Birdnificent©: Nairobi Arboretum

When? All year round

A 40-ha expanse of attractive open parkland and woodland within 2 km of the City Centre, the Nairobi Arboretum (founded in 1907) offers a tranquil setting in which to appreciate a surprising variety of local garden birds.

Look out for...

African Goshawk, Black-headed Oriole, Tropical Boubou, Montane White-eye, Grey-olive Greenbul (at times)

Where to go...

The Arboretum’s impressive assortment of native trees and shrubs means wild fruit is available over much of the year, not only sustaining resident birds but also attracting wandering species such as Lemon Dove, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill and various Starlings.

Resident birds include many of the species typically found in suburban Nairobi’s larger private gardens. In the open parkland of the Arboretum’s upper reaches, expect to see White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Olive Thrush, Common Paradise Flycatcher, Black-headed Oriole, Red-chested Cuckoo, White-bellied Tit, various Sunbirds (Variable, Collared, Scarlet-chested, Amethyst, Bronze) and Mannikins (Bronze, Black-and-White), and – in season – migrants such as Eurasian Bee-eater or Willow Warbler. Raptors on view will include Augur Buzzard and ubiquitous Yellow-billed Kite.

From pathways amid dappled woodland between the upper lawns and the Kirichwa (Kubwa) River, look for Little Sparrowhawk, African Goshawk, Eastern Honeybird, Black-backed Puffback, Tropical Boubou, Rüppell’s Robin-Chat, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Montane White-eye. Greenbuls (Yellow-whiskered, Cabanis’) are conspicuous in the understorey, where the rare Grey-olive Greenbul is occasionally also seen. On the river itself, look for Mountain Wagtail and Malachite Kingfisher – and a resident pair of African Black Duck.

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