller species are known as doves. Pigeons have small heads, short necks with stout bodies and short legs. The usual dwelling places are trees and or the ground. They feed on corn, other nuts, insects, and fruit. A lot of Pigeon varieties are domesticated. The other popular domesticated breeds are the carrier pigeon.
Stay tuned for more articles on the birds of Zambia and also for photos of different types of birds.
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