BIRDING WATCHING IN RWANDA
Rwanda is a very small country in the east and central Africa surrounded by countries like, Uganda in the north, Burundi in the south, Tanzania in the east and Congo in the west. Rwanda has the highest concentration of bird species in Africa. Wildlife tours have well trained birding guides who have been working in many protected areas in the country. We do help our clients in the trip planning, selection of the best birding routes and ensure they have ever lasting memories for the country through our devoted services. Very many species of birds are recorded in Rwanda’s National park popularly known as Nyungwe forest national park and over 280 species are recorded in the park the absolute majority are forest specialists and twenty-six being regional endemics whose range is limited to a number of forests along the Albertine Rift. To mention some of the birds to see include great blue turaco; a chicken sized bird with garish bluish green and yellow feathers, frequently detected gliding between the vegetation along the highway. Also watch the Paradise flycatcher, along tailed blue. You will watch also other birds impress with their bizarre look the great forest hornbills, for example, whose wailing vocalizations are nearly as comical as their ungainly bills and great winged flight,. Birds can also be seen in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park and over 500 bird checklist known to Akagera, species will include Common Scimitar-bill, rare shoebill, Blue-naped Mouse bird, Open-billed Stork to mention but a few
Bird watching is the observation of birds as a leisure activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a binoculars and telescopes or by listening for birds sounds. The activity involves an important auditory component as many birds’ species are more easily detected and identified by ear than by eye, most of those interested in bird watching do it for recreational or social reasons
HOW TO DO BIRD WATCHING
Get some binoculars: Binoculars are readily available at the park headquarters in case you don’t have one, but it’s advisable to own yours. And if you are to buy your own binoculars, you should investigate and test them out first before buying. Look for binoculars that are waterproof, focus easily, and have at least 8x magnification and a 30 to 42mm front. If possible, go to a specialist bird watching supplier rather than mail order or cheap high-street chain stores, so you can get the best advice. Binoculars that are comfortable to use and good optically will help prevent eye and neck strain
Get a bird guide.
This is very significant to all bird lovers; look through it before you go out for the first time. It is very difficult to memorize all the birds, but the bird guide can help you to learn more about bird families and also soften on the hardship learn some of the birds such as swallows, raptors, warblers, flycatchers, herons, etc to narrow your search down when you are out. Birds are fast and often don’t stands still, so concentrate on these things about what you’re seeing
Find other bird watchers. For the activity to be enjoy full, search online for birding groups and chapters near you. Many lead bird walks that you can attend and afford. Contact tour companies or parks to find out whether classes or walks are being offered. The more sets of eyes and ears there are, the more birds you’ll find, especially if you go with bird watchers who are more experienced than you are.
It is good to start bird watching in the morning, when birds are searching for food, and listen. Usually, you will be encircled by bird calls and songs, but will not have a single bird in sight. Look for movement in trees, and bring your binoculars to your eyes. Don’t try to find the bird through your binoculars.
Spot the bird you’ve spotted in your field guide. You will find that birds stick to certain ranges-this will be shown in your field guide. Do not focuses on color as this alone can lead to misidentifications. Focus on shape, size, markings, posture, behavior, etc. Watch places where field markings are normally, like wing bars or the tail feathers.
Create your “life list”. For every bird you see it’s better to note it down in order to create a life list. Eventually, you might progress to creating various other lists: yard lists, month lists, year lists, state lists, record rare birds to your list. Write down the bird species, gender (if you can tell), location and date.
Get a good field guide. A field guide is a little book that’s packed with information about birds. It’s the next best thing to an expert birder by your side. It describes and shows pictures of the birds, and it tells you which details of each bird to look for. Some people prefer the guides with illustrations because photographs can lead to confusion due to poor lighting, flash, posture, etc. Make acquainted with different families of birds if you’re ready to strike out on your own, first search the internet for great places to see lots of birds. Study a good field guide until you can tell a wagtail from a warbler or white winged Tern from African Skimmer for example. If possible learn also the different species, the water birds from the savannah birds. You can also learn from others. When you go out, ask other birdwatchers for help. Join a local bird group, subscribe to bird watching magazines and journals
Good to Respect the birds in there nature settings. the birds’ habitats are not suppose to be disturbed Bird watching manners and principles are important in making sure that birds sabotaged since birding becomes more popular,. Some guidelines suggested by the American Birding Association include: Don’t get too close to nests, nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites; your presence may interfere with birds’ activities, don’t stress the birds with recordings or artificial lighting, and Respect private property.
