Hornbills in Uganda
With over 1067 bird species, the list of birds of Uganda is so long, and it can take a while for one to fully exploit to great depths. If you are in Uganda for business, a simple excursion or birding safari is a great way to culminate your trip. Here and now, we delve into the opulent hornbills of Uganda. Scientifically known as the Bucerotidae, these feathered creatures are symbolized by a stretched, down-curved bill that usually comes in vivid colors. The hornbill occasionally has a casqued on the upper mandible. Apart from Uganda these birds can also be found occupying areas in Asia, Melanesia, sub-tropical and tropical Africa. Horn bills in Uganda can be categorized into about 17 sub species that include among others, the African pied hornbill, Abyssinian ground-hornbill, African grey hornbill, Black-casqued hornbill and the Jackson’s hornbill.
They are omnivorous birds and feed mainly on fruits, small creatures and insects. These birds vary in size that ranges from 100 grams to 6.5 kg in weight and 30cm to 1.2m varying depending on the particular species. Like in all those animals, the males are generally larger than the females. The bill is for protection purposes thus helps in defense, preening, building the nest, and catching prey.
Hornbills in Uganda can be sighted at the Budongo Forest Reserve, Semuliki National Park, Bwindiimpenetrable National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Mabamba Swamp. The latter can be included into your bucket as a 1 day birding excursion before or after your main itinerary on a Uganda Safari holiday. They love open savanna grasslands, woodlands and dense forests. Hornbills are precious as their bills are dear artifacts known as hornbill ivory. This makes them targets for poachers, though this is not common in Africa.
If you are undertaking a birding safari in Uganda, be sure to include the horn bill species on your checklist and catch a glimpse of these peculiar birds as you explore and discover the pearl of Africa.