Books  Zoology  Ornithology  Africa 

Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley

Field / Identification GuideSPECIAL OFFER
Stunning photos of 320 bird species
Major plumage variations depicted
Jargon-free text
Helpful notes on what to look and listen for, behavior, and why some birds are so named

Series: Wildlife Explorer Guides

By: Adam Scott Kennedy (Author)

256 pages, 500 colour photos


Paperback | Apr 2014 | #211067 | ISBN-13: 9780691159072
Availability: In stock
Clearance price: £12.32 £18.95 (Save £6.63) $15/€14 approx

About this book

Kenya's East African Rift Valley includes four major national parks – Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria, Mount Longonot, and Hell's Gate – as well as smaller outstanding wildlife areas. Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley looks at the more than 300 bird species most likely to be encountered on safari in this world-famous region, from Lake Magadi in the south to Lake Baringo in the north. Featuring 500 detailed color photos, this stunning guide breaks new ground with its eye-catching layout and easy-to-use format, and the no-jargon approach to descriptions makes Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley easily accessible to anyone. Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley uses a habitat-based approach to the order of species, and readers are alerted to specific species behaviors and etymology. Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley will get you identifying bird species in no time.


"I wish I had the opportunity to have this book in my bag on my trip to this bird paradise some years ago. It would certainly have made identification much easier. The layout of the photographic guide is so helpful."
– Derek Moore, Derek Bird Brain

"Ideal for the traveler on safari visiting the Rift Valley's national parks, such as Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria, Mount Longonot, and Hell's Gate. The value of a book like the Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley is that it lends itself to easy interpretation and use by those who are interested in birdwatching, those who are interested in conservation, and those who care about biodiversity in general."
– Gabriel Thoumi,


"This is the third in a series of photographic guides to parts of East Africa by Adam Scott Kennedy (Masai Mara and Serengeti being the other two). This one covers 320 of the species most likely to be found in and around an area running from Lake Baringo to Lake Magadi. As previously birds are arranged by their most likely habitat – lakes and marshes, grassland and open areas etc – with portrait photographs and a few notes on the birds to be found.

The photographs in this volume are often the same images of the birds as in the earlier two books although the arrangement and backgrounds have been “photoshopped” as needed. This volume and its predecessors are unlikely to be used by birders as they do not mention all the species which occur but it serves as a handy introduction for the more casually interested tourist."

– Peter Lack, BTO book reviews, September 2014


About this book 9
The geography of Kenya's Rift Valley 13
Lakes and marsh 14
Up in the air 16
Birds of prey 17
Grassland and open areas 18
Woodland, scrub & garden 20
Nightbirds 22
Maps of the Rift Valley 23

Pelicans - Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans 26
Darter and cormorants - African Darter and Reed and Great Cormorants 28
Egrets - Yellow-billed, Little and Great White Egrets 30
Small herons - Cattle Egret and Squacco and Striated Herons 32
Grey herons - Black-crowned Night-heron and Grey and Black-headed Herons 34
Dark herons and Hamerkop - Goliath and Purple Herons and Hamerkop 36
Dark storks - Abdim's, Black and African Open-billed Storks 38
White storks - Saddle-billed, White and Yellow-billed Storks 40
Spoonbill and Marabou - African Spoonbill and Marabou Stork 42
Flamingos - Greater and Lesser Flamingos 44
Ibises - Sacred, Glossy and Hadada Ibises 46
Crane and whistling ducks - Grey Crowned Crane and Fulvous and White-faced Whistling Ducks 48
Geese - Spur-winged and Egyptian Goose and Knob-billed Duck 50
Ducks: 1 - Cape, Hottentot and Red-billed Teal 52
Ducks: 2 - Southern Pochard, Northern Shoveler and Yellow-billed Duck 54
Grebe, coot and moorhen - Little Grebe, Red-knobbed Coot and Common Moorhen 56
Gallinule, crake and jacana - Purple Swamphen, Black Crake and African Jacana 58
Ruff, painted-snipe and snipe - Ruff, Greater Painted-snipe and Common Snipe 60
Avocet, stilt and godwit - Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and Black-tailed Godwit 62
Thick-knees - Spotted, Water and Senegal Thick-knees 64
Small plovers - Chestnut-banded, Three-banded, Kittlitz's and Common Ringed Plovers 66
Sandpipers - Wood, Common and Green Sandpipers 68
Waders - Little Stint, Common Greenshank and Marsh Sandpiper 70
Plovers - Blacksmith, Crowned and Spur-winged Plovers 72
Plover and gull - African Wattled Plover and Grey-headed Gull 74
Terns - White-winged Black, Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns 76
Kingfishers - Malachite, Giant and Pied Kingfishers 78
Wagtails - Yellow, Mountain and African Pied Wagtails 80

