Central Africa

267,667 km²


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
Bates’s Nightjar
Forbes’s Plover
Spot-breasted Ibis
White-crested Tiger Heron | White-crested Bittern
Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk
Black-headed Bee-eater
Fiery-breasted Bushshrike
Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike
African River Martin
Dja River Scrub Warbler | Dja River Swamp Warbler
Gosling’s Apalis
Grey Ground Thrush
Olive-backed Forest Robin
Congo Moor Chat
Violet-tailed Sunbird
Black-chinned Weaver
Loango Weaver
Red-crowned Malimbe
Cassin’s Malimbe | Black-throated Malimbe
Red-bellied Malimbe
Black-headed Waxbill
Black-bellied Seedcracker
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
Bates’s Swift
Gabon Coucal
Grey Pratincole
Long-tailed Hawk
Sjöstedt’s Barred Owlet | Sjöstedt’s Owlet
Vermiculated Fishing Owl
Bare-cheeked Trogon
Western Dwarf Hornbill
Eastern Long-tailed Hornbill
Blue-headed Bee-eater
Rosy Bee-eater
Grey-throated Barbet (bonapartei)
Gabon Woodpecker
Grey-headed Broadbill
Angola Batis
Gabon Batis | Verreaux’s Batis
White-spotted Wattle-eye
Black-necked Wattle-eye
Red-eyed Puffback
Eastern Wattled Cuckooshrike | Oriole Cuckooshrike
Rufous-vented Paradise Flycatcher
Bates’s Paradise Flycatcher
Black-collared Bulbul
Yellow-lored Bristlebill
Sjöstedt’s Greenbul | White-tailed Greenbul
Eastern Bearded Greenbul
White-bearded Greenbul
Xavier’s Greenbul
Red-throated Cliff Swallow | Red-throated Swallow
Chattering Cisticola
Dambo Cisticola | Cloud-scraping Cisticola
Forest White-eye
Orange-breasted Forest Robin
Yellow-breasted Forest Robin
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 accepted by IOC
Cranch’s Spurfowl
Verreaux’s Turaco (B2)
Barrow’s Bustard (B2)
Eastern Piping Hornbill
Eastern Yellow-spotted Barbet
Streaky-throated Barbet
Brown-faced Barbet (B2)
Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet
West African Pitta
Perrin’s Bushshrike
Clancey’s Drongo
Plains Lark | Malbrant’s Lark
Pale-throated Greenbul
Petit’s Saw-wing (B2)
African Reed Warbler
Teke Cisticola (E)
Western Buff-throated Apalis (B2)
Gabon Forest Robin (B2)
Black-chinned Quailfinch (B2)
Three-streaked Bunting

