Monday, April 29, 2013

Birds of Baringo; Lake Baringo, a classified Important Bird Area (IBA)

Baringo is a well-known destination for birdwatchers and over 500 bird species have been recorded only in and around lake Baringo. In fact, several localities including area around Lake Baringo, has been classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for the high diversity of birds it has. IBA's are world recognized areas for bird diversity and conservation, normally selected by BirdLife international. Currently, there are about 10,000 IBA's worldwide.

A colony of up to 20 Goliath heron (Ardea goliath) has nested on one of the islands in the lake.While the diversity of water birds is considerable, Several of the Somali–Masai biome species are found at few other sites, most notably the uncommon Jackson’s hornbill (Tockus jacksonii) and Hemprich’s hornbill (Tockus hemprichii), the latter frequenting the cliffs, and Bristle-crowned starling (Onychognathus salvadorii).
Goliath heron
Jackson’s hornbill
Bristle-crowned starling



Regionally threathened!!
A number of regionally threatened species are also recorded, namely Great Crested Crebe (Podiceps cristatus) (no recent records); African darter (Anhinga rufa)- (small numbers resident, has bred on Ndau Island in the lake); Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)
Great Crested Crebe
African darter

Great Egret 

Globally threatened!!
Globally threatened species include Lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni)- (a passage migrant in small flocks), Lesser flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor)- (an occasional visitor, usually on passage), Madagascar Pond-Heron (Ardeola idae)- (a rare non-breeding visitor) and Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)-(a regular passage migrant) however Lake Bogoria is a key feeding ground for the itinerant Rift Valley population of the Near Threatened Phoenicopterus minor (Lesser Flamingo). Spectacular congregations (estimated at up to 2 million birds) occur at times, and several hundred thousand birds are often present, with numbers fluctuating less than on other Rift Valley lakes. This is just a drop of what you can enjoy in entirely Baringo.
Lesser kestrel
Lesser flamingo
Madagascar Pond-Heron (Non- breeding look)
Madagascar Pond-Heron (Breeding look)

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