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Cape Verde Islands

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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 10:54 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed records have been published for information only in the Bulletins of the African Bird Club. Some records were first published in Dutch Birding and Birding World.

From ABC Bulletin 22.2

Records from November 2014 - February 2015 include the following. The last two Magnificent Frigatebirds Fregata magnificens on the islands were still on Boavista in January. Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae has been shown to breed on Santiago. Eleven Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were photographed at Rabil Lagoon, Boavista, on 11 November 2014; there are now >35 records for the archipelago. A Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla was photographed on Sal on 21 January, with another on Boavista on 11 February; there are six previous records, from Sal, Boavista and São Vicente (two on each island). A Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa stayed on Sal in January; this is apparently the 16th record for the islands. A first-winter Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus photographed on Sal on 13 January appears to be the first for the archipelago. Two Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus were present on Sal in January; there are now 11 records for the Cape Verdes, of which four have been on Sal. 

From ABC Bulletin 22.1

Noteworthy documented records from 2014 up to November have been published in Hazevoet, C. J. 2014. Eighth report on birds from the Cape Verde Islands, including records of nine taxa new to the archipelago. Zool. Caboverdiana 5: 29–56 (freely downloadable at the Sociedade Caboverdiana de Zoologia website www.scvz.org); see also Africa Round-up in this issue. An additional record is that of a European Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia observed at Rabil Lagoon, Boavista, on 7–8 November, which was ringed as a pullus in the Camargue, southern France, on 30 May 2013). 

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

The first Black Stork Ciconia nigra for the archipelago was an immature photographed near the airport of Boavista on 21 December 2013. An Intermediate Heron Egretta intermedia and two Black Herons E. ardesiaca were still present at Barragem de Poilão, Santiago, in March 2014; they were first observed here in March 2011.

from ABC Bulletin 20.2

The following reports are from the period November 2012 - April 2013. Cape Verde Storm-petrels Oceanodroma castro jabejabe were sound-recorded at Fontainhas, Santo Antao, on 27 - 30 November and (one) at Boca de Ambas as Ribeiras, c.3 km inland, on 2 December; breeding is not known from Santo Antao although the species has been reported in the past. A Masked Booby Sula dactylatra was seen on Curral Velho off Boavista on 13 December, and an adult Red-footed Booby S. sula on Razo on 14 March. At Barragem de Poilao, Santiago, the following were present: a male Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus on 4 - 20 March (fourth record), a Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca and an Intermediate Egret E. intermedia until at least 22 April, three dark-morph Western Reef Egrets E. gularis and a Great Egret Ardea alba, from 4 March until at least 22 March, two adult and ten immature Cape Verde Purple (Bourne's) Herons A. purpurea boumei on 4 March, a Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris on 4 - 5 March and four Blue-winged Teals Anas discors on 4 - 22 March. A Western Reef Egret was also at Ribeira Grande, Santo Antao, from 28 November until 1 December. A male Northern Pintail Anas acuta was photographed on Santo Antao on 28 November.

Two adult and two immature Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus near Tarrafal, Santo Antao, in late November may be the last individuals for the Cape Verdes. Five to seven Cape Verde Buzzards Buteo (rufinus) bannermani, including a leucistic male, were observed in the northern mountains of Santo Antao. The fourth Spotted Crake Porzana porzana for the archipelago was at Barragem de Polao on 4 - 5 March. Two Semipalmated Plovers Charadrius semipalmatus were discovered at Mindelo, Sao Vicente, on 3 December. Single American Golden Plovers Pluvialis dominica were reported from Ponta do Sol, Santo Antao, on 28 - 30 November and Lacacao, Boavista, on 7 - 8 March. Also present at the latter site were two Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes, with three there on 23rd - 25th, and singles at Santa Maria, Sal, on 13 March and at Pedra Badejo, Santiago, on 20th-22nd. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was at Pedra Badejo on 21 - 22 March. A Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia was at Rabil lagoon, Boavista, on 3 March. Six Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto (one singing) were at Fazenda Achada, Santiago, on 5 March; the species was first recorded on Sal, in 2006, and subsequently on Sao Nicolau, in 2008; since then it has become locally common on Santiago. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus discovered on Santiago on 11 March may be the first for the Cape Verdes.

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

A white-morph Red-footed Booby Sula sula was photographed on Raso on 9 October 2012; there are six previous records from Cape Verdean seas. Records from December 2012 included the following. Two species were recorded for the first time in the archipelago, both at Mindelo sewage works, São Vicente: White Stork Ciconia ciconia (one on 20th–21st) and Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida (one on 20th–30th). The second European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria for the Cape Verdes was also there on 29th–30th.

On Santiago, c.50 Fea’s Petrels Pterodroma feae were attracted to hotel lights at Rui Vaz in the central mountains on 7th. Single Great Egrets Egretta alba were seen at Casa Velhas, Maio, on 10th (fifth record) and at Mindelo sewage works, São Vicente, on 29th–30th. Vagrant ducks on Santiago included several Northern Pintails Anas acuta at Pedro Badejo lagoons on 9th (sixth record), with two also at Mindelo sewage works, São Vicente; and four Blue-winged Teals A. discors (fifth record), two Northern Shovelers A. clypeata (fifth record) and five Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris at Barragem de Poilão on 8th (fifth record). On Sal, an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica was found at Santa Maria sewage works on 6th (14th record), whilst on Maio, a Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii was at Ribeira Dom Joao on 11th (sixth record), with a Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes also there (16th record) and three more at Mindelo sewage works, São Vicente, on 20th–21st. Also at Mindelo sewage works on the same dates were two Spotted Sandpipers Actitis macularius (tenth record) and a Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica (17th record), with two European Bee-eaters Merops apiaster there on 29th–30th (eighth record).  

São Nicolau

A Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus and an Oceanodroma storm-petrel were photographed at sea between Raso and São Nicolau on 24 March 2009; the latter was subsequently confirmed to be a Leach’s Storm-petrel O leucorhoa.

A third-winter Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii, observed on 5 January 2008 past Juncalinho, may be the first for the islands.

The sixth Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides for the Cape Verdes was found at Ribeira Brava on 27 September 2006. On 18th October 2006, a Cape Verde Peregrine Falco peregrinus madens was seen on the flanks of the Monte Gordo, the highest mountain of São Nicolau.

Sal

A Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola seen at Santa Maria on 7–10 January 2008 was presumed to be the bird first seen in late October 2007 and the second for the archipelago; a male was found at the same locality on 1 March 2008, with a female reported there a week previously.

Red-throated Pipits Anthus cervinus were reported from Santa Maria on 7–10 January 2008 (two) and 1 March 2008 (two). A Rock Martin Ptyonoprogne fuligula observed at the Fontana Oasis on 8 January 2008 was apparently the first for the islands.

A Song Thrush Turdus philomelos was discovered at Espargos on 24 February 2008. The first Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii for the Cape Verdes was found at Santa Maria on 20–22 October 2007.

Boavista

On 1 March, a Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla was at Curral Velho, Boavista, from 30 March to at least 8 April 2012.

On Boavista 2011, in October, a white-morph Western Reef Egret Egretta gularis was reported from Rabil lagoon on 6th–7th, with a dark morph at Praia de Ervatão on 10th. Other claims from the same island involved an Intermediate Egret and a White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis also at Praia de Ervatão on 10th, a Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica and three Little Terns S. albifrons at Rabil lagoon on 12th–13th, a Sandwich Tern S. sandvicensis south of Sal Rei on 8th, a Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus at Curral de Velho on 10th, and a female Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca at Rabil lagoon on 12th. Also at Rabil lagoon, a Eurasian Coot Fulica atra was observed on 25 November

On 26 March 2009, a male and two female Magnificent Frigatebirds Fregata magnificens were at Curral Velho and an adult male Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus flew over the same location. Two male Magnificent Frigatebirds were present there on 2 March 2008. A Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii was seen at Rabil lagoon on 2–3 March 2008.

In 2007, two Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus were photographed on 28 March. A Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax was at Rabil Lagoon and Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides were at Manuel da Luz dam on 5 April. Dark-morph Western Reef Egrets E. gularis were at Rabil Lagoon on 10 March. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus successfully raised young in March–April. Photographs of the second Slender-billed Gull Larus genei for the Cape Verdes were taken at Boca de Salina on 15 February whilst a Namaqua Dove Oena capensis was photographed at Farol de Varandinha on 2 December. The first Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola for the Cape Verdes was photographed on 11 April.

