République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) | Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Central Africa

2,344,858 km² (2nd largest country in Africa)


Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 1,160 recorded species (1st longest bird list of any country in the ABC region and 10th globally)

Doherty’s Bushshrike (Adam Riley)
Bare-cheeked Trogon (Nik Borrow)
Fraser’s Rufous Thrush (Paul van Giersbergen)

Endemics (E)
Congo Peafowl | Congo Peacock (NT)
Prigogine’s Nightjar | Itombwe Nightjar (EN)
Itombwe Owl | Congo Bay Owl (EN)
Yellow-crested Helmetshrike (VU)
Grauer’s Cuckooshrike (LC)
Bedford’s Paradise Flycatcher (LC)
Prigogine’s Greenbul (EN)
Kabobo Apalis (VU)
Chapin’s Babbler | Chapin’s Mountain Babbler (LC)
Prigogine’s Double-collared Sunbird | Prigogine’s Sunbird (NT)
Lufira Masked Weaver | Lake Lufira Masked Weaver (LC)
Yellow-legged Weaver (VU)
Black-lored Waxbill (DD)

Near-endemics (NE)
Sladen’s Barbet
Ituri Batis
Yellow-eyed Bristlebill
Sassi’s Olive Greenbul | Sassi’s Greenbul
Brazza’s Martin
Grey-headed Sunbird
Golden-naped Weaver
Jameson’s Antpecker
Grant’s Bluebill

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE (1/2), including Albertine Rift endemics (ARE) and Zambezian endemics or near-endemics (Z)
Nahan’s Partridge
Albertine Owlet (ARE)
Grauer’s Broadbill | African Green Broadbill (ARE)
Pale-olive Greenbul
Congo Martin
Bubbling Cisticola
Black-tailed Cisticola | Slender-tailed Cisticola (Z)
Oberländer’s Ground Thrush | Forest Ground Thrush
White-headed Robin-Chat
Bocage’s Sunbird (Z)
Rockefeller’s Sunbird (ARE)
Congo Sunbird
Katanga Masked Weaver (Z)

More ARE occurring in the DRC, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Handsome Spurfowl
Rwenzori Turaco (ESS bredoi)
Dwarf Honeyguide
Rwenzori Batis
Albertine Sooty Boubou | Albertine Boubou
Stripe-breasted Tit (ESS kaboboensis)
Neumann’s Warbler
Red-faced Woodland Warbler (ESS schoutedeni)
Grauer’s Warbler
Grauer’s Swamp Warbler
Rwenzori Apalis
Mountain Masked Apalis | Black-faced Apalis (ESS marungensis)
Kungwe Apalis
Red-collared Babbler | Red-collared Mountain Babbler
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher
Red-throated Alethe (ESS kaboboensis)
Archer’s Ground Robin | Archer’s Robin-Chat (ESS kimbutui)
Blue-headed Sunbird (ESS kaboboensis + derooi + marungensis)
Purple-breasted Sunbird
Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird | Stuhlmann’s Sunbird (ESS chapini)
Regal Sunbird
Strange Weaver
Shelley’s Crimsonwing
Dusky Crimsonwing

More Z occurring in the DRC, including ESS
Whyte’s Francolin | Rufous-throated Francolin
Coppery-tailed Coucal
Pale-billed Hornbill
Racket-tailed Roller
Böhm’s Bee-eater
Whyte’s Barbet
Anchieta’s Barbet
Miombo Pied Barbet | Miombo Barbet
Dickinson’s Kestrel
Margaret’s Batis | Boulton’s Batis
Souza’s Shrike
White-tailed Blue Flycatcher
Rufous-bellied Tit
Miombo Tit | Miombo Grey Tit
Angola Lark
Black-and-rufous Swallow
Red-throated Cliff Swallow | Red-throated Swallow
Red-capped Crombec (ESS schoutedeni)
Laura’s Woodland Warbler
Tinkling Cisticola
Luapula Cisticola
Chirping Cisticola
Dambo Cisticola | Cloud-scraping Cisticola
Miombo Wren-Warbler
Salvadori’s Eremomela
Black-necked Eremomela | Black-collared Eremomela
Hartlaub’s Babbler
Miombo Blue-eared Starling
Sharp-tailed Starling
Kurrichane Thrush
Miombo Scrub Robin
Böhm’s Flycatcher
Bocage’s Akalat
Collared Palm Thrush
Miombo Rock Thrush
Arnot’s Chat | White-headed Black Chat
Anchieta’s Sunbird | Red-and-blue Sunbird
Bannerman’s Sunbird
Western Miombo Sunbird
Shelley’s Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird | White-breasted Sunbird
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Weaver
Bocage’s Weaver
Bar-winged Weaver
Red-throated Twinspot | Peters’s Twinspot
Brown Firefinch
Zambezi Indigobird | Green Indigobird
Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah
Fülleborn’s Longclaw
Grimwood’s Longclaw
Black-faced Canary
Reichard’s Seedeater
Black-eared Seedeater

