Birds

Birds of Tanzania

Flora & Fauna

Ostrich

Ostrich is very common resident in Tanzania. It’s well-known flightless bird. Usually is possible to see them in pairs or groups, sometimes with many young birds present. Males make a lion-like roar. Ostrich is the biggest bird in the world, is the fastest two-footed animal and it has the biggest eggs from all the animals in the world. Ostrich is record holder in many ways. Ostrich egg is same size like 20-25 chicken eggs. Some tribes in Africa are using their eggshell as a bowl for water.

Secretary bird

Secretary bird is very common bird in many African countries. It’s large, long-legged grey and black bird with long feathers projecting behind the head. Adults have orange faces, immatures have yellow faces. Normally these birds are silent, but sometimes it makes frog-like croak. Usually they walk in pairs. They live in grassland, bushveld or thornveld at all altitudes, where there is less food, so they have to cover a large area to find enough food for the day. For the same reason so luck of food, they usually have only 1 young one. In general farmers are happy to see them, because they are feeding on unwanted animals like rats and snakes.

Marabou stork

Marabou stork is uncommon or locally common visitor and resident. It’s a huge, bare-headed, bare-necked stork that lives in groups of few birds, sometimes larger flocks. They are frequently associating with vultures at animal carcasses and refuse dumps. Mostly found in national parks and protected areas where they gather at kills or around camps. It’s also possible to see them at river sandbanks when they want to bath or rest. It can fly at the 4500 meters and it’s many times victim of smaller air planes.

Purple heron

Purple heron is fairly common resident and most of the time solitary. It likes shelter of reeds and other vegetation in dams, pans and marsh pools. It’s difficult to say when birds are threatening or greeting each other. They hunt by standing in shallow water and waiting for prey to swim towards it. When it spots the prey, it grabs it so strong that there is no chance of escape. It has a lot of patience. It can stand in water for hours and hours without moving just waiting for prey. Mainly it feeds on fishes, but sometimes also frogs, lizards, snakes, snails, spiders etc.

Red billed hornbill

Red billed hornbill is a common resident. Large red bill separates it from all other hornbills. They live in pairs and small groups. You can find them in dry bushveld, mixed woodland and thornveld. They find mainly on the ground but sometimes also on fruiting trees. It’s known as always happy and cheerful bird. Their nests are never dirty even when nest is for longer time fully closed for safety reasons. The nest is like a fortress and young ones are safe from predators.

Sacred ibis

Sacred ibis is very common bird. You can see single birds or flocks sometimes they live quite close to humans. It is known that they are not afraid of the humans. On 10 m2 there is up to 100 pairs ready to hatch the eggs. It feeds during the day by searching food in shallow waters and mud. It feeds also on carcasses but it first waits that vultures finish their meal before they check if something is left. Many times it steals eggs of other birds and other animals.

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