Southern Africa

17,360 km²


Mostly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 490 recorded species

Blue Swallow (Kevin Ravno)
Cape Rock Thrush (Kevin Ravno)
Buff-streaked Chat (Kevin Ravno)

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Southern Red-winged Francolin
Barrow’s Bustard
Grey-breasted Green Pigeon
Ngami Owlet
Southern Red-fronted Tinkerbird
Southern Olive Woodpecker
Four-coloured Bushshrike
Red-backed Mannikin

Other taxa of interest
Cape Shoveler
Southern Crested Guineafowl
Natal Spurfowl
Swainson’s Spurfowl
Denham’s Bustard
Red-crested Korhaan
Knysna Turaco
African Finfoot
Blue Crane
Black-winged Lapwing
Southern Bald Ibis
Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk
Jackal Buzzard
Red-faced Mousebird
Southern Ground Hornbill
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Trumpeter Hornbill
Half-collared Kingfisher
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
White-eared Barbet
Acacia Pied Barbet
Black-collared Barbet
Crested Barbet
Ground Woodpecker
Bennett’s Woodpecker
Brown-headed Parrot
Cape Batis
Olive Bushshrike
Southern Tchagra
Southern Boubou
Retz’s Helmetshrike
Grey Cuckooshrike
Magpie Shrike
Southern Fiscal
Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher
White-necked Raven
Southern Black Tit
Eastern Nicator
Eastern Long-billed Lark
Sabota Lark
Sombre Greenbul
Yellow-bellied Greenbul
Terrestrial Brownbul
Yellow-streaked Greenbul
Blue Swallow
Pearl-breasted Swallow
White-throated Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow
Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler
Cape Grassbird
Long-billed Crombec
Little Rush Warbler
Rock-loving Cisticola
Wailing Cisticola
Levaillant’s Cisticola
Cloud Cisticola
Wing-snapping Cisticola
Drakensberg Prinia
Bar-throated Apalis
Rudd’s Apalis
Stierling’s Wren-Warbler
Burnt-necked Eremomela
Bush Blackcap
Chestnut-vented Warbler
Cape White-eye
Gurney’s Sugarbird
Black-bellied Starling
Cape Starling
Burchell’s Starling
Pied Starling
Red-billed Oxpecker
Groundscraper Thrush
Olive Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
Bearded Scrub Robin
Grey Tit-Flycatcher
Fiscal Flycatcher
African Dusky Flycatcher
White-throated Robin-Chat
Chorister Robin-Chat
White-starred Robin
Cape Rock Thrush
Sentinel Rock Thrush
Buff-streaked Chat
Mountain Wheatear
Capped Wheatear
Grey Sunbird
Malachite Sunbird
Southern Double-collared Sunbird
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Purple-banded Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
Cape Weaver
Dark-backed Weaver
Southern Red Bishop
Fan-tailed Widowbird
Red-collared Widowbird
Long-tailed Widowbird
Swee Waxbill
Grey Waxbill
Blue Waxbill
Pink-throated Twinspot
Jameson’s Firefinch
Dusky Indigobird
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah
Cape Wagtail
Cape Longclaw
Nicholson’s Pipit
Striped Pipit
Buffy Pipit
Bushveld Pipit
Forest Canary
Streaky-headed Seedeater
Cape Canary
Cape Bunting

Southern Bald Ibis (Kevin Ravno)

National bird
Purple-crested Turaco | Ligwalagwala

Montane grassland, montane forest, savanna

South African forests Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
South-east African coast EBA
3 Important Bird Areas

Malolotja Nature Reserve for montane species
Hlane Game Reserve for lowland species

TIMING (Nov–Jan)
Best at the start of the rains, when most birds breed
Highland areas are unproductive in winter (May–Aug)

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

Field guides
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton, Niall Perrins, Dominic Rollinson & Peter Ryan (2020)

Southern African Bird Sounds by Guy Gibbon

Site guides
Southern African Birdfinder by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Jonathan Rossouw (2006)

Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2), a member of the African Bird Atlas Project
Swaziland Bird Atlas 1985-1991 by Vincent Parker (1994)

Further reading
Roberts – Birds of Southern Africa edited by P A R Hockey, W R J Dean & P G Ryan (2005)
The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland edited by Martin R Taylor, Faansie Peacock & Ross M Wanless (2015)
Birds of the Malolotja Nature Reserve, Swaziland by Richard Boycott & Vincent Parker (2003)
Swaziland by Keith Barnes & Ara Monadjem 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 Ostrich, Bull. ABC, etc.

Eswatini’s Birds Database contains detailed information and distributions

Facebook groups
Eswatini Birding Spectacular
Birding in the Kingdom of Eswatini


There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Eswatini

Eswatini National Trust Commission (ENTC) is the parastatal organisation responsible for the conservation of the country’s cultural and natural heritage

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Eswatini include –
Yonge Nawe Environmental Action Group (YNEAG)
Peace Parks Foundation: Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area

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