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African Birds Are Beautiful, But...

Updated on November 13, 2014

The Beauty Of The Birds - But They Have Problems

As a small boy I lived in Kenya, East Africa until I was 10 years old. I have so many fantastic memories, but one of the most endearing had to be that of the gorgeous birdlife.

Wherever you went - up in the hills, around the lakes or into the forests - the one thing in common was the sound of endless birdsong. Often the smallest birds seemed to sing the loudest, so once you spotted your bird, you would be in for a real treat when you were faced with a magnificent show of multicolored plumage.

Now that one of my passions is photography, I would give anything to go back to Africa and take photos of these pretty little birds, as well as the larger flamingos, storks, cranes, hornbills and even the old vultures.

Having begun this lens with 'beauty' as my inspiration, I was devastated during the research to find out how many of these bird species are endangered, and some even under serious threat of extinction. My original theme of beauty is now shared with one of threat.

Sunbird images from Wikipedia Commons, Tom Tarrant, Doug Janson and J.M.Garg

Most of the photos are available from Art.com, just click on their image. Others are also available from specialist sites.

Interesting Links

  • The List of African Birds is a listing of all the bird species known from the continent of Africa, classified in James Clements' Birds of the World: A Checklist up to July, 2005. Some updates to March 2010 have been made to this checklist but mostly only in changes to the notes.
  • African Bird Club works for the welfare of birds throughout the entire continent.
  • Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders. They combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations.
  • Nature Rwanda is an arm of WildlifeDirect, whose mission is to connect conservationists in the frontline with those who care about wildlife worldwide. To enable them interact and help each other, allowing anyone in the world to support the work of these conservationists.
  • African Birds by Ross Warner is a stock photography site containing beautiful images of many species of african birds.
  • Free Bird Wallpapers for your desktop.

Flamingos on Lake Nakuru, Kenya - Lake's abundance of algae attracts the flamingos

Flamingos, Lake Nakuru National Park
Flamingos, Lake Nakuru National Park

Established in 1961 within the Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National Park incorporates the well known flamingo lake as well as the surrounding savannahs and mountains.

The small town of Nakuru is situated about 160 miles north-west of the capital, Nairobi, while the shallow, alkaline-saline lake stands at 1,759 metres above sea level. In Masai, the word 'Nakuru' means "dusty area".

African Mecca is one of those travel companies who offer you the chance of visiting these wonderful wild parts of the world, and can tailor a safari to suit your requirements. So, if your hobby in photography, and flamingos are your quest - this is a must-do trip. In fact, having been there when I was just a boy, I think it's a must for any serious traveller or wildlife enthusiast. It is also possible to take breathtaking balloon rides across the open, dusty plains watching the wildlife from on high.

They will organise everything from your safari lodge to your day's activities, and with so much to see, your feet wont touch the ground!

Here is an excerpt from African Mecca about their safari...

"The lake is world famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth - myriads of fuschia pink flamingoes whose numbers are legion, often more than a million maybe two. They feed on the abundant algae, which thrives in the warm waters..."

To read more go to Safari specialists

Lesser Flamingo Wading in Water
Lesser Flamingo Wading in Water

Scientists have discovered that flamingos are dying by the thousands along the Great Rift Valley lakes of Kenya and Tanzania. However, they are baffled as to the reason. Possible causes include "avian cholera, botulism, metal poisoning, pesticides or poisonous bacteria", say researchers.

Grey Crowned-Cranes - The National Bird of Uganda

Four Grey Crowned-Cranes
Four Grey Crowned-Cranes

The Grey Crowned Crane is found in dry savannah areas throughout eastern and southern Africa. Standing at around 3 ft tall and weighing approx. 7.5 lbs, it is an elegant bird, showing off a crown of firm, golden feathers on its head, and with predominantly grey plumage, and white on the wings.

I have vivid memories of small groups of these birds honking away while feeding in the open grassland, whilst at the same time carrying out magnificent pirouettes. These movements were enthralling as you watched the birds bow their heads, then jump and dance at the same time.