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Chestnut-breasted Francolin (Z dewittei)
Crawshay’s Francolin (kikuyuensis)
Schuett’s Spurfowl (schuetti)
Cranch’s Spurfowl (cranchii)
Black-shouldered Nightjar (nigriscapularis)
Rwenzori Nightjar (ARE ruwenzorii)
Black-faced Go-away-bird (leopoldi)
Verreaux’s Turaco (verreauxii)
Eastern Black-billed Turaco (emini)
Western Black-billed Turaco (schuetti)
Barrow’s Bustard (mackenziei)
Neumann’s Coucal (NE neumanni)
Chestnut Owlet (1/2 castaneum)
Ngami Owlet (ngamiense)
Eastern Piping Hornbill (duboisi)
Eastern Little Hornbill (NE granti)
Eastern Long-tailed Hornbill (cassini)
Grey-throated Barbet (bonapartei)
Grey-headed Barbet (cinereiceps)
Eastern Yellow-spotted Barbet (duchaillui)
Streaky-throated Barbet (angolensis/ansorgii)
Brown-faced Barbet (minor)
White-faced Barbet (Z macclounii)
Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet (purpuratus/elgonensis)
Northern Olive Woodpecker (ruwenzori)
Grey-headed Parrot (suahelicus)
West African Pitta (angolensis)
East African Pitta (longipennis)
Albertine Bushshrike (ARE centralis)
Perrin’s Bushshrike (viridis)
Anchieta’s Tchagra (anchietae)
Clancey’s Drongo (apivorus)
Glossy-backed Drongo (lugubris)
Malbrant’s Lark (malbranti)
Pale-throated Greenbul (flavigula)
Mangbettu Saw-wing (1/2 mangbettorum)
Shari Saw-wing (chalybea)
Petit’s Saw-wing (petiti)
Eastern Saw-wing (reichenowi)
Lendu Crombec | Chapin’s Crombec (E chapini)
African Reed Warbler (cinnamomeus)
Zambian Yellow Warbler (1/2 bensoni)
Rufous-crowned Cisticola (nuchalis/awemba)
Angola Cisticola (angolensis)
Western Buff-throated Apalis (rufogularis)
Eastern Buff-throated Apalis (nigrescens)
Tawny-breasted Camaroptera (NE toroensis)
Grey-caped Capuchin Babbler (NE bohndorffi)
Kivu Ground Thrush (ARE tanganjicae)
Itombwe Flycatcher (E itombwensis)
Rudder’s Forest Robin (E rudderi)
Stuhlmann’s Weaver (stuhlmanni)
Upemba Masked Weaver (E upembae)
Black-fronted Red Bishop (nigrifons)
Black-chinned Quailfinch (gabonensis/fuscata/dorsostriata)
Landana Firefinch (landanae)
Ansorge’s Firefinch (ansorgei)
Grey Firefinch (nigricollis)
Jackson’s Pipit (latistriatus)
Three-streaked Bunting (cognominata)

