Southern Africa

30,355 km²



A temperate, highland avifauna
Approximately 290 recorded species

Drakensberg Rockjumper (Kevin Ravno)
Drakensberg Siskin (Kevin Ravno)
Grey Tit (Kevin Ravno)

Near-endemics (NE)
Drakensberg Rockjumper
Mountain Pipit
Drakensberg Siskin

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE (1/2)
Grey-winged Francolin
Blue Korhaan | Blue Bustard
African Rock Pipit | Yellow-tufted Pipit
Yellow-breasted Pipit

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
White-backed Duck
South African Shelduck
African Black Duck
Common Quail
Swainson’s Spurfowl
African Black Swift | African Swift
Horus Swift
Northern Black Korhaan | White-quilled Bustard
Blacksmith Lapwing
African Snipe
Southern Bald Ibis
Bearded Vulture | Lammergeier
Cape Vulture | Cape Griffon
Verreaux’s Eagle
Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk
Black Harrier
Jackal Buzzard
African Grass Owl
Ground Woodpecker
Rock Kestrel
Cape Batis
Southern Fiscal
Cape Crow
White-necked Raven
Fairy Flycatcher (rudebecki)
Grey Tit (arens)
Eastern Long-billed Lark (semitorquata)
Large-billed Lark (harei)
Red-capped Lark
African Red-eyed Bulbul | Black-fronted Bulbul
White-throated Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow
Cape Grassbird
Barratt’s Warbler (cathkinensis)
Wailing Cisticola (lais)
Levaillant’s Cisticola (tinniens)
Neddicky | Piping Cisticola (fulvicapilla)
Cloud Cisticola (major)
Wing-snapping Cisticola | Ayres’s Cisticola (ayresii)
Karoo Prinia (exultans)
Layard’s Warbler (ESS barnesi)
Cape White-eye
Gurney’s Sugarbird
Cape Starling
Pied Starling | African Pied Starling
Red-winged Starling
Olive Thrush
Cape Robin-Chat
Cape Rock Thrush
Sentinel Rock Thrush
African Stonechat (ESS oreobates)
Buff-streaked Chat
Sickle-winged Chat (ESS hypernephela)
Ant-eating Chat | Southern Anteater Chat
Mountain Wheatear
Familiar Chat
Malachite Sunbird
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Cape Sparrow (vicinus)
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver
Cape Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Red Bishop
Yellow Bishop (approximans)
Red-collared Widowbird
Long-tailed Widowbird (progne)
Swee Waxbill
Red-headed Finch
Cape Wagtail
Cape Longclaw | Orange-throated Longclaw
Nicholson’s Pipit (petricolus)
Black-throated Canary (impigra)
Yellow Canary (ESS guillarmodi)
Streaky-headed Seedeater (endemion)
White-throated Canary (orangensis)
Cape Canary (thompsonae)
Black-headed Canary (alario)
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Cape Bunting (basutoensis + reidi)

Sentinel Rock Thrush (Kevin Ravno)
Bearded Vulture (Kevin Ravno)
Southern Bald Ibis (Kevin Ravno)

Alpine moorlands, rocky mountainsides

Lesotho highlands Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
Southern African grasslands EBA
6 Important Bird Areas

Sani Pass, Katse Dam, Mafika-Lisiu Pass, Ts’ehlanyane National Park (NP) and Sehlabathebe NP

TIMING (Nov–Jan)
Best in summer when birds breed and Mountain Pipit is present (Nov–Mar)
Avoid 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)
Guide to the Birds of the Roma Campus, National University of Lesotho by D Ambrose & D H Maphisa (1999)

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
The Status and Distribution of Birds in Lesotho by P E Osborne & B J Tigar (1990)

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)
Lesotho by Keith Barnes in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Birds of Lesotho: a Guide to Distribution Past and Present by Kurt Bonde (1993)
Articles in Ostrich, Bull. ABC, etc.

Maloti-Drakensberg Park – UNESCO World Heritage List


There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Lesotho

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Lesotho include –
Birdlife Lesotho
Peace Parks Foundation: Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area

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