Category Archives: Birds

Vultures Galore

Its always nice to see vultures coming into carcasses in our area.  Vultures, are taking such a terrible hit globally and even here in Kenya trends have shown that dramatic declines in particular areas, including Laikipia.  The following images of Ruppel’s Griffon Vultures were taken on a zebra carcass a few months back.

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Vultures

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A vulture waiting for its turn

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Vulturine Guineafowl

It was nice to find these fellows in the camera trap this morning.  Vulturine Guinefowl are some of the areas most distinguished birds.  Fly Tyers love to get their hands on Vulturine skins. The blue, it turns out is rather irresistible to not only the camera but also certain atlantic salmon.  We often use the vulturine to find predators.  When you hear these birds mobbing something you will often times find a cat or mongoose or a snake sheltering from the uproar.

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Goatsucker with young

Goatsucker is a traditional name given to birds in the order Caprimulgiformes – the nightjars. The term was based on a belief that the birds drank the milk of goats. Fortunately for the local masai this belief was long ago proven erroneous. Nightjars are insectivores predominantly nocturnal and closely related to owls.
The other day i ran into the following Slender-tailed Nightjar while walking. It had two young with it which remained so difficult to see it took several minutes to see them after the mother flushed.

here is the adult:

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and here is the hidden chick:

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Eastern Chanting Goshawk Nest

Kichine, one of our rangers was scouting today and came upon an Eastern Chanting Goshawk’s nest. ECGs, as we call them around here are our most common raptor , principally preying on other birds and reptiles. Our friends at Ol Malo, a beautiful lodge north of here had a friendly agama lizard named Stubby that would feed from the hand and had been around the lodge for quite some time when during breakfast there was a flash before the window. To everyones horor stubby was taken away in the clutches of an ECG.

Here is the one young in the nest:
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And Here is one of the parents:
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Birds of Laikipia

Here is a list of the birds of Tumaren. It can be used as a Bird List to Laikipia excluding only some of the more montane species that we don’t get east of the Ewaso Nyiro river and that might be found on the higher country on the Laikipia Plateau. I have never uploaded a pdf file in one of my blog post so i’m unsure if it will work. hope so.

Bird people. Please let me know your ideas or omissions.

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Hyena Hunting Flamingos at Nakuru

These pictures are from Nakuru but one can witness hyena hunting flamingos at Lake Bogoria just west of Laikipia. Just thought they may be of general interest.

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Mr. D’arnaud pops in daily

A D’arnaud’s barbet has become our new best friend as he has taken to stealing tomatoes from our stores near our office. he has no fear and runs between the legs of our seats as we eat lunch (often times tomato free).

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Black-faced Sandgrouse

I nearly stepped on this nesting sandgrouse the other day while working on road repairs. It flushed in front of me. amazing how hidden he was. I didn’t know Mr. Black-faced sandgrouse helped with brooding.
He was on 3 eggs which he returned to within 15 minutes.black-faced.jpgblack-faced2.jpg

Migrant Birds and a generous donation

First I would like to thank a very kind person named Sonja P for making a donation toward conservation in our area. The money will go toward scouts that are currently assisting the neighboring community ranch to patrol their large area. We appreciate your generosity very much Sonja.

Also we have had an influx of migrant birds in the past few weeks arriving from Europe, Asia and norhtern Kenya. Among the species that have been passing by, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Common Rock-thrush, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Isabaline Shrike, Red-backed shrike, Pied Wheatear, Northern Whetear, Isabaline Whetear. Below is a picture of a non-migrant resident bird, our friend the Scops Owl.

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Finfoot Spotted on Ewaso Nyiro River

while tubing down our rapids the other day I flushed a male Finfoot who flew across the water surface then proceeded to slink along the rivers edge in front of me for nearly a quarter of a mile. A stunning and hard to see bird that is the sole representative of his entire family. i was unable to get a picture and so i recommend that anyone unfamiliar with this species do an image search on Google. cheers, jamie