Take a walk. Guided forest walk of various length are organized to give birders an opportunity to watch various species of birds, having a binoculars can give one more chances of spotting birds in a far distance. Guided walks with people who will help you see birds you wouldn’t have seen and who are incredibly generous with their knowledge.
Learn bird calls and songs. You should not forget that you can identify many birds by listening to their calls and songs. Learn these by listening repeatedly to the many excellent CD’s and DVD’s now available. And, best of all, learn to identify any unfamiliar call or song by locating the bird responsible. This can help much in identifying birds and making the activity easier.
Use hides where possible. Most bird reserves have at least one hide. You will get brilliant views of birds that are otherwise hard to see well, and this is an excellent way to become really familiar with their distinctive features. Always think of the birds and of other birdwatchers. Leave a hide quietly and modestly, don’t shout or point out of windows, and don’t block other people’s view.
MUST SEE BIRDS IN RWANDA
Ounce you take a trip to Rwanda it’s a guarantee that birds are going to be seen as Rwanda is some times known as a birders paradise due to very many species of birds that are recorded in the most famously known Rwanda national parks. Despite being one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, Rwanda is a worthwhile and exciting birding destination, with Nyungwe national park the absolute star attraction. The largest montane forest in Africa, Nyungwe has more Albertine Rift endemic birds than any other site outside the Democratic Republic of Congo, it host over 280species of birds such as great blue turaco, Lesser Black backed Gull, Grey headed Gull a chicken sized bird with garish bluish green yellow feathers, along tailed blue, orange as well as (at times) white bird regularly seen, Akagera national park offers a wide diversity of savanna and wetland birds over 500 species including Shoebill and several species confined to the Lake Victoria Basin to mention some include the Common Scimitar-bill, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Open-billed Stork and a very helpful Water Thick-Knee Shoebill, African Open-billed Stork, Egyptian Goose, Long-toed Lapwing, Spur-winged Plover, Black Crake, Long-tailed Cormorant, Great Cormorants, Goliath Heron, Senegal Lapwing, Water Dikkop, African Marsh Harrier, Bateleur, Red-faced Barbet, and the rare shoebill and many more. Others species of birds can be spotted in Volcanoes national park. In case you organize your trip to Rwanda it’s a must to see at least to see three quarters of these birds please birders don’t wait book now for a bird safari in Rwanda you will never regret.
DOES RWANDA HAVE ENDEMIC BIRDS?
Yes endemic bird species are present in Rwanda; there are over 670 species of birds making Rwanda the only country in east and central Africa with the highest concentration of bird species. Akagera national park offers a wide diversity of savanna and wetland birds over 525 species including the rare shoebill stock plus 4 Albertine rift such as the Red-faced Barbet found only in (Akagera national park), Red-collared Mountain Babbler, Purple-breasted Sunbird. Nyungwe National Park has around 283 bird species with 27 endemics “The highest concentration of Albertine Rift endemics of anywhere in the world!” to mention some include Cape Wagtail, African Saw-wing , White-necked Raven, the Ruwenzori Turaco and Handsome Francolin and Volcanoes National Park has approximately 90 species with 13 endemics. So a must to see these endemic species
WHAT TO CARRY WHEN DOING BIRD WATCHING SENTENCE
Not much. A pair of binoculars, a field guide, and a hat. Maybe a small notebook you carry in your pocket. You might want to check out Diane’s Bird watching Starter Kit. Also a birding vest is helpful, too. You can put your field guide, your binoculars, your pen and notebook, and possibly some insect repellent in the pockets. You hang it a side and when time for bird watching you just grab it have every thing you need packed
WHAT DO PEOPLE DO WHEN THEY GO BIRDING?
Birdwatchers observe wild birds in their natural habitat. Bird watching means learning to identify the birds and understand what they are doing. In Rwanda, there are over 670 species of birds. Wherever you live, you’ll probably find at least 100 species that are easy to find in your area. Life swiftly gets more fascinating when you become aware of the varied bird life all around you.