Southern Africa

581,730 km²


Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 590 recorded species

Bradfield’s Hornbill (Kevin Ravno)
Slaty Egret (Kevin Ravno)
Red-billed Spurfowl (Kevin Ravno)

Near-endemics (NE)
Slaty Egret

Birds best found in Botswana but occurring more widely (BT)
Bradfield’s Hornbill

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE or BT (1/2)
Short-clawed Lark

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2)
Luapula Cisticola

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Barrow’s Bustard (B2)
Grey-headed Parrot
Pretoria Rock Thrush (1/2)

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Common Ostrich
African Pygmy Goose
Cape Shoveler
Orange River Francolin
Red-billed Spurfowl
Swainson’s Spurfowl
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar
Square-tailed Nightjar
Kori Bustard
Red-crested Korhaan
Northern Black Korhaan
Coppery-tailed Coucal
Namaqua Sandgrouse
Double-banded Sandgrouse
Burchell’s Sandgrouse
Wattled Crane
Lesser Flamingo
Long-toed Lapwing
Lesser Jacana
Double-banded Courser
Rock Pratincole
White-backed Night Heron
Rufous-bellied Heron
Southern White-faced Owl
Pel’s Fishing Owl
White-backed Mousebird
Southern Ground Hornbill
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Racket-tailed Roller
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Bennett’s Woodpecker
Dickinson’s Kestrel
Pririt Batis
Southern Boubou
Swamp Boubou
Crimson-breasted Shrike
Southern White-crowned Shrike
Fairy Flycatcher
Southern Black Tit
Rufous-bellied Tit
Ashy Tit
Cape Penduline Tit
Spike-heeled Lark (ESS barlowi)
Black-eared Sparrow-Lark
Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark
Sabota Lark
Fawn-coloured Lark
Eastern Clapper Lark (ESS nata)
Monotonous Lark
Stark’s Lark
Pink-billed Lark (ESS crypta)
African Red-eyed Bulbul
Pearl-breasted Swallow
White-throated Swallow
Long-billed Crombec
Greater Swamp Warbler
Lazy Cisticola
Chirping Cisticola
Desert Cisticola
Black-chested Prinia
Bar-throated Apalis
Rufous-eared Warbler
Stierling’s Wren-Warbler
Barred Wren-Warbler
Yellow-bellied Eremomela
Burnt-necked Eremomela
Chestnut-vented Warbler
Cape White-eye
Southern Pied Babbler
Hartlaub’s Babbler
Black-faced Babbler
Cape Starling
Meves’s Starling
Burchell’s Starling
Boulder Chat
Groundscraper Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
Karoo Thrush
Kalahari Scrub Robin
Grey Tit-Flycatcher
Chat Flycatcher
Marico Flycatcher
Fiscal Flycatcher
White-throated Robin-Chat
Ant-eating Chat
Arnot’s Chat
Dusky Sunbird
Cape Sparrow
Great Sparrow
Sociable Weaver
Scaly-feathered Weaver
Southern Brown-throated Weaver
Southern Red Bishop
Fan-tailed Widowbird
Long-tailed Widowbird
Quailfinch (ESS pallida)
Red-headed Finch
Violet-eared Waxbill
Brown Firefinch
Purple Indigobird
Shaft-tailed Whydah
Cape Longclaw
Rosy-throated Longclaw
Nicholson’s Pipit
Wood Pipit
Buffy Pipit (ESS exasperatus)
Bushveld Pipit
Black-throated Canary
Yellow Canary
Streaky-headed Seedeater
Black-eared Seedeater
Lark-like Bunting
Cape Bunting

Hartlaub’s Babbler (Kevin Ravno)
Racket-tailed Roller (Paul van Giersbergen)
Pel’s Fishing Owl (Tadeusz Rosiński)
Kori Bustard (Kevin Ravno)
Burchell’s Sandgrouse (Kevin Ravno)
Short-clawed Lark (John Caddick)

National bird
Kori Bustard | Kgori

Okavango system, woodlands, Acacia savannas

12 Important Bird Areas

Chobe for Slaty Egret
Lobatse area for Short-clawed Lark
Shakawe for Pel’s Fishing Owl

TIMING (Dec–Feb)
Being arid, it is best to visit at the start of the main rains (Dec–Feb), when most birds breed
Mid-winter (Jun–Aug) is less productive, especially in the south

RESOURCES (see also South Africa)
Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)
Roberts Bird Guide 2
Sasol eBirds Southern Africa

Field guides
Birds of Botswana by Peter Hancock & Ingrid Weiersbye (2016) includes species names in Setswana
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton, Niall Perrins, Dominic Rollinson & Peter G Ryan (2020)
The Botswana Birders’ Companion: 300 Common and Conspicuous Botswana Birds by Pete Hancock (2018)
Beginner’s Guide to Birds of Botswana/Ithute Dinonyane tsa Botswana edited by Kabelo J Senyatso (2005)
Newman’s Birds of Botswana: a Guide to Common Species by Kenneth Newman (1999)
Birds of Botswana by Kenneth Newman (1989)
Wildlife of the Okavango by Duncan Butchart (2017) is a photographic guide covering more than 470 of the area’s most conspicuous and interesting mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fishes, invertebrates, trees and aquatic plants

Southern African Bird Sounds by Guy Gibbon

Site guides
Southern African Birdfinder by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Jonathan Rossouw (2006)
Birds in the Gaborone Area and Where to Find Them by Stephanie J Tyler & Wendy D Borello (1998)

Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2), a member of the African Bird Atlas Project
Bird Atlas of Botswana by Huw Penry (1994)

Further reading
Roberts – Birds of Southern Africa edited by P A R Hockey, W R J Dean & P G Ryan (2005)
Botswana by Stephanie J Tyler & David R Bishop in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
A Review of Waterbird Counts in Botswana, 1991-2000 by Stephanie J Tyler (2001)
Birds of Botswana: an Annotated Working Bibliography, 1835-1995 by Wendy D Borello & Remigio M Borello (1997)
European Swallows in Botswana by Bennie van den Brink, Rob G Bijlsma & Tom M van der Have (1997)
Articles in Babbler and Familiar Chat (Journal and Newsletter of BirdLife Botswana), Bull. ABC, etc.

Okavango Delta – UNESCO World Heritage List


BirdLife Botswana (the Botswana Bird Club as was) is the BirdLife Partner in Botswana

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Botswana include –
Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS)
Kalahari Research and Conservation & Raptors Botswana
Botswana Wild Bird Trust
Nata Conservation Trust
Lake Ngami Conservation Trust
Cape Vultures Environmental Association (CVEA)
Gaing-O Community Trust
Gumakutshaa Conservation Trust
Lenao la ga Kwalabe Conservation Trust
Botswana Envirolife Trust
Somarelang Tikologo (Environment Watch Botswana)
Peace Parks Foundation: Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), Greater Mapungubwe TFCA and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

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