Zambia has 779 indigenous bird species. This is not counting those that have been introduced to this region artificially by humans. And yes, we are talking about real birds!
As a child, I remember walking down to Chimwemwe stream to watch the rich bird varieties in the thick growth of reeds that grew all along the river banks. My favourite was the red-collared widow-bird in mating season. With its long tail and dashes of red plumage, noisy bird song and bursts of frequent low-level flight, it was just sheer exhibitionism.
Nowadays the stream is bare (and mosquito free). Fortunately there are still bird sanctuaries where it's possible to observe birds going about their business in a more natural environment. Around Kitwe, Kumasamba Lodge and Chembe Bird Sanctuary offer the visitor a chance to bird watch.
In the villages, It's well known that the Greater Honeyguide displays deliberate behavior to attract human attention and lead them to beehives.When humans get the honey, the birds benefit from the massive numbers of bees whose home has been destroyed.
Outside the Copperbelt, the wild life becomes even richer. "Zambia features some of the most remote and unspoiled ecosystems in southern Africa, as well as the broadest range of activities by which to fully experience the adventure of safari." (Classic Africa.com)
Here we present pictures of 45 common Zambian birds and include their vernacular (Bemba) and scientific names. The post would not be complete without a table! So, we have gathered all the info in a table for easier reference.
We welcome your comments and contributions. Remember there are 72 other columns waiting to be filled with the equivalent names in all Zambian languages. Send in your suggestions and contributions.
The Photos below show the bird with its Bemba, English and Scientific(in brackets) names, in that order (below each photo)
Cembe = The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)