Other taxa of interest (see also under Birding Sites), including ESS
Hartlaub’s Duck
African Pygmy Goose
Black Guineafowl
Plumed Guineafowl (ESS schubotzi)
Western Crested Guineafowl (verreauxi)
Latham’s Francolin (lathami/schubotzi)
Scaly Spurfowl (squamatus)
Brown Nightjar
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar
Swamp Nightjar
Bates’s Nightjar
Square-tailed Nightjar
Sabine’s Spinetail
Cassin’s Spinetail
Bates’s Swift
Great Blue Turaco
Ross’s Turaco
Gabon Coucal
Blue-headed Coucal
Blue Malkoha
Thick-billed Cuckoo (brazzae/validus)
Yellow-throated Cuckoo
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo
Afep Pigeon
White-naped Pigeon
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon
Blue-headed Wood Dove
African Finfoot (camerunensis/petersii/senegalensis)
White-spotted Flufftail (centralis)
Chestnut-headed Flufftail (lugens/lynesi)
Grey-throated Rail
Nkulengu Rail
Long-toed Lapwing
White-crowned Lapwing
Senegal Lapwing
Brown-chested Lapwing
Forbes’s Plover
Egyptian Plover
Rock Pratincole
Grey Pratincole
African Skimmer
Olive Ibis (cupreipennis)
Spot-breasted Ibis
White-crested Tiger Heron
White-backed Night Heron (natalensis)
Western Banded Snake Eagle
Congo Serpent Eagle (batesi)
Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
Long-tailed Hawk
Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk (castanilius/ESS beniensis)
Red-thighed Sparrowhawk (zenkeri)
African Marsh Harrier
Red-chested Owlet (medje)
Sjöstedt’s Barred Owlet
Sandy Scops Owl (holerythrus)
Marsh Owl
Maned Owl
Fraser’s Eagle-Owl
Akun Eagle-Owl
Shelley’s Eagle-Owl
Pel’s Fishing Owl
Vermiculated Fishing Owl
Bare-cheeked Trogon
Forest Wood Hoopoe (brunneiceps)
Congo Pied Hornbill
Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill
White-thighed Hornbill
Black-casqued Hornbill
Blue-throated Roller
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher
Blue-breasted Kingfisher
African Dwarf Kingfisher
White-bellied Kingfisher
Shining-blue Kingfisher
Black-headed Bee-eater
Blue-headed Bee-eater
Black Bee-eater (australis)
Blue-breasted Bee-eater
Rosy Bee-eater
Speckled Tinkerbird (flavisquamatus)
Red-rumped Tinkerbird
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird (flavimentum)
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (leucolaimus/mfumbiri)
Cassin’s Honeybird
Zenker’s Honeyguide
Willcock’s Honeyguide
Least Honeyguide
Spotted Honeyguide
Lyre-tailed Honeyguide
African Piculet
Buff-spotted Woodpecker
Brown-eared Woodpecker
Little Green Woodpecker (permista)
Yellow-crested Woodpecker
Gabon Woodpecker
Elliot’s Woodpecker
Grey Parrot
Red-fronted Parrot (gulielmi)
Red-headed Lovebird (pullarius/ugandae)
Black-collared Lovebird (zenkeri/emini)
Grey-headed Broadbill (ESS eurylaemus)
Rufous-sided Broadbill (rufolateralis/budongoensis)
Green-breasted Pitta
Western Black-headed Batis (erlangeri/congoensis)
Chestnut Wattle-eye
White-spotted Wattle-eye
Brown-throated Wattle-eye (cyanea/nyansae)
Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye (graueri)
Jameson’s Wattle-eye
Fiery-breasted Bushshrike
Many-colored Bushshrike (batesi/graueri)
Bocage’s Bushshrike (bocagei/jacksoni)
Sabine’s Puffback (melanoleucus)
Pink-footed Puffback (angolensis/nandensis)
Red-eyed Puffback
Lowland Sooty Boubou
Lühder’s Bushshrike
Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike (rufiventris/mentalis)
African Shrike-flycatcher (flammulatus/aequatorialis)
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher
Petit’s Cuckooshrike
Eastern Wattled Cuckooshrike
Blue Cuckooshrike
Mackinnon’s Shrike
Western Oriole
Black-winged Oriole
Velvet-mantled Drongo (coracinus)
Shining Drongo
Sharpe’s Drongo
Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher
Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher (mayombe/ignea)
Bates’s Paradise Flycatcher (batesi/bannermani)
African Blue Flycatcher (teresita)
