République du Congo | Republic of the Congo

SUB-REGION
Central Africa

SIZE
342,000 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity
Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 680 recorded species

Congo Moor Chat (Paul van Giersergen)
Grey-throated Rail (Nik Borrow)
Zenker’s Honeyguide (Gareth Knass)

Birds best found in Congo but occurring more widely (BT)
Olivaceous Flycatcher
Bob-tailed Weaver

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not near-endemics or BT (1/2)
Congo Martin
Olive-backed Forest Robin
Congo Sunbird

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Cranch’s Spurfowl
Verreaux’s Turaco
Barrow’s Bustard
Eastern Piping Hornbill
Grey-throated Barbet
Eastern Yellow-spotted Barbet
Streaky-throated Barbet
Brown-faced Barbet
West African Pitta
Perrin’s Bushshrike
Clancey’s Drongo
Plains Lark | Malbrant’s Lark
Pale-throated Greenbul
Petit’s Saw-wing
Rufous-crowned Cisticola
Western Buff-throated Apalis
Black-chinned Quailfinch
Three-streaked Bunting

Other taxa of interest (see also under Birding Sites)
Black Guineafowl
Plumed Guineafowl
Western Crested Guineafowl
Scaly Spurfowl
Brown Nightjar
Bates’s Nightjar
Square-tailed Nightjar
Long-tailed Nightjar
Black Spinetail
Horus Swift
Bates’s Swift
Western Plantain-eater
Gabon Coucal
African Finfoot
White-crowned Lapwing
Senegal Lapwing
Egyptian Plover
Rock Pratincole
Grey Pratincole
Olive Ibis
Spot-breasted Ibis
White-crested Tiger Heron
Congo Serpent Eagle
Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk
Red-chested Owlet
Sjöstedt’s Barred Owlet
Sandy Scops Owl
Maned Owl
Spotted Eagle-Owl
Shelley’s Eagle-Owl
Vermiculated Fishing Owl
Bare-cheeked Trogon
Forest Wood Hoopoe
Congo Pied Hornbill
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill
Eastern Long-tailed Hornbill
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Black-headed Bee-eater
Blue-headed Bee-eater
Blue-breasted Bee-eater
White-fronted Bee-eater
Sladen’s Barbet
Bristle-nosed Barbet
Naked-faced Barbet
Double-toothed Barbet
Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet
Zenker’s Honeyguide
Lyre-tailed Honeyguide
Red-throated Wryneck
African Piculet
Little Green Woodpecker
Gabon Woodpecker
Elliot’s Woodpecker
African Grey Woodpecker
Grey Parrot
Red-fronted Parrot
Red-headed Lovebird
Black-collared Lovebird
Grey-headed Broadbill
Rufous-sided Broadbill
African Broadbill
Green-breasted Pitta
Western Black-headed Batis
Angola Batis
West African Batis
Chestnut Wattle-eye
White-spotted Wattle-eye
Brown-throated Wattle-eye
Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye
Many-colored Bushshrike
Bocage’s Bushshrike
Marsh Tchagra
Pink-footed Puffback
Red-eyed Puffback
Lowland Sooty Boubou
Lühder’s Bushshrike
Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike
Petit’s Cuckooshrike
Purple-throated Cuckooshrike
Eastern Wattled Cuckooshrike
Souza’s Shrike
Mackinnon’s Shrike
Velvet-mantled Drongo
Sharpe’s Drongo
Rufous-vented Paradise Flycatcher
Bates’s Paradise Flycatcher
Dusky Tit
Forest Penduline Tit
Yellow-throated Nicator
Black-collared Bulbul
Yellow-lored Bristlebill
Yellow-eyed Bristlebill
Falkenstein’s Greenbul
Sjöstedt’s Greenbul
Eastern Bearded Greenbul
White-bearded Greenbul
Xavier’s Greenbul
Square-tailed Saw-wing
Brazza’s Martin
White-bibbed Swallow
Angola Swallow
Red-throated Cliff Swallow
Forest Swallow
Yellow Longbill
Red-capped Crombec
Uganda Woodland Warbler
Chattering Cisticola
Black-backed Cisticola
Pectoral-patch Cisticola
Banded Prinia
White-chinned Prinia
Black-throated Apalis
Black-capped Apalis
Gosling’s Apalis
Black-faced Rufous Warbler
Salvadori’s Eremomela
Forest White-eye
Brown Illadopsis
Pale-breasted Illadopsis
Blackcap Illadopsis
Arrow-marked Babbler
Fraser’s Rufous Thrush
White-tailed Ant Thrush
Red-tailed Ant Thrush
Crossley’s Ground Thrush
Yellow-footed Flycatcher
Sooty Flycatcher
Brown-chested Alethe
White-browed Robin-Chat
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
Yellow-breasted Forest Robin
Lowland Akalat
Sooty Chat
Fraser’s Sunbird
Western Violet-backed Sunbird
Violet-tailed Sunbird
Grey-chinned Sunbird
Green-throated Sunbird
Amethyst Sunbird
Purple-banded Sunbird
Orange-tufted Sunbird
Bates’s Sunbird
Spectacled Weaver
Black-necked Weaver
Holub’s Golden Weaver
Vieillot’s Black Weaver
Maxwell’s Black Weaver
Compact Weaver
Dark-backed Weaver
Preuss’s Weaver
Yellow-capped Weaver
Red-crowned Malimbe
Cassin’s Malimbe
Red-bellied Malimbe
Marsh Widowbird
White-collared Oliveback
Green Twinspot
Woodhouse’s Antpecker
Grey Waxbill
Black-crowned Waxbill
Black-headed Waxbill
Fawn-breasted Waxbill
Locust Finch
Blue Waxbill
Grant’s Bluebill
Orange-winged Pytilia
Brown Twinspot
Cameroon Indigobird
Cuckoo-finch
Wood Pipit
Long-legged Pipit
Short-tailed Pipit
Black-faced Canary
Black-throated Canary
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

