Uganda: A Primate Paradise

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance in Uganda

Zegrahm Guest, John Kerns|August 24, 2012|Blog Post

Prior to the trip, I emailed Jonathan Rossouw and mentioned that my target bird for Uganda was the pennant-tailed nightjar. This is a pretty tough get. A well camouflaged night bird, it is nearly impossible to see during the day unless you step on one and, of course, it is tough to see in the dark at night. Rossouw replied: "Prayer is the only answer, but I will do my damnedest to put you in the right place so that if our prayers are answered, you will see the bird." We got to the right spot and were out a couple of hours after sunset, but no bird. The locals noted "that bird hasn't been here for three months." Two days later, during the late afternoon, we were in a completely different location and I saw one in flight. This is not an easy object identification. The bird has long streamers flowing from each wing, sort of the P-38 of the bird world. It elicits a "What the hell is that?" response and then it hits you—that's the bird. Jonathan and I get off the vehicle and run after the bird. We were careful going around corners and were rewarded with magnificent views—full breeding plumage displayed in flight in full daylight.

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