NAIROBI PARK DIARY

Birds, birds and birds

There are 10,000 bird species on Earth and about 2,500 species in Africa

In Summary

• It is a joy to see birds when driving in the park

Crane profile
Crane profile
Image: GARETH JONES

As I sat thinking of the amazing diversity of bird species in the tiny Nairobi National Park, the idea came to me to check the global records.

A bit of quick research revealed that there are just over 10,000 bird species on Earth and about 2,500 species in Africa and about 1,500 species in East Africa, and over 500 species of birds in the tiny 117 square kilometer little Nairobi National Park, compared to the enormous mass of Africa with 30.34 million square kilometres.

Therefore, we have about 20 per cent of the bird species in Africa on only 0.0004% of the land, that is incredibly amazing when also considering that the park is surrounded by Nairobi, a growing megacity of over 5 million people!   

The park is uniquely located where a number of different habitat ecosystems converge therefore contributing to the amazingly brilliant diversity of birds that are unique and localized, in dense forest, riverine forest wetlands, grasslands, shrub-veld, and so on. Birds are often doing something interesting if you watch them.

Raptors like Secretary Birds are very rewarding to watch especially when they are hunting, some species like the bee-eaters, Kingfishers, Narina Trogon, Bush Shrikes, Grey Crowned Cranes, Saddle-billed storks, various ducks and many more all have beautiful colours and markings.

It is a joy to see birds when driving in the park, God has created so such amazing diversity. When you go on into the Nairobi National Park with the attitude of “bird watching”, all to often the larger species like Rhino, Buffalo, and even Lions, just “get in the way!“. But remember simply speaking the Nairobi National Park is just, brilliant for birds, another reason why Nairobi National Park must be saved!!! Yes so much to see and enjoy, so many birds, birds and more birds!

For information on the park link to the following website: www.kws.go.ke