Birds – Meru NP

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

With more than 300 species recorded, Meru is an excellent birding destination. It has several northern Kenya specials, including the impressive Somali ostrich, Boran cisticola and vulturine guineafowl. The noisy yellow-necked spurfowl is very common and the endemic Hinde’s babbler can sometimes be spotted as well. The rivers running through the park offer the right habitat for Pel’s fishing-owl, the elusive African finfoot and the endemic golden palm weaver as well as more common water birds such as ibises, herons and African fish eagles.

Notable Birds in Meru
Eastern chanting goshawk
Hartlaub's bustard
Locally common
Long-tailed fiscal
Somali ostrich
Wattled starling

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

(E) = endemic to Kenya & (NE) = near-endemic to Kenya

  • African finfoot
  • Bat hawk
  • Black-faced sandgrouse
  • Boran cisticola
  • Buff-crested bustard
  • Golden palm weaver (E)
  • Golden-breasted starling
  • Grant’s wood-hoopoe
  • Hinde's pied babbler (E)
  • Martial eagle
  • Northern pied babbler
  • Palm-nut vulture
  • Pel’s fishing-owl
  • Rufous chatterer
  • Saddle-billed stork
  • Somali bee-eater
  • Somali ostrich
  • Taita fiscal
  • Vulturine guineafowl
  • Yellow-necked spurfowl

Best Time for Bird Watching

Meru offers good bird watching throughout the year, but the best time is from November to April when the migrants from Europe and north Africa are present. This coincides with the breeding season when many species are nesting. Although good for birding, April tends to be very wet and is a less productive time for general wildlife viewing.

Best Parks for Birding Including Birding Rating

The best wildlife viewing parks, such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli, offer a solid introduction to East Africa’s common birds. The Rift Valley Lakes including Lake Nakuru and Bogoria are the places to go to mark off many waterbirds, while the arid north, such as Samburu, offers many dry-country specials. Arabuko-Sokoke and Kakamega Forest are birding hotspots as well.

Want to Visit Meru NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Meru NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr