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5 Reasons Why You Should Go Birding in Uganda

In the heart of Eastern Africa, Uganda harbors unique tropical forests, savannah, Africa’s highest mountains and an incredible amount of wildlife. It is a land of endless potential for the wildlife enthusiast. From great herds of elephants of the open savannah to an incredible abundance of birdlife, from the depths of a tropical rainforest to the depths of Lake Victoria and river Nile teeming with fish, Uganda is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Here are some of the top reasons to as to why you should go birding in Uganda;

1. Though Uganda is not a large country, it surprisingly lays claim to one of the largest bird lists of any country in the world. The country’s dramatically diverse geography has resulted in an enormous range of natural habitats, making Uganda one of the natural wonders of the world. Famous worldwide for its great friendly people and cultural centers, Uganda is also a stunningly diverse destination for birding and natural history. Uganda could keep a birder busy for a lifetime, much less a few years and that’s why many travelers have opted to take safaris in Uganda that as well feature birding, natural history and game viewing.

2. A remarkable composition of habitats in a relatively condensed area includes islands, mountains, forests, woodlands, wetlands and savannah. With 11% of the world’s species and over half of all bird species in Africa -over 1000 different varieties, Uganda’s birding is one of the best in the world. What a haven for birders and magnificent birds!

3. You are welcome to Uganda as it is safe and comfortable for travelers with excellent food and accommodation. Africa adventure safaris have more comprehensive tours, allowing time to properly see all species, including the more common and widespread birds that may be lifers for birders yet ignored by other tour operators. There are both migrant and breeding birds a person could reasonably expect to see in a sensible, fun designed itinerary to produce many special and exotic species of birds. Migrant birds are present from November to April. Many other sought-after birds are easily seen on several tours, and there are excellent chances to observe a number of classic and scarce tropical birds.

4. It holds some of the most remarkable birding sights to be seen anywhere! Come with us and you will bear witness to an array of unbelievable spectacles. From the world’s biggest bird (the Ostrich) to the endemic birds like Fox’s weaver and Stuhlmann’s double-collared sunbird to the most numerous of all birds , Uganda has a truly impressive variety and quantity (over 1000 species recorded) of bird species. Birding is superb in Uganda’s greatest wilderness areas including Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale forest national park, Bwindi impenetrable, around Kampala city where over 300 bird species can be cited and all other protected areas of Uganda including swamps.

5. Although Uganda has only two Endemic birds (Fox’s weaver and Stuhlmann’s double-collared sunbird), 23 Albertine Endemics occur here and are difficult or even impossible to find somewhere else including rare and localized Shoebill, rare and near-endemic Red-throated alethe, Black-headed lapwing, African jacana, Yellow-throated long claw, African green broadbill, Dwarf Honey guide, Archer’s robin-chat, Blue-headed sunbird, Chapin’s flycatcher, Hartlaub’s turaco, Ruwenzori Batis, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Ruwenzori Turaco and Yellow-eyed black flycatcher. Uganda’s birding is good all-year round so you can visit any time of the year!

 

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Finding the Right Binoculars

A good pair of bird watching binoculars is definitely a must if you are into bird watching. This is because this will help you view and observe birds better. For beginners, a good pair of binoculars is really one of the basic tools they need in order to get the hang of the activity. Aside from helping them see birds closely and clearly, a pair of bird watching binoculars will also help them to adjust in viewing moving birds.

Buying a good pair of binoculars

Bird watching is one of those activities that entail patience and keen observation. This is because you don’t need to do anything but to watch avian creatures in the horizon and do the thing they love the most—flying.

If you are new into bird watching, the first thing that you need to pay attention to is having a good pair of binoculars. In buying binoculars for bird watching, the major consideration should be the quality of the lens installed in it. The lens should provide you the best quality of image possible, no any distortions in the viewfinder, and should present the best color of the object being observed.

The average cost of a good pair of bird watching binoculars is around $500 to $1000 depending on the brand, size, and quality of lens installed in it. For starters, you really need not buy so expensive binoculars. To help you get the best binocular for your bird watching, here are some helpful tips for you:

1. Consider its magnification
This is very important because it will enable you to see the birds clearly. When looking for a pair of binoculars, choose those that have minimum magnification of 7×35. But if you can afford to buy binoculars with larger magnification such as those with multiples of 8x, 9x, up to 10x, it is better because these can definitely give you a larger image of the bird being watched.

Always keep in mind that a larger lens gets more amount of light, thus, can provide you an image that is sharper and clearer. (TIP: Binoculars with higher magnification tend to be heavier. It is best to look for a pair of binocular with high magnification but made of light materials so you can carry it.)

2. Check its flexibility
The flexibility of the binoculars can be tested if you move its barrels. This is very important so you won’t have difficulties in holding it the way you want to. Make sure that the barrels are not tight so you don’t have to worry that it will break easily.

