Birds are one of the most fascinating creatures found in the Borgu region of Nigeria. With a variety of species, they are a source of beauty and wonder in the diverse landscape.
From the colorful parrots and hornbills to the majestic waterfowl, birds bring a unique charm to the area. With the lush vegetation, wetlands, and abundance of insects, this region is a haven for birds and a great place to observe them.
Birders from around the world flock to Borgu to explore its rich birdlife. By taking part in birdwatching, you can join the community of those who are passionate about these amazing creatures and help conserve their habitats.
1. European Turtle Dove
The European turtle dove is a medium-sized bird belonging to the Columbidae family, which includes doves and pigeons. It has a wide range of breeding habitats across the southwestern Palearctic region, including countries in North Africa.
During the winter months, the European turtle dove migrates to northern sub-Saharan Africa. This species is known for its distinctive call, which is a series of soft cooing sounds.
The bird is usually found in open woodlands and cultivated areas, and it feeds mainly on seeds and other plant material, as well as insects. Due to the decline in their population, the European turtle dove is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.
Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species’ habitat and encourage their population growth.
Cuckoos are members of the Cuculidae family, which is the only family in the order Cuculiformes. This family includes many different species of birds, such as the common or European cuckoo, roadrunners, koels, malkohas, couas, coucals, and anis.
The coucals and anis are often grouped together as their own families, the Centropodidae and Crotophagidae, respectively, because they are so closely related.
Cuckoos can be found all over the world, living in a variety of habitats, from forests and grasslands to deserts and wetlands. They have adapted to survive in many different environments and have become one of the most widespread bird families in the world.
3. Helmeted Guineafowl
The helmeted guineafowl is the most prominent member of the Numididae family, a group of birds that are commonly referred to as guineafowl. It is the only member of the genus Numida, which is native to Africa, most often being found south of the Sahara desert.
This particular species of bird has been domesticated and introduced into many parts of the world, including the West Indies, North America, Colombia, Brazil, Australia, and Europe. The helmeted guineafowl is a medium-sized bird with a distinctive crest on its head.
It has a black and gray speckled plumage and a red wattle on its neck. This bird is omnivorous, meaning that it feeds on a wide variety of plants and animals. The species is highly social and will often form large flocks when it migrates.
The helmeted guineafowl has a long history of being kept on farms and homesteads for eggs and meat. Its eggs are particularly prized, being large, creamy, and high in protein. This species is also valued for its ability to act as a natural pest control for crops and gardens.
The helmeted guineafowl is an important species that is widely distributed throughout the world. It is highly valued for its utility as a domesticated species, as well as its role in helping to control pests and maintain healthy ecosystems.
4. Blue-headed Coucal
The blue-headed coucal is a species of cuckoo that belongs to the family Cuculidae. It is native to tropical central Africa, where it is typically found in swamps, river banks, forest edges, and other wet locations.
This bird is easily identified by its distinctive blue-colored head, which stands out amongst the greenish-grey body. The blue-headed coucal is an active forager, and its diet consists of small invertebrates, such as insects and spiders, as well as fruits.
It prefers to hunt on the ground, where it uses its long legs and powerful beak to catch its prey. The blue-headed coucal is a social bird, and can often be found in small flocks of up to seven individuals.
During the breeding season, the males will compete for mates by engaging in aerial displays, such as swooping and chasing. The nesting season usually occurs during the wet season, and the nests of the blue-headed coucal are typically constructed in trees or shrubs.
The female usually lays two to three eggs, which she will incubate for about two weeks. The chicks are then cared for by both parents and fledge after about three weeks.
The blue-headed coucal is an important species in the tropical forests of Central Africa and plays an important role in the local ecology.
5. Stone Partridge
The stone partridge is a species of bird belonging to the New World quail family. It is a medium-sized bird, typically brown in color, with a distinctive feature of its tail being held in an upright position.
It inhabits a variety of habitats, including scrubland and light woodland areas, usually in close proximity to rocks.