Dark-rumped swifts - Mottled, African Palm, Alpine, Common and Nyanza Swifts 82
White-rumped swifts - Little, Horus and White-rumped Swifts 84
Resident swallows - Mosque , Red-rumped, Lesser Striped and Wire-tailed Swallows 86
Swallows and martins - Barn Swallow and Plain, Banded and Rock Martins 88

Vultures - Rüppell's, White-backed, Hooded and Lappet-faced Vultures 90
Vultures in flight - all species for comparison plus Verreaux's Eagle 92
Large pied eagles and buzzard - Martial and African Fish Eagles and Augur Buzzard 94
Large dark eagles - Verreaux's, Steppe and Tawny Eagles 96
Medium-sized brown raptors - Black Kite, Common Buzzard and Long-crested Eagle 98
Raptors in flight - all large species for comparison 100
Harriers - Pallid, Montagu's and Western Marsh Harriers 102
Goshawk, Bateleur and Harrier Hawk
- Dark Chanting Goshawk, Bateleur and African Harrier Hawk 104
Small pale raptors - Gabar Goshawk, - African Black-shouldered Kite and Pygmy Falcon 106
Falcons - Eurasian Hobby, Lanner Falcon and Common Kestrel 108

Ostrich and Southern Ground Hornbill - Ostrich and Southern Ground Hornbill 110
Bustard and gamebirds
- Black-bellied Bustard, Yellow-necked Spurfowl and Helmeted Guineafowl 112
Coursers and plover - Heuglin's and Temminck's Coursers and Black-headed Plover 114
Larks - Rufous-naped, Red-capped and Pink-breasted Larks 116
Lark, pipit and longclaw - Fischer's Sparrow Lark, Grassland Pipit and Yellow-throated Longclaw 118
Resident chats - Northern Anteater Chat and Capped and Abyssinian Wheatears 120
Migrant chats - Northern and Pied Wheatears and Whinchat 122
Crows - Cape Rook, Pied Crow and Fan-tailed Raven 124
Widowbirds - Long-tailed and Red-collared Widowbirds 126
Widowbird and bishops - Jackson's Widowbird and Northern Red and Yellow Bishops 128
Cisticolas and Quailfinch - Winding, Stout and Desert Cisticolas and African Quailfinch 130

Francolins - Scaly, Crested and Hildebrandt's Francolins 132
Pigeons and doves - Laughing Dove and Speckled and African Olive Pigeons 134
'Collared' doves - African Mourning, Red-eyed and Ring-necked Doves 136
Namaqua and wood doves - Namaqua and Blue-spotted and Emerald-spotted Wood Doves 138
Green pigeon and parrots - African Green Pigeon, Meyer's Parrot and hybrid lovebird 140
Large cuckoos and relatives
- Red-chested Cuckoo, White-browed Coucal and White-bellied Go-away-bird 142

