Among the rich biodiversity of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, the African Green Broadbill stands out as a remarkable find. This distinctive bird species is one of the twenty-four Albertine Rift endemics that call Bwindi home. However, locating this elusive avian wonder requires some knowledge of its habitat and habits.
The African Green Broadbill exhibits a preference for altitudes ranging from 1500 to 3500 meters above sea level. It thrives in the lush greenery of Bwindi’s forests, with a notable presence in the Eastern part of the park, particularly around Ruhija. Here, along the birding trail towards Mubwindi Swamp, bird enthusiasts have the opportunity to spot this magnificent creature. Mubwindi Swamp is also home to other endangered species like Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-Chested Flufftail, and Carruthers’s Cisticola.
One of the challenges in spotting the African Green Broadbill lies in its natural green coloring, which camouflages it well within the vegetation. However, its voice serves as a distinctive identifier. The bird’s vocalization begins with a lower sound and ascends to a higher pitch, producing a melodious “sisisiiii” that echoes through the forest. For birders, the sound becomes an invaluable tool for locating this elusive species.
The African Green Broadbill sustains itself primarily on a diet of insects and small seeds/berries, which are abundant in the lush forest ecosystem of Bwindi.
The African Green Broadbill is primarily found in the eastern part of Bwindi, specifically in the vicinity of Mubwindi Swamp. This region is not only renowned for its birdlife but also for gorilla tracking. The optimal time for observing the broadbill is during its breeding season, which spans from late May to early October. It’s important to note that the terrain can be challenging, requiring visitors to be physically fit for the trek back from the African Green Broadbill’s habitat.
To make the most of your birding expedition in Ruhija, it’s advisable to come prepared with essential gear:
When staying in Ruhija, you can choose from various accommodation options to suit your preferences:
As birding in Ruhija is a specialized activity, it is advisable to book in advance. Trek Africa Expeditions can assist you in securing a knowledgeable birding guide, especially during the peak season of late May to early September. This timeframe coincides with high tourism season in Uganda, making early reservations essential. Feel free to contact Trek Africa Expeditions for more information on the best places to spot the African Green Broadbill.