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BIRD TALK:An African Bird Safari

East, West & Central Africa boast a surprising variety of bird species

Article & Photos by Kim Campbell Thorton

As we began our first day’s drive through Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, a shimmer of green rose into the air. Lovebirds!

East Africa is home to several species of parrots that we recognize as companion birds in the United States: lovebirds; Fischer’s (Agapornis fischeri), yellow-collared (Agapornis personatus), and a hybrid of the two, as well as the African red-bellied parrot (Poicephalus rufiventris) and the Meyer’s parrot (Poicephalus meyers). The Fischer’s and yellow-collared lovebirds, which favor areas with acacia and baobab trees, were a common sight at Tarangire River Camp, where we spent our first three nights.

“Parrot-type birds are found in many parts of Africa, with a larger concentration of species in West and Central Africa,” said birder Bert Duplessis, owner of Fish Eagle Safaris in Houston, Texas. “Species to be seen include the (African) grey parrot, red-fronted parrot, rose-ringed parakeet, Senegal parrot and red-headed lovebird. The rosy-faced lovebird is largely endemic to Namibia, which happens to have lots of other endemic species as well. The Cape parrot is found only in South Africa.”

**For the full article, pick up the March 2008 issue of BIRD TALK**

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