Santiago

On Santiago, up to two Black Herons Egretta ardesiaca, present since early 2011, and an Intermediate Egret E. intermedia were still present at Barragem de Poilão in early April 2012. At the same site, the first Mallard Anas platyrhynchos for the archipelago, a female, was seen on 29 December 2011, whilst a Blue-winged Teal A. discors was also there on 1 March. The second Spotted Crake Porzana porzana for the Cape Verdes was photographed on Santiago on 4 March 2012. Still on Santiago, a Eurasian Coot Fulica atra was at Barragem de Poilão on 26 December 2011, and a first-winter White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus on 29 - 31 December 2011. A Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola, claimed from Pedra Badejo, Santiago, on 31 December would be the first for the islands. Also on Santiago, single Spotted Sandpipers Actitis macularius were observed on 31 December 2011 and 21 March 2012. 

On Santiago, a Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii, five Intermediate Egrets Egretta intermedia, one Purple Heron Ardea purpurea and 18 adult and juvenile Bourne’s (Cape Verde Purple) Herons A. (purpurea) bournei were present at Barragem de Poilão on 12 June 2011; at least one Black Heron E. ardesiaca, first recorded at the same site in March, was still there on 30 December. At least six Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto were also seen on the same island.

Rare herons at Barragem de Poilão, Santiago, from 21 March into May 2011 included two Black Herons Egretta ardesiaca, up to three Intermediate Egrets E. intermedia and a Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala; the latter has probably been present since March 2009.

A White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus photographed off Santiago on 3 May 2011 was the second for the Cape Verdes; the first was in February 1999. A Western Reef Egret Egretta gularis was photographed on a beach near Porto Formosa, Santiago, on 1 May.

A male and eight first-winter / female Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris were at Barragem de Poilao, Santiago, from 25 February 2010 until at least 5 March.

In 2009, two Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides were at Barragem de Poilão on 21 March. On the same day, the first Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala for the islands, an immature, was photographed at Barragem de Poilão and was seen again in April. At Praia, a male Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe was observed on 21 March. An immature American Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica claimed from Liberão on 26 February was still present on 18 March; this would be the first for the archipelago, if accepted.

In 2008, a Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus was seen at Barragem de Poilão on 25–26 February. Two adult Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius were at Barragem de Poilão, Santiago, on 26 February.

In 2007, records from Barragem da Seca on 15–17 December include seven Black-crowned Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax, seven Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia, five Common Anas crecca or Green-winged Teals A. (crecca) carolinensis (fewer than ten records of either species), a Blue-winged Teal A. discors (second record), and a femaleNorthern Shoveler A. clypeata (apparently the first for the islands). A Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus at Barragem da Seca on 15–17 December, with a Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes also there on 16–17 December.

A Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus was at Barragem de Poilão, near Banana from 3 March into April are among the very few reports of any cormorant in the Cape Verdes. An Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia was at Praia harbour on 28 and 30 March. Other rare herons for the Cape Verdes included an immature male Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus at Barragem de Poilão on 22 March. Six Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, including two ringed in the Netherlands, were at Barragem de Poilão in March.

Up to five Cape Verde Buzzards Buteo (buteo) bannermani were at São Jorge dos Orgãos on 27 March and one was there together with an adult Cape Verde Peregrine Falco peregrinus madens on 29 March. An adult pale-morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was watched in display-flight at Boa Entrada on 21 March. A Spotted Crake Porzana porzana was at Barragem de Poilão on 21 - 22 March.

A Wilson’s Snipe Gallinago (gallinago) delicata was identified at Barragem de Poilão on 26 - 30 March; from 3 March, two Common Snipe G. gallinago were also here. Two Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus were reported on 3 - 4 March. The first European Robin Erithacus rubecula for the islands was at Jardim Botánico, São Jorge dos Orgãos, on 4 February.

In 2006, as well as the Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus previously reported, a European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria was at Tarrafal on 4 March; both records might represent firsts for the islands. At least 21 Cape Verde Purple Herons Ardea (purpurea) bournei, including eight adults, three subadults and ten juveniles, were present in the large mahogany tree at Banana, Ribeira da Montanha, the world’s only colony of this taxon, on 15th October. There were at least seven active nests, with two still occupied by incubating adults.

A Cape Verde Buzzard Buteo (buteo) bannermani was soaring with three Brown-necked Ravens Corvus ruficollis in the Serra do Pico da Antónia, just south of Assomada. A Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus, photographed south of Tarrafal on 17th October, constitutes the fifth record for the Cape Verdes. A single Common Swift Apus apus was hunting over the arid plains east of Praia on 14th October.

A Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis was singing in an irrigated agricultural area south of Tarrafal on 17th October; this is the first record in the north of the island.

Brava

In September 2008, a presumed intermediate morph Herald (Trindade) Petrel Pterodroma arminjoniana was videotaped off Brava.

Raso

The second African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti for the islands was photographed on Raso on 28 February 2012.

In 2007, a Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca was on Raso on 6 March (the second for the archipelago) and ‘ringtail’ Montagu's Harrier C. pygargus on 24 March. An estimated 100 - 130 Raso Larks Alauda razae were present on 20 - 23 March 2007.

In 2006, a Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus was observed on 28 December. Relatively high number of Madeiran Storm-petrels Oceanodroma castro was present where many dozens could be seen and heard every night; the species is considered scarce on the islet nowadays. The once flourishing Brown Booby Sula leucogaster colony (c.125 pairs in 1986–92) has decreased dramatically: no more than 40 were counted around the main colony. A Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis was hunting insects each morning and afternoon close to the landing spot; the species is rare on Raso. The 11th American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica for the islands stayed briefly on 21st October. During a survey of more than half of the suitable habitat, 60 Raso Larks Alauda razae were counted on 20th–23rd October. Three nests were found of which one contained an egg; no fledglings or juveniles were seen. Three Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica were present each day on the south-east side of the islet.

São Vicente

On 1 March 2012, a Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus was observed at Mindelo, São Vicente.

The third Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca for the Cape Verdes was photographed at Ribeira da Vinha, São Vicente, in February 2010.

In 2007, six Northern Shovelers Anas clypeata were found at Mindelo sewage farm with two Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris on 18–20 December. Interesting waders included a Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius at Mindelo sewage farm on 18 December. A White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis and Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus were seen at Mindelo sewage farm in December.

A Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus was reported from Mindelo sewage farm from 18 December until 2 January 2008. Also there were two Red- rumped Swallows Cecropis daurica on 19 December, a Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris on 31 December, a single Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia on 26 March, a male Common Teal Anas crecca on 1 - 2 January, two American Golden Plovers Pluvialis dominica on 1 - 2 January and three on 1 - 25 February at least, two Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius on 16 February, a Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes on 1 - 2 January and 1 February and a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius and a White Wagtail M. alba on the same date.

A European Bee-eater Merops apiaster was at Mindelo sewage ponds on 2 January; this is apparently only the third recent report for the archipelago and the first for São Vicente, the previous being on Sal in May 1997 and Boavista in May 1999.

Fogo

Several Red-footed Boobies Sula sula were reported in Cape Verdean waters: two immatures south of the archipelago on 27 April 2010, two immatures while at anchor off Fogo on 28 April and another immature at sea off the same island on the same day.

Records from January - March 2006 include the following. Single dark-morph Western Reef Herons Egretta gularis were reported from Mindelo sewage ponds, São Vicente, on 11 March, Mindelo fish market, São Vicente, on 11-12 March, and Sal-Rei, Boavista, on 14 March. An immature male Eurasian Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus was at Rabil lagoon, Boavista, on 12-13 March. On Santiago, two Cape Verde Buzzards Buteo (buteo) bannermani were found near João Teves, Serra do Pico da Antonia, on 3 March, and a Cape Verde Peregrine Falco (peregrinus) madens near São Lourenço dos Orgãos on 5th. A Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta was at Pedra de Luma saltpans, Sal, on 15 March, and a Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus at Tarrafal, Santiago, on 4 March. A Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii was reported from Pedra Badeja lagoons, Santiago, on 5 March. A Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes was discovered at Santa Maria saltpans, Sal, on 15 January.

