Bird Watching At Tarangire National Park


Bird Watching At Tarangire National Park : Located in the Northern part, Tarangire is one of the outstanding wildlife viewing destinations, out of about twenty National Parks and Game Reserves in Tanzania. It is known for being home to the most attractive animals like the Big Five and more entertaining is the Tarangire National Park birds which are of a huge population. With about more than 500 bird species (around 550 to be exact) Tarangire is merely a National Park with the highest count of bird species. About one-third of Tanzania’s bird population resides in the Tarangire, something which makes it the best destination for birders and ornithologists who want to learn more about both migratory and resident bird species. Tarangire is the best best-watching site with the largest avian population which always converts mammal watchers into bird-watchers, possibly due to the presence of beautiful colorful birds. The best time to visit the park for birding activities is from November to April. At this time, most of the bird species are breeding making them less nomadic. The Eurasian and North African migratory species nest during the wet season and becomes semi-resident in the Tarangire. So it is easier to spot most birds with their breeding plumage at this time. 

Most of the birding activities that reward the birders include walking Tanzania safari (nature walks) and game drives. Before you start a nature walk, tell your tour guide to guide you to a route with a huge population of birds. You can have your camera well held in position to capture gorgeous photos of beautiful birds. You will have to walk slowly to make your discoveries excellent. Nature enables you to encounter some rarely seen species such as the land-nesting and tree-boring ones like red-billed hornbill. A morning game drive rewards more than afternoon and night ones. In the morning, birds are available at their nests before flying to other places for food-seeking. They are also active. A driver will have to drive the car very slowly to give you enough time to stare at the beautifulness of birds. 

Bird Watching At Tarangire National Park

Apart from nature walks and game drives, you can enjoy the amazing scene of birds in specific viewpoints including the hills, woodlands, and swampy floodplains where most species dwell. Other locations are in the baobab trees, acacia woodlands, and savannah plains. Although some birds have no specific habitats, some are usually spotted in the same location over and over. The Stocking-thighed Ostrich, the world’s largest bird, the Kori bustard, the world’s heavier flying bird, and some hornbills are the inhabitants of the dry regions of Tarangire. The northern and southern swampy floodplains are occupied by the Eurasian migrant species. In the woodlands, you will encounter, hornbills, brown parrots, white-bellied go-away birds, and Hoopoes. The hills in Tarangire National Park host over 50 raptor species such as Bateleur eagles, giant Lappet-faced Vultures, the Steppe eagles (that migrate from Russia), and Pygmy Falcon to enjoy Bird Watching At Tarangire National Park.

Some frequently encountered birds in Tarangire, in a nutshell, include Ostriches, Hornbills, Kori bustard, Rufous-tailed weavers, Ashy starling, Yellow-collared lovebirds, Spur fowls, Bee-eaters, plovers, eagles, vultures, swifts, hammerkops, owls, Helmeted Guinea fowl, Crested Francolin, Lilac-breasted rollers, barbet, mousebirds, and striped swallows. These bird species can be grouped as the endemic species; the ones found in Tanzania only, near-endemic species; the ones which can also be found in other few countries, and the common species; the ones found throughout the continent or the world. Endemic species include Ashy starling and Rufous-tailed weaver while the near-endemic species include Northern pied babbler and the common species are African grey flycatcher, Great white pelican, Pink-breasted lark, ostrich, Northern white-crowned shrike, and Bare-faced go-away bird to name a few. Further groupings of birds lead to the formation of one special group of endangered species in Tanzania. Examples of these are Rufous-tailed weavers, Ashy starling, and Yellow-collared lovebirds. To be exposed to some wonderful bird species here is a selected list of beautiful bird species found in the Tarangire National Park for you. Check it out.

Superb Starling. This is probably the most beautiful colored bird within the Tarangire National Park. Most safari-goers become fans of this bird. It is highly intelligent and shows little fear to humans. Having a picture of this attractive bird will make your Tanzania safari so interesting.

Bird Watching At Tarangire National Park
Superb Starling

African Hoopoe. I hope you have your traditional perceptions when you see a Hoopoe flying around your home. If you have it is not your mistake. Different ancient societies had both bad and good perceptions and beliefs about the Hoopoe bird. Ancient Egyptians considered it as a sacred living. It was depicted in the walls of ancient Egyptian temples. The Muslims and Christians believe hoopoe saved Moses. It was believed that hoopoe brought the Queens of Sheba to King Solomon. However, ancient Europe believed it to be a bearer of bad luck. All these tales are about this bird which you can easily view in the Tarangire National Park.  

Black-necked weaver. Weavers are sweet for the creative nests made out of the grass. They make nests in a conical shape with a tunnel-like entrance facing downwards. They build nests usually on acacia trees making them fully covered with conical-shaped nests. This makes acacia an eye-catching tree for most visitors.

Lilac-breasted roller. It is commonly known as a national bird of Kenya. Let’s see what is in it, that Kenyan liked to be one their symbolic representation? Lilac-breasted roller usually rests on tree stumps and branches and feeds on insects, snails, lizards, and scorpions. They breed on nests and protect them from any harmful creature. They become so aggressive when anything comes closer to their nests.

Black-headed heron. It is one of an excellent hunter, found close to water. It is about 85 cm high with a wingspan of one meter. It stays static on a tree or somewhere else until when a fish, frog, or any crustacean appear on the water. It then moves with the speed of light to catch the prey from water stabbing it to death with its sharp beak. You can position yourself somewhere to witness this event and record it if possible. 

Bird Watching At Tarangire National Park
Black-headed heron

Red-billed hornbill. It is one of the smaller hornbills frequently encountered in the Tarangire National Park. They build their nests in holes, especially in trees. A hole is made and once it is done the female is installed inside it for laying eggs. The hole is sealed using mud and fruit pulp leaving a small hole for the male to pass food to his mate. When the chicks grow, the female leaves the hole leaving behind her chicks. The hole resealed leaving a small hole for passing food to the chicks until they grow. All these are done to prevent predators from stepping in.

Northern white-crowned shrike. It is an insect eater, which can be seen on the tree trunks and the backs of large animals searching for insects. They build a cup-like nest from spider webs and grass. Both sexes are responsible for taking care of ‘makinda’ (a Swahili word for chicks).

Yellow-billed stork. It is a large and attractive species of Tarangire National Park Birds, whose habitats are the riverbanks and ponds in Tarangire. It hunts fish left by drying water. It scratches its feet rapidly in the silt to disturb any fish or crustaceans hiding. 

You have traveled and imagined a lot when reading this article. Now, you can decide to plan a visit to this outstanding bird-watching destination. If you are interested in other forms of wildlife, Tarangire National Park has a lot to give to you. You can also plan a trip of up to three days across other tremendous national parks such as Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Arusha National Park, and Kilimanjaro National Park all of which are located in the northern part of Tanzania. On these long trips, you can camp and relax at Tarangire National Parks watching birds for a day and then move to other destinations within Tanzania.



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