Out of the blue

[I’m away for a couple weeks, and I have been sitting on more posts about my recent Kenya trip, so I thought this might be good time to use one.]

In Nairobi National Park we were watching a Pygmy Kingfisher by a wooded stream, and then I glanced over my shoulder and saw a wide-eyed , ermine-ruffed, grizzled, bluish-grey monkey just watching us.

He stayed on top of the same bush, whose leaves he clearly enjoyed, for several minutes:

Behind him there was a rustling in the undergrowth, and eventually another one appeared on a high branch, implausibly long tail in full view

The guide told me I was very lucky, because they are very shy and he rarely sees them. The first one did not know it was supposed to be shy, and went on munching:

I was rather confused when he told me they were blue monkeys, Cercopithecus mitis, because I saw blue monkeys in Western Kenya, near Kakamega, a few years ago, and they looked quite different, with a black cap, less white on their ears, and a big white monobrow, but no white neck ruff:

It turns out there are several sub-species of blue monkey. The ones in Kakamega are Diademmed Monkeys Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni . The ones in Nairobi National Park used to be considered another sub-species, but are now usually given their own species Cercopithecus albogularis. Their common name is Sykes’ Monkey or White-throated Monkey.

So, not blue monkeys after all. They appeared out of the blue, and indeed are now usually considered out of the blue! But they are still beautiful.

3 thoughts on “Out of the blue”

  1. I’ve never heard of those kinds of Monkeys! I wrote to you ‘many blogs ago’ that you attract wildlife! So true! Must be amusing to see them swinging by their super long tail thru the trees. The 6th photo looks like that young Monkey has some Owl in it’s DNA. Your adventures are to be envied.


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