A Greater Hoopoe Lark Alaemon alaudipes was seen at Santa Maria saltpans, Sal, on 15 March; the species is not known as a breeder on Boavista and Maio only, as stated in previously, but also on Sal, where the first unequivocal evidence of breeding was found in 1998, when an adult feeding two young in the nest was observed on 27 October (Hazevoet 1999, Bull. zool. Mus. Univ. Amsterdam 17: 19–32), following sightings in the dunes of Santa Maria from 1995 onwards. A small population has now apparently become established on the island (Hazevoet 1999; Barone Tosco et al. 2000, Makaronesia 2: 43–55). Two to four Common Whitethroats Sylvia communis were observed on Boavista, during 2-10 March; these are apparently the first for the archipelago. In March, Iago Sparrows Passer iagoensis were found to be common on Sal.

Records from October-November 2005 include the following. The first Snowy Egret Egretta thula for the archipelago was at the sewage ponds near Mindelo, São Vicente, on 1-3 November. On 31 October, 46 Cape Verde Purple Herons Ardea (purpurea) bournei, including 26 juveniles, were counted at this species’ only nesting tree at Liberoa, Santiago. Also on Santiago, a Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus was seen on 30 October. A first-winter Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus was found at Tarrafal, Santiago, on 30 October. Other vagrant waders at the sewage ponds of Mindelo, São Vicente, on 1-3 November, included a first-winter Semipalmated Plover, an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica, three Semipalmated Sandpipers Calidris pusilla, three White-rumped Sandpipers C. fuscicollis, a Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus and a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius. At Praia, Santiago, a White-rumped Sandpiper and a Spotted Sandpiper were seen on 31 October, with another White-rumped Sandpiper at Santa Maria, Sal, on 5 November.

The captive Barn Owl Tyto alba taken as a chick on Maio in 2004 was not the first for the island, as erroneously stated in a previous Recent Reports: the first published record was indeed made in October 2000, but breeding had already been recorded in March that year by another observer and was eventually published. Two Greater Hoopoe-Larks Alaemon alaudipes were discovered on Sal on 5 November; the species is only known as a breeder on Boavista and Maio.

In December 2004-January 2005 five species were added to the archipelago list. A male Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope and a pair of American Wigeon A. americana were at Casas Velhas, Maio, on 31 December. Male Green-winged Teal A. (crecca) carolinensis were observed at Mindelo sewage works, São Vicente, from 18 December to 13 January at least (one) and Pedro Badejo, Santiago, on 4 January (two). Also at Mindelo, São Vicente, a Spotted Crake Porzana porzana was sighted on 13 January. The first White-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga for the islands was a first-winter at Fort Real near Cidade Velha, Santiago, on 16 January.

Other records from the same period include the following. A total of 278 Fea's Petrels Pterodroma feae was seen flying east past Ponta do Sol, Santo Antão, in two hours on 26 December. A male Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens was at Ilhéu de Curral Velho, Boavista, on 10 January, with a male and a female there on 12th. A dark-morph Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis was at Ribeira Grande, Santo Antão, on 26 December, with a pale morph at Praia, Santiago, from 28th until 5 January at least. Two unringed first-winter Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were at Mindelo, São Vicente, on 17-18 December, whilst a colour-ringed first-winter was at Praia, Santiago, on 16 January. Interesting duck records included a Northern Pintail Anas acuta at Calheta, Maio, on 30 December (second record), a Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula at Pedro Badejo, Santiago, on 4 January (third record), and a Lesser Scaup A. affinis at Mindelo, São Vicente, on 13 January (second record). On Maio, an immature Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus at Morrinho on 30 December would be the second record if accepted; there are five records of unidentified C. pygargus / macrourus.

At Morrinho, Maio, an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica was seen on 18-21 December and five Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago on 18th. Other wader records included a Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus at Ribeira dom João, Maio, on 31 December, a Solitary Sandpiper T. solitaria at Mindelo sewage works, São Vicente, from 17 December until 13 January at least (and again on 15-16 April; second record), and a Green Sandpiper T. ochropus at Morrinho, Maio, on 17-28 December. A first-winter Slender-billed Gull Larus genei at Feijoal Lagoa, Sal, on 12 January, and a first-winter Ring-billed Gull L. delawarensis at Mindelo, São Vicente, on 17-28 December, were both second records. Two Gull-billed Terns Sterna nilotica were seen at Calheta, Maio, on 30 December-2 January (second record), whilst a Caspian Tern Sterna caspia was observed at Casa Velhas, Maio, on 30-31 December. Also on Maio, a captive Barn Owl Tyto alba that was close to fledging on 1 January had been taken as a chick from a cave east of Morro and thus represented both the first record for the island and an addition to the breeding list.

March 2005 produced the following records. A male Magnificent Frigatebird was at Curral Velho, Boavista, on 4 March and an adult female flew over Sal Rei harbour on 22nd. The only remaining colony of Cape Verde Purple Heron Ardea (purpurea) bournei, in a single tree at Liberão, Santiago, had eight juveniles on 1 March; three juveniles were reported to have died in February (two were killed by children and one fell from the tree). On Boavista, a Purple Heron A. purpurea, apparently not of the form bournei, was at Rabil Lagoon on 23rd and 25th, whilst an adult Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax was in a riverbed upstream from Rabil on 26th. A male Green-winged Teal and a female Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis were observed at Mindelo sewage ponds, São Vicente, on 13th. Resident raptors seen included Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus (an immature, three subadults and 1-2 adults at Sal Rei on 22nd), Cape Verde Buzzard Buteo (buteo) bannermanni (one in Ribeira de Torres, near Vila de Ribeira Grande, Santo Antão, on 24th) and Cape Verde Peregrine Falco (peregrinus) madens  (two at Mindelo sewage ponds, São Vicente on 16th). Single Gull-billed Terns (the same individual?) were seen on Boa Vista at Sal Rei harbour and Rabil lagoon on 22nd–26th, whilst a Little Tern Sterna albifrons was at Rabil lagoon on 26th. A single male Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis at São Pedro airport on 13th was the only record on São Vicente; the species was not seen on Santo Antão, but was quite common on São Nicolau, Santiago and Boa Vista.

In August 2004, the endangered Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis was discovered breeding on Fogo, where c30 territories were found in coffee plantation areas with scattered fruit trees. Previously, the species was known to breed on Santiago and São Nicolau only. The population on Santiago was estimated at 800-1,000 pairs, mostly in eucalyptus forest with dense undergrowth.

Records from December 2003 to March 2004 include the following. At least 800 Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis were counted at Mindelo sewage ponds roost, São Vicente on 30 March. A Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis was on Boa Vista on 22 March. At Liberão, Santiago, ten begging young Cape Verde Purple Herons Ardea (purpurea) bournei were counted on 27 February and one nest with begging young and several juveniles were still present on 10 March. On Santiago, up to three Cape Verde Buzzards Buteo (buteo) bannermani were regularly calling above São Jorge dos Orgãos in late February and early March and a pair was seen copulating at Serra de Malagueta on 25 February. At Mindelo sewage ponds, São Vicente, a Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola stayed from December to 7 March at least, and an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica was seen on 7 March; a claim of a Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago on 30 March needs to be substantiated. At Pedra de Lume, Sal, four Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes were seen in late December 2003, with two still there on 3 March and one on 7 April. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was also there on 24 March.

In October 2003, the following sightings were made. A Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii was seen off Barril, São Nicolau on 23rd. A Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus off Ponta do Sal, Boavista on 25th suggests that a population may still exist off this island. Also on Boavista on the same day, two Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were at Ribeira Grande; this is now a regular site for this species. Single Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides near Chao Bom, Santiago on 19 and 20th and at Pedra Badeja Lagoon, Santiago on 20 October were apparently the fourth and fifth records for Cape Verde (see Hazevoet, C. J. 2003) Fifth report on birds from the Cape Verde Islands, including records of 15 taxa new to the archipelago. Arquivos do Museu Bocage Nova Série III (19): 503—528). At least three dark-morph Western Reef Herons Egretta gularis were seen near Tarrafal, Santiago on 19 and 20th; there are only two Cape Verde records before 1980 but more than 25 since then. The last remaining colony of Cape Verde Purple Herons Ardea (purpurea) bournei at Banana, Ribeira Montanha, Santiago, was very active on 18th, with c25 birds in attendance, including 8+ fully-feathered juveniles. A Common Teal Anas crecca at Pedra de Lume Salinas, Sal on 24th represents the first record for this island and the 8th for the archipelago. Three sightings of adult Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus were made on Boavista on 25 October. A single Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus was seen on Raso on 21st; there are no Cape Verde records before 1980, but more than 20 since then. Three or four Cape Verde Buzzards Buteo (buteo) bannermani were observed near Pico da Antónia, Santiago on 19th; this inland population seems stable with up to five reported between 1999 and 2002. A Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris was seen on Boavista on 25th. Two Pectoral Sandpipers Calidris melanotos near Tarrafal, Santiago on 19 and 20th, and a Greater Yellowlegs T. melanoleuca also there on 19th, both constitute 2nd records for Santiago and for the Cape Verde Islands. Single Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes recorded near Tarrafal, Santiago on 19th, at Pedro da Lume Salinas, Sal, and near Santa Maria, Sal on 24th were the 5th to 7th for Cape Verde. Two Great Skuas Catharacta skua were swimming between Branco and São Nicolau on 22nd, and possibly the same two were seen off Barril, São Nicolau, the next day; these represent the 10th and 11th records for Cape Verde. A White Wagtail Motacilla alba at São Nicolau airport on 24th, and a Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe on Raso on 21st were both second records for the respective islands. At least four Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla were singing along Ribeira Norte, Boavista on 25th; this species was first reported to breed on the island in 1996.

