Bird counting starts today

Uganda’s bird festival for this year that was launched yesterday, kicks off this morning with the counting of birds and noting of their ages and nationalities.

The three-day festival code-named “Big birding”, will cover all the national parks, wildlife reserves, forest reserves, important bird areas and Ramsar sites.

Various groups have been established to document the bird statistics. A reward awaits the group which counts the most species.

Last year, 386 bird species were counted in 17 sites around Uganda.

Achilles Byaruhanga, the Nature Uganda programme manager, said the festival would help promote birding tourism in the country.

Uganda hosts over 1,050 bird species, making it the country with the largest number of bird species in Africa.

Byaruhanga attributed the large number of bird species to the country’s unique location at a crossroad between habitats, including savannah, Afro-montane and rainforest.  And that the festival would also promote bird conservation.

The international bird watching sector spends over $6b every year on bird-watching.

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