Monday, September 17, 2007

>>Watching the Beautiful Bird life at the Kakamega Forest Reserve

Watching the Beautiful Bird life
at the Kakamega Forest Reserve

Bird Watching in Kenya takes place in the Kakamega Forest Reserve; a beautiful rain forest with myriad varieties of birds, animals and butterflies, Virtually all of the Rift Valley Lakes, Mount Kenya and its surrounding, the Lake Victoria Region and the Masai Mara National Reserve to mention but the least.

Kakamega Forest Reserve is home to the almost extinct De Brazza's monkey, the red tailed monkey, black colobus monkey, white colobus monkey, fruit bats and flying squirrels. However the mother of all attractions is the bird watching excursions in the Kakamega Forest Reserve. This reserve boasts to over 330 of bird species and over 400 species of butterflies. A visit to this reserve will sure treat you to a variety of plant life, unique due to the fact that Kakamega Forest Reserve is a virgin tropical forest especially in the northern side.

The best times to visit the Kakamega Forest Reserve is in June, July, August through to October. During these times thousands of Migratory birds arrive. The Kakamega Forest Reserve is usually in full bloom at this time and is a magnificent site to behold. Its during these times also that circumcision, a practice very important to the local community is performed. On Sundays you will sure be treated to bull fights and cock fights organized by the local communities of Khaemba and Shinyalu within the Kakamega Forest Reserve.

Walking through the Kakamega Forest Reserve is the best way to appreciate its bio-diversity. I would not encourage you to make four wheel drive travel through the forest since the trails and the paths are not meant for vehicles and you could easily scare away the birds and animals that you intended to see. Its advisable to take a trained guide with you at a small fee. This guides have a lot of invaluable information and details that you could make do with, apart from guiding you through the trails.

Although bird watching is the reason visitors come to Kakamega Forest Reserve, one will well be treated to fantastic nature walks along the Yara river, Lugusida river, Isiukhu river and the Ikuywa river. Its interesting to watch the isukhu falls on the Isiukhu River, to climb to the Buyanga Hill lookout in the Northern side of the forest to watch the sunrise and Lirhanda Hill lookout in the south to watch the sunset. You could also see the Crying Stone situated to the south of Kakamega town, half way on your way to shinyalu.

The Kakamega Forest Reserve is not short of places to eat, sleep and while away your evenings. You could stay at the Udo's Bandas and campsite near the Kenya Wildlife offices overlooking the Isiukhu Falls in Buyangu area, The Forest Rest House and Keep Center at Isicheno and The Sarova isle Resort. Be sure also to check out the Rivendell Gardens and the Rondo Retreat.
Lucy Maruhi is a Tour Operator and has been researching and reporting on Travel, Tour and Vacation for years. For more information on Kakamega Forest Reserve, visit her site at Kakamega Forest Reserve
Article Source:
By: Lucy Maruhi

>>How to Make Sure the Hummingbirds Find You This Spring

How to Make Sure the Hummingbirds
Find You This Spring

It's spring at last, and here in Southern Colorado, it seems we've been waiting a long time to glimpse our favorite wild bird, the hummingbird. We just love watching these tiny, lithe creatures of such vivid color outside our window. There have been a couple summers here that we've had twenty different hummingbirds at our three feeders. We had to refill them every day just to keep up!

We're fortunate to have very good soil in our yard, while most of this part of the country is poor, rocky soil. This makes growing perennials easier and more bountiful. I say easier because we are in a high-desert climate and must water constantly to keep things green.

Those two things: certain flowers, and running the sprinkler system help attract the hummingbirds to our yard. With their specially designed beaks and long tongues, they just love the flowers suited to their anatomy. Our columbines, torch lilies and butterfly bushes are like giant billboards advertising a hummingbird-friendly play land.

We've tried to plant perennials that bloom at different times throughout the summer so that we always have something to attract the hummingbirds. What a difference it has made. We usually get to enjoy the hummingbirds at least a full month before they discover our next door neighbors yard.

While you may not need to run a sprinkler in the summer months like we must, you can install a fountain or bird bath that will attract just as many hummingbirds. They love the splash and spray of the water and we've seen them many times hovering and dipping over the nearby river where the water hits the rocks and sprays up.

Besides the flowers and water, we offer our hummingbirds feeders filled with sugar water. While you can purchase commercial food mix, it is less expensive to make your own at home and it's very simple to do. Here's the recipe:

-One part sugar

-Four parts water

-Boil for 2 minutes

-Cool and fill feeders made for hummingbirds

There is no need to add food coloring to the feed and it may actually be detrimental to the birds. Why take the chance?