A dark morph Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis was photographed at Praia, Santiago, on 12 April 2003; although this species was only rarely recorded in the past, it appears to be a scarce but rather regular visitor to the archipelago, with c25 records since 1980. On the same day, an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica was also photographed at Praia; only one of the seven previous records is from Santiago.

Records from March 2002 include the following. At least 13-15 Cape Verde Purple Herons Ardea (purpurea) bournei were counted at Banana, Santiago, on 2nd. A Purple Heron Ardea purpurea was at Rabil Lagoon, Boavista, on 20th. A dark morph Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis was found at Praia, Santiago, on 3rd and 4th, an Intermediate Egret E. intermedia at Mindelo sewage ponds, São Vicente, on 15th and an immature Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia at Rabil Lagoon, Boavista, on 17th. A female Common Teal Anas crecca was seen at Mindelo sewage ponds on 11th and 15th. A female Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus was at Curral Velho, Boavista, on 18th and two females at Sal Rei island, Boavista, the next day. Two Cape Verde Buzzards Buteo (buteo) bannermani were videoed at Boa Entrada, Santiago, on 1st, and several on Santo Antão. Vagrant waders included three Red Knots Calidris canutus at Rabil Lagoon, Boavista, on 17th, a Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata at Curral Velho, Boavista, on 18th, a Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes at Pedra de Lume saltpans, Sal, on 20th, and a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia at Mindelo ponds, São Vicente, on 15th.

Records from a trip from 1 November to 5 December 2001 include the following. Eight Cape Verde Purple Herons Ardea (purpurea) bournei were counted at Banana, Santiago, on 9 November; about five of the 15 nests appeared occupied. A juvenile / female Common Teal Anas crecca was at Mindelo sewage ponds, São Vicente, on 3 November. A juvenile Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus was found near Tarrafal de Santiago on 2 December and a Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus at Tarrafal de Santo Antão on 16 and 18 November. An American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica and a Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago were at Mindelo ponds, São Vicente, on 14 November, and another Common Snipe G. gallinago at Tarrafal de Santiago on 2 December. A Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus flew alongside the ferry, c15 km north-west off Santiago on 5 November.

A Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus was photographed at Sal Rei Bay, Boavista, where it stayed for 2 to 3 days in July or August 2000, while another pelican Pelecanus sp. was found dead around the same time. An immature Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius was also photographed on Boavista, at an as yet unknown date. Both records are the first for the Cape Verde Islands. Four Cape Verde Red Kites Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda were reportedly present on Boavista in July and August 2001; one was photographed. During the same period two more were said to be present on Maio, in the company of six Black Kites Milvus migrans and two possible hybrids.

Records from April 2001 included the following. On 16th, 185 Fea's Petrels Pterodroma feae were counted off Ponto do Sol, Santo Antão. A Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus was seen between Raso and São Nicolau on 12th. At least 10 pairs of Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus, found breeding at Tarafal, Santo Antão, on 17th, apparently constitutes a new colony. A dark morph Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis and two Intermediate Egrets E. intermedia were at Rabil Lagoon, Boavista, on 22nd. A drake Garganey Anas querquedula at Mindelo sewage ponds, São Vicente, on 14th to 18th, constitutes the first for the archipelago. Also there was an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica on 18th. A Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus observed at Tarrafal, São Nicolau, on 11th, was another addition to the Cape Verde list. A Caspian Tern Sterna caspia and three Royal Terns S. maxima were at Rabil Lagoon, Boavista, on 22nd. Two more possible firsts were a Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti seen at Espargos, Sal, on 19th, and a Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla at Barril, São Nicolau, on 11th to 13th. Two Red-rumped Swallows Hirundo daurica were on Branco, on 11th. A Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus was recorded at Barril, São Nicolau, on 13th. Eight Cape Verde Warblers Acrocephalus brevipennis were found singing at Ribeira da Prata, São Nicolau, on 13th.

Map

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References

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RATCLIFFE, N., F.J. ZINO, P. OLIVEIRA, A. VASCONCELOS, C.J. HAZEVOET, H. COSTA NEVES, L.R. MONTEIRO & E. ZINO (2000) The status and distribution of Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae in the Cape Verde Islands. Atlantic Seabirds 2 (2): pp 73-86. *Download this paper

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RODRIGUES, J. & A. TAVARES (2014): First breeding records of black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus (Linnaeus, 1758) in the island of Maio. Zoologia Caboverdiana 5 (1): 61-63.

RODRÍGUEZ, B., SIVERIO, F., SIVERIO, M. and RODRÍGUEZ, A. (2011) Variable plumage coloration of breeding Barbary Falcons Falco (peregrinus) pelegrinoides in the Canary Islands: do other Peregrine Falcon subspecies also occur in the archipelago? Bull BOC 131(3) pp 140 - 153.

ROSCALES, J.L., MUÑOZ-ARNANZ, J., GONZÁLEZ-SOLÍS J. & JIMÉNEZ, B. (2010) Geographical PCB and DDT Patterns in Shearwaters (Calonectris sp.) Breeding Across the NE Atlantic and the Mediterranean Archipelagos. Environ. Sci. Technol. 44 pp 2.328-2.334.

ROSCALES, J.L., E. GÓMEZ-DÍAZ, V. NEVES & J. GONZÁLEZ-SOLÍS (2011): Trophic versus geographic structure in stable isotope signatures of pelagic seabirds breeding in the northeast Atlantic. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 434: 1-13.

SCHÄFFER, N. (2007) Kleiner brauner Vogel auf den Kapverden : die Rasolerche. Der Falke 54 (1) pp 14-17.

SHIRIHAI, H., V. BRETAGNOLLE & F. ZINO (2010): Identification of Fea’s, Desertas and Zino’s Petrels at sea. Birding World 23 (6) pp 239-275.

SIVERIO, F., MATEO, J. A. & LÓPEZ-JURADO, L. F. (2007) Note : On the presence and biology of the Barn Owl Tyto alba detorta on Santa Luzia, Cape Verde Islands. [Sur la présence et la biologie de l’Effraie des clochers sur l’île Santa Luzia, Cap-Vert]. Alauda 75(1) pp 91-93

SIVERIO, F., BARONE, R. & DELGADO, G. (2008). Notes on the diet of Tyto alba in two oceanic islands from the Mid-Atlantic, Porto Santo and Fogo (Aves, Tytonidae). Vieraea pp. 163-165. *Download this paper.

SIVERIO, F., VARO, N. & LÓPEZ-JURADO, L.F. (2004): The Barn Owl Tyto alba as a breeding species on Boavista and Maio, Cape Verde Islands. Airo 14 pp 126-130.

SIVERIO, F., LÓPEZ, P. & TRUJILLO, D. (2010) Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Use of Rhizoliths in Nest Building. J. Raptor Res. 44 (2) pp 159-161.

SIVERIO, M., P. LÓPEZ-SUÁREZ, F. SIVERIO, B. RODRÍGUEZ, N. VARO-CRUZ & L.F. LÓPEZ-JURADO (2013) Density, nest site characteristics and breeding rates of the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in the southern limit of its range in the Western Palearctic (Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands). Afr. J. Ecol., 52: 50-58.

STEIJN, L.B. (2012): White-tailed Tropicbird off Santiago, Cape Verde Islands, in May 2011. Dutch Birding 34: 312-313.

STENHOUSE, I.J., C. EGEVANG & R.A. PHILLIPS (2012): Trans-equatorial migration, staging sites and wintering area of Sabine’s Gulls Larus sabini in the Atlantic Ocean. Ibis 154: 42-51.