Dusky Crested Flycatcher (nigromitrata)
Dusky Tit
Forest Penduline Tit (flavifrons/ESS ruthae)
Western Nicator
Yellow-throated Nicator
Dusky Lark (nigricans/occidentis)
Slender-billed Greenbul
Golden Greenbul
Black-collared Bulbul
Red-tailed Bristlebill
Spotted Greenbul
Swamp Palm Bulbul
Simple Greenbul
Honeyguide Greenbul
Sjöstedt’s Greenbul
Eastern Bearded Greenbul
Red-tailed Greenbul (calurus/emini)
White-bearded Greenbul
Little Greenbul (virens)
Yellow-whiskered Greenbul (latirostris)
Plain Greenbul
Little Grey Greenbul (gracilis/ugandae)
Ansorge’s Greenbul
White-throated Greenbul
Xavier’s Greenbul
Icterine Greenbul
Red-tailed Leaflove (orientalis)
African River Martin
Square-tailed Saw-wing (ESS centralis)
White-bibbed Swallow
Angola Swallow
Red-chested Swallow (subalaris)
South African Cliff Swallow
Yellow Longbill (flavicans/hypochondriacus)
Grey Longbill
Green Crombec (virens/baraka/tando)
Lemon-bellied Crombec (denti)
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher (mccallii/congicus)
Green Hylia
Tit Hylia (denti)
Greater Swamp Warbler (ansorgei)
White-winged Swamp Warbler
Whistling Cisticola (antinorii/modestus)
Chattering Cisticola
Pale-crowned Cisticola (midcongo)
Wing-snapping Cisticola (gabun)
Banded Prinia
White-chinned Prinia (leucopogon/reichenowi)
Gosling’s Apalis
Yellow-browed Camaroptera
Olive-green Camaroptera (ESS kamitugaensis)
Black-faced Rufous Warbler (rufus/vulpinus)
Rufous-crowned Eremomela (badiceps)
Turner’s Eremomela (kalindei)
Brown Illadopsis (fulvescens/ugandae)
Pale-breasted Illadopsis
Scaly-breasted Illadopsis
Violet-backed Hyliota
Purple-headed Starling
Splendid Starling
Chestnut-winged Starling (hartlaubii/intermedius)
Narrow-tailed Starling
Fraser’s Rufous Thrush (rubicunda/vulpina)
White-tailed Ant Thrush (poensis/praepectoralis)
Red-tailed Ant Thrush (gabunensis)
Grey Ground Thrush (batesi)
Black-eared Ground Thrush (camaronensis/graueri)
Crossley’s Ground Thrush (ESS pilettei)
Fire-crested Alethe (castania/woosnami)
Forest Scrub Robin (collsi)
Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher (ocreata)
White-browed Forest Flycatcher (ruthae)
Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher
Cassin’s Flycatcher
Olivaceous Flycatcher
Little Grey Flycatcher
Yellow-footed Flycatcher
Dusky-blue Flycatcher
Tessmann’s Flycatcher
Sooty Flycatcher (infuscata/miniscula)
Brown-chested Alethe (carruthersi)
Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat
White-browed Robin-Chat
Red-capped Robin-Chat
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
Yellow-breasted Forest Robin
Lowland Akalat (lopezi)
Sooty Chat
Congo Moor Chat
Fraser’s Sunbird (cameroonensis)
Violet-tailed Sunbird
Little Green Sunbird (minor)
Grey-chinned Sunbird
Reichenbach’s Sunbird
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird (octaviae)
Green-throated Sunbird
Tiny Sunbird
Orange-tufted Sunbird
Johanna’s Sunbird
Superb Sunbird (superbus/buvuma)
Bates’s Sunbird
Thick-billed Weaver (ESS kasaica)
Slender-billed Weaver (pelzelni/monacha)
Spectacled Weaver
Black-necked Weaver
Orange Weaver
Village Weaver (ESS frobenii)
Vieillot’s Black Weaver
Weyns’s Weaver
Black-headed Weaver (duboisi/dimidiatus)
Yellow-mantled Weaver (tricolor/interscapularis)
Maxwell’s Black Weaver
Preuss’s Weaver
Yellow-capped Weaver
Red-crowned Malimbe
Cassin’s Malimbe
Blue-billed Malimbe
Red-headed Malimbe
Red-bellied Malimbe (fagani)
Crested Malimbe
Woodhouse’s Antpecker
Green Twinspot (schlegeli)
White-breasted Nigrita
Chestnut-breasted Nigrita
Grey-headed Nigrita
Pale-fronted Nigrita
Black-crowned Waxbill
Black-headed Waxbill (atricapilla/avakubi)
Fawn-breasted Waxbill (ruthae)
Western Bluebill
Red-headed Bluebill
Black-bellied Seedcracker
Long-legged Pipit (pallidiventris/esobe)
Short-tailed Pipit (leggei)
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (tahapisi)