These birds roost in trees, unlike other members of the crane family, and make nests on platforms made of grass and other wetland vegetation They are able to grip tightly onto the branches as they have an extra long back toe.


© Chad Davis - FineArtAmerica,com

Although the Grey Crowned Crane remains common over much of its range, it faces threats to its habitat due to drainage, overgrazing, and pesticide pollution.

The Grey Crowned Crane is the national bird of Uganda and features in the country's flag and coat of arms

Easy Pickings For Maribou Storks

African Malachite Sunbird - Approximately 100 species of sunbirds

African Sunbird Perched on an Acacia Tree
African Sunbird Perched on an Acacia Tree

Sunbirds are close relatives of hummingbirds, and feed mainly on nectar collected from certain flowers. The obvious difference between the two species is that the sunbird is not able to hover whilst feeding, like its agile distant cousin who can gain access to many an inaccessible flower trumpet.

Because of this feeding method, sunbirds frequent the more bushy, afforested areas of Africa, (they can also be found in Asia, and South Pacific) where nectar sources are easily available from a perching position. The African sunbird is larger than others of this group, and Malachite males have two long primary feathers in their long tail. which accounts for nearly half of its total length.

(The pictures accompanying the title are all sunbirds.)

FAMILY NECTARINIIDAE - See all the genus Sunbirds

African Sunbirds And Tree Tobacco - the birds 'hang around' for the nectar!

Tree Tobacco - Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)
Tree Tobacco - Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)

African sunbirds have found that nectar from a particular plant encourages them to hang around and want more. Mention the word 'tobacco', and you'll understand.

Tree tobacco is a plant which has made its way to South Africa from South America. The plant produces attractive, yellow tubular flowers, which in turn depend on nectar-feeding birds, such as sunbirds to pollinate it.

An astonishing find was made by Sjirk Geerts of Stellenbosch University in South Africa, where he noticed that local malachite sunbirds spent a lot of time hovering around tree tobacco flowers, in the northeastern part of the country, so he set about to investigate.

It has been known that sunbirds can hover occasionally, but now they were getting a great deal of their winter food from these tobacco tree flowers. What was the attraction?

Geerts was quoted in New Scientist magazine saying, "This is the first time we have observed them making a lifestyle of it". The birds now stay in the region in the wintertime, as the flowers continue to supply their nectar needs, rather than migrating away from it - they seem to be hooked!

At the same time, the tobacco tree plant seems to be benefiting. Researchers have found that the sunbird visits to the plant have increased, whilst the flower set has also increased threefold. It is unknown at the moment whether sunbird numbers are increasing, but this is quite likely, as nature often works on 'backscratching' methods - i.e. a plant offers plenty of food, the eater is satisfied and disperses seeds to help procreate the plant.

Geerts now wants to conduct more research to see whether the sunbirds keep hovering during the summer months, while they are raising young and expending a lot of energy at the same time.

Ref: New Scientist - April 18 2009 (malestrom). (n.d.). from Sunbirds Are Evolving On The Wing

Photo credit: Michael L. Charters - http://www.calflora.net/

African Hoopoe - Upapa Africana

African Hoopoe - Bird Foraging on the Ground
African Hoopoe - Bird Foraging on the Ground

There is much debate about whether the African and Eurasian Hoopoe are different species or both just a subspecies of Upupa epops. In the open they can be distinguished by their overall coloration, the africana has a much richer chestnut hue without a white sub-terminal band on the main wings in the African Hoopoe. They are cavity nesters and will happily use a hollow anywhere from a pile of boulders to cavities in walls or buildings,

Hoopoes are relatively unsociable birds, often found individually or in pairs, except in the season of migration when small flocks may be seen. Their fluttering flight, reminiscent of a large butterfly, offers a distinctive sight in the woodlands, grasslands and gardens of Eastern and Southern Africa. The distinctive call of hoop-hoop, repeated many times over is a familiar sound to anyone who has spent time in the bush.

This bird is easily distinguishable by its orange-pink body plumage with bold striped wings and tail, and protruding erectile crest. It feeds mainly on the ground on insects, worms and other invertebrates.

