Liz's Uganda Trip

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Entebbe
Little Egret

Little Egret

The afternoon was spent at Entebbe's Wildlife Education Centre. It seems to fulfil this purpose very well, as although it was a Sunday, we saw at least two school groups being shown round and hearing about the wildlife and its importance.
The attraction for many visiting birders are the numerous wild birds which are to be seen in the grounds, such as this hunting Little Egret Garzetta egretta.

Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

The spectacular Grey Crowned Crane is Uganda's National bird. We saw them many times on our trip, in pairs and in flocks.

Patas Monkeys

Among the animals in the Centre was a troop of Patas Monkeys Erythrocebus patas.These are ground dwelling monkeys who live in savanna or semi-desert rather than woodland.

Male Patas monkey in a tree
Patas male standing
Female and young Patas monkeys sitting on ground.

They live in loosely matriciarchal groups with only one adult male per group.

Adult male Patas monkey sitting on ground
Uganda Kob portrait

Uganda Kob

We got close-up views of Uganda Kob Kobus kob thomasi here, though we saw herds of wild ones at Queen Elizabeth NP and Murchison Falls NP later in the trip.

Shoebill portrait

Shoebill

The main reason for visiting the Centre was as a 'back up' in case the group didn't manage to see Shoebills at either Mabamba Swamp or Murchison Falls NP. (Our group was lucky at the former, but not at the latter.)
Shoebills are bizarre birds, placed in their own family. They were formerly though to be related to Storks, and can be known as Shoe-billed Stork, but now they are believed to be more closely related to Pelicans, or perhaps herons.
They gather water in their huge bills and dribble it on their eggs or chicks to keep them cool.

Standing Shoebill Shoebills (in the wild!) are the No 1 'wish bird' of many serious birders.
They are IUCN listed as 'Vulnerable' because of hunting, poaching for zoos and destruction of habitat, especially in the Sudd (Sudan)
They are wonderfully fascinating birds, but prone to just standing or sitting stock still for very long periods of time.


Shoebill
Chimpanzees Entebbe
Botanic Gardens
Mabamba Swamp Bwindi Impenetrable
National Park
Queen Elizabeth
National Park
Murchison Falls
National Park

Text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
Email: liz [at] lizworld [dot] com
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