Other taxa of interest
Hartlaub’s Duck
African Pygmy Goose
Latham’s Francolin
Scaly Spurfowl (squamatus)
Brown Nightjar
Swamp Nightjar
Square-tailed Nightjar (fossii)
Black Spinetail
Sabine’s Spinetail
Cassin’s Spinetail
Great Blue Turaco
Ross’s Turaco
Guinea Turaco | Green Turaco (zenkeri)
Black-throated Coucal (efulenensis)
Blue-headed Coucal
Blue Malkoha (aereus)
Yellow-throated Cuckoo
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo
Afep Pigeon
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon
Blue-headed Wood Dove
African Finfoot
White-spotted Flufftail (centralis/zenkeri)
Grey-throated Rail
Nkulengu Rail
Senegal Lapwing
Rock Pratincole
Olive Ibis (cupreipennis)
Congo Serpent Eagle
Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
Red-thighed Sparrowhawk
Red-chested Owlet (medje)
Sandy Scops Owl (holerythrus)
Marsh Owl
Maned Owl
Spotted Eagle-Owl
Fraser’s Eagle-Owl
Akun Eagle-Owl
Shelley’s Eagle-Owl
Pel’s Fishing Owl
Congo Pied Hornbill
Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill
White-thighed Hornbill
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill
Black-casqued Hornbill
Lilac-breasted Roller
Blue-throated Roller
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher
Brown-hooded Kingfisher (prentissgrayi)
African Dwarf Kingfisher
White-bellied Kingfisher
Black Bee-eater (australis)
Blue-breasted Bee-eater (variegatus)
White-fronted Bee-eater
Bristle-nosed Barbet
Naked-faced Barbet
Speckled Tinkerbird (flavisquamatus)
Red-rumped Tinkerbird
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird (flavimentum)
Double-toothed Barbet
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
Elliot’s Woodpecker
African Grey Woodpecker (meridionalis)
Grey Parrot
Red-fronted Parrot
Red-headed Lovebird
Black-collared Lovebird (zenkeri)
Rufous-sided Broadbill
African Broadbill (camarunensis)
Western Black-headed Batis (congoensis)
West African Batis
Chestnut Wattle-eye
Brown-throated Wattle-eye
Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye (graueri)
Bocage’s Bushshrike
Marsh Tchagra
Sabine’s Puffback
Lowland Sooty Boubou
Lühder’s Bushshrike
African Shrike-flycatcher
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher
Petit’s Cuckooshrike
Purple-throated Cuckooshrike
Blue Cuckooshrike
Western Oriole
Black-winged Oriole
Velvet-mantled Drongo
Shining Drongo
Sharpe’s Drongo
Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher
Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher | Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher
Grey-necked Rockfowl | Red-headed Picathartes
Dusky Crested Flycatcher
Dusky Tit
Forest Penduline Tit (flavifrons)
Western Nicator
Yellow-throated Nicator
Golden Greenbul
Red-tailed Bristlebill
Spotted Greenbul
Swamp Palm Bulbul | Swamp Greenbul
Falkenstein’s Greenbul | Yellow-necked Greenbul
Simple Greenbul
Honeyguide Greenbul
Red-tailed Greenbul
Plain Greenbul
Little Grey Greenbul | Gray Greenbul
Ansorge’s Greenbul
White-throated Greenbul
Icterine Greenbul
Red-tailed Leaflove | Leaf-love
Square-tailed Saw-wing
Angola Swallow
Red-chested Swallow (subalaris)
White-bibbed Swallow | White-throated Blue Swallow
Forest Swallow
South African Cliff Swallow | South African Swallow
Yellow Longbill
Grey Longbill
Green Crombec
Lemon-bellied Crombec
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher
Green Hylia
Tit Hylia
Uganda Woodland Warbler
Pectoral-patch Cisticola
Wing-snapping Cisticola (gabun)
Banded Prinia
White-chinned Prinia
Lowland Masked Apalis | Masked Apalis
Black-throated Apalis (minor)
Black-capped Apalis
Grey Apalis
Yellow-browed Camaroptera
Olive-green Camaroptera
Black-faced Rufous Warbler
Rufous-crowned Eremomela
Brown Illadopsis
Pale-breasted Illadopsis
Blackcap Illadopsis
Violet-backed Hyliota
Purple-headed Starling
Chestnut-winged Starling
Narrow-tailed Starling
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Fraser’s Rufous Thrush | Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush
White-tailed Ant Thrush
Red-tailed Ant Thrush
Black-eared Ground Thrush
Fire-crested Alethe
Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher | African Forest Flycatcher
White-browed Forest Flycatcher
Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher
Grey Tit-Flycatcher
Cassin’s Flycatcher
Olivaceous Flycatcher
Little Grey Flycatcher | Little Flycatcher
Yellow-footed Flycatcher
Dusky-blue Flycatcher
Sooty Flycatcher
Brown-chested Alethe
Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
Lowland Akalat
Fraser’s Sunbird
Little Green Sunbird
Grey-chinned Sunbird
Reichenbach’s Sunbird
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird
Green-throated Sunbird
Tiny Sunbird
Orange-tufted Sunbird
Johanna’s Sunbird
Superb Sunbird
Spectacled Weaver
Black-necked Weaver
Orange Weaver
Vieillot’s Black Weaver
Yellow-mantled Weaver
Maxwell’s Black Weaver
Compact Weaver
Dark-backed Weaver | Forest Weaver
Preuss’s Weaver
Blue-billed Malimbe
Red-headed Malimbe
Crested Malimbe
Marsh Widowbird
White-breasted Nigrita
Chestnut-breasted Nigrita
Grey-headed Nigrita
Grey Waxbill | Black-tailed Waxbill
Black-crowned Waxbill
Fawn-breasted Waxbill
Western Bluebill
Brown Twinspot
Black-faced Canary
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

Black-collared Bulbul (Paul van Giersbergen)

Lowland forest, coastal savanna, grasslands

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

Lopé National Park (NP), Ivindo NP (including Ipassa-Makokou Biosphere Reserve) and Minkébé NP for lowland forest species
Lékoni on the Batéké Plateau for wooded grassland species including Helmeted Guineafowl, Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Temminck’s Courser, Southern White-faced Owl, Black Scimitarbill, Striped Kingfisher, Red-throated Wryneck, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Grey Kestrel, Chinspot Batis (pintoi), Souza’s Shrike, White-winged Black Tit (insignis), Grey Penduline Tit (ansorgei), Banded Martin, Red-capped Crombec (rufigenis), Tinkling Cisticola (ansorgei), Neddicky (dispar), Pale-crowned Cisticola (midcongo), Salvadori’s Eremomela, Green-capped Eremomela (congensis), Yellow-bellied Hyliota (barbozae), Sooty Chat, Western Violet-backed Sunbird (angolensis), Amethyst Sunbird, Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow (rufitergum), Wood Pipit (schoutedeni), Plain-backed Pipit (bohndorffi) and Black-throated Canary (lwenarum)
Akanda NP, Ogooué Delta and Gamba Protected Areas Complex including Loango NP for African River Martin and Loango Weaver, waterbirds including Lesser Flamingo, White-crowned Lapwing, African Skimmer, West African Crested Tern, Damara Tern, White-backed Night Heron, Western Reef Heron and Pink-backed Pelican, and coastal species including Swamp Boubou, Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush, Mangrove Sunbird, Carmelite Sunbird and Slender-billed Weaver

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)

Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

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)

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.

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


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) 
ONG Akanda Nature
Centre d’Actions pour le Développement Durable et l’Environnement (CADDE)
Maison du Tourisme et de la Nature (MTN)
Aventures Sans Frontières
Fondation Lékédi Biodiversité
Right Routes
WCS Gabon
WWF Gabon
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

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