1,240,192 km² (8th largest country in Africa)



Mostly Afrotropical avifauna, with a significant migratory Palaearctic element
Approximately 550 recorded species

Fox Kestrel (Tasso Leventis)
Mali Firefinch (Arne Møller)
River Prinia (Bram Piot)

Near-endemics (NE)
Mali Firefinch

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Black-shouldered Nightjar
Desert Grey Shrike
Glossy-backed Drongo
Western Square-tailed Drongo
Singing Bush Lark
African Reed Warbler
African Scrub Robin
Black-faced Quailfinch
Vinaceous Firefinch
Grey Firefinch
Bannerman’s Pipit

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Stone Partridge
White-throated Francolin
Double-spurred Spurfowl
Golden Nightjar
Western Plantain-eater
Violet Turaco
Denham’s Bustard
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Spotted Sandgrouse
African Collared Dove
Adamawa Turtle Dove
Black-headed Lapwing
Egyptian Plover
Cream-coloured Courser
Grey Pratincole
Western Reef Heron
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle
Grasshopper Buzzard
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl | Desert Eagle-Owl
Blue-naped Mousebird
Black Scimitarbill
Western Red-billed Hornbill
Abyssinian Roller
Blue-bellied Roller
White-bellied Kingfisher
Red-throated Bee-eater
African Green Bee-eater
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
Vieillot’s Barbet
Bearded Barbet
Yellow-breasted Barbet
Fine-spotted Woodpecker
Little Grey Woodpecker
African Grey Woodpecker
Brown-backed Woodpecker
Fox Kestrel
Senegal Parrot
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Red-headed Lovebird
Senegal Batis
Brown-throated Wattle-eye
Yellow-crowned Gonolek
Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike
Yellow-billed Shrike
Brown-necked Raven
White-shouldered Black Tit
Sennar Penduline Tit
Yellow Penduline Tit
Greater Hoopoe-Lark
Bar-tailed Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark
Rusty Bush Lark
Kordofan Lark
Sun Lark
Crested Lark
Dunn’s Lark
Pied-winged Swallow
West African Swallow
Preuss’s Cliff Swallow
Northern Crombec
Rock-loving Cisticola
Dorst’s Cisticola
Rufous Cisticola
Black-backed Cisticola
River Prinia
Red-winged Prinia
Cricket Warbler
Oriole Warbler
Senegal Eremomela
Fulvous Babbler
Brown Babbler
Blackcap Babbler
Yellow-bellied Hyliota
Lesser Blue-eared Starling
Bronze-tailed Starling
Purple Starling
Long-tailed Glossy Starling
Chestnut-bellied Starling
Neumann’s Starling
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Black Scrub Robin
Swamp Flycatcher
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
White-crowned Robin-Chat
Mocking Cliff Chat (ESS cavernicola)
Anteater Chat
White-fronted Black Chat
White-crowned Wheatear
Mangrove Sunbird
Western Violet-backed Sunbird
Pygmy Sunbird
Beautiful Sunbird
Splendid Sunbird
Sahel Bush Sparrow
Desert Sparrow
Sudan Golden Sparrow
White-billed Buffalo Weaver
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver
Speckle-fronted Weaver
Olive-naped Weaver
Heuglin’s Masked Weaver
Northern Red Bishop
Fan-tailed Widowbird
African Silverbill
Grey-headed Oliveback
Lavender Waxbill
Black-rumped Waxbill
Red-winged Pytilia
Dybowski’s Twinspot
Black-bellied Firefinch
Bar-breasted Firefinch
Barka Indigobird
Quailfinch Indigobird
Cameroon Indigobird
Sahel Paradise Whydah
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah
Trumpeter Finch
White-rumped Seedeater
House Bunting
Gosling’s Bunting
Brown-rumped Bunting

Yellow-breasted Barbet (Artur Bujanowicz)
Golden Nightjar (Nik Borrow)
Egyptian Plover (Tasso Leventis)
Black-faced Firefinch (Paul van Giersbergen)

Arid savanna with rocky hills, desert, lakes and wetlands of the Niger River

Upper Niger valley Secondary Area
18 Important Bird Areas

Bamako area and Dogon country for Mali Firefinch
Timbuktu and Gao for arid-country birds

TIMING (Oct–Nov, Mar)
Being an arid area, breeding activity is stimulated by rain so it is best to visit immediately after the rains (Sep–Dec), or immediately before the rains (Mar–Apr)

Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)
Oiseaux Observables à Teriya Bugu et dans ses Environs Proches by Bourama Coulibaly (2013)

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

Atlas de Répartition des Oiseaux du Mali et de Mauritanie by B Lamarche (1993)

Further reading
Mali by Peter Robertson in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, etc.

Facebook groups
Oiseaux du Mali


There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Mali

Bird or conservation organisations active in Mali include –
Association Malienne pour la Conservation de la Faune et de l’Environnement (AMCFE)
STOP-SAHEL: Association Malienne pour la Protection de l’Environnement

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