République du Congo | Republic of the Congo

Central Africa

342,000 km²


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
Congo Sunbird

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Cranch’s Spurfowl
Verreaux’s Turaco
Congo Pied Hornbill
Eastern Piping Hornbill
Western Little Hornbill
Eastern Long-tailed Hornbill
(Western) Grey-throated Barbet
Brown-faced Barbet
Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet
Rufous-crowned Cisticola
Western Buff-throated Apalis
Eastern Forest Robin

Other taxa of interest
Hartlaub’s Duck
Black Guineafowl
Plumed Guineafowl
Finsch’s Francolin
Scaly Spurfowl (squamatus)
Bates’s Nightjar
Black Spinetail
Sabine’s Spinetail
Cassin’s Spinetail
Great Blue Turaco
White-bellied Bustard
Gabon Coucal
Yellow-throated Cuckoo
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo
Afep Pigeon
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon
Blue-headed Wood Dove
African Finfoot
White-spotted Flufftail
Grey-throated Rail
Nkulengu Rail
Forbes’s Plover
Grey Pratincole
Olive Ibis (cupreipennis)
Spot-breasted Ibis
White-crested Tiger Heron
Congo Serpent Eagle
Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
Red-thighed Sparrowhawk
Red-chested Owlet
Sjöstedt’s Barred Owlet
Fraser’s Eagle-Owl
Pel’s Fishing Owl
Vermiculated Fishing Owl
Bare-cheeked Trogon
Forest Wood Hoopoe
White-thighed Hornbill
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill
Black-casqued Hornbill
Blue-throated Roller
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher
African Dwarf Kingfisher
Shining-blue Kingfisher
Black-headed Bee-eater
Blue-headed Bee-eater
Black Bee-eater
Rosy Bee-eater
Sladen’s Barbet
Bristle-nosed Barbet
Zenker’s Honeyguide
Willcock’s Honeyguide
Lyre-tailed Honeyguide
Yellow-crested Woodpecker
Gabon Woodpecker
Grey Parrot
Red-headed Lovebird
Black-collared Lovebird
Rufous-sided Broadbill
Angola Batis
West African Batis
Fiery-breasted Bushshrike
Marsh Tchagra
Red-eyed Puffback
Lowland Sooty Boubou
Lühder’s Bushshrike
Swamp Boubou
Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike
African Shrike-flycatcher
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher
Purple-throated Cuckooshrike
Eastern Wattled Cuckooshrike
Blue Cuckooshrike
Shining Drongo
Sharpe’s Drongo
Bates’s Paradise Flycatcher
Dusky Tit
Yellow-throated Nicator
Yellow-lored Bristlebill
Falkenstein’s Greenbul
Sjöstedt’s Greenbul
Eastern Bearded Greenbul
White-bearded Greenbul
African River Martin
Square-tailed Saw-wing
Brazza’s Martin
White-bibbed Swallow
Angola Swallow
Red-throated Cliff Swallow
Yellow Longbill
Grey Longbill
Lemon-bellied Crombec
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher
Tit Hylia
Chattering Cisticola
Black-backed Cisticola
Banded Prinia
Black-throated Apalis
Black-capped Apalis
Gosling’s Apalis
Black-faced Rufous Warbler
Rufous-crowned Eremomela
Forest White-eye
Brown Illadopsis
Pale-breasted Illadopsis
Blackcap Illadopsis
Violet-backed Hyliota
Purple-headed Starling
Splendid Starling
Chestnut-winged Starling
Fraser’s Rufous Thrush
Red-tailed Ant Thrush
Fire-crested Alethe
Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher
White-browed Forest Flycatcher
Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher
Cassin’s Flycatcher
Little Grey Flycatcher
Yellow-footed Flycatcher
Tessmann’s Flycatcher
Sooty Flycatcher
Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush
Sooty Chat
Congo Moor Chat
Fraser’s Sunbird
Violet-tailed Sunbird
Little Green Sunbird
Reichenbach’s Sunbird
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird
Green-throated Sunbird
Tiny Sunbird
Johanna’s Sunbird
Bates’s Sunbird
Black-chinned Weaver
Slender-billed Weaver
Loango Weaver
Marsh Widowbird
Woodhouse’s Antpecker
Pale-fronted Nigrita
Grey Waxbill
Black-crowned Waxbill
Black-headed Waxbill
Locust Finch
Western Bluebill
Black-bellied Seedcracker
Wood Pipit
Long-legged Pipit
Black-faced Canary

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

Lowland forest, grasslands, coastal savanna

9 Important Bird Areas

Odzala-Kokoua National Park (NP) and Nouabalé-Ndoki NP for lowland forest species
Léfini on the Téké Plateau for grassland species
Conkouati-Douli NP for Rosy Bee-eater and African River Martin
Brazzaville area for Congo River species

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)

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)

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)
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.

Sangha Trinational – UNESCO World Heritage List

Congo Birds


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)
African Parks: Odzala-Kokoua
Parcs de Noé: Parc National de Conkouati-Douli
WCS Congo

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