Saturday, November 16, 2013

Passerine birds from Northern Ethiopia

For me (I live in Germany, a country with low biodiversity) is absolutely fascinating to be in countries like Ethiopia (with a high biodiversity). These are some passerine birds seen on a morning by field surveys in the Tigray region (three weeks ago). It is an area with a high farming impact and degraded forest but with a high bird density (there are many cattle and teff fields, at type of sorghum, that provides food). Along small wadis (I call it wadis because they contain less then 2 weeks water per year) are ponds used by numerous birds as water resource. It is like a flying paint box that makes a lot of noise and always funny to see. The photos are made on a small pond and in the bushes around. The birds come more or less at the same time. When one flock is arrived the next will come soon. 

Red Cheeked Cordonbleu and Red-billed Firefinches are the most common species and appear in mixed flocks. There are very small birds hopping around as red and blue dots.

Cordonbleu and  Firefinches in Ethiopia

A Cordonbleu and  Firefinches.

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus bengalus) in Ethiopia

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus bengalus)

Cut throat finches and Crimson Rumped Waxbills are more secluded and come to the water later than other species or choose separate places. 
Cut-throat Finch (Amadina fasciata) in Ethiopia

Cut-throat Finch (Amadina fasciata)

Crimson-rumped Waxbill Ethiopia

Crimson-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda rhodopyga)

Swainsons Sparrows are bullies; come, see and conquer the place. First they drive out other species and then they fight among themselves.
Swainson's Sparrow in Northern Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow (Passer swainsonii)

Swainson's Sparrows figthing

Swainson's Sparrows

Speke's Weaver birds are omnipresent; they are very common on the farming areas and appear only in separate flocks.

Speke's Weaver  northern Africa

Speke's Weaver  (Ploceus spekei)

African Silverbill is rare; I saw it only two or three times within four years. 
African Silverbill East Africa

African Silverbill (Lonchura cantans)

More shy and only in small amounts came some canary birds. I’m not sure with the species identification and there are two species in the area. I think it is the Yellow-fronted and the Yellow-crowned Canary. 
Yellow-fronted Canary East Africa

Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus)

Yellow-crowned Canary East Africa

Yellow-crowned Canary (Serinus flavivertex)

Yellow-fronted Canary Ethiopia

Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus)



  1. BEAUTIFUL images of so many birds I've not seen....thank you!!

  2. They are lovely! I had the Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu as cagebirds once upon a time. Good to see them flying free. I wish you a great sunday!

  3. Wow, so many pretty wild birds. Loved the photos. Great post!

  4. Awesome bird photos, well done!

  5. Beautiful photos of these wonderful birds!

  6. Lovely birds. They all look so exotic to me. ;)

  7. Such beauties you have posted here!

  8. Magnificent shots of beautiful birds ~ the colors are awesome ~ thanks, carol, xxx

  9. oh my, such gorgeous photos with my favourite being the red-cheeked cordon bleu!

    happy monday!

    via camera critters~

  10. Most of the birds I never saw before. Wonderful creatures, well captured!

  11. Such a beautiful variety of finches and other small birds. That cordon bleu is spectacular!

  12. Great series of photos of beautiful birds.

  13. Really stunning images of some stunning species.

  14. What an interesting variety of birds you have! Beautiful photography!!

  15. really interesting set of birds. love them all.

    do you need the word verifications? I tried 5 without being able to red it. :(

    1. Oh, I'm very sorry, I forgot to turn the word verifications off.

  16. Lovely birds! Love that bright red cheek!

  17. WoW! What a beautiful birds photos!
    Greetings from Holland


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