Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Birds of Uganda – Book Review

Whether you are a visitor to Uganda or a resident, there is undoubtedly one aspect of the country that most people notice, and that’s the birds. Uganda boasts over 1000 species and with so many different birds flitting about, the identification process can be overwhelming, especially for a novice.  Field guides do offer a good reference, but nothing can beat a photograph for capturing all the little details and helping distinguish what just whizzed past you.

Birds of Uganda is full colour photographic book that is intended as a companion to your field guide. The book is a helpful reference as well as a lovely book to grace your coffee table.  Authors Quentin Meunier and Sherry McKelvie have invested a lot of passion into creating this book and that is clearly visible on each and every page.

 The 412-page book features 900 images of 280 different species of birds.  The basic concept of the book is to give an introduction to Uganda’s birdlife and is intended to be used alongside a field guide.  The book begins by outlining the major birding sites and wetland areas throughout Uganda.  Following that, each species featured in the book is represented by several photographs and captioned with brief descriptions.  The names of the birds are listed on each page in six languages, English, Latin, French, German, Spanish and Italian, with Japanese, Mandarin and Russian translations at the back of the book.  The index also includes the six languages which makes this such a great reference for so many people.

What I find so enjoyable about the photos, is that they showcase the birds in different situations - whether it be in flight, fishing, eating or a specific behaviour typical of that species. For me that’s what makes the book so spectacular.  If you’re in the field watching a bird long enough, you will experience what is on the pages of the book.  The images get close up and show detail that really will enrich your birding experience.  As a birder myself, I find Birds of Uganda to be a visual feast for the eyes.  Although I can identify many of the species in the book, I enjoy the moments that it has captured. The book is great to leaf through and indulgence in the sheer beauty of birds.   The next time I gazed through my binoculars, after looking through the book, I saw details about birds I had not noticed before.

Industry professionals are eagerly anticipating the book.  I spoke with Mr Sam Mugisha of BIC Tours, who caters especially for Japanese clients.  He is very excited about the release of the book and said “he is delighted to have a bird book on Ugandan birds that is aimed at increasing Bird Tourism in Uganda, and even more pleased that it will have the names of the birds in 9 languages, including Japanese, Mandarin and Russian!”  The book is a beautiful visual representation of the diversity that Uganda has to offer and will be something that many people will take pleasure in owning.

I'm not into birds you say? Well, there is no better starting point than this book!  Once you flip through the pages and see the vast array of colourful beauty of the avian species living around you, I can assure you that you may start to have a whole new inquisitive reaction as to what is making the branches on that tree in your garden move.  Or, what bird is singing that beautiful song at first light every morning. Birding is an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone, of any age, anywhere you go.

Birds of Uganda is a well presented book and will no doubt be in great demand.  It makes for a perfect gift, souvenir or a companion on your safari.  Books are expected to hit store shelves early in 2015 and will be available from most bookshops or can be ordered directly from Sherry +256 772 200 950


  1. The birds are amazing creation of god, Each and every one have a wish to see the attractiveness of various kinds of bird. Thanks for share those beautiful snapshots of birds...

  2. Great article,great photos , how fantastic to see all those superb raptors especially the Beaudouins snake eagle.Thank you all for sharing