Lesotho

SUB-REGION
Southern Africa

SIZE
30,360 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity

A temperate, highland avifauna
Approximately 280 recorded species

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

Near-endemics (NE)
Mountain Pipit

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Grey-winged Francolin
Southern Bald Ibis
Bearded Vulture | Lammergeier
Cape Vulture
Ground Woodpecker
Drakensberg Rockjumper
Fairy Flycatcher
Grey Tit
Large-billed Lark (ESS montivaga)
Layard’s Warbler | Layard’s Tit-Babbler (barnesi)
Cape Rock Thrush
Sentinel Rock Thrush
Sickle-winged Chat
African Rock Pipit | Yellow-tufted Pipit
Nicholson’s Pipit (petricolus)
Drakensberg Siskin
Yellow Canary (guillarmodi)

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

MAIN HABITATS
Alpine moorlands, rocky mountainsides

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

BIRDING SITES
Sani Top, Mafika-Lisiu Pass and Katse Dam

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)
Apps
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)

Sounds
Southern African Bird Sounds by Guy Gibbon

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

Atlases
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.

Websites
Maloti-Drakensberg Park – UNESCO World Heritage List

ORGANISATIONS

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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