Its range is expansive, spanning from Kenya and Ethiopia to Gambia. The stone partridge is a typically shy bird, which can be difficult to spot in its natural environment. Its primary diet consists of seeds, insects, and other small invertebrates.
During the winter months, it shifts to a more varied diet of leaves, buds, and other plant matter.
Breeding takes place in the summertime, with the female laying up to 12 eggs in a grass-lined scrape on the ground. The stone partridge is a unique and interesting species, with its distinctive upright tail, and wide-ranging habitat.
Despite its wide range, it remains a relatively uncommon species and is one of the least studied birds in the New World quail family.
6. Great Spotted Cuckoo
The great spotted cuckoo is a species of bird that belongs to the Cuculiformes order. This order consists of birds such as roadrunners, anis, and coucals. The great spotted cuckoo is abundant in Africa and the Mediterranean Basin.
It has the ability to lay its eggs in the nests of other birds, mainly those belonging to the corvid family, such as the Eurasian magpie.
This behavior, known as brood parasitism, is an evolutionary strategy that helps the great spotted cuckoo reduce its own workload of incubating and caring for its offspring. The cuckoo lays its eggs in the host’s nest so that the host unknowingly raises the cuckoo’s young.
This gives the cuckoo more time to devote to finding food and other activities, while the host unknowingly devotes energy to raising the cuckoo’s young.
7. Black-throated Coucal
The black-throated coucal is a type of cuckoo bird that is found in West Africa. This species typically resides in second-growth forests near the edge of the forest as well as in grassy swamps.
It is a subspecies of the coucal found in northern and central Zaire that is sometimes classified as its own species, Neumann’s coucal. This species is distinct from the other coucals, as it has a unique black throat.
It is also smaller than other coucals and typically feeds on small insects, lizards, and frogs. In addition to its distinct black throat, the black-throated coucal also has a bright yellow eye and a white-tipped tail.
This species is a shy bird and is rarely seen in the open, preferring to remain hidden in dense vegetation.
8. Great Blue Turaco
The great blue turaco is a large bird species that belongs to the family Musophagidae. This species of bird stands out due to its impressive size, measuring between 70-76 cm in length.
Its plumage is mostly grey-blue and is further highlighted by an upright crest of blue-black feathers, which can reach up to 10 cm high. Both male and female turacos have similar plumage, making it difficult to distinguish between them.
The great blue turaco is a majestic bird and is a beautiful sight to behold.
9. Yellow-billed Stork
The yellow-billed stork is a large species of wading bird that is found in many parts of Africa south of the Sahara, as well as on the island of Madagascar. It is part of the Ciconiidae family of birds, which includes many other large stork species.
The species is sometimes referred to as the wood stork or wood ibis due to its preferred habitat of wetlands and woodlands. The yellow-billed stork is a distinctively tall bird, with a long neck, a large bill, and long legs.
It is usually grayish-white in color, with darker wings and a yellow bill.
Its wingspan can reach up to 5.5 feet, and it can stand up to 1 meter tall. The yellow-billed stork is a voracious feeder and can often be seen wading in shallow waters, searching for small fish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures.
It will also take advantage of opportunities to feed on carrion, and will sometimes follow farmers, waiting for them to harvest their crops and take advantage of the insects and small rodents that are exposed. The species is usually found in small groups, though during the breeding season, they will often gather in large flocks to nest.
The birds typically build their nests in trees, often in the company of other large stork species.
They are monogamous and will usually return to the same nesting site each year. The yellow-billed stork is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN, meaning that it is not considered to be at any immediate risk of extinction.
However, the species is still vulnerable to habitat destruction and human disturbance. It is important to protect its habitats and ensure that its population remains healthy.
Birds are an important part of Borgu’s environment and culture. They are a symbol of beauty and freedom, and they provide an important source of food and income for many of the local people.
Furthermore, they play a vital role in the maintenance of biodiversity, as they help to disperse seeds and pollinate plants.
It is clear that birds are an integral part of life in Borgu, and efforts should be made to protect them and their habitats.