Golden-breasted Starling Lamprotornis regius
Warsangli Linnet Carduelis johannis
With a list of 660 or so species including a good number of endemics and near endemics, birds with wonderfully evocative names such as Warsangli Linnet Carduelis johannis and an incredible selection of at least 24 lark species, this could be a birdwatcher’s paradise. Sadly, the long-running political instability puts the country off limits to most birders at the present time.
The following quote from Where to Watch Birds in Africa by Nigel Wheatley summarises the situation succinctly. "If Somalia was free from political strife and possessed a good infrastructure, it would be a popular birding destination, thanks to its fine selection of birds, which includes many north-east African specialities and ten endemics. Meanwhile, birders can only live in hope that one day they will be able to enjoy a birding trip to this little known country."
Somaliland (former British Somaliland Protectorate) is an autonomous entity that seceded from Somalia. It has proved stable over the last eighteen years and has many of the bird and mammal species endemic to the region.
Enrico Leonardi visited Somaliland for work in November 2019 and was able to bird along the Aden Gulf Coast at Lughaya, and visit the Tuuyo Plain with Abdi Jama. You can download his report which includes an annotated species list. Bram Piot also visited Somaliland and birded around Hargeisa in 2014 and 2010. You can download his 2014 and 2010 reports.
The purpose of this document is to provide a summary of Somalia 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].