SUÁREZ, P.L., CRUZ, N.V., HAZEVOET, C.J. and JURADO, L.F.L. (2005) Restricted nesting habitat and reproductive failure of Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens in the Cape Verde Islands. Atlantic Seabirds 7(3) pp 106-120. *Download this paper

SUÁREZ, P.L. & CRUZ, N.V. (2008) Suivi de la population au Cap-Vert. Balbuzard info 17/18 (Décembre 2008): 3.

VALA, F. (2009) Darwin em Cabo Verde. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. 88 pp.

van DIJK, K. & BAKKER, T. (1998) Dutch Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia and a Finnish Turnstone Arenaria interpres on tropical islands: counts of shorebirds in the Cape Verdes in March 1996. Wader Study Group Bulletin 86 pp. 40 - 43. *Download this paper.

Van HORSSEN, P. (2005) Large numbers of Cape Verde Shearwaters Calonectris edwardsii off Santo Antão, Cape Verde Islands, in July 2005. Atlantic Seabirds 7(3) pp 121-126. *Download this paper

VASCONCELOS, R., R. FREITAS & C. J. HAZEVOET (eds.) (2015). Cabo Verde. História Natural das Ilhas Desertas / The Natural History of the Desertas Islands. Santa Luzia, Branco e Raso. Sociedade Caboverdiana de Zoologia. 307 pp. + CD. See also http://www.scvz.org/desertas.html  

VAZ, A. (2015) Salto de pardal. National Geographic Janeiro 2015: 92-99.    

VENET, G. & P. BERGIER (2013) La bibliographie ornithologique de René de Naurois. Go-South Bull., 10: 106-112.

WHITE, C.M., T.J. CADE & J.H. ENDERSON (2013) Chapter 13. Cape Verde Peregrine (Falco peregrinus madens Ripley and Watson 1963), pp. 241-246 (in): Peregrine Falcons of the World. Lynx Edicions. Bellaterra, Barcelona.   

WINKEL, E. (2007) The endemic Kestrels of the Cape Verde Islands. ABC Bulletin 14(1) pp 81-83.

ZINO, F., BROWN, R. & BISCOITO, M. (2008) The separation of Pterodroma madeira (Zino’s Petrel) from Pterodroma feae (Fea’s Petrel) (Aves: Procellariidae). Ibis 150 pp 326-334.

ZINO, F., R. PHILLIPS & M. BISCOITO (2011): Zino’s Petrel movements at sea – a preliminary analysis of datalogger results. Birding World 24 (5): 216-219.

* In order to view and print these papers, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Contacts

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African Bird Club representative

The African Bird Club is seeking to appoint a representative in this region. If you are interested in supporting and promoting the Club, have any queries or require further information relating to the ABC representatives scheme, please contact the Membership Secretary at membership@africanbirdclub.org.

Bird recorder and checklist compiler

Dr Cornelis J. Hazevoet,

Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical / Jardim Botânico Tropical,

Zoologia,

Rua da Junqueira 14,

1300-343 Lisboa,

Portugal.

cjhazevoet@gmail.com

Clubs

At present, there is no club or other organisation dedicated entirely to birds in the Cape Verdes.

Sociedade Caboverdiana de Zoologia is a recently created society which promotes zoological studies in the Cape Verde Islands and publishes the journal Zoologia Caboverdiana.

Conservation

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Cape Verde is party to a number of international conventions including Biological Diversity, Desertification and Climate Change.

The first protected areas in Cape Verde were designated in 1990 under the National Parks and Protected Areas programme. The following were established as nature reserves: the uninhabited islands of Santa Luzia, Branco, Raso and Ilhéus do Rombo, as well as the islets of Ilhéu de Curral Velho and Ilhéu de Baluarte. These sites may now only be visited under special permit.

Seabirds, however, remain heavily exploited and chicks, eggs and some adult boobies, tropicbirds, petrels and shearwaters are harvested annually.

The following is an extract from ABC Bulletin Vol.11, No.1, March 2004, pages 7-8.

"The situation of several endemic breeding birds appears to be far from promising. Some are on the brink of extinction e.g. Cape Verde Purple Heron Ardea (purpurea) bournei, whilst others may already have gone e.g. Cape Verde Kite Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda. Thus far, projects to safeguard the rarer endemic birds have had little or no effect, conservation has not been a priority of the Cape Verde government, and environmental awareness among the local population is minimal or absent. The author concludes that we can only hope that attempts to raise local interest in these issues will be rewarded."

Books & Sounds

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Birds of the Atlantic Islands covers the Cape Verde Islands.

The western and central parts of Africa now have an excellent guide in the Birds of Western Africa by Borrow and Demey. It is a fantastic reference work and thoroughly recommended. It covers 23 countries south of the Sahara, from Mauritania in the northwest, to Chad and Central African Republic in the east, and Congo Brazzaville in the southeast, including the Cape Verde and Gulf of Guinea Islands. The paperback version is much more portable than the hard cover edition and it is ideal for the field, although there is less detail.

You can purchase these and other books from WildSounds, one of the largest specialist UK mail-order companies, via our book and media sales page. Many birdwatchers are not only interested in birds, so we have added the most useful books for other taxa on this page.

*** Wildsounds donates 5% of each order generated via these links to the ABC Conservation Fund. Please order here, get a good price and support ABC! ***

Book image: 
Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of the Atlantic Islands, Tony Clarke, A&C Black, Softback.
Book description: 

The first comprehensive field guide dealing exclusively with the birds of this spectacular region, covering all resident, migrant and vagrant species found in Macaronesia. Over 450 species are illustrated with full details of all plumages and major races likely to be encountered. Concise text describes identification, status, range, habitats, climate, geographical isolation, endemism and conservation. 320 pages.

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Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa, Nik Borrow & Ron Demey, Helm, Softback.
Book description: 

Helm Field Guide. Utilises all the plates from the Helm ID Guide by the same authors, with a concise, authoritative text on facing pages, to create a guide covering all 1,304 species found in the region. The guide also contains an updated colour distribution map for each species and a number of new images have been painted just for this guide. Covers Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Rio Muni, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, part of Mauritania and the islands of Sao Tome, Principe and Bioko (Fernando Po) and Cape Verde. 512 pages.

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Book info: 
Birds of the Cape Verde Islands, Cornelis J Hazevoet, British Ornithologists Union, Hardback.
Book description: 

BOU Checklist 13. The first avifauna to be published on this oceanic island group that lies off the West African coast. As with other checklists in the series, initial chapters cover geology, geography, climate, vegetation and bird habitats, as well as breeding, migration, conservation, zoogeography, systematics and history. The main part of the book comprises the Systematic List, giving detailed accounts of every species reliably recorded (some 164). 48 colour plates, tables, maps. 192 pages.

Media type: 
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Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia, Eduardo Garcia del Rey, Lynx Editions, Hardback.
Book description: 

Covering all the species and subspecies of birds in Macaronesia (the Azores, Madeira, the Savage Islands, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde). 341 pages.

Media type: 
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Book info: 
Multimedia Identification Guide to North Atlantic Seabirds. Storm-petrels & Bulwer's Petrel, FLOOD, B. & FISHER, A. (2011), Pelagic Birds & Birding Multimedia Identification Guides, in association with www.scillypelagics.com. 212 pp. + 2 DVD.
Book description: 

The guide covers all the storm petrels present in the North Atlantic, and also Bulwer’s Petrel, with good videos and many high quality photos of all the species.

Media type: 
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Book info: 
Van PERLO, B. (2002): Collins Illustrated Checklist. Birds of Western & Central Africa. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. London. 384 pp.
Book description: 

This book includes and illustrates all the endemic species of the Cape Verde Islands and several of the subspecies as well as other breeding and migrant species cited for the archipelago up to the time of its publication.

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Book info: 
NAUROIS, R. de (1994): Les Oiseaux de l'Archipel du Cap Vert / As Aves do Arquipélago de Cabo Verde. Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical. Lisboa. XVII + 188 pp.
Book image: 
Book info: 
BEAMAN, M. & MADGE, S. The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe and the Western Palearctic, published by Christopher Helm, A & C Black, London.
Book description: 

This guide covers all the breeding species of the Cape Verde Islands including the endemics which are illustrated.

Book image: 
Book info: 
ROBB, M. & KILLARNEY, K. (2008) Petrels night and day. A Sound Approach Guide. The Sound Approach, Dorset. 300 pp plus 2 CDs. This guide is useful for any visitor who wishes to find the pelagic seabirds.

