Navigation - A Birding Adventure

Essentials

Welcome to this site dedicated to the birds that are resident within the boundaries of Kenya at some time during their life.  Some are residents, others seasonal migrants while a small number are accidental (vagrants). My goal is to create a hub of knowledge and resources for amateur birders with an interest in getting to know the birds of this corner of the world which contains roughly 1/10 of all the species in the world.  To illustrate the imprecise nature of the combined knowledge in world about these creatures, the Handbook of the Birds of the World lists 1,116 species while Wikipedia which extracts it Kenya bird list from the Clements Checklist of Birds of the World gives the total as 1132.  The African Bird Club has the total as 1110. All is not lost however as Avibase tries to bring together all known checklists and you can display the birds of Kenya in any of 6 or 7 listings.  Avibase also allows for regional lists within Kenya although the more granular it gets the more obvious errors.  But for the amateur bird enthusiast, its a start.  Below I have listed the attributes of the site although I think the main menu is self explanatory, it may get more difficult to navigate as the site becomes more complicated.  I welcome constructive comments and suggestions on how to make the site more useful and easy to use.  Enjoy the wonders of Kenyan bird life.

About the collection

After I began birdwatching in earnest December 2013 and making my goal to get a great picture of all the birds in Kenya, the most frequent question I would get from friends and relatives was 'What are you doing this for?' Strangers who saw me pointing my camera at a bush would inquire if I was writing a book.  The Washington post recently published results of a  that gave me pause.  My primary outlet is posting my photographs on surveyThe International Bird Collection that as it turns out is a great way of keeping track of the total number of species in the collection.  I have developed a crude method for determining the species and sub-species of each new bird captured by my lens that includes poring over bird books, visiting the Handbook of Birds of the World website, trolling Google images and then if I'm really stumped, asking well experienced birders or the guys at Nature Kenya.  I have now got good enough at recognising families even though individual species are still a challenging.  I have a particular problem with Larks, cisticolas and pipits.  (But then so do many more experienced birdwatchers.).  After I reached 300 species I made a conscious decision to organise them better.  Smugmug, powering this website, offered an easy way to lay out and present my collection.  Now that's a great reason that I can give as an answer to the questions of the curious:   Through my birding adventure I am building a hub of knowledge about Kenyan Birds that I hope will be a useful tool for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. Enjoy!  


Getting around

The Home page contains a slide show that selects random photos from my collection to date.  You can pause the slide show if a particular picture catches your fancy but probably it makes sense to look for the picture on the Birds of Kenya page which has the entire collection organised with 25 thumbnails on the left and the selected picture on the right.  You can scroll through these either 25 at a time or one picture at a time.  Note that this page will change as I add pictures or get better ones.  The Families page divides up the collection into the various bird families where you can see the names of each bird and where it was taken.  I follow the naming convention in the Handbook of Birds of the World which in some cases is different from other naming customs of which there are probably as many as there are counts of the number of birds in Kenya.  Where there is a difference from the 2008 Nature Kenya National Checklist, I draw attention to it by listing the alternative name.  The Map listed in the menu shows the distribution of my photographs which can be clicked to see a thumbnail of the birds which are also clickable to take you to a fuller picture.  

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