A little trick we've learned over the years is to put a short piece of transparent tape around the stem that holds the bee guard in place. That way it keeps the larger, more aggressive birds like the Orioles from pulling out the bee guard and guzzling the food.

We've tried many different designs of feeders and found that the birds like the ones with hard plastic "flowers"' surrounding the bee guards. We've not had much luck with the drip-type feeders.

Be sure to rinse the feeders well with very warm water between use. It is not recommended to put any part of a hummingbird feeder in the dishwasher or use detergent. To make sure the feeders are perfectly clean before storing for the winter, we use a tiny bit of chlorine bleach and water. You must be sure to rinse the feeders very well if you do need to use bleach.

So if you're looking to attract beautiful hummingbirds to your yard, remember the flowers, the water and some food. You'll soon have your own flock of hummingbirds who return to your yard each year!
Cindy Dykstra writes for where you can find articles on pets and animals and every other subject under the sun. Free content for your web site, blog or newsletter and free RSS feeds. Free article submission too! Visit today.
Article Source:
By: Cindy Dykstra

>>How To Build A Bird House

How To Build A Bird House

How To Build A Bird House - If you enjoy spending time around birds then you may want to build a birdhouse. Building a birdhouse is a great way to become a companion of birds. Birdhouses add attractiveness to any landscape. Crafting, designing and building birdhouses is a in-expensive hobby.

You need to construct a birdhouse that is easy to clean. It should be sturdy, cool, and rainproof as well. Remember, this is your birdhouse, so use your imagination; you will have something unique and all your own when your project is completed..

It is important not to use metal to build your birdhouse, not even nails; use non-toxic outdoor wood glue. Metal can become very hot when the sun is beating down on it, plus it can have very sharp edges. Wood is the best material to build a birdhouse. To keep water out of the entrance of the birdhouse you need the roof to pitch enough to shed water.

Add a couple small holes near the top of the birdhouse for ventilation on hot days. The bottom of the birdhouse should be constructed with screws, so it will be easy to take apart when you clean it.

When your bird house is built it is time to mount it. When mounting your birdhouse it is important to keep in mind predators, such as squirrels, cats and snakes. Place your bird house mount out of the range of jumping and climbing animals. The best mount for a birdhouse is PVC pipe which can be purchased inexpensively at your local home hardware supply store. Get an 8' long piece of PVC that is 3 or 4" in diameter. Also be sure and buy a "flange" that will fit into the PVC. When looking at a 'flange' from the side it has the shape of a man's dress hat, as one would also look at the dress hat from from it's side view. The round part of the 'hat' - or 'flange' slips down, about 2" into one end of the PVC pipe. The flat part of the 'hat' - or 'flange' should have a small hole pre-drilled in each corner. A large, approx. 12" x 12" piece of plywood is attached, to the flat part of the 'hat' or 'flange' with screws via the pre-drilled holes. Be sure this is placed in the middle of the 12" x 12 plywood. This will serve as your birdhouse base. Now turn this over and simply slide the round part of the 'hat' - or 'flange' into the end of your PVC pipe. On top of this securely mount your bird house. When you have moved your PVC to an upright mounting position, you would be looking upward, and see the screws that attached flange to your 12" x 12" base.

Now it's time to mount your bird house. Dig about an 18" hole and drop it in! Be sure and pack the dirt solidly back around the base to secure it. For added security you could pick up an inexpensive bag of ready mix cement. Just mix it with water, set the PVC in the middle of the hole and pour the cement evenly around it. It is a good idea if you could put your hands on a level to make sure your PVC stays vertically straight while working. That's all there is to it!

When you are ready to clean your bird house simple unscrew the 12" x 12" base mounting screws, slide off the base with it's attached birdhouse and clean it! When cleaned, replace the 12" x 12" base and reinsert your screws. Now wasn't that easy!

For more great information be sure and visit;

If you lightly coat the PVC pipe mount with in-expensive vegetable oil ants and other crawling insects will not be able to climb disturb the bird nest.

Don't forget to treat your feathered friend with feeders, bird baths or bird pond sprinkle the area with some wild flower seeds. When your wild flower are in bloom your feathered friend will provide you with constant delight. ~ Anthony Benjamin ~
Anthony Benjamin is an avid world traveler, lover of nature and animals. He loves to write and share his wealth of information and adventures in his writings. His favorite place to retreat and write is his summer home, secluded high on a mountaintop in the Great Smoky Mountains. A visit to his website is a true delight:
Article Source:

By: Anthony Benjamin