Working for birds in Africa


Tue, 02/05/2013 - 15:47 -- abc_admin

Rosy-breasted Longclaw Macronyx ameliae, Bangweulu, Zambia

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Angola Lark Mirafra angolensis, Mwinilunga, Zambia

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Country checklist and status

You can download and print a checklist for Zambia.

750 species have been recorded to date.

You can also download this spreadsheet with checklists for Zambian National Parks and IBAs.

Endemic species

Zambia's only true endemic species is Chaplin's Barbet Lybius chaplini, although Black-cheeked Lovebird Agapornis nigrigenis is virtually so and quite a number of other species have the greater proportion of their range within Zambia. If recognised as a valid species, White-chested Tinkerbird Pogoniulus makawai is endemic. However, it is still known only from the holotype and many authorities now consider it to be an aberrant Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird P. bilineatus.

Threatened species

BirdLife International (2000) lists 22 globally threatened species that occur in Zambia. No species classified as 'Critical' or 'Endangered' occurs, but Zambia holds 11 species classified as 'Vulnerable', 9 species classified as 'Near-threatened' and 2 species classified as 'Data-deficient'. It is possible that White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresii (classified as 'Endangered') occurs in Zambia, if only sporadically, but at present there are no confirmed records

Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idae Vulnerable
Slaty Egret Egretta vinaceigula Vulnerable
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres Vulnerable
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus Vulnerable
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Vulnerable
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Vulnerable
Corncrake Crex crex Vulnerable
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus Vulnerable
Black-cheeked Lovebird Agapornis nigrigenis Vulnerable
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea Vulnerable
Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris Vulnerable


Birding in general

Zambia holds a mouth-watering selection of birds, many of which are very difficult to see elsewhere. Miombo woodland is the predominant habitat and here one can find species such as Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti, Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius, Anchieta’s Barbet Stactolaema anchietae, Miombo Pied Barbet Tricholaema frontata, Black-necked Eremomela Eremomela atricollis, Red-capped Crombec Sylvietta ruficapilla, Yellow-bellied Hyliota Hyliota flavigaster, Bühm’s Flycatcher Muscicapa boehmi, Rufous-bellied Tit Parus rufiventris, Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus, Anchieta’s Sunbird Anthreptes anchietae, Shelley's Sunbird Cinnyris shelleyi, Sousa's Shrike Lanius souzae, Sharp-tailed Starling Lamprotornis acuticaudus, White-winged Starling Neocichla gutturalis and Bar-winged Weaver Ploceus angolensis.

In the grassy dambos that drain the woodland are African Blue Quail Coturnix adansonii, Black-rumped Buttonquail Turnix hottentotus, Chestnut-headed Flufftail Sarothrura lugens, Streaky-breasted Flufftail S.boehmi, Striped Crake Aenigmatolimnas marginalis, Fülleborn's Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii, Rosy-throated Longclaw M. ameliae, Black-chinned Quailfinch Ortypgospiza gabonensis, Locust-Finch Paludipasser locustella and endless species of cisticola.

In the north of the country, patches of mushitu (wet evergreen forest) hold species such as Ross's Turaco Musophaga rossae, Bocage's Akalat Sheppardia bocagei, Laura's Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus laurae and Margaret’s Batis Batis margaritae. Along rivers you might find Western Banded Snake Eagle Circaetus cinerascens, African Finfoot Podica senegalensis, Pel’s Fishing-owl Scotopelia peli and Boehm’s Bee-eater Merops boehmi. In the low-lying deciduous thickets, the ultimate prize is African Pitta Pitta angolensis.

The drawcards of the larger wetlands are Slaty Egret Egretta vinaceigula, Shoebill Balaeniceps rex and Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus. Those travelling to the papyrus swamps over the lower Luapula River will be looking for Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris and White-winged Warbler Bradypterus carpalis.

Other more remote hotspots include Mwinilunga which holds a large number of species rarely found elsewhere in the country such as White-spotted Flufftail S arothrura pulchra, Angola Lark Mirafra angolensis, Black-and-rufous Swallow Hirundo nigrorufa, Grimwood's Longclaw Macronyx grimwoodi, Black-collared Bulbul Neolestes torquatus, Grey-winged Robin-Chat Cossypha polioptera, Bamboo Warbler Bradypterus alfredi and Spotted Thrush-Babbler Ptyrticus turdinus. In montane areas such as the Nyika Plateau, one can find Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum, Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea, White-chested Alethe Alethe fuelleborni, Sharpe’s Akalat Sheppardia sharpei, Olive-flanked Robin-Chat Cossypha anomala, Mountain Yellow Warbler Chloropeta similis, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird Nectarinia johnstoni, Waller’s Starling Onychognathus walleri, Bertram's Weaver Ploceus bertrandi and Mountain Marsh Widowbird Euplectes psammocromius.

Lastly, Zambia is visited by about 100 species of Palearctic migrant including birds such as Corncrake Crex crex, Great Snipe Gallinago media, Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia, Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum and Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis.

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