Ten unique, endemic birds of Ethiopia

According to data from the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, Ethiopia is mostly known by its affluent endemic species, the country has 325 mammals, 872 bird species, 240 reptiles, 71 amphibians, 200 fish species, and more than 6000 higher plant species. From now let us see 10 of the best Ethiopian endemic birds.

1. Spot-breasted Plover (Vanellus melanocephalus)

The Spot-breasted Plover is an endemic usually found above 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) in marshy grasslands and moorlands with giant health, giant lobelia, alchemilla and tussock grass in both the western and southeastern highlands. Widely distributed and locally common, the plover usually is seen in pairs or in small groups, or, in the non-breeding season, in small flocks of up to 30-40 individuals.

2. White-collared Pigeon (Columba albitorques)

The White-collared Pigeon – unmistakable with its uniform greyish color, white collar patch and, in flight, white on the wings is the dominant pigeon on the plateau above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). It mainly inhabits rugged areas of the western and southeastern highlands, especially cliffs and escarpments, but it is also a common feature of many plateau villages and towns where it lives in association with churches and other large buildings.

3. Black-Winged Lovebird

Also known as the Abyssinian lovebird, this species native to Ethiopia and Eritrea is the largest in the lovebird genus of small parrots. Measuring around 6.5 inches long, these birds are identified by their vivid green bodies, bright red foreheads and beaks (on males), and black-tipped tail and underwing feathers. They’re fairly common, usually seen feeding on fruits (apples and figs) and sunflower seeds in high plains and mountains.

4. Yellow-fronted Parrot (Poicephalus flavifrons)

The Yellow-fronted Parrot occurs in Ethiopia from approximately 600 to 3,350 meters (2,000-1 1,000 feet) in the western and southeastern highlands, the Rift Valley and the western lowlands in forests and woodlands. One’s attention is usually first attracted to the presence of this species by its loud squeaky calls and unmusical shrill whistles

5. Wattled Ibis (Bostrychia carunculata) Wing 325-380 mm

Because of its loud, raucous “haa-haahaa-haa” call, the Wattled Ibis is easily recognized even from some distance away. A flock of these ibises rising or flying overhead becomes especially noisy and obvious. In flight a white patch shows on the upper surface of the ibis’ wing, and at close range its tliroat wattle is visible. The Wattled Ibis occurs throughout the Ethiopian plateau from about 1500 meters (5000 feet) to the highest moorlands.

6. Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris)

The Thick-billed Raven, closely related to the White-necked Raven (Corvus albicollis) of East and South Africa, is a bird which is common to abundant from about 1,200 to at least 4,100 meters (4,000 .13,500 feet). It is especially abundant at higher elevations where it is obvious and sometimes bold around camps, villages and cities including Addis Ababa.

7. Abyssinian Catbird

Typically found in Ethiopia’s western and southern highlands at elevations of up to 11,500 feet. With its gray body, white forehead, and chestnut belly, it can appear somewhat. But many bird-lovers consider it the finest avian singer in Africa, with the loud ringing song of the male offset by the purring response of the female. Look for them in forests with giant heath, highland bamboo, juniper, or olive trees.

8. White-tailed Swallow (Hirundo megaensis)

White tailed swallow first introduced to science in 1942 when C. W. Bensoii reported it in southern Ethiopia from Yabelo to Mega in short grass savana with small acacia thorn bush. The species is unique among swallows in having the greater part of the tail white; the white is very conspicuous in flight. The Whitetailed Swallow is thought to be a sedentary species, remaining mainly in its home range.

9.Abyssinian Woodpecker

Also known as the golden-backed woodpecker, this tiny (around 6 inches long) endemic bird is closely related to the cardinal woodpecker. It can be identified by its golden mantle and a brown stripe through the eye. It also has a golden back, barred wings and tail, bright red rump, and striped head, with males boasting a red nape and crown. They’re primarily found in the Ethiopian Highlands, where they prefer juniper woods and other forests at elevations ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 feet.

10. Blue-Winged Goose This vulnerable endemic species lives in the marshes, streams, and grasslands of Ethiopia, usually at elevations of 6,000+ feet. It is one of the most unique birds in Africa, as its closest genetic relative lives in South America. It’s known for resting its neck on its back, even when it walks.

The Ethiopian herald June 13,2020
BY HIZKEL HAILU

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