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CHECKLIST

ARUSHA AREA

green-slate

TANZANIA
LOCALE

Altitude (m):1400
# Species*:162
# Excl Vagrants*:162
# Endemics*:1
# Near Endemics*:3
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: City, savanna

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Arusha is the capital city of Arusha District of northern Tanzania. It has a population of about 1,300,000 and is the gateway to major safari destinations such as the Serengeti. Outside the Arusha airport west of town is an area of scrubby hills of moist bushland along with small wetlands and groves of fever-trees. It's a good site for migrant birds during November-December and March-April. Some birds to be found here are difficult to find elsewhere, including Greater Painted-Snipe, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, African Firefinch, and several weavers. Better known are the Lark Plains, where the very critically endangered Beesley's Lark can be found along with 8 other species of larks. This area is en route to Arusha National Park and is often visited on the way there. The plains are located 6 km beyond the Masai Market of Oldoinyou Sambu about an hour from Arusha and is an internationally known magnet for birders because of the lark. The area is also an excellent place to see raptors including the migratory Steppe Eagle that soars overhead during the northern winter, the resident Tawny Eagle, the rare Bearded Vulture that wanders down from the highlands of Mt. Meru, and a variety other falcons and eagles.

LOCATION OF SITE

Arusha town is located in northeastern Tanzania. It's normally reached by air as it takes most of a day to drive there from Dar es Salaam.