Angola

SUB-REGION
South-Central Africa

SIZE
1,246,700 km² including the exclave of Cabinda (7th largest country in Africa)

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity
Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 940 recorded species (5th longest bird list of any country in the ABC region)

Braun’s Bushshrike (Pete Morris)
Monteiro’s Bushshrike (Pete Morris)
Gabela Helmetshrike (Paul van Giersbergen)

Endemics (E)
Grey-striped Francolin (LC)
Swierstra’s Francolin (EN)
Red-crested Turaco (LC)
Red-backed Mousebird (LC)
White-fronted Wattle-eye (NT)
Gabela Helmetshrike (EN)
Monteiro’s Bushshrike (NT)
Braun’s Bushshrike (EN)
Gabela Bushshrike (EN)
Pulitzer’s Longbill (EN)
Hartert’s Camaroptera (LC)
Angolan Slaty Flycatcher (LC)
Gabela Akalat (EN)
Ludwig’s Double-collared Sunbird (LC)
Golden-backed Bishop (LC)
Angolan Waxbill (LC)

Grey-striped Francolin (Pete Morris)
Gabela Bushshrike (Pete Morris)
Angolan Waxbill (Paul van Giersbergen)
White-fronted Wattle-eye (Pete Morris)
Ludwig’s Double-collared Sunbird (Pete Morris)

Near-endemics (NE)
Pale-olive Greenbul
Bubbling Cisticola
Angolan Cave Chat
Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush
Bocage’s Sunbird
Landana Firefinch
Cinderella Waxbill
Grimwood’s Longclaw

Angolan Cave Chat (Paul van Giersbergen)
Landana Firefinch (Pete Morris)
Cinderella Waxbill (Kevin Ravno)
Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush (Kevin Ravno)

Birds best found in Angola but occurring more widely (BT), including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Gabon Coucal
Anchieta’s Barbet
Angolan Batis
Yellow-throated Nicator
Yellow-necked Greenbul
Brazza’s Martin
Black-and-rufous Swallow
Black-tailed Cisticola
Salvadori’s Eremomela
Southern Hyliota (slatini)
Sharp-tailed Starling
Forest Scrub Robin
White-headed Robin-Chat
Bocage’s Akalat (ESS bocagei)
Oustalet’s Sunbird (ESS oustaleti)
Dusky Twinspot (ESS cinereovinacea)
Grey Waxbill
Black-faced Canary

White-headed Robin-Chat (Paul van Giersbergen)

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE or BT (1/2)
Hartlaub’s Francolin
Rüppell’s Korhaan
Violet Wood Hoopoe
Monteiro’s Hornbill
Rüppell’s Parrot
White-tailed Shrike
Carp’s Tit
Gray’s Lark
Benguela Long-billed Lark
Rockrunner
Bare-cheeked Babbler
Herero Chat

Violet Wood-hoopoe (Kevin Ravno)

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2)
Finsch’s Francolin
Bradfield’s Swift
Damara Hornbill
Black-backed Barbet (minor + macclounii = intercedens)
African Pitta (angolensis)
Margaret’s Batis (ESS margaritae)
Angolan Lark
Black-collared Bulbul
Red-throated Cliff Swallow
Black-necked Eremomela
Short-toed Rock Thrush
Bannerman’s Sunbird
Black-chinned Weaver
Bocage’s Weaver
Red-headed Bluebill
Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah
Fülleborn’s Longclaw

Angolan Lark (Pete Morris)

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Cunene River Francolin (1/2)
Angolan Mountain Nightjar (E)
Loanda Swift (E)
Eastern Piping Hornbill
Angolan Naked-faced Barbet (E)
Angolan White-headed Barbet (E)
Northern Olive Woodpecker
West African Pitta (B2)
Perrin’s Bushshrike (BT)
Angolan White-throated Greenbul (E)
Huambo Cisticola (E)
Lepe Cisticola (E)
Forest Hyliota (BT)
Benguela Long-tailed Starling (E)
Cunene Long-tailed Starling (NE)
Benguela Seedeater (NE)
Ansorge’s Firefinch (NE)

Other taxa of interest, including ESS
White-throated Francolin (dewittei)
Red-necked Spurfowl (afer)
Ludwig’s Bustard
West African Crested Tern
Coppery-tailed Coucal
Fernando Po Swift (status uncertain)
Olive Bee-eater (alternans)
Black Scimitarbill (anchietae)
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (ESS elegans)
Pale-billed Hornbill
Piping Hornbill (sharpii)
Western Green Tinkerbird (ESS angolensis)
Pallid Honeyguide
Elliot’s Woodpecker (ESS gabela)
Rosy-faced Lovebird
African Broadbill
Black-throated Wattle-eye
Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye (ESS ansorgei)
Pink-footed Puffback
Swamp Boubou
Petit’s Cuckooshrike
Purple-throated Cuckooshrike
Dusky Tit (gabela)
Cabanis’s Greenbul
White-headed Saw-wing (ESS suffusa, controversial)
Yellow Longbill
Long-billed Crombec (ansorgei)
Red-capped Crombec
Laura’s Woodland Warbler (ESS laurae)
Evergreen Forest Warbler (boultoni)
Tinkling Cisticola
Wailing Cisticola (ESS namba)
Chirping Cisticola
Banded Prinia (ESS heinrichi)
Masked Apalis
Grey Apalis (ESS grandis)
Miombo Wren-Warbler | Pale Wren-Warbler (ESS huilae)
Scaly-breasted Illadopsis (ESS trensei)
Brown Illadopsis (ESS dilutior)
Hartlaub’s Babbler
White-winged Babbling Starling (ESS gutturalis)
Forest Scrub Robin (ESS reichenowi)
Miombo Scrub Robin
Brown-chested Alethe (ESS hallae)
Miombo Rock Thrush
Mountain Wheatear (ESS albipileata + nigricauda)
Arnot’s Chat (ESS harterti)
Carmelite Sunbird (fuliginosa)
Bronzy Sunbird (ESS gadowi)
Red-headed Malimbe (ESS praedi)
Loango Weaver
White-winged Widowbird (asymmetrurus)
Woodhouse’s Antpecker (ESS ansorgei)
Fawn-breasted Waxbill
Wood Pipit
Nicholson’s Pipit (palliditinctus)
Yellow-crowned Canary (ESS huillensis)
Cape Bunting (ESS nebularum)

