Located in the southern part of Africa, there lies a big country so rich in culture and wildlife: Zambia. It’s full of incredible flora and fauna that makes it an exciting country to visit.
Zambia is home to one of the world’s largest waterfalls, Victoria Falls, and the world’s biggest man-made lake, Lake Kariba. One-third of the country is said to be comprised of national parks; all made for people to appreciate the beauty of its wildlife.
The country is a refuge to African wildlife’s Big Five: Lions, Rhinos, Elephants, Leopards, and Buffaloes. It is also home to over 750 bird species, including Africa’s most beautiful and desired birds: the African Pitta and Shoebill.
To know more about bird species that roam around the lands of Zambia, read further below!
Fascinating Facts About Zambia’s Most Notable Birds
If you are planning to take a tour around Zambia, it is best to equip yourself with the most interesting facts about the most famous birds that you can find in the country. Without further ado, here are some of Zambia’s most fascinating birds.
Let’s start with something familiar to everyone: the common ostrich, also known as Struthio camelus. Native to the African continent, this flightless bird is the largest living species of bird. Its long legs, long neck, and ability to run at high speeds make this bird easily recognizable. The ostrich’s diet is mainly composed of different kinds of plants, though sometimes it eats invertebrates. When a predator is in sight, the ostrich will lie flat on the ground to hide or will rush off at a very high speed. More often than not, this species is farmed, particularly its feathers that are utilized to form feather dusters and its skin, mainly used to make leather products.
Named after the German zoologist Richard Bohm, this colorful, tiny bird is often found in moist woodlands and forests, usually near streams and rivers. The Boehm’s Bee-eater has a green body, orange neck, greenish-black elongated tail, and a red-orange head. It possesses small red eyes and a sharp bill that’s long enough to catch flying insects.
This bird is commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa and in habitats such as savannas, forests, open plains, and coastal areas. They are scavengers who often feed on the scraps of larger vultures. In urban regions, Hooded Vultures rummage the dumps and gutters for food. They also eat, spiny lobsters, mussels, dead fish, grasshoppers, locusts, and grubs. A Hooded Vulture weighs an average of 45 pounds and stands at an average of 25 inches. Its wingspan is 5 feet.
The Three-banded Plover, also known as the Three-Banded Sandplover, is a small bird mainly found on lakes, inland rivers, and pools. This bird is often found to be hunting for insects, invertebrates, and worms alone. Sometimes, it joins small flocks to hunt and travel together. A Three-banded Plover stands at only 18 cm. It has brown upperparts and white underparts except for the black and white breast bands. Its head is patterned with a black crown, white supercilia from the forehead to its neck, and a grey face, making its red eyes stand out.
Also known as a Bubo lacteus, Giant Eagle Owl, and Milky Eagle Owl, the Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl is famed to be the largest owl in Africa. Its eyes are dark brown, with a facial disc that is off-white in color. Its upperparts are grey-brown while its underparts are off-white in color. Like most owls, the Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl hunts for medium-sized mammals such as hedgehogs, warthog piglets, and large birds like waxbills and herons. Members of its species can be found flying and roaming around dry woodland savannas, thorny shrublands, forests with adjacent savannas, and semi-desserts.
The most popular in the guineafowl bird family, the Helmeted Guineafowl is native to Africa. It is a bird that is 21 to 23 inches in length and 1.3 kg in weight. It has a grey-black plumage that is spangled with white and a blue head. Like any other guineafowl, the Helmeted Guineafowl has no feathers on its head. This bird is a great walker and runner; it can travel for more than 10 km a day.
These are just some of the numerous birds you can spot in Zambia! If you want to learn more about birds in Zambia, here’s a complete list of bird species:
African Barred Owlet
African Black-headed Oriole
African Dusky Flycatcher
African Emerald Cuckoo
African Grey Hornbill
African Mourning Dove
African Pied Wagtail
African Yellow White-Eye
Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo
Dusky Turtle Dove
East Coast Akalat
Eastern Bearded Scrub-Robin
Eastern Double-collared Sunbird
Evergreen Forest Warbler
Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling
Lesser Masked Weaver
Southern Blue-eared Glossy-Starling
Southern Brown-throated Weaver
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-rumped Seedeater