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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tanzania - Safari and the Birds, Part 2

We only stopped the Landrover and really looked at birds three times while on Safari - those darn lions and elephants are such a distraction!  But on one of those occasions we rolled up over the top of a small hill and stopped beside a loudly chirping Acacia bush.  A flock of weavers had converted the bush into a major apartment complex.
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We didn't know enough to ask our driver, "what kind of weaver is it?"  And he might not have able to provide a definitive answer.  Here, a group of birders argue over a weaver picture from the Ngorongoro Crater speculating Speke's/Vitelline/Lesser Masked as the answer.
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So, let's return to that blurry image of the orange bird that I displayed near the top of the previous post.

That bird appeared often in the cornfield beyond the deck outside our room in Moshi.  It looks like it might be a Zanzibar Red Bishop (this teacher has an outstanding collection of Tanzanian bird photos) but might also be a variety of Weaver or maybe an Oriole.  It liked to move frequently and also would land in areas that made it difficult to focus on.

Another bird that was difficult to photograph was this Sunbird.

It also difficult to identify beyond "Sunbird."  This Wikipedia entry list 47 species of Sunbird in Tanzania while noting that there are a total of 1108 species of birds in total found in the country.

Even if we didn't stop very often to look at birds, they were sometimes easy to find because of where they were perched.  For example, these Yellow-billed Oxpeckers.

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Here's another bird posing near a mammal.  So far we have not identified it.  Perhaps it is some variety of Spurfowl?

If you were guessing Guineafowl for that last bird,(the only bird Hemingway mentioned in Green Hills of Africa) we think not.  We got some good pictures of those.

This little bird pretty well matches up with the Wikipedia entry for Northern White-crowned Shrike.

Just a crow - and a bird.

Sometimes, we got a good picture but the birds weren't particularly exciting.  For example, this Pied Crow and the unidentified bird on the rock.
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