Green cuckoos and wood-hoopoe - Klaas's and Diederik Cuckoos and Green Wood-hoopoe 144
Hoopoe and mousebirds - Hoopoe and Blue-naped and Speckled Mousebirds 146
Kingfishers - Striped, Woodland and Grey-headed Kingfishers 148
Bee-eaters: 1 - White-throated, Blue-cheeked and Eurasian Bee-eaters 150
Bee-eaters: 2 - White-fronted, Cinnamon-chested and Little Bee-eaters 152
Rollers - Rufous-crowned, Lilac-breasted and Eurasian Rollers 154
Hornbills: 1 - Von der Decken's, Jackson's and Red-billed Hornbills 156
Hornbills: 2 - Hemprich's, Eastern Yellow-billed and African Grey Hornbills 158
Barbets: 1 - Red-and-yellow, D'Arnaud's and Red-fronted Barbets 160
Barbets: 2 - White-headed and Spot-flanked Barbets and Red-fronted Tinkerbird 162
Honeyguides and woodpecker
- Lesser and Greater Honeyguides and African Grey Woodpecker 164
Woodpeckers - Nubian, Cardinal and Bearded Woodpeckers 166
Babblers - Black-lored, Arrow-marked and Brown Babblers and Rufous Chatterer 168
Bulbul, thrush and scrub robin
- Common Bulbul, Spotted Palm Thrush and White-browed Scrub Robin 170
Colourful chats - Common and Little Rock Thrushes and Mocking Cliff Chat 172
Thrush and robin chats - Olive Thrush and White-browed and Cape Robin Chats 174
Tchagras and Brubru - Brown-crowned and Three-streaked Tchagras and Brubru 176
White-headed 'shrikes'
- Grey-crested and White Helmetshrikes and Northern White-crowned Shrike 178
Shrikes - Red-backed Shrike and Grey-backed and Common Fiscals 180
Oriole and bushshrikes
- Black-headed Oriole and Grey-headed and Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike 182
Cuckooshrike, boubou and puffback
- Black Cuckooshrike, Tropical Boubou and Black-backed Puffback 184
Black birds of woodland edge
- Common Drongo, Slate-coloured Boubou and Northern Black Flycatcher 186
Attractive flycatchers of woods and gardens
- White-eyed Slaty and African Paradise Flycatchers 188
Nondescript flycatchers - Spotted, Pale and African Grey Flycatchers 190
Warblers and prinia - Rattling Cisticola, Grey Wren Warbler and Tawny-flanked Prinia 192
Green warblers - Grey-backed Camaroptera, Yellow-breasted Apalis and Grey-capped Warbler 194
Crombec and warblers - Northern Crombec and Red-fronted and Buff-bellied Warblers 196
Batis, tit and white-eye - Chin-spot Batis, White-bellied Tit and African Yellow White-eye 198
Starlings and oxpecker - Rüppell's and Wattled Starlings and Red-billed Oxpecker 200
Starlings - Greater Blue-eared, Red-winged and Bristle-crowned Starlings 202
Brightly coloured starlings - Superb, Hildebrandt's and Violet-backed Starlings 204
Sunbirds: 1 - Variable, Eastern Violet-backed, and Collared Sunbirds 206
Sunbirds: 2 - Marico, Scarlet-chested and Amethyst Sunbirds 208
Long-tailed sunbirds - Bronze, Tacazze and Beautiful Sunbirds 210
Sparrows - House, Kenya Rufous and Grey-headed Sparrows 212
Petronia and small brown weavers
- Yellow-spotted Petronia and Speckle-fronted and Grey-capped Social Weavers 214
Buffalo and sparrow weavers
- White-billed and White-headed Buffalo Weavers and White-browed Sparrow Weaver 216
Yellow weavers: 1 - Village , Speke's and Lesser Masked Weavers 218
Yellow weavers: 2 - Northern Masked, Little and Golden-backed Weavers 220
Yellow weavers: 3 - Holub's Golden, Spectacled and Black-necked Weavers 222
Grosbeak and yellow weavers: 4 - Grosbeak, Vitelline Masked and Baglafecht Weavers 224
Waxbills - Common, Crimson-rumped and Black-cheeked Waxbills 226
Whydah and cordon-bleus
- Pin-tailed Whydah and Red-cheeked and Blue-capped Cordon-bleus 228
Waxbills and whydah - Green-winged Pytilia, Bronze Mannikin and Eastern Paradise Whydah 230
Waxbills and indigobird - Purple Grenadier, Red-billed Firefinch and Village Indigobird 232
Canaries - African Citril and Brimstone and White-bellied Canaries 234
Buntings and seedeater
- Cinnamon-breasted and Golden-breasted Buntings and Streaky Seedeater 236

Nightjar and owls - Slender-tailed Nightjar and Barn and African Wood Owls 238
Small owls - African Scops and Northern White-faced Scops Owls and Pearl-spotted Owlet 240
Eagle owls - Spotted, Verreaux's and Greyish Eagle Owls 242

Further reading and useful resources 244
Acknowledgements 245
Photographic credits 246
Scientific names of the bird species included in this book 247
Index 252
Short Index inside back cover

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Adam Scott Kennedy has served as principal leader on birding holidays in Africa, South America, Europe, and New Zealand. With his wife, Vicki, he currently operates as a private safari guide, specializing in photographic and wildlife safaris in East Africa. Information on their tours and stock image library can be found at He is the author of Birds of the Masai Mara (Princeton WILD"Guides").

Bestsellers in this subject

Birds of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands

NHBS Special Offer Price: £19.99 £29.99 (Save £10.00) $24/€22 approx (ends 31/12/2016)

Birds of Senegal and The Gambia

NHBS Price: £29.99 $37/€34 approx

Birds of the Horn of Africa

NHBS Price: £39.99 $49/€45 approx

Birds of Botswana

NHBS Price: £22.95 $28/€26 approx

The Birds of Ghana

NHBS Price: £34.99 $43/€39 approx