African Birds on Video

African Grey Parrots

African Grey Parrots: Everything About History, Care, Nutrition, Handling, and Behavior (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
African Grey Parrots: Everything About History, Care, Nutrition, Handling, and Behavior (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)

African Greys have a deserved reputation for extreme intelligence and ability to repeat words. Books in the Complete Pet Owner's Manuals series present advice and instruction on feeding, housing, health care, training, grooming, protection against hazards, and more.

 
kenya stamps
kenya stamps

Bleak Outlook For African Vultures - Poisoning and killing

Extinction predicted for South African vultures

"In South Africa conservationists are concerned that vultures could soon become extinct, as traditional healers hunt them down for their parts.

There is a belief that the vultures have the power to predict anything from winning lottery numbers even to football scores."

The Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture, Gypaetus barbatus, is considered to be an Old World vulture, its closest living relative is the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus). Although dissimilar, Egyptian and Bearded Vultures both have a lozenge-shaped tail which is pretty unusual among birds of prey. It feeds mainly on carrion living and breeding on outcrop crags in high mountain areas.

The Lammergeier doesn't have a bald head like most vultures, but is a large bird with a massive 10 foot wingspan, which enables it to slowly circle in the thermals above the savannah whilst searching for food.

African vultures are dying of poison and are following their Asian cousins on a dangerous downward spiral.

Munir Virani, from the National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, with colleagues have reported a worrying 50% decline in vulture numbers in the area of the Masai Mara National Reserve over the last 25 years. The dramatic increase of livestock farmers around the park over a similar period could have had an effect. It has been found that these farmers have indeed been leaving dead animals strewn around, particularly goats, which have been infected with Furadan, a toxic pesticide, in order to kill hyenas and lions.

In south Asia, the griffon vulture has been driven to virtual extinction by eating accidentally poisoned cattle carcasses - these cows had received treatment before they died with drugs that just happen to harm vultures. As vultures range fairly widely and eat communally, just 1 per cent of cattle need to have been poisoned to affect the entire population. This makes the use of deliberately poisoned animal carcasses in Africa much more of a threat to the scavengers.

Chris Bowden of the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds says,

"the irony is that if the poisoned carcasses wipe out vultures, it will help the hyenas and lions that the farmers are trying to eliminate to flourish. That's because there will less competition for the carrion normally eaten by the birds."

(1) Biological Conservation, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.024).

The Cunning Of Wild African Vultures - From BBC wildlife

What's Your View? - Mans intervention or evolution or ?

sunbird
sunbird

What's your opinion on the state of Africa's birds?

See results

Red-and-yellow Barbet

Male Red-And-Yellow Barbet
Male Red-And-Yellow Barbet

Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

The Red-and-yellow Barbet is a species of African barbet found in eastern part of Africa. The Barbet males have very distinctive colorings of black or spotted white, and red and yellow plumage, while the females are fairly similar but a bit more dull.

The birds live in cliff areas, around termite mounds and along riverbeds, and avoid very open or densely wooded areas. They nest and roost in tunnels, and forage close to the ground on seeds, fruit and also small invertebrates.

They are widely hunted for their feathers by some tribes, such as the Masai, but in areas where there is little or no hunting, they are extremely tame.

Communal Nesting Weaver Birds

Large Communal Nest of Sociable Weavers in Dry Country Near Sesriem, Namibia

The Weaver bird is one of natures greatest nest builders, choosing to reside in a colony, with as many as 100 to 300 pairs nesting on a single tree. There is certainly an element of 'safety in numbers' going on, but it is their nest building techniques that they are renowned for. Colonies are often found near water courses or dry riverbeds.

The males do most of the construction work, and gather nest making materials from the surrounding grassland and bushes. These come in all shapes and sizes, and different species will often use different materials including grasses, twigs, and strands of leaf-fibre. The building begins with the birds intricately weaving together the materials on the end of a branch.

The aim of the design is to form an upturned funnel shape nest with a long, narrow entrance. There's method to this technique, to make it difficult for predators to gain access, particularly snakes, as the diameter of the opening is so small as well as facing downwards. But more importantly, the nest has been built to lure prospective females - the better the build, the more likely a mate.

