Hammerkop (Scopus umbretta)

The Hammerkop (Scopus umbretta), about the size of a small egret, is entirely brown, with a robust crest which gives its head a hammer-like appearance. This pronounced head crest makes it unmistakable. The bill is long, laterally compressed, blade-like and tipped with a sharp hook. Its legs are strong and endowed with narrowly webbed toes.

This bird is related to the storks but is different enough to be placed in a separate family (Family Scopidae) of which it is the only member species.Perhaps what the hammerkop is knowned for is massive nest built mostly on a tall V-shaped branched acacia tree.Hammerkops feed mostly on frogs,fish and tadpoles, and they also take small crustaceans, grasshoppers, and aquatic insects. They often rest during the day and become active at twilight, when they are most often encountered, often alone. They range throughout Kenya.

African Hawk Eagle (Aquila spilogaster)

Photo@Michael Sammut

African Hawk Eagle (Aquila spilogaster) are large birds of Prey  that occur naturally in Kenya, where they inhabit wooded hills.In Kenya they mostly seen in birding hot spot like Masai Mara,Tsavo West and East,Nairobi National Park,Hell’s Gate, and Lake Nakuru National Park.

African Hawk Eagles are large eagles that measure about 55 – 65cm in length.The plumage above is blackish. Below they are mostly white, heavily streaked with black. Theunderwing feathers are white with a black trailing edge. The wings below are blackish with white spots.Males and females look alike, but young birds are brown above and rufous colored below.

Their large platform nests are built out of sticks and are about 3 meters in diameter.They are typically placed in the forks of large trees.The average clutch consists of one or two eggs.

Vulturine Guineafowl ((Acryllium vulturinum))

c@Joseph Aengwo

 Vulturine Guineafowl is Large, unmistakable guineafowl; the bare skin of the head and neck is bluish-gray with a band of short chestnut feathers that extends behind the eyes on the back of the head; long, white striped plumes extend from the breast and back; the upper back and breast is brilliant blue, with a black patch on the center of the chest; wings and rear half of body spotted with a long, drooping tail. Females are similar to the males, but slightly smaller and have smaller tarsal spurs. Chicks much like other guineafowl, but develop light blue underparts in a few weeks.Common in dry savanna and scrub land of northeastern Kenya.This photo was taken in Samburu National Reserve.

Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)

Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)

Photo@Raymond Galea

The adult Long-crested Eagle is overall very dark brown or black, except for white patches at the joint of the wing both above and below, white under-wing coverts spotted with black, a white base to the tail and greyish brown tarsi. The eyes golden to reddish brown, the cere and feet yellow.
Immatures can be distinguished from the adult by the whiter tips of the neck feathers, the less prominent crest, and a generally more mottled appearance. The eyes are dark olive-brown, the feet and cere pale ochre-yellow.

Long-crested Eagle can easily be seen in Kenya thought out Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park,Amboseli, Tsavo East and West National Park.