Burkina Faso


274,200 km²


Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 480 recorded species

Scissor-tailed Kite (Tasso Leventis)
Bearded Barbet (Paul van Giersbergen)
Four-banded Sandgrouse (Tasso Leventis)

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Desert Grey Shrike
Glossy-backed Drongo
Western Square-tailed Drongo
Singing Bush Lark
African Reed Warbler
African Scrub Robin
Black-faced Quailfinch
Grey Firefinch

Other taxa of interest
Stone Partridge
Double-spurred Spurfowl
Plain Nightjar
Long-tailed Nightjar
Standard-winged Nightjar
Western Plantain-eater
Violet Turaco
Arabian Bustard
Denham’s Bustard
Savile’s Bustard
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Four-banded Sandgrouse
African Collared Dove
Bruce’s Green Pigeon
Black-headed Lapwing
Egyptian Plover
Greater Painted-snipe
Scissor-tailed Kite
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle
Grasshopper Buzzard
Northern White-faced Owl
Blue-naped Mousebird
Black Scimitarbill
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
Northern Red-billed Hornbill
Abyssinian Roller
Blue-bellied Roller
Red-throated Bee-eater
African Green Bee-eater
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
Vieillot’s Barbet
Bearded Barbet
Yellow-breasted Barbet
Fine-spotted Woodpecker
African Grey Woodpecker
Brown-backed Woodpecker
Fox Kestrel
Senegal Parrot
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Senegal Batis
Yellow-crowned Gonolek
Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike
Yellow-billed Shrike
Brown-necked Raven
White-shouldered Black Tit
Yellow Penduline Tit
Rufous-rumped Lark
Desert Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark
Kordofan Lark
Sun Lark
Crested Lark
Dunn’s Lark
Fanti Saw-wing
Red-throated Rock Martin
Red-chested Swallow
Pied-winged Swallow
West African Swallow
Preuss’s Cliff Swallow
Northern Crombec
Rock-loving Cisticola
Rufous Cisticola
Red-winged Prinia
Cricket Warbler
Oriole Warbler
Senegal Eremomela
Brown Babbler
Blackcap Babbler
Yellow-bellied Hyliota
Lesser Blue-eared Starling
Bronze-tailed Starling
Purple Starling
Long-tailed Glossy Starling
Chestnut-bellied Starling
Neumann’s Starling
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Black Scrub Robin
Swamp Flycatcher
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
White-crowned Robin-Chat
White-crowned Cliff Chat
Anteater Chat
Heuglin’s Wheatear
White-fronted Black Chat
Western Violet-backed Sunbird
Pygmy Sunbird
Beautiful Sunbird
Splendid Sunbird
Sahel Bush Sparrow
Sudan Golden Sparrow
White-billed Buffalo Weaver
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver
Speckle-fronted Weaver
Olive-naped Weaver
Heuglin’s Masked Weaver
Northern Red Bishop
African Silverbill
Lavender Waxbill
Black-rumped Waxbill
Red-winged Pytilia
Black-bellied Firefinch
Bar-breasted Firefinch
Sahel Paradise Whydah
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah
White-rumped Seedeater
West African Seedeater
Gosling’s Bunting
Brown-rumped Bunting

Chestnut-bellied Starling (Paul van Giersbergen)
Cricket Warbler (Paul van Giersbergen)
Black Scrub Robin (Paul van Giersbergen)
Sudan Golden Sparrow (Paul van Giersbergen)
Sudan Golden Sparrow (Paul van Giersbergen)
Sudan Golden Sparrow (Paul van Giersbergen)

Arid savanna

10 Important Bird Areas (IBAs)

W National Park (NP), Arly NP and Singou Reserve
Kaboré Tambi NP, Nazinga Game Ranch and Sissili Classified Forest
Sylvo-Pastoral and Partial Faunal Reserve of the Sahel

TIMING (Oct–Nov, Apr)
Being a dry country, it is best to visit immediately after the main rains (Oct–Dec), or when woodland birds are preparing to breed (Mar–May), although it may be unpleasantly hot then
Avoid the main rains (Jun–Sep) due to access difficulty

Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)

African Bird Sounds Vol 2: West and Central Africa by Claude Chappuis

Site guides
Birding in Burkina Faso, more than just birdwatching by Bruno Portier, Clark Lungren & Georges H Ouéda (2002)

Further reading
An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Burkina Faso by Giovanni Boano, Urbain Belemsobgo, Fabrizio Silvano, Emmanuel M Hema, Aristide Belemsobgo, Kangbéni Dimobe & Marco Pavia (2022)
Zones d’Importances pour la Conservation des Oiseaux (ZICO) du Burkina Faso: Statuts et Tendances 2008 compiled by Youssouf Sanou & Georges Henry Ouéda (2009)
Les Oiseaux du Complexe WAP by Gilles Balança, Daniel Cornélis & Roger Wilson (2007)
Burkina Faso by Clark Lungren, Georges Henry Ouéda, Frank Walsh & Urbain Belemsobgo in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, etc.

W-Arly-Pendjari Complex – UNESCO World Heritage List

Facebook groups
Birds of Pendjari, W and Arly Parks


The BirdLife Partner in Burkina Faso is Fondation des Amis de la Nature (NATURAMA)

NATURAMA works with Site Support Groups (SSGs) around IBAs in Burkina Faso, among them Bala SSG, Lake Oursi SSG, Nazinga SSG, Sourou Valley SSG and W-Arly-Singou SSG

The West African Bird DataBase (WABDaB) accepts records and images of birds from Burkina Faso

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Burkina Faso include –
Association Nature et Développement (NATUDEV)
Association Inter–Villageoise de Gestion des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune de la Comoé-Léraba (AGEREF-CL)
Association Inter-Villageoise de Gestion des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune de Bala (AGEREF-Bala)
Association Inter-Villageoise de Gestion des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune des Hauts–Bassins (AGEREF-HB)
Association Fauna et Développement au Burkina (AFAUDEB)
Association pour la Protection de la Nature – Sahel (APN-Sahel)
Association pour la Sauvegarde de l’Environnement (ASE)
Association Goo Bi Yazura (AGBY)
Association Impulsion
ONG Bissakou-Pou
Les Anges Gardiens de la Nature (AGN)
L’Homme et l’Environnement
Association des Campements Touristiques pour l’Appui à la Gestion du Parc Régional W (ACTAG-PRW)
Wildlife Angel

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