The Red-billed Quelea, reputed to be the world's most numerous bird has been known to cause crop damage in a large scale, (see video) of these birds in action!

A Pair of Weaverbirds Weaving

Golden Palm Weaverbird

Black-Headed Weaver Bird

Complex Nest Building

Peter Blackwell Art - Watercolors

Baglefechts Weaver by Peter Blackwell
Baglefechts Weaver by Peter Blackwell

Baglefechts Weaver

by Peter Blackwell

African Lovebirds

African Rainbow by Peter Blackwell
African Rainbow by Peter Blackwell

African Rainbow

by Peter Blackwell

Bird Harmony & Co-Operation - Completely unselfish

African birds, Carmine Bee Eaters line up along the branches of trees, and pass fruit to other members first.

We have so much to learn from other species of the animal kingdom, many of whom have developed enviable strategies of harmony and devotion amongst its members.

This cooperation and unselfishness can be seen when flocks of these birds descend onto fruit trees to feed. When the easily accessible fruit has been eaten, the birds have a strategy of uniformity and fairness for feeding on the remaining berries at the ends of the branches.

Other birds could face starvation in this situation, as the individual bird 'who landed there first' would eat all the fruit. However, Carmine Bee Eaters don't behave like that, they go in for sharing and helping one and other. Lining up along the branch side by side, they pass the berries along the line to the next bird until the one at the end gets the meal. The next time the flock descends on a branch, the line-up order will change, so that those birds that didn't get any fruit on the last visit, shall be the first to get some on this visit.

Ref: Devotion Among Animals - Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology), September 1992

Carmine Bee-Eater, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Carmine Bee-Eater, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Carmine Bee-Eater - Found across sub-equatorial Africa

The Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicoides) is found throughout sub-equatorial Africa. It's a migratory species, and spends the breeding season in Zimbabwe, before heading to South Africa for the summer, then migrating northwards to equatorial Africa.

Most species of bee-eater are vividly colored, none more so than the Carmine Bee Eater, which has a dominant carmine color on its body, with the top of the head and under the tail in blue. Found in river valleys and floodplains, it likes to nest in vertical banks which are ideal for tunneling into when breeding.

Like the Weaver birds they are a sociable species choosing to roost in colonies in trees and reedbeds. They make their nests in long burrows in earth banks and always assemble in large flocks, both in and out of the breeding season. They feed off bees and other flying insects from perches on branches of vegetation, or even off the backs of larger animals. Their diet also includes lizards and rodents.

Read more on Carmine Bee Eaters in Wikipedia

Rainbow Bee Eaters

A Group of Rainbow Bee-Eaters Sleeping Huddled Together
A Group of Rainbow Bee-Eaters Sleeping Huddled Together
maribou stork
maribou stork

Many South African Birds Are In Trouble

Facing extinction

Wattled Crane

African Penguin

Taita Falcon

Blue Swallow

Of the 9,856 bird species on Earth, 1,226 are listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. 40 of these occur in South Africa and of these 20 are endemic. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, species are now disappearing from our planet at a faster rate, and studies have shown that human activities are mostly responsible.

1. The Wattled Crane is the most severely threatened of all cranes on the African continent. Countries thought to be the stronghold for this bird, such as Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia have recently carried out surveys which have shown that the global population is just half of what has been reported in recent years. A few of the greatest losses have occurred in South Africa, where the decline between 1980 and 2000 has been a massive 38%, leaving the national population Critically Endangered. South Africa now has only about 250 individuals remaining.

2. The African Penguin was uplisted to Endangered in 2011. The population has declined by just over 60% in the past 28 years, and as one can guess, it is through commercial fishing - inflicted by man - which has caused huge food shortages. Massive changes in fish distributions have also contributed to the decline.

3. Another charismatic bird, the Taita Falcon, is desparately in need of conservation attention, this species has suffered devastation and fragmentation to its habitat.