3. Test its focus
Most binoculars will not focus clearly when you test it inside the store because the environment tends to be dim. If you want to make sure that the binocular can focus clearly, try focusing it on a bright side of the room. If it has good focus, it will easily focus on the subject in sight. While checking the focus, you should also check if there are distortions in the image. If there is, don’t buy it because it is of poor quality.

4. Pay attention to its exit pupil
This should also be a major consideration because this will determine if you will see things clearly. The exit pupil refers to the diameter seen on the image once it leaves the lens’ eyepiece. The exit pupil should always be bigger that the eyes of your pupil because the image will appear dark. The basic exit pupil should at least be 4 mm or higher to get the brightest image possible.

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Bird Watching for Children – Tips to Getting Started

Bird watching for children is one of the activities that can help instill the value and love for animals on their young minds. Aside from teaching them the importance of taking good care of animals, bird watching for children can also be a great of spending quality time with them. This activity is also great for children because it can teach them to become nature-wise and van teach them teach them good manners such as respect for animals.

What you need to Know

Before you go bird watching with children, make sure that you yourself have had a first-hand experience on the activity. What you can do is search on the Internet what are the best places to bird watching with children. Once you found the best one or the nearest one in your area, take a time off to visit it before bring your children there.

Check if the entire area is safe for children. If you are having doubts about children safety, it is best to talk to the administrator of the park or the preserve to make sure that they have enough facilities to take care of kids. Also, ask what are the things that you need to bring when going there.

Also check how much are the fees, how many kids are allowed to bird watch, and what are the ideal ages for bird watching. When everything is done and you are confident that your child will be safe while bird watching, book a tour date while you’re there.

On the date of the bird watching activity, make sure that you bring the following:

1. A good pair of binoculars for kids. This is very important because the center might not have enough binoculars for the visitors. To ensure that the kids can use something, grab a good yet cheap pair of binoculars when you are in the department store.

2. A bird book or field guide. Although most of the bird parks offer booklet that contain information on the birds that can be seen there, it is best to bring a book guide on your own just in case they don’t have one. The book guide can help your kids identify the common birds in the area and can help them in describing the birds based on their appearance, color, size, and shape.

3. Bottled water and snacks. Since kids tend to get hungry often, it is best if you bring lots of bottled water and handy snack packs just in case no convenient store is near the area.

4. First aid kit. This should always be a must whenever you go out with your kids because they can be so accident-prone. Make sure that you include a first aid kit in your child’s backpack to make sure that you can tend to the wound or scratch immediately.

5. A camera. This is also a “must” when going out with kids because it can preserve the memories with your kids. Having a handy camera can enable you take as many pictures of your kids during the tour. You can also ask your kids to take as many photos as they can of the birds that they see.

6. A notebook or sketchpad with pens or pencils. One of the benefits of bird watching for children is that it encourages them to jot down their observations. These can also be helpful to artistically-inclined children because it can encourage them to draw the birds that they see.

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Here is Why You Should Bird in Bwindi Forest

Despite of the fact that Bwindi Impenetrable National park is well known for mostly gorilla trekking due to being home to the world’s rare species of the Mountain gorilla. The park is also birders’ paradise and therefore for any visitor searching for wonderful birding experience should look towards creating a bird watching trip to this park. It is one of the areas that make Uganda the best birding destination on the African continent.

Uganda is endowed with different bird species which can be watched in different national parks including the famous Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Bwindi is located in south western Uganda and it is the most visited of all the ten national parks in Uganda. It is one of the forests with abundant ecosystems in the whole of African Continent and the park is diversified with various species bird species with about 348 different bird species which are recorded in the park. A visit to this park will enable bird lover to have good time watching different birds and among these include the Blue-headed sunbird, as well as warbler which are included among the list of endangered species in the whole world.

Taking birding watching safari in Uganda avails one with the opportunity to enjoy the nice melodies of different bird species, and the nice attracting colours of the various birds inhabited in the dark forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The commonly watched birds in the park include the Red-headed Bluebill as well as the interesting African Emerald Cuckoo plus the shinning African Blue and the precious White-tailed Blue Flycatchers, the Common Bulbul among others.

The best birding place in the park were one can enjoy bird watching is Ruhiija. This area has abundant birds which are very easy to view and meditate the sounds that come from these birds.The area has various species of birds linking in diverse feeding flocks which are rotating in the area for the whole day. The best time to enjoy watching birds is actually during morning hour because during this time birders will have sight to the remarkable beautiful Francolin as well as the white-tailed crested Flycatcher plus the, Rwenzori batis, and Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, woodland Warbler ,western Green Tinkerbird, among other recommendable species of birds.