Black-headed Bee-eater (Nik Borrow)
African River Martin (Lionel Sineux)

MAIN HABITATS
Lowland forest, grasslands, coastal savanna

BIRD AREAS
9 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Odzala-Kokoua National Park (NP), Ntokou-Pikounda NP, Nouabalé-Ndoki NP and Dimonika Biosphere Reserve for lowland forest species including Olivaceous Flycatcher, Olive-backed Forest Robin and most other taxa of interest listed above as well as Hartlaub’s Duck, Latham’s Francolin, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Great Blue Turaco, Guinea Turaco, Blue Malkoha, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Afep Pigeon, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Blue-headed Wood Dove, White-spotted Flufftail, Grey-throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail, Forbes’s Plover, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Fraser’s Eagle-Owl, Akun Eagle-Owl, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, White-thighed Hornbill, Black-casqued Hornbill, Western Dwarf Hornbill, Eastern Dwarf Hornbill, Blue-throated Roller, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Black Bee-eater, Speckled Tinkerbird, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Cassin’s Honeybird, Willcocks’s Honeyguide, Least Honeyguide, Spotted Honeyguide, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Fiery-breasted Bushshrike, Sabine’s Puffback, African Shrike-flycatcher, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Blue Cuckooshrike, Western Oriole, Black-winged Oriole, Shining Drongo, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Dusky Crested Flycatcher, Western Nicator, Slender-billed Greenbul, Golden Greenbul, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Spotted Greenbul, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Simple Greenbul, Honeyguide Greenbul, Red-tailed Greenbul, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Plain Greenbul, Little Grey Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, White-throated Greenbul, Icterine Greenbul, Red-tailed Leaflove, Grey Longbill, Green Crombec, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Green Hylia, Tit Hylia, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Olive-green Camaroptera, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Violet-backed Hyliota, Purple-headed Starling, Splendid Starling, Chestnut-winged Starling, Fire-crested Alethe, Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher, White-browed Forest Flycatcher, Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Little Grey Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Tessmann’s Flycatcher, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Little Green Sunbird, Reichenbach’s Sunbird, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Tiny Sunbird, Johanna’s Sunbird, Superb Sunbird, Orange Weaver, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Blue-billed Malimbe, Red-headed Malimbe, Crested Malimbe, White-breasted Nigrita, Chestnut-breasted Nigrita, Grey-headed Nigrita, Pale-fronted Nigrita, Western Bluebill and Black-bellied Seedcracker
Lésio-Louna and Léfini Reserves on the Batéké Plateaux for wooded grassland species including Finsch’s Francolin, Congo Moor Chat and Black-chinned Weaver as well as Helmeted Guineafowl, Denham’s Bustard, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, Lilac-breasted Roller, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Miombo Pied Barbet, Chinspot Batis, White-winged Black Tit, Grey Penduline Tit, Tinkling Cisticola, Neddicky, Pale-crowned Cisticola, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Green-capped Eremomela, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow, Black-winged Red Bishop, White-winged Widowbird, Red-collared Widowbird and Plain-backed Pipit
Conkouati-Douli NP and Kouilou Basin for African River Martin and Loango Weaver as well as White-browed Coucal, West African Crested Tern, Damara Tern, Pink-backed Pelican, Swamp Boubou, Rosy Bee-eater, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Mangrove Sunbird, Carmelite Sunbird and Lesser Masked Weaver
Brazzaville area for Congo River species including Congo Martin and Bob-tailed Weaver as well as African Skimmer, Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush and Slender-billed Weaver
Lac Télé Community Reserve for Congo Sunbird and Weyns’s Weaver