4. The Blue Swallow lives in undulating, short grasslands along the eastern part of the South African escarpment and north-western Swaziland. The population of the South African Blue Swallow is terribly low with awareness of only around 50 pairs, it also is classified locally as Critically Endangered. In South Africa, habitat destruction caused by afforestation, has reduced their numbers by more than 80% over the last 100 years, this is so serious.

5. 18 out of the 22 albatross species occurring worldwide are threatened with at least some level of extinction. Fishing with longline hooks (about 1 billion hooks are set each year), catch and drown 300,000 seabirds, of which albatrosses account for 100,000 of these.

Recent South African species listings are as follows:

  • The Grey Crowned Crane and the Black Crowned Crane, uplisted to Vulnerable
  • The African Penguin uplisted from Vulnerable to Endangered
  • The Southern Ground Hornbill uplisted from Vulnerable to Endangered.

Birds Stamps Of Africa

Just a tiny selection of the many countries

Many African countries portray birds and animals on their stamps. As a boy my first stamp collection consisted of hundreds of Kenya wildlife stamps. I am not surprised that I have come full circle, as it were, to embrace their beauty once again.

Sometime I must find my collection and post an image here!

Birds of Africa

Scops Owl | Bee Eater | Monarch Cuckoo | Oriole Hoopoe | Seadcracker and much more shown in their natural habitat in the African Rain Forest

Hummingbird with Flowers
Hummingbird with Flowers

Hummingbirds - The Smallest Of Birds...

...with the fastest wing speed

The hummingbird in flight is the only bird that can fly in any direction!

Hummingbirds are among the smallest of all birds, with most species measuring just 7.5-13 cm (3-5 in).

The smallest bird in existence is a hummingbird, the tiny 2 inch (5cm) Bee Hummingbird. These aerial acrobats can hover in mid-air with such dexterity by flapping their wings at a phenomenal rate of anything between 12 and 90 times a second (depending on the species). They are the only group of birds that can also fly backwards!

Hummingbirds live off the nectar, extracted with their adaptable bill and tongue, from the inside of flowers. Similar to bees, they can tell how much sugar is in the nectar they eat, and will reject those flower types with a nectar to sugar ratio below 10%. It requires a great deal of energy to hover whilst feeding, so it's important for the bird to spend its feeding time efficiently. As the nutrient value of nectar is poor, the birds get their protein, minerals and vitamins from preying on insects and spiders.

Most hummingbirds have long virtually straight bills, but in some species, the shape of the bill has adapted for more specialized feeding. Thornbills feed from flowers with short corollas, so only have short bills, whereas Sicklebills' have extremely curved bills specially adapted to extracting nectar from the curved corollas of certain flower types.

Hummingbirds, like the similar nectar-feeding sunbirds, drink by using protrusible grooved or trough-like tongues.

How the hummingbird bill works

The two halves of the bill have a noticeable overlap, with the lower half tightly fitting inside the upper half. When the birds feed on nectar, the bill opens slightly, allowing the tongue to dart out and into the interior of the flowers.

african dwarf kingfisher
african dwarf kingfisher

African Pygmy Kingfisher

Secretive and unobtrusive

The African Pygmy Kingfisher is a tiny, adorable bird, just 12cm long, and found across Africa south of the Sahara, apart from those very hot regions such as the Horn of Africa, and the western regions of Southern Africa.

The birds are secretive and unobtrusive, and live on their own or in pairs. They feed on insects in flight, giving a high-pitched, "tsip-tsip" call as they flit around after their prey. Not bound to water courses, as their name might suggest, they can be found in open grassland, woodland and coastal forest areas.

Secretary Bird
Secretary Bird

Secretary Bird

Got its name from the quills in its neck

Secretary Birds are large birds of prey (about 4' tall), found in Africa, in open grassland and savannah areas. The birds avoid dense undergrowth and forests, as these cramp their style of existence. Choosing to live on the plains, giving them room to roam, and chasing their prey unimpeded, they return to roost in Acacia trees at nighttime after spending all day hunting.

I can remember watching these extraordinary birds as they stomped they way around in the grass trying to catch their prey. It was a bit like viewing a dance troupe who we unable to keep in time with each other, or didn't know the dance moves!