Visiting

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Ribeira_da_Madama_Sal_Island_Cape_Verde

Temporary lagoon at Ribeira da Madama, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Birding tours

Birdfinders, Birdquest and Rockjumper organise tours to the Cape Verde Islands.

Guides

There are no birding guides known in the Cape Verde Islands.

Trip reports

The following are quotes from birders who have visited Cape Verde.

"The Birds of the Cape Verde Islands by Cornelis J. Hazevoet is an essential reference and the excellent A Birder’s Guide to the Cape Verde Islands by Dave Sargeant is an absolute must for anyone birding in these islands."

"For site references I used A Birder’s Guide to the Cape Verde Islands by Dave Sargeant, 1997. It is in ring bound photocopy format, 40 pages, with hand-drawn maps. It lists 156 species which includes 69 vagrants and 14 endemics."

The following is a quote from Lonely Planet. "A Birders Guide to the Cape Verde Islands, edited by Dave Sargeant, is a comprehensive guide to all creatures winged and wonderful in the archipelago. But if that's not enough for you, get Cornelis J Hazevoet's Birds of Cape Verde Islands."

Logistics

Flying is the only realistic option for getting to and from Cape Verde. There are infrequent sea services, but they'll probably end up costing as much as a plane ticket. There are regular flights from Lisbon and less frequent flights from other European centres.

There's a network of expensive internal flights between the islands; between Praia, Mindelo and Sal there are flights at least once daily.

Travel on the islands is by bus or truck. Taxis are generally very expensive and there aren't many of them. You can rent cars on São Tiago, Fogo, São Vicente and Sal. You'll need an international driver's licence; driving is on the right.

Currently a visa is needed to visit the Cape Verde Islands and this can be obtained easily from your nearest Cape Verde consulate. In the UK this would mean contacting the consulate in either Holland or France as there is not a consulate in England. For visitors from Europe it is not necessary to have any inoculations and there is no malaria in the country

Safety

See the following website for safety and travel information: US Travel.

Hotspots

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Sao_Nicolau_Cape_Verde

Ponta do Barril, Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco
Sao_Nicolau_Cape_Verde

Cachaço mountain range, Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

São Nicolau

At Campo da Preguiça and surroundings near the airport, there is a small population of Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis breeding in the terminal building, one of the very few present colonies on the island. Apart from this, there are other species including Common Quail Coturnix coturnix, Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata and Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis, and even some records of Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor and Black-crowned Sparrow Lark Eremopterix nigriceps which probably breed there. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis is common and there are records of several Palearctic passerines, viz. Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris, White Wagtail Motacilla alba and Northern Weathear Oenanthe oenanthe.

Tarrafal is one of the best sites for birding in the whole island. Its situation on the coast and the existence of sandy beaches, rocky platforms and a port area implies that there are normally several waders like Sanderling Calidris alba, Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres and Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, but only in small numbers. There are also records of “rarities” like Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus, and more or less regular observations of gulls and terns, e.g. Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, Common Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus and Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis. The terraces of the buildings close to the coast are good sites for seawatching, it being possible to see Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris (diomedea) edwardsii, Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus and Brown Booby Sula leucogaster, among others. These species come most probably from Raso islet, which is relatively close to Tarrafal and where they have breeding colonies. In the cliffs around the village it is possible to see Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus neglectus (the local subspecies of the most northern and western islands), Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis and Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri, while in the coast Osprey Pandion haliaetus is frequent and there are records of Barn Owl Tyto alba detorta hunting at night in the village. There are also two species of egret regularly present at this locality, Cattle Egret and Little Egret Egretta garzetta. Finally, in the recent past it was possible to find Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus in and around Tarrafal, but it seems that they have disappeared locally.

Ponta do Barril, situated west of Tarrafal, is one of the best sites for seawatching in this island and in the Cape Verdes in general, especially in the area of the lighthouse. From there it is possible to see in the appropriate seasons breeding pelagic seabirds like Cape Verde Shearwater and Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae, and some others less pelagic like Brown Booby and the migratory Great Skua Catharacta skua. Between the terrestrial birds are Cream-coloured Courser (probably breeding there), Bar-tailed Desert Lark Ammomanes cinctura, Brown-necked Raven and Iago Sparrow. Around this site is easy to see Ospreys and Common Kestrels, and there are also records of some Palearctic migrants like Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla, Common Sand Martin Riparia riparia and Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis.

Another good site for seawatching is Ponta Trabuz, situated more to the north and before Ribeira da Prata. As some of the breeding grounds of Fea’s Petrel are close to this point, it is easy to find the species with a telescope in the appropriate season as well as Cape Verde Shearwater. Other breeding birds present are Brown Booby (not breeding at S. Nicolau but with an important colony on Raso), Little Egret, Osprey, Common Kestrel and Iago Sparrow. The scenery from there is particularly impressive.

The area of Cachaço – Monte Gordo – Fajã valley and surroundings is in part protected by the “Parque Natural de Monte Gordo”. This mountainous range is one of the best places to find Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris which is locally common, as well as other breeding birds like Common Kestrel, Common Quail, Cape Verde Swift, Spectacled Warbler, Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, Brown-necked Raven and Iago Sparrow. There are also records of Fea’s Petrel and Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus (assimilis) boydi, as their breeding sites are nearby. Finally, from time to time migrantszuch as Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica and Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus are found. Cattle Egret are observed frequently.

The cliffs between Morro Brás and Juncalinho, in the north coast, are good for Osprey, Common Kestrel, Brown-necked Raven and Iago Sparrow. There are records also of some Paleartic migrant passerines including Willow Warbler.

Finally, in the areas of Ribeira da Prata and Ribeira Tucudo (western half of the island) there are small populations of Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis which is an endangered and very local species on São Nicolau. This bird was overlooked for more than 25 years in the island before its rediscovery at the end of the 90s.

Sal

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Saltpans of Pedra de Lume, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

There are a number of good sites for birdwatching on this island. The saltpans of Pedra de Lume ("salinas de Pedra de Lume") are one of the best sites for aquatic migrants, especially waders, and a breeding area for Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus and Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus. Alexander Kestrel Falco (tinnunculus) alexandri, Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura and Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis have all been seen here. The saltpans of Santa Maria ("salinas de Santa Maria"), in the south of the island is another good site for waders, and the surrounding beach together with the saltpans is one of the best sites for breeding Kentish Plovers. Ospreys Pandion haliaetus have been found here and the local sand dunes and plains are the best place for Greater Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon alaudipes on this island.

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Saltpans of Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

The temporary lagoon in the mouth of Ribeira da Madama, close to Baia da Murdeira on the west coast of the island (very close to the paved road between Espargos and Santa Maria) is one of the best sites for aquatic migrants. Herons, waders, ducks and even spoonbills have been seen here. The best time to visit is at the beginning of the monsoon rains from August to November.

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Cultivations at Terra Boa, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Migrant passerines can be found in the Terra Boa cultivations in the north of the island. Swifts, Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata, Whinchat Saxicola rubetra, pipitsswallows and martins have all been seen here and there are records of Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor, Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura, Greater Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon alaudipes, Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis and even Cape Verde Peregrine Falco (peregrinus) madens. This last species is very rare on Sal and the rest of the Cape Verde Islands.

The west coast between Palmeira and Baia da Murdeira has flat coastal plains and some sandy beaches. Many migrant waders have been found here in the appropriate season e.g. September-October and Ospreys Pandion haliaetus and Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura can also be found. The Ilhéu de Rabo de Junco on the east coast is practically the only good site for breeding seabirds. Brown Booby Sula leucogaster, the very rare Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus and the rare Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris (diomedea) edwardsii, seen mainly in the late afternoon, have all been found here.

Santa Maria coast and village has hosted some rare migrant passerines e.g. Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides with only one record for the islands and it is easy to find Alexander Kestrel Falco (tinnunculus) alexandri and Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis. On the beach there are some migrant waders, herons, gulls, terns and a few breeding Kentish Plovers Charadrius alexandrinus.

Boavista

Boavista island is one of the best in the archipelago for migrant birds, but it is also interesting for some rare and endangered breeding species.

The cliffs of Praia da Fátima – Ponta do Sol, close to the capital Sal Rei are important for a small colony of Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus and for several raptors such as Osprey Pandion haliaetus (a frequent breeding site) and Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus alexandri. Some years ago there was at least one pair of Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus but it now seems to have disappeared.