TIMING (Jun–Jul, Dec)
Best in the dry season when access is easier, although this varies between the north (Dec–Feb) and south (Jun–Aug, Dec)
Avoid the main rains (Sep–Oct, Apr–May)

RESOURCES
Apps
Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)
Guide de Poche des Oiseaux de Pointe-Noire et du Kouilou, République du Congo by Christine Gonzalez-Dunia, Vincent Delhaye-Prat & Jérôme Mokoko Ikonga (2014)

Sounds
African Bird Sounds Vol 2: West and Central Africa by Claude Chappuis
Une Journée dans la Forêt Équatoriale/One Day in the Equatorial Forest by Pierre Huguet

Further reading
Les Oiseaux du Kouilou: de la Côte Atlantique aux Contreforts du Mayombe by Vincent Delhaye-Prat, Christine Gonzalez-Dunia, Xavier Rufray & Teva Kami (2018)
The Birds of the Lesio-Louna and Lefini Reserves, Congo by Tony King (2008)
Congo by Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Les Oiseaux d’Afrique Centrale: Liste Faunistique by Patrice Christy & Jean Pierre Vande weghe (1999)
Parc National d’Odzala: Carnet de Voyage by Patrice Christy (1999)
Flora and Fauna of Odzala National Park, Congo/Flore et Faune du Parc National d’Odzala, Congo edited by Robert J Dowsett & Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire (1997)
Flora and Fauna of the Kouilou Basin (Congo) and Their Exploitation/Flore et Faune du Bassin du Kouilou (Congo) et Leur Exploitation edited by Robert J Dowsett & Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire (1991)
Enquête Faunistique dans la Forêt du Mayombe et Check-liste des Oiseaux et des Mammifères du Congo edited by Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire & Robert J Dowsett (1989)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, etc.

Websites
Sangha Trinational – UNESCO World Heritage List

Blogs
Congo Birds

ORGANISATIONS

There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Congo

Bird or conservation organisations active in Congo include –
Conservation de la Faune Congolaise (CFC)
Alliance Nationale pour la Nature (ANN)
Congo Environnement et Développement (CEDEV)
Réseau International Arbres Congo (RIAT-Congo)
Association pour la Conservation de la Nature de la Likouala (ACNL)
Association pour la Protection des Éco-systèmes Tropicaux et de Développement de la Sangha (APETDS)
Plateforme pour la Gestion Durable des Forêts (PGDF)
Endangered Species International (ESI Congo)
Renatura
African Parks: Odzala-Kokoua
Parcs de Noé: Parc National de Conkouati-Douli
WCS Congo
WWF

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