Gabon

SUB-REGION
Central Africa

SIZE
267,670 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity
Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 690 recorded species

Black Guineafowl (Tasso Leventis)
Dja River Scrub Warbler (Adam Riley)
Loango Weaver (John Caddick)

Birds best found in Gabon but occurring more widely (BT)
Black Guineafowl
Plumed Guineafowl
Spot-breasted Ibis
White-crested Tiger Heron
Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk
Forbes’s Plover
Bates’s Nightjar
Black-headed Bee-eater
Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike
Fiery-breasted Bushshrike
African River Martin
Dja River Scrub Warbler
Gosling’s Apalis
Congo Moor Chat
Violet-tailed Sunbird
Black-chinned Weaver
Loango Weaver
Red-crowned Malimbe
Cassin’s Malimbe
Red-bellied Malimbe
Black-bellied Seedcracker
Black-headed Waxbill
Long-legged Pipit
Short-tailed Pipit

Plumed Guineafowl (David Hoddinot)

Birds best found in two territories of the ABC region but occurring in more (B2)
Finsch’s Francolin
Long-tailed Hawk
Grey Pratincole
Gabon Coucal
Vermiculated Fishing Owl
Sjöstedt’s Owlet
Bates’s Swift
Bare-cheeked Trogon
Blue-headed Bee-eater
Rosy Bee-eater
Black Dwarf Hornbill
Gabon Woodpecker
Grey-headed Broadbill
Angola Batis
Verreaux’s Batis
White-spotted Wattle-eye
Black-necked Wattle-eye
Black-shouldered Puffback
Eastern Wattled Cuckooshrike
Rufous-vented Paradise Flycatcher
Bates’s Paradise Flycatcher
Sjöstedt’s Honeyguide Greenbul
Xavier’s Greenbul
Eastern Bearded Greenbul
White-bearded Greenbul
Black-collared Bulbul
Red-throated Cliff Swallow
Chattering Cisticola
Dambo Cisticola
Forest White-eye
Bates’s Sunbird
Yellow-capped Weaver
Rachel’s Malimbe
Woodhouse’s Antpecker
Pale-fronted Nigrita

Rosy Bee-eater (Lionel Sineux)
Bates’s Nightjar (Pete Morris)

Proposed new species or splits not yet recognised by IOC
Southern White-bellied Korhaan (B2)
Verreaux’s Turaco (B2)
Western Black Dwarf Hornbill (B2)
Eastern White-crested Hornbill (B2)
Eastern Piping Hornbill
Western Black-backed Barbet (B2)
Western Grey-throated Barbet (B2)
Perrin’s Bushshrike
Malbrant’s Lark (BT)
Yellow-lored Bristlebill (B2)
Petit’s Saw-wing (B2)
Teke Cisticola (E)
Western Buff-throated Apalis (B2)
Olive-backed Forest Robin (E)
Gabon Forest Robin (B2)
Black-chinned Quailfinch (B2)

Other taxa of interest
Hartlaub’s Duck
Latham’s Francolin
Scaly Francolin
White-backed Night Heron
Congo Serpent Eagle
Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
Grey-throated Rail
African Finfoot
Black-rumped Buttonquail
White-crowned Lapwing
Senegal Lapwing
African Skimmer
Afep Pigeon
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon
Blue-headed Wood Dove
Yellow-throated Cuckoo
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo
Pel’s Fishing Owl
Maned Owl
Brown Nightjar
Swamp Nightjar
Black Spinetail
Cassin’s Spinetail
Blue-throated Roller
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher
African Dwarf Kingfisher
Shining-blue Kingfisher
Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill
White-thighed Hornbill
Black-casqued Hornbill
Bristle-nosed Barbet
Spotted Honeyguide
Lyre-tailed Honeyguide
African Piculet
Rufous-sided Broadbill
West African Batis
Gorgeous Bushshrike (viridis)
Sabine’s Puffback
Lowland Sooty Boubou
Swamp Boubou (bicolor)
Blue Cuckooshrike
Souza’s Shrike
Shining Drongo
Grey-necked Rockfowl | Red-headed Picathartes
African Penduline Tit
Yellow-throated Nicator
Falkenstein’s Greenbul | Yellow-necked Greenbul
Red-tailed Leaflove
Red-chested Swallow (subalaris)
White-throated Blue Swallow
Forest Swallow
Lemon-bellied Crombec
Tit Hylia
Tinkling Cisticola
Banded Prinia
Masked Apalis
Black-capped Apalis
Salvadori’s Eremomela
Blackcap Illadopsis
Violet-backed Hyliota
Purple-headed Starling
Red-tailed Ant Thrush
Fire-crested Alethe
White-browed Forest Flycatcher
Yellow-footed Flycatcher
Forest Robin
Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush
Mangrove Sunbird | Brown Sunbird
Reichenbach’s Sunbird
Carmelite Sunbird
Tiny Sunbird
Johanna’s Sunbird
Orange Weaver
Compact Weaver
Preuss’s Weaver
Blue-billed Malimbe
Western Bluebill
Black-faced Canary

Black-collared Bulbul (Paul van Giersbergen)

MAIN HABITATS
Lowland forest, coastal savanna, grasslands, miombo woodland

BIRD AREAS
Cameroon and Gabon lowlands Endemic Bird Area
Gabon-Cabinda coast Secondary Area
7 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Lopé National Park and Makokou, including Ipassa and Belinga Road, for lowland forest species
Lékoni for grasslands and miombo species
Gamba Protected Areas Complex for coastal savanna species

TIMING (Jul–Sep)
Best to travel in the dry season when access is easier and most forest birds breed (Jun–Sep)
African River Martin and grassland species breed mostly Sep–Dec, which makes Sep the best month overall
Avoid the main rains (Oct–Dec, Mar–Apr)

RESOURCES
Field guides
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)
Guide des Oiseaux de la Réserve de la Lopé by Patrice Christy & William Clarke (1994)

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

Site guides
A Birder’s Guide to Gabon by Dave Sargeant (1993)

Further reading
Le Delta de l’Ogooué edited by Jean P Vande weghe & Tariq Stévart (2017)
Gabon by Patrice Christy 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)
Coastal Waterbirds in Gabon: Winter 1992 edited by Frans J Schepers & Eric C L Marteijn (1993)
Ecology and Behaviour of Flycatchers in North-Eastern Gabon by Christian Erard (1987)
Les Oiseaux des Régions Forestières du Nord-Est du Gabon by André Brosset & Christian Erard (1986)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, etc.

Websites
UNESCO World Heritage List: Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda and Ivindo National Park

ORGANISATIONS

There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Gabon

Bird or conservation organisations active in Gabon include –
Organisation Écologique des Lacs et de l’Ogooué (OELO) 
Brainforest
IBONGA-ACPE
ONG Akanda Nature
Centre d’Actions pour le Développement Durable et l’Environnement (CADDE)
EDZENGUI
Maison du Tourisme et de la Nature (MTN)
Aventures Sans Frontières
Right Routes
WCS Gabon
WWF Gabon
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

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