Yellow-eyed Bristlebill (Nik Borrow)
Weyns’s Weaver (Tadeusz Rosiński)

National bird
Congo Peafowl | Mbulu (NT)

Lowland forest, montane forest, moist savanna, miombo woodland, gallery forest, grasslands, wetlands

Albertine Rift mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
Eastern Zaïre lowlands EBA
Gabon-Cabinda coast Secondary Area (SA)
Lake Lufira SA
Upemba plains SA
West Zaïre and North Angola forests SA
19 Important Bird Areas

Ituri Forest (Okapi Wildlife Reserve and Mount Hoyo Reserve), Salonga National Park (NP), Lomami NP, Maiko NP, Kahuzi-Biéga NP, Yangambi Biosphere Reserve, Sankuru Nature Reserve, Nkuba Conservation Area, Ngiri Reserve, Tumba-Lediima Natural Reserve and Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve for Congo Peafowl and Yellow-legged Weaver as well as Nahan’s Partridge among other lowland forest species, including most of the near-endemics and many other taxa of interest listed above
Kongo Central (Luki Biosphere Reserve and Mangroves Marine Park) for Pale-olive Greenbul, Bubbling Cisticola and Loango Weaver as well as Horus Swift, Guinea Turaco, West African Crested Tern, Western Reef Egret, Crowned Hornbill, White-fronted Bee-eater, Bristle-nosed Barbet, Naked-faced Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet (bidentatus), African Grey Woodpecker (meridionalis), Northern Puffback (congicus), Swamp Boubou, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike (quiscalina), Rufous-vented Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-lored Bristlebill, Greater Swamp Warbler (rufescens), Blackcap Illadopsis, Cape Starling, White-collared Starling, Brown-chested Alethe (compsonota), Mangrove Sunbird, Carmelite Sunbird, Purple-banded Sunbird (bifasciatus), Holub’s Golden Weaver, White-winged Widowbird (asymmetrurus), Blue Waxbill (angolensis) and Brown Twinspot
Bombo-Lumene Hunting Area and Reserve for White-headed Robin-Chat and Black-chinned Weaver as well as Finsch’s Francolin, Guinea Turaco, Black Scimitarbill (anchietae), Southern White-faced Owl, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Lilac-breasted Roller, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Angola Batis, White-winged Black Tit (insignis), Rufous-bellied Tit (rufiventris), Grey Penduline Tit (ansorgei), Neddicky (dispar), Miombo Wren-Warbler (cinereus), Salvadori’s Eremomela, Green-capped Eremomela (congensis), Yellow-bellied Hyliota (barbozae), African Stonechat (salax), Amethyst Sunbird, Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow, Dark-backed Weaver (tephronotus), Marsh Widowbird (humeralis), Grey Waxbill, Orange-winged Pytilia, Wood Pipit (schoutedeni), Black-faced Canary and Black-throated Canary (lwenarum)
Kinshasa for Western Plantain-eater, Falkenstein’s Greenbul and Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush
Mbandaka for Congo Martin, Congo Sunbird and Bob-tailed Weaver
Lendu Plateau, Rwenzori and Virunga Mountains (Virunga NP), Kahuzi-Biéga NP, Itombwe Massif (Itombwe Nature Reserve), Mount Kabobo (Kabobo Natural Reserve) and Marungu Highlands for Prigogine’s Nightjar, Itombwe Owl, Yellow-crested Helmetshrike, Grauer’s Cuckooshrike, Bedford’s Paradise Flycatcher, Prigogine’s Greenbul, Kabobo Apalis, Chapin’s Babbler, Prigogine’s Double-collared Sunbird and other Albertine Rift endemics as well as montane species including African Black Duck, Scarce Swift, Alpine Swift (maximus), Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Olive Pigeon, Dusky Turtle Dove, African Snipe (aequatorialis), Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Mountain Buzzard, Augur Buzzard, African Grass Owl, Abyssinian Owl (graueri), Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Wood Hoopoe (jacksoni), Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Western Tinkerbird (hildamariae), Fine-banded Woodpecker, African Broadbill (meinertzhageni), Chinspot Batis (puella), Doherty’s Bushshrike, Northern Puffback (erwini), Grey Cuckooshrike (purus), Purple-throated Cuckooshrike (martini), Mountain Oriole, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, White-necked Raven, White-winged Black Tit (insignis), Rufous-bellied Tit (masukuensis), Eastern Nicator, Joyful Greenbul (laetissima/schoutedeni), Kakamega Greenbul, Olive-breasted Greenbul, Cabanis’s Greenbul (sucosus), Yellow-streaked Greenbul (ESS graueri/olivaceogriseus), Toro Olive Greenbul, Black Saw-wing (ruwenzori), White-headed Saw-wing, Blue Swallow, White-browed Crombec (chloronota), Brown Woodland Warbler (wilhelmi/alpinus), Uganda Woodland Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Bamboo Warbler (alfredi/kungwensis), Evergreen Forest Warbler (barakae/ufipae), Cinnamon Bracken Warbler (cinnamomeus/mildbreadi/nyassae), Highland Rush Warbler, Chubb’s Cisticola (chubbi/ESS marungensis), Levaillant’s Cisticola (ESS dyleffi), Wing-snapping Cisticola (entebbe/ESS itombwensis), Black-faced Prinia (obscura), Black-collared Apalis (pulcher/ESS murphyi), Black-throated Apalis (jacksoni), Black-capped Apalis (collaris), Chestnut-throated Apalis, Grey Apalis, Brown-headed Apalis (ESS dowsetti), African Hill Babbler (ansorgei), Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Brown Parisoma (jacksoni/ESS prigoginei), Green White-eye (ESS reichenowi/toroensis), Mountain Illadopsis, Grey-chested Babbler, Red-winged Starling, Slender-billed Starling (theresae), Waller’s Starling (elgonensis), Stuhlmann’s Starling, Sharpe’s Starling, Abyssinian