On the outskirts of Sal Rei there is a small temporary lagoon, occupying the former area of saltpans, where there are many waders in some month but especially in autumn, the season when it has more water. Between the species seen are Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (a local breeding species), Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Sanderling Calidris alba and even vagrants such as White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis which was recorded in November 2010 for the first time for Boavista. Moreover, in the buildings and rock formations close to the lagoon two species of sparrows are common, Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis and Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis.

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Ilhéu do Sal Rei, and in the background the village of Sal Rei, Boavista Island, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Ilhéu de Sal Rei is a small islet not far from the coast which has old Osprey nests and it is possible to find several breeding passerines like Bar-tailed Desert Lark Ammomanes cinctura and Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata. In addition, bones from old pellets of the local race of Barn Owl Tyto alba detorta,have been found reportedly and the place is visited by some migrant waders.

The coast of Boa Esperança in the extreme north of the island is a very good area for waders like Kentish Plover which breed there. In a partially sunken ship, called “Cabo de Santa María”, there are several Osprey nests and apparently, one of Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis. In the area of sand dunes around the beach it is possible to find Greater Hoopoe-Larks Alaemon alaudipes, a common bird on Boavista.

Rabil-lagoon-Boavista

Rabil lagoon, Boavista Island, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Rabil lagoon (or Ribeira de Água lagoon) is one of the best sites in the Cape Verde Islands for aquatic birds (herons, ducks, waders, terns, etc.). It is one of only two known breeding places for Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus in the archipelago (interior part of the “ribeira”), and holds several pairs of Kentish Plover. There are records of some “rare” migratory species such as Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis, Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla, Royal Tern Sterna maxima and Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola. On the other hand, this is a more or less regular site for Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia, Little Tern Sterna albifrons etc. Finally, it is normal to see important flocks of Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis and Little Egret Egretta garzetta, especially in the late afternoon.

Cape-Verde-Boavista

Rocha Estância, Boavista Island, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Rocha Estância o de Povoação Velha is a remarkable mountain surrounded by desert-like landscape, very close to the village of Povoação Velha. There was a breeding pair of Egyptian Vulture there some years ago (which it seems are no longer there) and an Osprey pair. Other species present are Common Kestrel, Barn Owl and Brown-necked Raven. In the plains around the mountain it is possible to find the three breeding lark species of the island, viz. Black-crowned Sparrow Lark Eremopterix nigriceps, Greater Hoopoe-Lark and Bar-tailed Desert Lark.

On Ilhéu de Curral Velho, situated in the extreme south of the island, the highlight is undoubtedly Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens. This species is highly endangered here (only four birds in 2009) and this rock or Ilhéu represents its last breeding site in the Cape Verde Islands and the entire Western Palearctic. There are reasonable possibilities to see this species from the opposite coast, but it may be necessary to spend several hours there. The Ilhéu also holds an important colony of Brown Booby Sula leucogaster and several pairs of Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii. Additionally, there are old breeding records for Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus (assimilis) boydi and Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro. There are recent observations of Red-billed Tropicbird which most probably breeds here as well. Rarities observed in the Ilhéu and in the nearby coast include Masked Booby Sula dactylatra and Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca.

At Curral Velho, close to the old fishermen's houses is a big, temporary lagoon which is very good for migrants, especially for herons and waders. In the bushes and trees around it several Palearctic migrants including different species of warblers have also been recorded. Spanish Sparrow and probably Iago Sparrow also breed here.

The plains and small valleys near Curral Velho, in the southern half of the island, are very good for desert-like birds such as Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor and the three lark species mentioned previously. There are also good populations of Spanish Sparrow and Iago Sparrow, some Common Kestrels and Brown-necked Ravens patrolling the plains for food, and even Common Quails Coturnix coturnix.

Ilhéu do Baluarte was a former breeding site for Magnificent Frigatebird but only Brown Booby breeds here now.

There is a very large, temporary lagoon at Ponta do Rife do Baluarte (Antigas Salinas) on the east side of the island. When this site has plenty of water there are many waders such as breeding Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Common Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos and Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres.

Ilhéu dos Pássaros is well known for the important colony of White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina, one of the few colonies in the Cape Verde Islands, but there is also an interesting record of vagrant African Crake Cecropsis egregia. In the past it was a breeding place of Madeiran Storm-petrel but there are no recent records.

Santiago

From north to south, there are several good places for birdwatching on Santiago.

On the marine cliffs north of Tarrafal there is a small breeding colony of Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus as well as some pairs of Alexander’s Kestrel Falco (tinnunculus) alexandri and small numbers of the endemic Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri and Rock Dove Columba livia which also occupy some of the interior mountains. On the rocky coast it is possible to find migrant herons and waders, such as Little Egret Egretta garzetta, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea and Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. On the plains and small slopes there are other species like Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata, the endemic Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis, Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild, Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris and even Common Quail Coturnix coturnix. At night it is possible to find the Cape Verde Barn Owl Tyto (alba) detorta in Tarrafal village and the surrounding open fields and small woodlands.

The coast between Tarrafal and Chão Bom is good for migrant herons, waders and other aquatic species, with records of some rare or vagrant birds like Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia and Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos. Sometimes it is possible to see Osprey Pandion haliaetus, and in the nearby plains there are several steppe birds like Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor and Black-crowned Sparrow Lark Eremopterix nigriceps. Other breeding species present here are Spectacled Warbler, Iago Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis, Common Waxbill and Grey-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala.

In the area of Serra da Malagueta - Ribeira Principal, Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla and Brown-necked Ravens Corvus ruficollis can be found and this is a very good site for Alexander’s Kestrel, Cape Verde Swift, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Spectacled Warbler and Common Waxbill and there are records of Cape Verde Barn Owl even in the higher mountains.

On Boa Entrada, around the famous “poilão” (big Kapok Tree Ceiba pentandra), a former breeding place of the highly endangered Cape Verde Purple Heron Ardea (purpurea) bournei up to 1999, there is good habitat for the endemic Cape Verde Cane Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis which is locally common. It’s also a good place to see or hear Blackcaps, Grey-headed Kingfishers, Spanish Sparrows, Alexander’s Kestrels, Common Waxbills and other typical birds of cultivations and woodlands, and it is sometimes possible to find Cape Verde Barn Owl at dusk.

The mountainous area of Rui Vaz - Serra do Pico da Antónia is one of the last strongholds of the Cape Verde Buzzard Buteo (buteo) bannermani, as it’s a very rare and endangered species confined actually to Santo Antão and this island. Other raptors present here are Alexander’s Kestrel and Cape Verde Peregrine Falcon Falco (peregrinus) madens as well as Cape Verde Barn Owl. This is also a breeding place for Brown-necked Raven and Cape Verde Swift.

Botanical-Garden-at-Santiago-Cape-Verde

Botanical Garden at São Jorge dos Orgãos, Santiago, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

In the cultivations and gardens of São Jorge dos Orgãos there are good populations of some breeding passerines including Spectacled Warbler, Blackcap, Cape Verde Cane Warbler, Spanish Sparrow and Common Waxbill. A place of special interest is the “Jardim Botânico Nacional Grandvaux Barbosa” (National Botanical Garden Grandvaux Barbosa) which has some drinking places for several passerines. Other relatively common birds in this area are Cape Verde Swift, Grey-headed Kingfisher and Iago Sparrow.

Liberão, a locality situated on Ribeira Montanha valley, is actually the only breeding place of the Cape Verde Purple Heron. The number of pairs is so low than this (sub) species is highly endangered, being the object of a special conservation programme developed by Wetlands International and the Cape Verde government. Despite the continued presence of local people in the surroundings, ornithologists and birdwatchers must remain some distance from the colony in order to avoid disturbance during the breeding period. Other breeding species include Alexander’s Kestrel, Common Quail, Helmeted Guineafowl, Cape Verde Swift, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Spectacled Warbler, Blackcap, Cape Verde Cane Warbler, Brown-necked Raven, Iago Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow and Common Waxbill, many of them locally common.

Barragem-de-Poilao-Santiago-Cape-Verde

Barragem de Poilão, Santiago, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

The recent construction of a dam in the São Lourenço dos Orgãos area, called “Barragem de Poilão”, has resulted in Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus breeding there (the last breeding places of this species in the Cape Verdes were on Pedra Badejo lagoons, Santiago, and on Rabil lagoon, Boavista, up to the 1960s) and the observation of several ducks, herons and relatives and waders, some of them very “rare” in this archipelago, e.g. Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus and Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes. On the other hand, Cape Verde Purple Herons visit this site from their single colony.

