Birds of Tarangire National Park
Birds of Tarangire National Park: Tarangire national park is known for having a variety of bird species and for its large herds of elephants. This national park is located in the northern part of Tanzania and is a short drive from the town of Arusha.
There are baobab trees in Tarangire national park with over 500 elephants and the national park also consists of acacia shrubs, mixed woodlands and savannah plains which are explored during safaris.
This national park has over 500 bird species which include the ashy starlings, red and yellow barbets, red bellied parrot, speckle fronted weaver, yellow necked spur fowl, northern white crowned shrike, red billed hornbill, falcons, grey headed kingfishers, francolins, lilac breasted rollers, ostriches and many others.
- Rufous tailed weavers are among the endangered bird species which can be seen in Tarangire national park as well as the ashy starling and the yellow collared bird. Tarangire national park has the highest count of bird species in Tanzania.
Rufous tailed weavers can also be seen in Tarangire national park is under the weaver family and it can be seen in the savannah of the national park. This bird has a grey brown and scaly body with a bluish white eye color which is sometimes brown.
- The ashy starling can be seen in Kenya and Tanzania and is an endemic bird species which has an ashy grey plumage found in the open wooded grassland and in the savannah of Tarangire national park.
- Another endangered bird species in Tarangire national park is the yellow collared lovebird which is also known as the masked lovebird. This bird species is a native bird species which is found in the north eastern part of Tanzania.
- Red and yellow barbets have a red and yellow plumage and with a bright appearance and a larger and brighter bill. These birds are endemic to the north eastern part of Africa in places like Tarangire national park and Mkomazi national park.
- The red bellied parrots have a greenish grey color and the males have bright orange or red belly while the females have a brown or grey belly. There breeding takes place in the months of March to October.
- Speckle fronted weavers natural habitat is the dry savannah like in Tarangire national park and they are among the smallest weavers and can be identified with black feathers on their heads that have white tips.
- The yellow necked spur fowl has a yellow patch on its neck and is known for being active at dawn and at dusk. It can be seen in Tarangire national park as well as in Samburu national park, in the Manyara region, in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and in Sudan.
- The northern white crowned shrike can be seen in the acacia woodland and dry thorn bush and is also referred to as the white rumped shrike.
- Red billed hornbills can be spotted in the savannah woodlands and savannah of Tarangire national park with their thin red bills, pale heads, a dark grey neck and a white face, a greyish brown body and a white stripe down the center.
- Lilac breasted rollers can be seen in the woodland and savannah parts of Tarangire national park and are identified by their large olive heads and lilac breast with a green crown. These birds are associated with Kenya and are the country’s national bird.
The lilac breasted rollers are very colorful and are also related with marriages and bonds between two people in folktales and in South Africa, the feathers are sewn into wedding dresses among the Afrikaan people. The Zulu use the feathers of the lilac breasted rollers to tie together a knot which when strong can allow the wedding to proceed.
Lilac breasted rollers feed on insects, spiders, millipedes, scorpions and are carnivorous in nature. These birds breed for life and are monogamous in nature and during their courtship, the bird flies up steeply and with closed wings, it dives down and gains speed to level off. This is followed by opening the wings and flying from side to side.
- Grey headed kingfishers can also be seen in Tarangire national park often near water and have a pale grey head, bright blue ramp.
Tarangire national park has various habitats for the bird species which can be seen in the drier areas of the national park, in the hills, in the woodlands as well as in the swampy floodplains of the national park.
The ostrich which is the world’s largest bird can be seen in the drier parts of Tarangire national park as well as the world’s heaviest flying bird which is the kori bustard. Hornbills can also be seen in this part of the national park during a bird watching activity.
Birders visiting Tarangire national park can also enjoy seeing the breeding grounds for the different bird species which is the swampy floodplains in the eastern and southern parts of the national park.
In the woodlands of Tarangire national park, birds like hoopoes, hornbills, brown parrots among others can be seen. Birds which are not easily missed during a safari in this national park include lilac breasted rollers, barbets, mouse birds, striped swallows, starlings, swifts, hammerkops, bee-eaters and plovers.
In Tarangire national park, migratory birds can be seen during the months of November to April. Bird watching at this destination can be carried out throughout the year and native bird species can also be seen in this national park.
Tarangire national park has an exceptional number of birds although it is known for being a wildlife viewing destination in Tanzania. Wildlife species which can be seen in the national park include waterbucks, giraffes, dik dik, impalas, gazelles, lions, leopards, cheetahs and many others.
Other activities which are carried out in Tarangire national park except bird watching include game drives in the morning and in the afternoon and also guided nature walks.
With the right guide, birders can explore different parts of the national park and search for the various bird species during their safari in Tarangire national park.