Ground Thrush (piaggiae), Abyssinian Thrush (baraka/bambusicola), Brown-backed Scrub Robin, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher (toruensis/nyikensis/ESS semicinctus), Chapin’s Flycatcher, African Dusky Flycatcher (pumila), White-bellied Robin-Chat (rufescentior), Cape Robin-Chat (kivuensis/iolaema), White-starred Robin (ruwenzorii), Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Short-tailed Akalat (ESS kaboboensis + schoutedeni), Equatorial Akalat, African Stonechat (axillaris), Bronzy Sunbird (kilimensis), Malachite Sunbird (cupreonitens), Scarlet-tufted Sunbird (dartmouthi/ESS itombwensis), Golden-winged Sunbird (ESS shellyae), Northern Double-collared Sunbird (reichenowi), Black-billed Weaver (stephanophorus), Dark-backed Weaver (mentalis), Brown-capped Weaver, White-collared Oliveback, Yellow-bellied Waxbill (kilimensis), Abyssinian Crimsonwing (ruwenzori), Red-faced Crimsonwing (ocularis), Black-headed Waxbill (ESS marungensis), Kandt’s Waxbill, Dusky Twinspot (graueri), Cape Wagtail (wellsi), Mountain Wagtail (chapini), African Pipit (ESS itombwensis), Long-billed Pipit (dewittei), Oriole Finch (prigoginei), Western Citril, Thick-billed Seedeater (tanganjicae), Streaky Seedeater (graueri) and Yellow-crowned Canary (sassii)
Haut-Katanga, Haut-Lomami and Lualaba (Upemba NP, Kundelungu NP, Lufira Biosphere Reserve, Lake Mweru and Demalisques de Leshwe Reserve) for Lufira Masked Weaver and Black-lored Waxbill, Black-tailed Cisticola, Katanga Masked Weaver and more Zambezian endemics or near-endemics, as well as grassland, wetland, wooded savanna and miombo woodland species including African Black Duck, Shelley’s Francolin, Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl, Fiery-necked Nightjar (shelleyi), Pennant-winged Nightjar, Böhm’s Spinetail, Grey Go-away-bird, Schalow’s Turaco, Denham’s Bustard (jacksoni), White-browed Coucal (loandae), African Olive Pigeon, Streaky-breasted Flufftail, Striped Crake, Wattled Crane, Blacksmith Lapwing, Crowned Lapwing, Lesser Jacana, African Snipe (angolensis), Rufous-bellied Heron, Shoebill, Southern White-faced Owl, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Red-faced Mousebird, Common Scimitarbill (schalowi), Southern Ground Hornbill, Crowned Hornbill, African Grey Hornbill, Trumpeter Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Brown-hooded Kingfisher (prentissgrayi), Half-collared Kingfisher, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (furcatus), White-fronted Bee-eater, Olive Bee-eater, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (extoni), Black-collared Barbet, Crested Barbet, Green-backed Honeybird (zambesiae), Pallid Honeyguide (angolensis), Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Golden-tailed Woodpecker (abingoni), Little Spotted Woodpecker (nyansae), Bearded Woodpecker, Meyer’s Parrot (matschiei), African Broadbill (albigularis), Chinspot Batis (palliditergum), Black-throated Wattle-eye (mentalis), Black-fronted Bushshrike (manningi), Black-backed Puffback (hamatus), Black-headed Gonolek, Retz’s Helmetshrike, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike (martini), Black-headed Oriole (angolensis), Common Square-tailed Drongo, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher (vivax), White-winged Black Tit (insignis), Grey Penduline Tit (rhodesiae/winterbottomi), Spike-heeled Lark, Red-capped Lark (saturatior), Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Little Greenbul (zombensis), Terrestrial Brownbul, Grey-olive Greenbul (ESS cerviniventris), Cabanis’s Greenbul (cabanisi), Pearl-breasted Swallow, White-throated Swallow, Greater Striped Swallow, Long-billed Crombec, Lesser Swamp Warbler (leptorhynchus), Little Rush Warbler, Trilling Cisticola (lufira), Levaillant’s Cisticola (shiwae/perpullus), Neddicky (muelleri), Long-tailed Cisticola, Pale-crowned Cisticola (cinnamomeus), Wing-snapping Cisticola (ayresii), Brown-headed Apalis (alticola), Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Green-capped Eremomela (pulchra), Southern Yellow White-eye, Spotted Thrush-Babbler (upembae), Arrow-marked Babbler (tanganjicae), Yellow-bellied Hyliota (barbozae), Southern Hyliota (inornata), African Spotted Creeper (salvadori), Wattled Starling, Red-billed Oxpecker, Spotted Ground Thrush (ESS lippensi), Orange Ground Thrush (otomitra), Groundscraper Thrush (stierlingi), Swamp Flycatcher (ESS lualabae), African Dusky Flycatcher (subadusta), Brown-chested Alethe (ufipae), African Stonechat (stonei), Capped Wheatear, Western Violet-backed Sunbird (angolensis), Amethyst Sunbird (deminuta), Purple-banded Sunbird (microrhynchus), Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow (rufitergum), Holub’s Golden Weaver, Lesser Masked Weaver (cabanisii), Dark-backed Weaver (kigomaensis), Yellow Bishop (crassirostris), Marsh Widowbird (hartlaubi), White-winged Widowbird (albonotatus), Long-tailed Widowbird (delacouri), Grey Waxbill, Fawn-breasted Waxbill (benguellensis), Locust Finch (locustella), Blue Waxbill (niassensis), Orange-winged Pytilia, Jameson’s Firefinch, Purple Indigobird, Dusky Indigobird (nigerrima), Cuckoo-finch, Cape Wagtail (simplicissima), Mountain Wagtail (torrentium), Rosy-throated Longclaw, Wood Pipit (nyassae), Buffy Pipit, Striped Pipit, Bushveld Pipit and Black-throated Canary (lwenarum)