Sometimes they will feed on animal casualties after wildfires, and are one of the only birds of prey to hunt on foot as a matter of habit. They catch small mammals, such as snakes and lizards or even birds and birds eggs.

Secretary Bird
Secretary Bird

Portrait of Secretary Bird

With those long legs, a secretary bird stamps the ground to flush out potential victims from their hiding places. Once the prey is in sight, it's either stamped on, so rendering it unconscious - then it's eaten alive - or pecked to death with their tough, sharp beaks.

The bird appears on the coats of arms of both Sudan and South Africa.

Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill in Flight

Southern Ground Hornbills are large birds, characterized by their black body coloration, with vivid red patches on the throat and face. They live in small groups of 5 to 10 individuals in grassland, woodland and open savannah areas.

These hornbills are often confined to national reserves and national parks, due to their vulnerability in the wild. They normally feed on the ground on rodents and snakes, as well as frogs, snails, and insects.

Another of my African childhood memories, is of a neighbour owning a huge - I was small - Ground Hornbill by the name of Patrick. Any time we went to visit these friends, Patrick was summoned to show off his skills in front of my sister and me. A snake or rodent was supplied to Patrick, and with such viscious efficiency, he despatched his quarry, and swallowed it whole, in a moment.

Free Desktop Wallpapers

Flamingoes on Lake Nakuru
Flamingoes on Lake Nakuru

Loads of free desktop wallpapers on many different and varied subjects.

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
African Bluebilled FirefinchCarmine Bee EaterGolden WeaverHummingbirdLilac Breasted RollerMalachite KingfisherLittle Bee Eater
African Bluebilled Firefinch
African Bluebilled Firefinch
Carmine Bee Eater
Carmine Bee Eater
Golden Weaver
Golden Weaver
Hummingbird
Hummingbird
Lilac Breasted Roller
Lilac Breasted Roller
Malachite Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
Little Bee Eater
Little Bee Eater

What About Your Views on African Birdlife? - Have you ever been to Africa - let us know

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      These are, indeed, all beautiful birds! It always breaks my hearts to see the gorgeous creatures that are now endangered and so close to extinction.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      What a spectacular and informative lens! Well done!

    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 3 years ago from Canada

      I would love to go to Africa one day and see some of these birds!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      I have never been to Africa, but I look forward to it in the future! The birds are spectacular creations, with such amazing and breathtaking design! Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photographs, pictures, and educational lessons.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

      Some beautiful birds and we could certainly learn from the carmine bee eater!

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 3 years ago

      No, but I'd love to go.

      Beautiful lens!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 3 years ago

      I am so saddened by the fact that so much of our wildlife is endangered or close to extinction. But as long as man continues to push forward in industrial growth, it is only inevitable that this is going to become the norm. Just too sad.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      That flock of Flamingos in Kenya is fantastic, sort of mesmerizing. Those are wonderful photographs and the information is startling.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I found this article fascinating. I hate to see any wildlife disappear.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Would love to go to Africa some day. Very nice lens, Saw yours featured on "Editor for the Day: Lensmaster Patgoltz takes us Birdwatching on Squidoo"

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Beautiful lens. I have yet to go to Africa, but it's at the top of my travel list and when I do I'll definitely have my camera in hand!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      The sun bird is so beautiful.

    • ArtWebb profile image

      ArtWebb 4 years ago

      Have not been in Africa yet. Love my birds though. Anywhere. There are lots of them to feast my eyes on. Great lens.

    • Socialpro54 LM profile image

      Socialpro54 LM 4 years ago

      Great lens

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      These birds from Africa are way different than the birds I live with so this is very interesting thanks for sharing with us

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      My favorite movies set in Africa: The Gods Must Be Crazy I & II.

      African grey parrots are fascinating. I saw one at a pet store that would call to the siamese cats walking around, it would imitate the phone ringing, and it would imitate a trash truck backing up. Very funny.

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      I've never been to Africa but would love to bird there. In the meantime, I have to be content with the few species at the zoo.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Now this is an educational lens on the beautiful birds of Africa.

