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Birding in Mpanga Forest

Field report about the avian density in the IBAs and research areas around Kampala encompassing Lake Victoria basin while birding in Mpanga Forest. Trained ornithologists and also National bird guide Tony Byarugaba with head patch guide of Mpanga forest Prossy Namuyomba have in recent months after there Kanyawala refresher birding course of forest species with proper field craft have embarked on tallying the resident and migratory species eminent during any birding tours in Uganda as well as studying behaviors of elusive species hence the IUCN criteria underlining the four categories of any threat, plus the respect of conservation.

Mpanga forest birding

Tony with the local birding guide of Mpanga forest

Mpanga forest birding

Crowned Hornbill

The two among the finest birders in Uganda embark on the habitats varying into air, canopy, midstrata, forest floor, clearings, cultivated gardens and the transitional habitats since water, marshes, papyrus and the trading centers are the avian contours that bridge Lake Victoria to this tropical forest transitions and mosaics. The report is focusing on yielding how easy or common localized, elusive and uncommon species in this little spatial and temporal range, which species would be more seen in visiting these areas.


Mpanga forest gazetted in 1953 a research area for plants among others with the primary area boosting  impressive large trees like the maesopsis eminii, canarium and several ficus for the avian frugivore magnet with some used to make the royal drums from the early days in Buganda Kingdom, with trails lit by colorful butterflies like the African citrus papillio demodocus, blue banded monarch papilio phorcas, numerous charaxes numenes floating as they patrol for any moist wet points to exploit any fermented sources. For the first time visitors seeking for a birding tour in Uganda at the first end of the dry season Feb – March,  its common to grip on to the birds bellow listed in the taxa order easily ticked of by mid morning and late afternoon.

Mpanga forest birding

Lead coloured fly-catcher

mpanga forest birding

A flock of Weynes weavers

Birds seen during the day

The mega ticks while birding in the Mpanga Forest environs being the Great sparrow hawk, Magpie Mannikin, Weyns weaver and Blue breasted kingfisher.

1. Lizard buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus

2. Shikra Accipter badius

3. Great sparrow hawk Accipter melanoleucus

4. African Harrier Hawk Polyboroides typus

5. Long crested eagle Lophaetus occipitalis

6. African green-pigeon Treron calva

7. Tambourine dove Turtur tympanistria

8. Red-eyed dove Streptopelia semitorquarta

9. Crowned Hornbill Tokus albotermintatus

10. Black-and-white casqued Hornbill Bycanistes subcyrindricus

11. Great blue turaco Corythaeola cristata

12. Ross’s turaco, Mosephaga rossae

13. Eastern grey plantain-eater Crinifer zonurus

14. Black-and-white cuckoo Oxylophus jacobinus

15. Red chested cuckoo Cuculus clamosus

16. Klaas’s cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas

17. African emerald cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus

18. African palm swift Cypsiurus parvus

19. White throated bee eater, Merops albicollis

20. Hairy breasted barbet Tricholaema hirsuta

21. Angola swallow Hirundo rustica

22. African pied wagtail Motacilla aguimp

23. Western Nicator Nicator chloris

24. Black-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus

25. Red-capped robin chat Cossypha natalensis

26. Green Hylia Hylia prasima

27. Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava

28. Lead – Coloured Flycatcher Myioparus plumberus

29. Grey – throated flycatcher Myioparus griseigular.

30. Black-and-white shrike-Flycatcher Bias musicus

31. Chestnut wattle – eye Dyaphorophyia castanea

32. Red bellied flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer

33. Yellow white eye Zosterops senegalensis

34. Green headed sunbird Cynomitra verticalis

35. Olive sunbird Cynomitra olivacea

36. Green throated sunbird Chalcomitra rubescens

37. Green sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris

38. Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris

39. Splendid starling Lamprotornis splendidus

40. Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus

41. Grey headed sparrow Passer griseus

42. Grosbeak weaver Amblyospiza albifrons

43. Weyns weaver, Ploceus weynsi

44. Red- headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis

45. Red billed firefinch Lagonosticta senegala

46. Bronze Mannikin Lonchura cucullata

47. Black-and-white Mannikin Lonchura bicolor

48. Magpie Mannikin, Lonchura fringiloides

mpanga forest birding

Great sparrow hawk

Mpanga forest birding

Magpie mannikin nesting on a bottle brush tree

Come for a bird-watching safari with us.