Swa-Kibula Hunting Area for Böhm’s Spinetail, Black Scimitarbill, African Grass Owl, Anchieta’s Barbet, Miombo Pied Barbet, Red-throated Wryneck (ruficollis), Chinspot Batis (pintoi), Angola Batis, Retz’s Helmetshrike, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, White-winged Black Tit, Rufous-bellied Tit, Brazza’s Martin, Red-capped Crombec, Chirping Cisticola, Salvadori’s Eremomela, Green-capped Eremomela, Black-necked Eremomela, Arrow-marked Babbler (hyposticta), Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Böhm’s Flycatcher, Arnot’s Chat, Dark-backed Weaver (amaurocephalus), Wood Pipit and Streaky-headed Seedeater (benguellensis)
Ruzizi Valley for Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark, Hartlaub’s Babbler, Collared Palm Thrush, Green-winged Pytilia (belli) and Long-tailed Paradise Whydah
Lake Edward and Rwindi-Rutshuru Plain ((Virunga NP) for Crested Francolin (grantii), African Black Swift (roehli), Horus Swift, Eastern Plantain-eater, White-browed Coucal, Grey Crowned Crane, Lesser Flamingo, Crowned Lapwing, Saddle-billed Stork, Pink-backed Pelican, Blue-naped Mousebird, Crowned Hornbill, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (subquadratus), White-fronted Bee-eater, Olive Bee-eater, Spot-flanked Barbet (radcliffei), Double-toothed Barbet (aequatorialis), Nubian Woodpecker, Little Spotted Woodpecker (nyansae), African Grey Woodpecker, Meyer’s Parrot (saturatus), Black-throated Wattle-eye (mentalis), Papyrus Gonolek, Black-headed Gonolek, Grey-backed Fiscal, Black-headed Oriole (rolleti), Grey Penduline Tit (roccatii), White-tailed Lark, Red-capped Lark (saturatior), Lesser Swamp Warbler (jacksoni), Papyrus Yellow Warbler (gracilirostris), Trilling Cisticola (woosnami), Carruthers’s Cisticola, Buff-bellied Warbler, Lowland Masked Apalis, Grey-capped Warbler, Arrow-marked Babbler (emini), Black-lored Babbler, Southern Hyliota (slatini), Rüppell’s Starling, Swamp Flycatcher (infulata), Ruaha Chat, Red-chested Sunbird, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Lesser Masked Weaver (intermedius), Yellow Bishop (crassirostris), White-winged Widowbird (eques), Fawn-breasted Waxbill (roseicrissa), Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Papyrus Canary and Black-throated Canary (somereni)
Lake Albert, Niarembe Escarpment and Ishwa Plain for Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Spot-flanked Barbet (lacrymosa), White-headed Barbet (leucocephalus), Fox Kestrel, Rock-loving Cisticola, Foxy Cisticola, Spotted Palm Thrush, Mocking Cliff Chat, Beautiful Sunbird, Black-rumped Waxbill, Crimson-rumped Waxbill and White-rumped Seedeater
Haut-Uele and Bas-Uele (Garamba NP and Bili-Uélé Protected Areas Complex) for Sudan-Guinea savanna species including Stone Partridge, Heuglin’s Spurfowl, Plain Nightjar, Long-tailed Nightjar, Standard-winged Nightjar, Eastern Plantain-eater, White-crested Turaco, Denham’s Bustard (denhami), Vinaceous Dove, Black-billed Wood Dove, Grasshopper Buzzard, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Black Scimitarbill (emini), Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African Grey Hornbill, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (subquadratus), Abyssinian Roller, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (heuglini), Red-throated Bee-eater, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (chrysoconus), Vieillot’s Barbet, Black-billed Barbet, Black-breasted Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet (aequatorialis), Red-throated Wryneck (pulchricollis), Fine-spotted Woodpecker, Golden-tailed Woodpecker (chrysura), Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, African Grey Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Meyer’s Parrot (meyeri), Niam-niam Parrot, Northern Puffback (malzacii), Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike, Yellow-billed Shrike, Emin’s Shrike, Piapiac, White-shouldered Black Tit, Yellow Penduline Tit, Rufous-rumped Lark, Sun Lark, Northern Crombec, Black-backed Cisticola, Red-winged Prinia, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Buff-bellied Warbler, Black-throated Apalis (minor), Green-backed Eremomela, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Spotted Thrush-Babbler (turdina), Brown Babbler, Dusky Babbler, Yellow-bellied Hyliota (flavigaster), African Spotted Creeper (emini), Lesser Blue-eared Starling, Bronze-tailed Starling, Purple Starling, White-collared Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Northern Black Flycatcher, Gambaga Flycatcher, White-fronted Black Chat, Western Violet-backed Sunbird (haussarum), Pygmy Sunbird, Palestine Sunbird, Splendid Sunbird, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Little Weaver, Heuglin’s Masked Weaver, Northern Masked Weaver, Cardinal Quelea, Northern Red Bishop, Grey-headed Oliveback, Fawn-breasted Waxbill (paludicola), Locust Finch (uelensis), Red-winged Pytilia, Dybowski’s Twinspot, Brown Twinspot, Black-bellied Firefinch, Bar-breasted Firefinch (lateritia), Jambandu Indigobird, Wilson’s Indigobird, Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Cuckoo-finch, West African Seedeater, Brown-rumped Bunting and Cabanis’s Bunting
Ubangi for Western Plantain-eater, Guinea Turaco, Northern White-faced Owl, White-headed Wood Hoopoe (bollei), Blue-bellied Roller, White-headed Barbet (adamauae), Red-capped Lark (saturatior), Preuss’s Cliff Swallow, Greater Swamp Warbler (rufescens), Oriole Warbler, Blackcap Babbler, Swamp Flycatcher (aquatica), Yellow-winged Pytilia, Bar-breasted Firefinch (rufopicta) and Cameroon Indigobird

