Mali (Kulikoro) Firefinch Lagonosticta virata, Nando, Mali, February 2010
Abdim's Stork Ciconia adminii, Segou, Mali, April 2011
African Swallow-tailed Kites Chelictinia riocourii roosting at dusk, Niono, Mali, early February 2008
Mali contains within its borders huge extremes of habitats, vegetation and avifauna. Key wintering grounds for Palearctic waterbirds and breeding areas for African waterbirds are found where the Niger River forms a large interior delta between the historic cities of Djenne and Timbuktu. The Sahara desert occupies the entire northern half of Mali, and the Sahel zone runs through Mali from east to west, each with its own unique avifauna. South of the Sahel are Sudanian savanna and Guinea savanna. The list of Malian species is currently being revised and will probably total between 400 and 500. Egyptian Plover Pluvianus aegyptius, Cricket Warbler Spiloptila clamans, Chestnut-backed Sparrow Lark Eremopterix leucotis, Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus, African Swallow-tailed Kite Chelictinia riocourii, Fox Kestrel Falco alopex, Hamerkop Scopus umbretta and the endemic Mali Firefinch Lagonosticta virata are not difficult to find.
The purpose of this document is to provide a summary of Mali 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 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]. You should note that the names of birds used in this document are those of the African Bird Club checklist.