Ilhéu de Rabo de Junco, Sal Island, Cape Verde
With a number of endemic land birds and large seabird colonies with species which are difficult to see elsewhere in the area, the Cape Verde Islands offer much of interest. With few organised trips at present, the islands offer perhaps an opportunity for the individual traveller.
Raso Lark Alauda razae, which is entirely confined to a single island with a total population of 45 pairs, is one of the world's rarest birds. Cape Verde Swift Apus alexandri, Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis and Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis are the other endemic species.
Also of interest to birders are an additional seven land birds and two seabirds recognised by Hazevoet and other authorities as being endemic phylogenetic species, and these forms contribute significantly to the uniqueness of the islands. They are, however, treated as subspecies in the African Bird Club checklist for example Cape Verde Purple Heron Ardea (purpurea) bournei and Cape Verde Little Shearwater Puffinus (assimilis) boydi. The full list is given in the species section and are referred to in other sections.
The purpose of this document is to provide a summary of Cape Verde and its birds for birders interested in the country and potentially planning a visit. The information has been put together from a number of sources including input from Cornelis Hazevoet and it is intended to add new information as it becomes available. As such, readers are welcome to submit contributions by e-mail to [email protected].