      Its important to protect the wildlife and the every flying creature.

      Birds bring so much joy to people just by their presents and sounds. :)

    • profile image

      rkhadija96 4 years ago

      An interesting lens.. natures beauty indeed !

    • bluelily lm profile image

      bluelily lm 4 years ago

      Rapid urbanisation, over-population and wide spread pollution are the factors which have pushed many bird species to the verge of extinction. And, its really sad that day by day we human being are getting isolated from the nature. And your lens has reminded me of my childhood days when I use to see plenty of birds around us.

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 4 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      Stopping by again. Choosing this lens as my favorite for 2012 for a quest. A hard assignment, but I love the wonderful photography in your Lens, and bird descriptions and stories alongside the photos. Very detailed and fascinating.

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 4 years ago

      The birds in Africa make those in the U.S. seem drab. Super photos!

    • profile image

      ratetea 4 years ago

      I think it's really great that you've taken it upon yourself to raise awareness of these issues. You have a tremendous amount of information on this page, and it's beautiful presented and formatted too. I really hope that people will act to protect these birds. I have never been to Africa but I hope to go some day. I am an avid birder and I have been active with conservation-related issues closer to home. I'd encourage you to keep working to protect the environment, because I think it is one of the most worthwhile things one can do with one's life!

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 4 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      I've never been to Africa. Very interesting lens. Loved the info of the Carmine Bee Eaters who share their berries, and pictures of the Weaver Bird nests. So sad that so many species are endangered. Hope they get a handle on it to save such beautiful birds. .

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi such beautiful birds, hope man wise up before it too late.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      I love beautiful birds of all kinds!

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 5 years ago

      Thank you for a lovely lens, I truly enjoyed the read. I haven't been to Africa but it's definitely on my list.

    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 5 years ago

      Amazing! Loads of info and a great job informing us of the problems. Thanks.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Popping back to bless this wonderful lens!

    • freewallpapers4 profile image

      freewallpapers4 5 years ago

      beautiful collection of birds, thanks

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      What amazing photos!!! After my visit in South Sudan, in a few days I leave for Kenya - to work at Kakuma. I wonder what kinds of birds I'll see that desert area.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      What lovely photos! I too was brought up in Africa, a beautiful continent.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Beautiful birds and a great lens with a warning that I hope is heeded in time to save these wonderful creatures. I am posting this to facebook to help spread the word. Hope it helps.

    • CoolFoto profile image

      CoolFoto 5 years ago

      I have not been to Africa, yet, but I really want to go!! You have done a great job with this lens it is a pleasure to Bless.

    • Morgannafay profile image

      Morgannafay 5 years ago

      I was simply amazed at all of the birds I've never even heard of before! This is a really stunningly beautiful page too. I really loved the African vultures the most, they are such powerful animals, beautiful in their own way.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      What a beautiful lens! here is such a variety of birds in the world and I appreciate you showing us some of those found in Africa. I will "tweet" this lens. Blessed!

    • rob-hemphill profile image
      Author

      Rob Hemphill 5 years ago from Ireland

      @Shorebirdie: I wonder what browser you're using, as I haven't heard anyone else mention this?

    • DeniseDurham2011 profile image

      DeniseDurham2011 5 years ago

      Wonderful! I see someone had trouble viewing the pictures, but they were fine for me.

    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Hi! Nice lens. I wanted to let you know that 4 of your photos appear as long, vertical streaks down the page.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      I was inspired to create a new Pinterest board titled 'Birds & Birders' because of you, Steve Kaye and Jenna. Pinning this fabulous lens - hope it helps!

    • profile image

      crstnblue 5 years ago

      Excellent lens! Complex, informative, and great photos!

      Glad to find it, get a new perspective and learn something new today.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Beautiful, important article on these rare birds. Thank you for publishing this lens. We need more people talking about these issues.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      This is incredible - some of these birds I never ever heard of before. I must share this with Phoenix76 and Steve_Kaye - both are well educated about birds (perhaps you've met them). If not, you may wish to. Here's a couple I suggest:

      https://hubpages.com/animals/extinct-north-america...

      http://www.squidoo.com/help-birds

      Keep 'em coming, this is great.

