Working for birds in Africa


Fri, 25/01/2013 - 14:58 -- abc_admin

Somali Wheatear Oenanthe phillipsi


Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

Lesser Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon hamertoni - a Somalian endemic species

Bancade' Plain; Sanaag Region, Somalia

Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

Archer's Buzzard Buteo archeri


* Some authorities consider this to be a separate species and others subsume it into B. rufofuscus or B. augur.

Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

Somali Thrush Turdus ludoviciae


Some authorities raise the endemic and endangered subspecies of Olive Thrush Turdus olivaceus to Somali Thrush Turdus ludoviciae to species level.

Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

Little Brown Bustard Eupodotis humilis


Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

Blanford’s Lark Calandrella blanfordi


Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

Somali Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus blythii


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 Somalia 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.

Somalia has an avifauna of 660 or so species of which 302 species are resident, 89 are intra-Africa migrants, 153 are Palearctic migrants and there are several species of global conservation concern (FISHPOOL, L.D.C. and EVANS M.I. editors 2001).

Endemic species

*Archer’s Buzzard Buteo archeri
Somali Pigeon Columba oliviae
Ash’s Lark Mirafra ashi
Somali Lark Mirafra somalica
Archer’s Lark Heteromirafra archeri
Lesser Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon hamertoni
Obbia Lark Spizocorys obbiensis
**Bulo Burti Bush-Shrike Laniarius liberatus
Somali Golden-winged Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus louisae
Warsangli Linnet Carduelis johannis

** Bulo Burti Bush-Shrike Laniarius liberatus is not part of the accepted national list at this time and is included in List C - species requiring confirmation. A single specimen was captured in an isolated patch of disturbed acacia scrub at Bulo Burti, central Somalia in January 1989, taken to Germany for study in captivity, and returned to Somalia and released at a different site in March 1990. It was described as a new species on the basis of DNA studies of its blood and a few feathers - see reference (iii).

John Miskell (in correspondence) states that the reason it is not yet accepted on the national list is that the DNA of the only existing specimen was not compared to the all black "morph" of the Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus. JM further states "the all black bird was originally described as Laniarius erlangeri from Erlanger’s specimens from the Juba valley. A black and white subspecies Laniarius aethiopicus somaliensis was described from Erlanger’s specimens from the same area. Later, museum workers lumped both forms as L. aethiopicus erlangeri. Only the all black bird occurs along the Shabeelle river, including just south of the type locality of L. liberatus. John Ash, Joseph Mwaki, and I have all seen and heard the black bird along the Shabeelle, and noted that it does not sound anything like a typical Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus. When Joseph Mwaki first heard it he immediately said ‘Gonolek!’. It will probably eventually prove to be a full species." Anyone who actually goes looking for it is more likely to find Red-naped Bush Shrike Laniarius ruficeps which is common on the red sand areas once one is away from the clay soils along the river.

Near endemic species (found in 3 or less countries)

Little Brown Bustard Eupodotis humilis
Chestnut-naped Francolin Francolinus castaneicollis
African White-winged Dove Streptopelia reichenowi
Fischer’s Turaco Tauraco fischeri
*Forbes-Watson’s Swift Apus berliozi
Mombasa Woodpecker Campethera mombassica
Collared Lark Mirafra collaris
Gillett’s Lark Mirafra gilletti
Blanford’s Lark Calandrella blanfordi
Rufous Short-toed Lark Calandrella somalica
Malindi Pipit Anthus melindae
Pangani Longclaw Macronyx aurantiigula
Somali Wheatear Oenanthe phillipsi
Sombre Rock-Chat Cercomela dubia

Somali Short-billed Crombec

Sylvietta philippae
Somali Long-billed Crombec Sylvietta isabellina
Little Yellow Flycatcher Erythrocercus holochlorus
Violet-breasted Sunbird Cinnyris chalcomelas
Long-tailed Fiscal Lanius cabanisi
Red-naped Bush-Shrike Laniarius ruficeps
Somali Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus blythii
Swainson’s Sparrow Passer swainsonii
Arabian Golden Sparrow Passer euchlorus
Juba Weaver Ploceus dichrocephalus
Fire-fronted Bishop Euplectes diadematus
Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser donaldsoni
Northern Grosbeak-Canary Serinus donaldsoni
Brown-rumped Seedeater Serinus tristriatus

* possibly the only country in Africa for this species.

Threatened species

Lesser Kestrel

Falco naumanni Vulnerable
White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus Vulnerable
Somali Pigeon Columba oliviae Vulnerable
Ash’s Lark Mirafra ashi Endangered
Archer’s Lark Heteromirafra archeri Endangered
Bulo Burti Bush-Shrike Laniarius liberatus Critical
Warsangli Linnet Carduelis johannis 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. For further information on Somalia’s threatened species, see BirdLife International.

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