Working for birds in Africa


Mon, 01/14/2013 - 15:03 -- abc_admin

Somali Starlings Onychognathus blythii, Djibouti

Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

Country checklist and status


We are delighted that our Corporate Sponsor iGoTerra has made its country checklists, including subspecies (IOC or Clements) as well as all other species groups like mammals, butterflies etc. available through the ABC website. The only thing required is a Basic membership / registration which is free of charge. Go to Djibouti checklists. If you are already a member of iGoTerra, you will be taken directly to the country page. In case you are not a member, you will be redirected automatically to the registration form and from there can go straight to the country page.

Welch and Welch (1999) list 360 species and give a brief overview of ornithology in the country. The diverse avifauna is demonstrated by looking at the origins of the species recorded: endemic 1; breeding (restricted to Africa) 37; breeding (restricted to Africa and the Middle East) 44; breeding (global distribution) 34; migrant (predominantly of Palearctic origin) 127; vagrant (1 to 3 records) 65; extinct in Djibouti 1 (Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris); status unknown (51).

The following species update was received in February 2011.

Djibouti’s is still little studied ornithologically and the current bird list is based on the result of several visits by Geoff and Hilary Welch from 1987 to 2009 and observations by Houssein Rayaleh / BirdLife Species Guardian. Other records were established by Birdquest (Djibouti & Somaliland trip report, Sept 2010).

Despite limited observations and the small size of the country, 364 bird species have now been recorded (Geoff Welch et al. 2009, Houssein Rayaleh, This impressive list is related to Djibouti’s geographical location at the narrowest point (Bab El Mandeb Straits) in the eastern entrance of the Red Sea. This is one of the most significant entry and exit points for bird migration between Africa and Asia / Europe and is used regularly by millions of migratory birds.

Endemic species

Djibouti Francolin

Francolinus ochropectus


Near endemic species (found in 3 or less countries)

Arabian Golden Sparrow

Passer euchlorus



Threatened species

Atlantic Petrel

Pterodroma incerta


Greater Spotted Eagle

Aquila clanga


Eastern Imperial Eagle

Aquila heliaca


Lesser Kestrel

Falco naumanni


White-eyed Gull

Larus leucophthalmus


In addition there are two species whose taxonomic status has still to be determined. The first is a species (or race) of Melba Finch most closely resembling Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba but lacking any trace of red in the plumage, these areas being replaced by rich yellow. The second is an unidentified species of sunbird, probably a Nectarinia sp, seen in autumn 1987 but not since. Details of these sightings, and illustrations, are given in Welch and Welch (1998).

Copyright © African Bird Club. All rights reserved.
UK registered charity 1184309


Web site designed and built by