Birding in Kahuzi Biega National Park- Birding Safaris in Congo
The Kahuzi Biega national Park is rich in bird life but sometimes it is possible to walk for more than half an hour and not see a single one. All of the sudden , a flock will then emerge from the under story or from top of the tree. This scenario is typical of the rain forest because in this habitat birds are characteristically distributed heterogeneously and in mixed flocks. Atypical flock in the mountain rain forests of Kahuzi biega national park may consists of zosterops senegalensis together with the warblers, tits, and fly catchers. All of these insectivorous , the bulbous and also form flocks as do the weaver birds and the negro finches , which are essentially granivorous . the advantage of these associations os beeter protection from predators and more efficient foraging.
Many bird species of different sizes meet at fruiting trees, Frugivores range from species like bulbuls at the one end of the scale to species like horn bills at the other end, with species such as barbets, pigeons and tracos in between . it is always amusing to watch a hron bill pull a small fruit off the tree and then throw it into the air before catching it with its enormous beak.
Many birds play an important role in disrespecting the seeds of trees, they eat the fruits and excrete the seed enabling them to germinate in locations far from the parent trees, in certain agentsin 70 to 100% of cases
Horn Bills Species
To date , seven species of horn bills have been counted in the famous Kahuzi biega national park , most of them occur in the low section in the west of the park as well as in the neighbouring forests . Their way of nesting is unique with the help of the the male , the female imprisons herself in a tree cavity sealing up the entrance with mud only a slit is left as a connection with the outside world. This allows the male to put his beak through to feed the female and later on , his young, only after two months the mother and the young leaves the nest. This pair stays together for life.
Among the four turaco species of the Kahuzi biega national park , the Ruwenzori turaco and drawing its characteristics of the rain forest of the high mountains. They occur all the way up to the treeline, where the heather and dwarf vegetation starts, its geographical distribution reaches from the Ruwenzori mountains in north kivu to mountain kabobo at the north west border of lake Tanganyika. It is endemic to these volcanic reliefs . it usually lives in groups of two to four individuals and likes the podocarpus and bamboo forests, its diet consists mainly of fruits and berries but it also takes insects , snails and slugs. Its nest is a simple platform constructed from twigs , located approximately three metres from the ground.
The bar tailed trogons occurs in the mountainous forests where it is common , its difficult to spot inspite of its intense green , red and blue colours because it sits motionless on branches for long periods and only flies off to catch insects that come within its reach. Each pair defends territory and nests in a natural tree cavity. This bird is one of only three representative of the trogon sub order in Africa.
Among the nectar eating birds the sun birds are worth mentioning their male sport flamboyant and metallic colours. Sunbirds are generally quite common but they can be encountered especially frequently in the mountain rain forests . they feed mainly on the nectars and flowers , their thin and curved beaks allows them to reach all the way to the bottoms of the flowers and licks up the nectars with in their long tongue , Some times they also east insects , their nests are made by entwining small twigs and resemble some sort of plant mat. They have the shape of sphere drawn out to a point and pierced by a lateral opening , they are not very well finished and are usually suspended from the twig so that they are clearly visible . there are as many as five endemic species of nectariniids in the Kahuzi biega national park.