Shots by Sidney Shema…fascinated by birds

Lilac-breasted Roller in flight with an insect to gulp own

2. Your favourite bird?

3. Why?

It is the most unique raptor on the planet.

Apart from looking very different from any other bird, it is the only raptor that searches for prey by walking and kills it by stomping on it.

Secretarybird Sidney Shema’s favourite. Image by Christo Kruger. It’s got a snake in its beak for a snack.

4. Your best place for birding?

Nairobi National Park

5. Why?
It is very diverse and fascinating to explore.

This means there are very many different types of birds in the diverse habitats: forest birds, grassland birds, wetland birds and the migrants.

It is also easily accessible from home and there are also other charismatic animals in the park apart from birds, including four (lions, leopards, rhino, buffalo) of the Big 5 (elephant).

Ngong Hills from Nairobi National Park. Copyright Rupi Mangat

6. Any tips for birding?

The best way to get good as a beginner is to bird with others who have more experience than you (e.g. the Nature Kenya bird walks).

Also join a citizen science project like the Kenya Bird Map ( and make an effort to submit as many records of birds to the project on a regular basis. I coordinate it. .This will challenge you to learn how to find and identify birds. Your birding skills will improve rapidly.

7. Useful to have in the field?

Good binoculars.

There are different kinds available, of varying quality and price.

Kori Bustard – arguably the largest flying bird native to Africa. 

In general, those ranging from 8×40 to 10×42 specs are the best for birding. I give some recommendations of birding equipment on my website.

Check out Sidney’s new blog: 

It provides information and resources for anyone interested in birds and bird watching. The focus is mainly on Kenya and East Africa. 

Facebook: Shots By Shema – Through a Birder’s Lens 
Instagram: @ShotsByShema

Join the Kenya Bird Map project and contribute directly to bird conservation through citizen science!

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