TIMING (Jul–Sep)
In moister, northern areas it is best to travel when it is dry and most forest birds breed (Jun–Aug), whereas in the south it is best immediately before the rains (Aug–Sep)
Avoid the main rains, which fall Mar–Apr and Oct–Nov in the north and Dec–Feb in the south

Field guides
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara by Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan (2010)
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014) is better for most species

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

Site guides
Birding at the Okapi Wildlife Reserve by Marco Sacchi (1997)

Further reading
Avifauna chapter by Sam Jones & Gabriel Jamie in The Salonga NP Expedition: a Rapid Biodiversity Assessment in the Largest Forest Reserve in Africa, DRC by Merlijn Jocque, Gabriel Jamie, Sam Jones, Menard Mbende, Dieux Merci Mpongo Iyomi, Jan Mertens, Miguel Nunes, Brogan Pett & Michiel van Noppen (2023)
Avifauna chapter by Gabriel Jamie & Sam Jones in The Malebo Expedition: a Biological Assessment of a Forest Metacommunity in a Savannah Matrix Landscape, DRC by Merlijn Jocqué, Junior Booto, Justin Ekani, Jesse Erens, Gabriel Jamie, Sam Jones, Menard Mbende, Tom Martin, Tim van Berkel & Niklas Weber (2022)
Birds of Katanga/Oiseaux du Katanga by Michel Louette & Michel Hasson (2012)
Democratic Republic of Congo: a Bird Checklist by Tommy Pedersen (2010)
Democratic Republic of Congo by Ron Demey & Michel Louette 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)
Avifauna of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Ituri Forest/Haut Zaïre: an Annotated Checklist by Marco Sacchi (1997)
Parc National de la Garamba: Checklist of Birds by Kes Hillman-Smith (1994)
Les Oiseaux du Zaïre by Leon Lippens & Henri Wille (1976)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, Afropavo (Democratic Republic of Congo Birding Association), etc.

UNESCO World Heritage List: Garamba National Park, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Salonga National Park and Virunga National Park

Katanga Birding by Andrew Hester (2009)

Facebook groups
Birding the Democratic Republic of Congo


There is currently no BirdLife Partner in the DRC

Bird or conservation organisations active in the DRC include –
Amicale Congolaise pour la Conservation des Oiseaux et Leurs Habitats
Alliance Congolaise des Organisations de Conservation des Oiseaux
Organisation of Biodiversity Information and Conservation in Congo-Kinshasa (OBICOK)
Organisation Congolaise des Ecologistes et Amis de la Nature (OCEAN-RDC)
Biodiversité au Katanga (BAK)
Front Commun pour la Protection de l’Environnement et des Espaces Protégés (FCPEEP)
Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Écosystèmes Forestiers (Réseau CREF)
Forêt pour le Développement Intégral (FODI)
Congo Basin Conservation Society (CBCS)
Horizon Nature
Centre d’Appui à la Gestion Durable des Forêts Tropicales (CAGDFT)
Groupe d’Appui à la Conservation des Ecosystèmes de Basankusu et Bolomba (GACEBB)
Réseau des Associations pour la Conservation Communautaire du Massif d’Itombwe (RACCOMI)
Itombwe Génération pour l’Humanité (IGH)
Voix de la Nature (VONA)
Solidarité pour la Promotion Rurale (SOPR)
Action Communautaire de Développement et d’Encadrement Social (ACODES)
Fondation Bombo Lumene
M’bou Mon Tour (MMT)
Biodiversity Inventory for Conservation (BINCO)
Conserv Congo
Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS)
Protection de la Faune et de la Flore Endémiques d’Afrique Central (PROFFAC)
WCS DR Congo
Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
African Parks: Garamba National Park
Virunga Foundation
Forgotten Parks Foundation: Upemba National Park
Lukuru Foundation and Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS): Lomami National Park
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
Field Museum

Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) is the public institution in overall charge of conserving and preserving the DRC’s exceptional natural heritage, in cooperation with local communities and other partners
The ICCN Office in Bukavu oversees the operation of Kahuzi-Biéga NP and also has jurisdiction over the Itombwe Massif, which has no official protection

Ornithological research is carried out at Centre de Surveillance de la Biodiversité (CSB) of the University of Kisangani
Research staff at Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN), Lwiro, study the biological diversity of the southern Albertine Rift

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