Black-Cheeked Waxbill (Estrilda erythronotos)



Head and throat grey, being darker on the crown, with black side patches. Bill is black at tip, fading to blue-gray at base. Back is brown, faintly barred. Wing coverts and secondaries striped black and white. Rump and tail coverts red, underparts grey with pink tinge becoming red on flanks and belly, with black vent. Female is paler, with brown vent. Juveniles resemble the female, with a darker bill. There are several geographical variants with subtle plumage differences.


Frequents dry grassland with thornbush or acacia scrub, the edges of woodland and sometimes cultivated areas. Feeds on (or close to) the ground, mainly on grass seeds and millet. Will also take small insects, fruit and buds and the blossoms of fruit trees (possibly to obtain pollen or nectar).


Widely distributed in Kenya in places Samburu National Reserve, Meru National Park, Lake Baringo, and Lake Bogoria.


Somali Bee-eater (Merops revoilii)

Somali Bee-eater
Photo@Raymond Galea

Somali Bee-eater is a small bee-eater, about seventeen centimetres long. It prefers arid country and desert areas where it may be locally common. It feeds on small flying insects which it catches in short dashes from a low perch. It is either solitary or found in pairs. It nests in the banks of road cuttings and in the sides of deep wells. In Kenya it breeds between March and June.

In Kenya it is found in areas like Samburu and Meru National Park, Lake Baringo and Tsavo East.

Golden-breasted Starling (Cosmopsarus regius)

Often called “the most beautiful of the African starlings,” the Golden-breasted starling is a striking bird easily seen in the field. With a bright, metallic blue tail and back, which merges into the green of its head, white eyes and blue-violet wings, it gets its name from the yellow of its breast, belly, and upper tail covers, a color considered unique to African passerines.

The Golden-breasted starling is a slender-bodied bird with a fairly long bill and a long, graduated tail.  Both males and females look alike. Typical of most starlings, the young are duller in color than the adults. The young are blackish with some green and the sides of the head and chest are ashy brown.

Mostly seen in Samburu national Reserve, Meru National Park and Tsavo East and West National Park