Birding in Murchison Falls National Park

Birding in Murchison Falls National Park: Murchison Falls National Park ranks ninth among Africa’s finest birding destinations, with a checklist of over 460 birds and 76 animal species. Birds can be spotted on game drives, nature walks in the savannah grasslands and Budongo forest, and boat cruises down the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. Some species, such as silver birds, blue-napped mousebirds, and weavers, may be observed in the dry thorn shrubs surrounding Paraa and Red chilli, while nocturnal birds, such as nightjars, can be found along the Paraa road.

Birders on a boat excursion are likely to see a variety of water species, including the shoebill, Goliath herons, Gray-crowned cranes, and black headed lapwings, among others. Birding at Murchison Falls National Park is possible all year, although the ideal time for birdwatching is during the dry season, which runs from January to March. During this time, the park receives less visitors, and lodges typically offer cheaper rates on lodging. Birding is still outstanding from December to February, albeit the park receives considerable rain, which may interfere with your birding time.

The shoebill is one of the most impressive attractions and bird species in Murchison Falls, although it is difficult to observe during the dry season, which runs from January to March. From November through April, migratory birds from Europe and North Africa arrive.

Birds in the Murchison Falls National Park

Abyssinia Ground hornbill


The Abyssinian ground hornbill is a big ground hornbill. A male Abyssinian ground hornbill has bare facial skin that is a combination of blue and red, whereas a female has totally blue facial skin. In flying, the wings expose a huge white patch. This bird is commonly spotted in Murchison Falls National Park’s plain savanna grasslands and the park’s neighboring agricultural fields. The Abyssinian ground hornbill travels in pairs or small groups on the ground. They always nest and breed in trees. The range of the Abyssinian ground hornbill is very identical to that of the southern ground hornbill, however the Abyssinian is easily differentiated by its blue facial skin. The Abyssinian call is a succession of deep “boop” sounds.

Black-headed lapwing

The Black-headed lapwing is regularly seen in Uganda and other East African countries at an altitude of 1800m in semi-arid and bushy plains. The Black-headed lapwing is most commonly observed in the northern Murchison Falls region, from Paraa to the Albert Nile marshes. You will be able to view them in pairs or small groups on early-game drives. The black-headed lapwing has a tiny black crown and a black line down the middle of the breast, and it flies with broad white bands across the wings. The Black-headed lapwing is most active at night, early morning, and late afternoon. The Black-headed lapwing’s cry is a harsh, woody, repeated “krep.”

 Grey-crowned crane

Birding in Murchison Falls National Park

Balearica regulorum is the scientific name for the grey-crowned crane. With a blue-gray crane, a black-and-white face, and a crown of golden-yellow feathers, this bird is magnificent. Grey crested cranes get rustier as they grow older. Singles, couples, and flocks favor the marshes and flooded grasslands of Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park. Yes, grey-crowned cranes live in waterlogged places, however, they may become locally migratory in reaction to rain. The low mournful bugling “maaah-hem” cry of a flock of grey-crowned cranes can be heard on a daily basis. The Black Crowned Crane is similar to the Grey Crowned Crane but has slaty-gray coloring, smaller red facial wattles, and red-and-white cheek patches.

Senegal thick-knee

Murchison Falls National Park’s common birds are the Senegal thick-knee. Burhinus senegalensis is its scientific name. The Senegal thick-knee is a huge shorebird with a larger and heavier beak than Eurasian and Water Thick-knee. It is also worth noting that this bird has a gray mid-wing panel with no black-and-white pattern. The Senegal thick knee is extremely loud, especially at night, emitting a range of loud whistles and trills.


Birding in Murchison Falls National Park

The Shoebill is a distinct bird with its own family. Adult shoebill storks have uniform gray plumage, whilst immatures have brownish coloration. The Shoebill is an uncommon bird seen in Murchison Falls National Park, yet following it is an exciting experience for bird enthusiasts. Spotting a shoebill tracking at Murchison Falls National Park is simple when on a guided Nile boat safari. A bot ride will take you downstream into the park’s marshy delta section. The shoebill is often found alone or in pairs in deep marshes, particularly papyrus swamps. A shoebill is similar to a stork, but with a broad neck and a large hooked bill. The lengthy legs trail in flight, which is usually extremely high.

Other birds found in Murchison Falls National Park include the African jacana, Black-billed barbet, , African quailfinch, and African quailfinch. Denham’s bustard, Eastern grey plantain-eater, Black-headed gonolek, Squacco heron, Black-headed lapwing, Blue-headed coucal African Jacana, Standard-winged Nightjar, Sandpipers, Red-throated bee-eater, Long-tailed Nightjar, White-browed sparrow-weaver, Red-winged Grey Warbler Piapiac, Rock Pratincole, Palm-nut vulture The great kingfisher, Goliath heron, Malachite kingfisher, Speckle-fronted weaver, Silverbird,  Swamp flycatcher, and more species



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