Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Parrots and other birds here and there

I am in the process of working on an article about human-wildlife conflicts, but I am taking longer to write it than I originally planned. In the meantime, here are some of the beauties Michele and I are finding around Rwanda. All of these birds are found in the wild only on the continent of Africa.

A pair of African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) hang out
near the shore of Lake Kivu, in Gisenyi, in the Norhtwest of Rwanda.

According to BirdLife International, the African Grey has
experienced significant population declines due to habitat loss
and the international pet trade. They are apparently so
popular as pets in the United States, Europe, and Asia that up
to 21% of the wild population is harvested annually. Read more.

A Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocerca) sings
near Lake Kivu.

A Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis) perches
on an acacia tree near the shore of Lake Muhazi
in Eastern Rwanda.

An African Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus)
searches for food near some rice paddies. Note its yellow
wattle on the side of its bill!

Four Lesser Striped Swallows (Hirundo abyssinica) rest atop
a banana leaf. These are the most beautiful swallow species
I have seen in the world. They make metallic-like sounds
and nest at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.

An African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus) patrols the shore
of a lake in Akagera National Park, which forms the
Eastern border of Rwanda.

One Hammerkop (Scopus umbretta) lands on another
in the Eastern Province of Rwanda.

A Hammerkop stands on its nest in a garden in Kigali,
the capital and approximate geographic center of Rwanda.

The most beautiful bird of all... Michele stands at the edge
of Lake Kivu, which forms the Western border of Rwanda.
Across this body of water is the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

As you can see, this country is rich in birds. Michele and I use our free time to travel around Rwanda in search of them and other wildlife too. I am reminded of a quote from the poet Pablo Neruda that I saw posted at the Central Park Zoo:

"I've wandered the world in search of life: bird by bird I've come to know the earth."

I hope to see them all... thanks for reading!


  1. Amazing photographs and descriptions. Best blog so far. Love those birds. Wish I was there in person. What an adventure. Your Poppy.

  2. What exquisite exotic birds--this is a chance of a life time to see them up front and personal, and not just in a book. We so enjoy your posts.
    Love you, Bubbie