A Refuge for Rare Birds

Nyungwe is classified by BirdLife International as an “Important Bird Area” (IBA), which means that the park has “’true significance’ for the international conservation of bird populations…” In their fact sheet, they say that Nyungwe is one of the most important forests for conservation of montane birds in the region. A birder’s paradise, Nyungwe is home to 278 species of birds—26 of those are found only in the few forests of the Albertine Rift.

Many of the species are unique to this geographic location. Grauer’s Rush Warbler is an Albertine Rift endemic that thrives in isolated mountain swamps, such as Kamiranzovou. Turacos such as this Ruwenzori Turaco are rare elsewhere but abundant in Nyungwe. You are likely to hear their loud repetitive call resonate in the forest. Spectacular and rare sunbirds, such as the endemic Purple-breasted and Blue-headed can be seen feeding in flowering trees. The Black and white casqued Hornbill, one of two hornbill species in the park, is known by its huge bill and honking call.

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