Cape-Verde-lagoon-Santiago

One of the lagoons of Pedra Badejo during the rainy season, Santiago, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Not far from here are Pedra Badejo lagoons which in the appropriate season, especially in the rainy months, hold good numbers of migrant waders, herons and other aquatic birds. At the same time this is one of the few breeding places for Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus on Santiago Island, and it is possible to find Cape Verde Cane Warblers in the cultivations and groups of trees. In the last few years, the poor quantity of water in the lagoons has resulted in a reduction of avian interest but in wetter years, it can be an important spot for migrants.

Praia city and its surroundings constitute a good birding area. On the marine cliffs situated to the north, there is a small colony of Red-billed Tropicbird. Other interesting species found here are Alexander’s Kestrel, Cape Verde Peregrine Falcon (very rare and difficult to see), Cape Verde Swift and Iago Sparrow. In the plains situated between the cliffs and the airport there are good populations of Common Quail, Bar-tailed Desert Lark Ammomanes cinctura and Black-crowned Sparrow Lark as well as some Cream-coloured Coursers and Brown-necked Ravens prospecting for food. In the vegetated areas of the city, even in the main squares and parks, is possible to find Grey-headed Kingfishers, Blackcaps, Common Waxbills, Iago Sparrows and Spanish Sparrows. The low coast holds some migrant herons and waders, including sometimes “rare” species like Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis, but more commonly Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Common Sandpipers, Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, Whimbrels Numenius phaeopus, Ruddy Turnstones Arenaria interpres, gulls Larus spp. and terns Sterna spp. In the port area and close to the cliffs Brown Booby Sula leucogaster sometimes pass although they do not breed here but in distant places like Baia do Inferno situated in the southwest part of the island. Finally, there are several observations of Cape Verde Barn Owl in the western half of the city.

Raso

An April 2009 trip report included sightings of Raso Lark Alauda razae with decent views from the boat of several birds along the low cliff-tops of Raso (it is now difficult to obtain permission to land on the island).

The following comment was received subsequently from the Principal Conservation Scientist of the International Research Team. " I would really like to encourage other visitors to Cape Verde to follow your excellent example in viewing Raso Lark from the boat, rather than breaking Cape Verde law and landing without permission. Raso is coming under increasing pressure through illegal landings and RSPB is helping the Cape Verde authorities and NGOs to develop an action plan for this extremely sensitive island. I hope others follow your responsible behaviour."

Species

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Cape_Verde_Shearwater

Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris (diomedea) edwardsii

Image Credit: 
Beneharo Rodríguez Martín taken off the coast of Mauritania
Cape_Verde_Warbler

Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis, Sao Jorge dos Orgaos, Santiago Island, Cape Verde

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco, November 2010
Iago_Sparrows_Cape_Verde

Iago Sparrows Passer iagoensis, Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde. Note: this species is common around the hotels in the south of Sal Island

Image Credit: 
Liz Anderson
Cape_Verde_Swift

Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri, Praia cliffs, Santiago Island, Cape Verde

Image Credit: 
Stefan Cherrug, November 2010
Feas_Petrel_Cape_Verde

Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae, Cha das Caldeiras, Fogo, Cape Verde

Image Credit: 
Pascual Calabuig, March 2011

Country checklist and status

You can download and print a checklist for Cape Verde Islands.

The total species list reliably recorded in the islands is 178. These include 36 breeding species of which 9 are seabirds. The main ornithological importance lies in its seabird colonies and its endemic land birds. There are about 40 species of passage migrants mainly of Palearctic origin (HAZEVOET 1995 etc).

Endemic species

Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri
Raso Lark Alauda razae
Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis see reference (viii)
Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis

An additional seven land birds are recognized by Hazevoet as being endemic phylogenetic species, and these forms contribute significantly to the uniqueness of the islands: Cape Verde Purple Heron Ardea (purpurea) bournei, Cape Verde Kite Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda (HILLE, S, & THIOLLAY, J.-M. 2000), Cape Verde Buzzard Buteo (buteo) bannermani, Alexander's Kestrel Falco (tinnunculus) alexandri, Neglected Kestrel Falco (tinnunculus) neglectus, Cape Verde Peregrine Falco (peregrinus) madens and Cape Verde Barn Owl Tyto (alba) detorta. Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae is a seabird which is largely endemic to Cape Verde when breeding. The population of P.feae on Cape Verde is also recognized as a phylogenetic species by Hazevoet as are two other seabirds Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris (diomedea) edwardsii and Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus (assimilis) boydi.

Near endemic species

Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae

The breeding population in Cape Verde is estimated to be a minimum of 310 pairs. This species also breeds on Bugio island in the Desertas off Madeira.

Threatened species

Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae Vulnerable
Raso Lark Alauda razae Critical
Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis Endangered

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Birds of the World Version 2.0 ® 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd.

Important Bird Areas

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The Cape Verde Islands are an Endemic Bird Area (EBA) and include 12 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) covering a total of 110 km2 or some 2.7% of the land area of the country. The IBAs include all the important habitats for birds including seabird colonies, the main breeding sites of endemic species, lagoons and saltpans for wintering migrants, and representative desert communities.

São Nicolau

Central mountain range of Ilha de São Nicolau consists of a chain of rugged mountains in the western part of the island. This is an important breeding area for Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae. Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata, Blackcap S. atricapilla and Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri are all common. In February 1998, a small population of about 8 pairs of Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis, thought to be extinct on São Nicolau since 1924, was rediscovered. Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis boydi is a locally common breeder in the interior mountains of São Nicolau as well as on Santiago, Fogo and Santo Antão.

Sal

There are no Important Bird Areas on the island of Sal.

Boavista

Ilhéu do Curral Velho is a rock with an area of 0.5 ha only situated off the southern most point of Boavista. About 100 pairs of Brown Booby Sula leucogaster breed on the islet as well as 2 or 3 pairs of Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens, one of only 2 breeding sites for this species in Cape Verde and indeed, the eastern Atlantic.

Cape-Verde-Boavista

Above and below. Ilhéu do Curral Velho from the opposite coast, Boavista Island, Cape Verde. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Cape-Verde-Boavista

Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

Ribeira do Rabil on the western side of Boavista is at the mouth of the Ribeira Grande, the main watercourse on the island. The lagoon and the ribeira usually hold good numbers of wintering migrant waders, herons and terns. The surrounding areas hold arid zone species such as Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cincturus and Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

Santiago

Cape-Verde-Santiago-Cliffs

Cliffs near Praia, Santiago Island, Cape Verde. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

There are 5 IBAs on the island of Santiago: coastal cliffs between Porto Mosquito and Baia do Inferno hold seabird colonies including scattered pairs of Red-billed Tropicbird Phaetheon aethereus; Serra do Pico da Antónia comprises the central mountain range of the island with endemic breeding birds including Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri, Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis and Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis; Pedro Badejo lagoons for waders and herons as well as breeding Grey-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala, Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata and Blackcap S. atricapilla; Kapok tree, Boa Entrada which comprises a single huge Kapok tree which is only one of two sites for breeding Cape Verde Purple Heron Ardea purpurea bournei the other site being Mahoganies at Banana, Ribeira Montanha, Ilha de Santiago.

CV-Ribeira-Santiago-Cape-Verde

Ribeira Principal Valley, Santiago, Cape Verde, Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Fogo

Volcano area, Ilha do Fogo comprises the highest parts of the island of Fogo reaching 2,829 m. This is one of only four sites in the archipelago where Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae is known to breed. Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri has been observed on Fogo at the highest elevations.

Cape-Verde-Fogo

Pico Novo (2829m), the highest point of the archipelago, Fogo, Cape Verde. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Brava

Cape-Verde-Brava

Bay of Faja de Agua, Brava, Cape Verde. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Ilhéus do Rombo is situated north-east of the island of Brava and holds large breeding colonies of White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina, Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis boydi, Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro and Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii.

Branco

Cape-Verde-Branco

Branco Islet, Cape Verde. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Ilhéu Branco is a large oblong rock rising precipitously from the sea to a height of 327m. It is one of the major sites for breeding seabirds holding the main breeding population of Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris diomedea edwardsii, as well as breeding populations of White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina and Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis boydi.

Raso

Cape-Verde-Raso-islet

Raso Islet, Cape Verde. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

 

Ilhéu Raso holds the endemic Raso Lark Alauda razae which is entirely confined to this island with a total population of 45 pairs. The species roams all over the island but breeding is confined to the grassy area in the south-west. The island also has seabird colonies with boobies, tropicbirds, Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris diomedea edwardsii, Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro, Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis boydi and Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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