      Take good care,

      Rose

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 5 years ago

      Magnificent

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Beautiful birds and an outstanding tribute to them. Blessed and featured on Blessed bySkiesgreen 2012 and also on Save Planet Earth. Hugs

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Those cranes are really majestic-looking! Stunning lens! You were lucky to have lived there!

    • profile image

      SafariGirl 5 years ago

      Absolutely gorgeous...nature never ceases to amaze. I mentioned my friend to you in a comment on another of your lenses...if you love Africa and love birdlife, you might enjoy her blog which can be found at http://www.wildernessdiary.com - she photographs and writes from her home in Tsavo, Kenya.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 5 years ago

      Fascinating birds

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 5 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you so much for sharing this information and the beautiful photos. Blessings to you this day!

    • profile image

      jeremykim2011 5 years ago

      Well-made lens! Beautiful pictures of birds.

    • totorotube profile image

      totorotube 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens especially birds are beautiful.

    • domain19 profile image

      domain19 5 years ago

      so beautiful... greats lens... thanks for share...

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      These African Birds are really fascinating. I have seen Grey Crowned-Cranes on a TV show. What beautiful and interesting birds.

    • Vallygems1 profile image

      Vallygems1 5 years ago

      Stunning and very informative. I can feel your love for this continent in your lens

      Thank You

      Chris

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Very informative - thank you very much for sharing. Beautiful images and very important information. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Love the pictures of the birds. Thanks for this lens! :-)

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      I just had to stop back and visit your beautiful lens. Thank you for telling us about these lovely birds. :)

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 6 years ago

      Beautiful images of beautiful birds... and, you are right, it is so sad that so many of them are endangered.

      I really apprecciate your lens, it is a very good way to keep people aware about this problem. Thank you for writing it!

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 6 years ago

      These really are gorgeous birds!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Man really must learn to be more considerate of the other creatures on this big old planet we live on. Beautiful images. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wish I had seen some, ANY, gorgeous birds while in Malawi! Your photos, links, and presentation are great. We enjoy some backyard birding here in Michigan, but my husband is really into flamingos; he'd love Nakuru Lake! Thanks for sharing.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with African birds and for creating this lens dedicated to them. I hadn't realized how threatened some of Africa's bird life is....just like so many other birds around the world.

    • patriciapeppy profile image

      patriciapeppy 6 years ago

      beautifuls birds, thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I can see why you feel in love with these birds, they are great and beautiful.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Thank you for the amazing lens!

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 6 years ago

      Awesome lens, beautiful vivid photos. Really enjoyed your lens.

    • Northbright profile image

      Norbert Isles 6 years ago from Philippines

      Your lens is awesome - beautiful pictures and so much information. I could lose myself when by chance I spy on a bird unaware of my presence. I hope someday I 'll have a chance to bird watch the species you have displayed above.Thank you very much.

    • JeanJohnson LM profile image

      JeanJohnson LM 6 years ago

      Enjoyed viewing your photos, thank you for sharing.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      great lens - Yes I lived in Zambia for 3 years and have visited Kenya twice and a couple of other countries. Like you that was before I was so involved in photography and I too would love to go back to take advantage of all I missed then. I have some great memories of hand feeding beautiful birds at Samburu National Park.

      dropping off some green angel dust to celebrate St Patrick's day. thumbs up from the Squid Angel for Wild Birds

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Wow! Very amazing birds! =D

    • jodijoyous profile image

      jodijoyous 6 years ago from New York

      Really lovely lens. Those birds seem so much more exotic than North American birds (maybe because what we're accustomed to seems more ordinary). Lucky blessings for you!

    • tiff0315 profile image

      tiff0315 6 years ago

      Really fantastic lens!

    • profile image

      TLC33 6 years ago

      A fabulous lens with stunning pictures and an interesting read.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      great lens with lovely photos. i really enjoyed this well presented lens. ~blessed by a squid angel~