NDEGE WETU: A Tribute to the Birds of Kenya (Introduction – This is Kenya!)

Many people like birds. And Kenya has many of them. In fact it has the second-highest number of bird species in Africa, after the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are more species of birds in Kenya than the entire continents of Europe and North America.

Little Egret, Black Heron (Black Egret), Whiskered Terns, Spur-winged Plover, Three-banded Plover and African Pied Wagtail all in the same frame at Lake Jipe!

Some birds are admired for their beauty, some for their charismatic behavior and some for the melodious songs they sing. There are also birds that are feared or revered due to mythical or legendary stories and beliefs associated with them.

Owls, like this Verreaux’s Eagle Owl (or Giant Eagle Owl), have been traditionally feared as bad omens in many Kenyan cultures for centuries

Ndege wetu means ‘our birds’ in Kiswahili (Kenya’s national language). This blog series is about appreciating the beauty and diversity of Kenya’s birds, as well as highlighting their importance to us and our environment and debunking some common myths about them. Stay tuned for the coming ‘episodes’ every Thursday as we take a look at the incredible birds of this incredible part of the world. This is Kenya!

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About Sidney Shema

Sidney is a Kenya-based ornithologist and photographer specializing in the birds of Africa, with an especially keen interest in the birds of prey (raptors) of Kenya.
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