The Gambia

West Africa

11,300 km²



Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 580 recorded species

Pied-winged Swallow (Tasso Leventis)
West African Swallow (Nigel Voaden)
Blue-bellied Roller (Lionel Sineux)

Birds best found in The Gambia but occurring more widely (BT)
Blue-bellied Roller
Red-chested Swallow
West African Swallow
Lavender Waxbill

Birds best found in two territories of the ABC region but occurring in more (B2)
Northern White-faced Owl
Western Red-billed Hornbill
Pied-winged Swallow
Long-tailed Glossy Starling
White-crowned Robin-Chat

Egyptian Plover (Tasso Leventis)
Lavender Waxbill (Paul van Giersbergen)

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Brown-necked Parrot (B2)
Vinaceous Black-faced Firefinch (BT)

Other taxa of interest
Stone Partridge
Ahanta Spurfowl
White-backed Night Heron
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle
Grasshopper Buzzard
Egyptian Plover
Four-banded Sandgrouse
Adamawa Turtle Dove
Violet Turaco
Vieillot’s Barbet
Bearded Barbet
Fine-spotted Woodpecker
Senegal Parrot
Senegal Batis
Fanti Saw-wing
Yellow-crowned Gonolek
Yellow Penduline Tit
Rufous Cisticola
Oriole Warbler
Senegal Eremomela
Blackcap Babbler
Bronze-tailed Starling
White-fronted Black Chat
Heuglin’s Masked Weaver
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah
Gosling’s Bunting
Brown-rumped Bunting

Savanna, Guinea woodland, gallery forest

14 Important Bird Areas

Abuko Nature Reserve
Faraba Banta Bush Track
Tanji Bird Reserve
Tujereng Woods

TIMING (Nov, Mar–Apr)
Probably best to go in the dry season when site access is best (Nov–May)
Avoid the main rains (Jul–Sep)

Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Senegal and The Gambia by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2012)
Birds of The Gambia and Senegal by Clive Barlow and Tim Wacher (2005)
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)
A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of The Gambia & West Africa by Marcelina Silva, Bob & Cees Scholtz (2004)
Field Guide to Wildlife of The Gambia by David Penney (2012)

Bird Song of the Gambia and Senegal: an Aid to Identification by Clive Barlow, John Hammick & Pat Sellar
African Bird Sounds Vol 2: West and Central Africa by Claude Chappuis

Site guides
Finding Birds in The Gambia by Dave Gosney (2019)
Birding in Tanji Bird Reserve and Bijol Island, The Gambia by Anne Nason (1998)
A Birdwatchers’ Guide to The Gambia by Rod Ward (1994)

Further reading
The Gambia by Paul Robinson 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 de Sénégambie: Notices et Cartes de Distribution by Gérard J Morel & Marie-Yvonne Morel (1990)
Birds of The Gambia: an Annotated Checklist by M E J Gore (1990)
The Birds of The Gambia: an Annotated Checklist and Guide to Localities by Jörn Vestergaard Jensen & Jens Kirkeby (1980)
Land Cover and Avian Biodiversity in Rice Fields and Mangroves of West Africa by Daan Bos, Ion Grigoras & Abdoulaye Ndiaye (2006)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, etc.

Birds of The Gambia
Gambia Birdwatching
Babu’s Best Gambia Birding
Farasuto Forest Community Nature Reserve
Morgan Kunda Lodge

The Gambia Experience Birdwatching Blog

Facebook groups
Gambia and Senegal Birding is a group created by The Gambia and Senegal Bird Guide Association to encourage birders, photographers and nature lovers who are traveling to The Gambia and Senegal to post their photographs of birds, videos, and trip reports


There is currently no BirdLife Partner in The Gambia

Bird or conservation organisations active in The Gambia include –
Kartong Bird Observatory
West African Bird Study Association (WABSA)
Gambia Bird Watchers Association
Makasutu Wildlife Trust
Partenariat Régional pour la Conservation de la Zone Côtière et Marine (PRCM) en Afrique de l’Ouest

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