Need help in identifying my backyard bird... in Juba South Sudan

by Mary
(Juba, South Sudan)

If anyone could identify two bird species which live in my backyard in Juba, South Sudan, that shall be greatly appreciated. I have looked into online bird database but could not identify them. Thanks for your help.

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Need help in identifying my backyard bird... in Juba South Sudan

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Mar 28, 2012
Mating season
by: Mary

Hi Tom, thanks for letting me know about you and your friend's blogs and your recommendation on a guide book. I will certainly consult your blogs in future. We plan to get one of the books when we go to Europe next time. It seems we are in a mating season and our Black-headed Gonolek and Abyssinian Roller (my favourite) come with their partners, which is nice. I am hoping they will nest in our backyard!

Mar 28, 2012
Sudan birding blogs
by: Tom Jenner

You may want to know that Juba resident Mark Mallalieu has just started a blog on birding in South Sudan ( Prior to the separation of the two countries he posted his reports of his trips around Juba on my blog which is mainly now for northern Sudan ( last year I visited Mark in Juba for the long Easter weekend and we saw over 180 species, including two new species for the country. The area around Juba is great for birding and you should definitely try and get out into the bush. I recommend you get one of the East African field guides (none of which actually cover South Sudan), such as the one by Stevenson and Fanshawe, which is my personal favourite. The best of luck with your continued birding in the region. I hope to visit Juba in a couple of weeks for another short but heavy session in the field with Mark.

Tom Jenner

Mar 24, 2012
Black-headed Gonolek
by: Mary

Hi Jonathan, thanks for your help. Yes, indeed it must be a black-headed Gonolek. I will happily add this name to my 'list of birds I've seen in Juba'. There are lots of birds here!

Mar 22, 2012
shrike photo
by: @NatGeoBirder

Looking for photos of Juba, I noticed your bird query. Your photo shows a Black-headed Gonolek, one of the bush-shrikes. The Crimson-breasted Shrike (or Crimson-breasted Gonolek) lives in southern Africa and has a bold white wing stripe and a dark eye. The two species are closely related. What an amazing backyard bird.

Mar 12, 2012
Namaqua Dove!
by: Mary

Hi Judy,
Thanks for the solutions! Yes, the dove is definitely Namaqua Dove! This also solved another mystery I have had for the last five weeks since I am here. There is another dove which looks similar when it flies but has a pale face. Now I know it is a female Namaqua Dove! About the Crimson-breasted Shrike, as you said they look very much alike except the white line on the shoulder. Ours somehow lost white feathers...
Thanks again for your help!

Mar 11, 2012
Mystery solved!
by: Judy-Seattle, WA

Hello Mary! I love a challenge, so I, too, went online and found the website It has great photos of birds and animals in Africa. Your red bird looks like a Crimson-breasted Shrike. But in his photo it has a white stripe down its wing. However, I am sure that the other bird is a Namaqua Dove, which is also on this website. Please let us know if we solved your bird mystery.

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