Grey Apalis (Pete Morris)
Yellow Longbill (Pete Morris)
Black-throated Wattle-eye (Pete Morris)

National bird
Red-crested Turaco | Turaco de Angola

MAIN HABITATS
Escarpment forest, Afromontane forest, gallery forest, Miombo woodland, desert

BIRD AREAS
Western Angola Endemic Bird Area
Gabon Cabinda coast Secondary Area (SA)
Namibian escarpment SA
West Zaïre and North Angola forests SA
23 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Mount Moco and Tundavala for montane and miombo species
Kumbira Forest, Kissama National Park and Quibaxe for escarpment endemics
Kalandula Falls for White-headed Robin-Chat and miombo species
Namibe for desert species

TIMING (Aug–Oct)
Best at the start of the rains (Aug–Oct) when most birds breed
Some places, including Kumbira, may be inaccessible during the rains (Nov–Mar)
Feb–May is good for breeding plumaged Golden-backed Bishop and various Vidua species
Jun–Jul is unproductive in the highlands

RESOURCES
Field guides
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara by Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan (2010)
Birds of Southern Africa by Ber van Perlo (2009)
Birds of Western Africa by Ron Demey & Nik Borrow (2014) is the best available field guide for the north of the country
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton, Niall Perrins, Dominic Rollinson & Peter Ryan (2020) is useful for the south of the country and, together with the previous field guide, covers most non-endemic birds

Sounds
Vocalisations of Angolan Birds by Michael S L Mills
African Bird Sounds Vol 2: West and Central Africa by Claude Chappuis
Southern African Bird Sounds by Guy Gibbon

Site guides
Birds Angola – Birding Sites by Michael Mills
Southern African Birdfinder by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Jonathan Rossouw (2006)
Birding Western Angola by Ian Sinclair, Claire Spottiswoode, Callan Cohen, Michael Mills, Rodney Cassidy, Pedro vaz Pinto & Peter Ryan (2004)

Further reading
The Avifauna of Angola: Richness, Endemism and Rarity by Richard Dean, Martim Melo & Michael Mills in Biodiversity of Angola Science & Conservation: a Modern Synthesis edited by Brian J Huntley, Vladimir Russo, Fernanda Lages & Nuno Ferrand (2019)
The Special Birds of Angola/As Aves Especiais de Angola by Michael Mills (2017)
The Collection and Database of Birds of Angola Hosted at IICT (Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical), Lisboa, Portugal by Miguel Monteiro, Luís Reino, Pedro Beja, Michael Stuart Lyne Mills, Cristiane Bastos-Silveira, Manuela Ramos, Diana Rodrigues, Isabel Queirós Neves, Susana Consciência & Rui Figueira (2014)
The Checklist of the Birds of Angola 2013 Edition/A Lista das Aves de Angola Edição 2013 by Michael Mills & Martim Melo (2013)
A Bibliography of Angolan Birds compiled by W R J Dean and M S L Mills (2012)
Angola by W R J Dean in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
The Birds of Angola: an Annotated Checklist by W R J Dean (2000)
Ornitolgia de Angola Vol 1: Non-passeres by António Augusto da Rosa Pinto (1983)
Articles in Bull. ABC, Malimbus, etc.

Websites
Birds Angola
Birding Angola
Kwanza Lodge: About Angola

Blogs
Angola Field Group: Birds
Kumbira Forest Project: Saving Angola’s Endemic Birds

Facebook groups
Angola Selvagem is a forum for anyone interested in the fantastic wildlife and natural environment of Angola
Birding Angola is a group with a goal to promote birdwatching in Angola

ORGANISATIONS

There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Angola

Bird or conservation organisations active in Angola include –
Associação Angolana para Aves e Natureza/Angolan Association for Birds and Nature
Wild Bird Trust
Fundação Kissama/Kissama Foundation
Mount Moco
EcoAngola
Bioconserv
Acção para o Desenvolvimento Rural e Ambiente (ADRA)/Action for Rural Development and Environment
Juventude Ecológica Angolana (JEA)
African Parks: Iona, Luengue-Luiana and Mavinga National Parks
Peace Parks Foundation: Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) and Liuwa Plains-Mussuma TFCA
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

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