Southern Africa

824,290 km²



Afrotropical avifauna in the north-east, subtropical in the south
Approximately 640 recorded species

Dune Lark (Kevin Ravno)
Monteiro’s Hornbill (Kevin Ravno)
Herero Chat (Kevin Ravno)

Near-endemics (NE), including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Rüppell’s Korhaan (ESS fitzsimonsi)
Damara Tern
Gray’s Lark (ESS grayi)
Dune Lark
Herero Chat

Rüppell’s Korhaan (Kevin Ravno)
Rüppell’s Parrot (Kevin Ravno)
White-tailed Shrike (Kevin Ravno)

Birds best found in Namibia but occurring more widely (BT), including ESS
Hartlaub’s Spurfowl
Red-billed Spurfowl
Bradfield’s Swift
Double-banded Sandgrouse
Burchell’s Courser
Violet Wood Hoopoe
Damara Red-billed Hornbill
Monteiro’s Hornbill
Rüppell’s Parrot
Rosy-faced Lovebird
White-tailed Shrike
Southern White-crowned Shrike
Carp’s Tit
Stark’s Lark
Bare-cheeked Babbler (ESS kaokensis)
Southern Pied Babbler
Black-faced Babbler
Dusky Sunbird
Great Sparrow
Red-headed Finch
Cinderella Waxbill

Rosy-faced Lovebird (Kevin Ravno)
Bare-cheeked Babbler (Kevin Ravno)
Carp’s Tit (Kevin Ravno)
Sociable Weaver (Kevin Ravno)

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE or BT (1/2), including ESS
Cape Spurfowl
Karoo Korhaan
African Oystercatcher
Hartlaub’s Gull
Crowned Cormorant
Bank Cormorant
Benguela Long-billed Lark (ESS kaokoensis)
Cape Long-billed Lark
Cape Clapper Lark
Sclater’s Lark
Namaqua Warbler
Cinnamon-breasted Warbler
Karoo Eremomela (ESS damarensis)
Orange River White-eye
Angola Cave Chat

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2), including ESS
South African Shelduck
Namaqua Sandgrouse
African Penguin
Cape Gannet
Cape Cormorant
Black Harrier
Jackal Buzzard
White-backed Mousebird
Cape Penduline Tit
Karoo Long-billed Lark (ESS damarensis)
Black-eared Sparrow-Lark
Sabota Lark (ESS naevia)
Monotonous Lark
Layard’s Warbler | Layard’s Tit-Babbler (aridicola)
Burchell’s Starling
Pale-winged Starling
Karoo Thrush
Karoo Scrub Robin
Short-toed Rock Thrush
Karoo Chat (ESS schlegelii)
Tractrac Chat (ESS nebulosa + barlowi + albicans)
Ant-eating Chat
Mountain Wheatear (ESS atmorii)
Cape Sparrow
Sociable Weaver (ESS xericus + geminus)
Scaly-feathered Weaver
Shaft-tailed Whydah
Black-throated Canary
Yellow Canary
Black-headed Canary
Lark-like Bunting

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Kunene Francolin (BT)
Cape Gull (B2)
Ngami Owlet
Cape Eagle-Owl (1/2)
Northern Olive Woodpecker
Grey-headed Parrot
Bradfield’s Lark (1/2)
Barlow’s Lark (1/2)
African Reed Warbler (B2)
Kunene Starling (1/2)
Benguela Seedeater
Damara Canary (1/2)

Other taxa of interest, including more ESS
Common Ostrich
Southern Crested Guineafowl
Orange River Francolin (levalliantoides)
Swainson’s Spurfowl
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar
Ludwig’s Bustard
Red-crested Korhaan
Northern Black Korhaan
Coppery-tailed Coucal
Burchell’s Sandgrouse
African Green Pigeon (ESS vylderi)
Wattled Crane
Blue Crane
Chestnut-banded Plover
Double-banded Courser (ESS erlangeri)
Rock Pratincole
Slaty Egret
Southern White-faced Owl
Common Scimitarbill (cyanomelas)
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Bradfield’s Hornbill
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (hirundineus)
Olive Bee-eater (alternans)
Acacia Pied Barbet
Bennett’s Woodpecker (capricorni)
Pygmy Falcon
Greater Kestrel
Pririt Batis
Swamp Boubou
Crimson-breasted Shrike
Southern Fiscal
Fairy Flycatcher
Ashy Tit
Grey Tit
Spike-heeled Lark (ESS erikssoni + boweni)
Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark
Fawn-coloured Lark
Eastern Clapper Lark
Pink-billed Lark (ESS damarensis)
Large-billed Lark
African Red-eyed Bulbul
Pearl-breasted Swallow
Long-billed Crombec
Rattling Cisticola (ESS frater)
Grey-backed Cisticola (ESS windhoekensis)
Luapula Cisticola
Chirping Cisticola
Desert Cisticola
Karoo Prinia
Black-chested Prinia
Rufous-eared Warbler (ESS etoshae)
Barred Wren-Warbler
Burnt-necked Eremomela
Chestnut-vented Warbler | Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler (cinerascens)
Hartlaub’s Babbler
Cape Starling
Groundscraper Thrush
Kalahari Scrub Robin
Chat Flycatcher
Marico Flycatcher
Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush
Sickle-winged Chat
Shelley’s Sunbird
Southern Double-collared Sunbird
Chestnut Weaver (trothae)
Black-faced Waxbill (erythronotos)
Common Waxbill (ESS  damarensis)
Violet-eared Waxbill
Brown Firefinch
African Pied Wagtail (aguimp)
Nicholson’s Pipit (leucocraspedon + palliditinctus)
Buffy Pipit (ESS namibicus)
White-throated Canary
Cape Bunting (ESS bradfieldi)

National bird
African Fish Eagle | Onkwalukugo | Nwanyi | Mpungu

Desert, arid savanna, woodlands along the Caprivi Strip

Western Angola Endemic Bird Area
Karoo Secondary Area (SA)
Namib desert SA
Namibian escarpment SA
19 Important Bird Areas

Spitzkoppe and Spreetshoogte pass for escarpment species, including Herero Chat
Walvis Bay area for Damara Tern, Gray’s Lark and Dune Lark
Brandberg for Benguela Long-billed Lark
Etosha National Park for arid savanna species
Also Windhoek area, Erongo Mountains and Ruacana

TIMING (Oct, Mar–Apr)
Being a dry country, it is best after the main rains (Jan–Apr)
Spring (Sep–Oct), when some birds start to breed, can also be a good time to visit
The cold winter months (May–Aug) are less productive

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 G Ryan (2020)
A Photographic Guide to Birds of Namibia by Ian & Jackie Sinclair (2002)
Pocket Guide Birds of Namibia by Ian Sinclair & Joris Komen (2017)

Southern African Bird Sounds by Guy Gibbon
Namibia Soundscapes/Paysages de Namibie by Anthony Walker

Site guides
Southern African Birdfinder by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Jonathan Rossouw (2006)
Birding in Namibia: an Illustrated Guide to Selected Sites by Eckart Demasius (1999)
Namibia’s Caprivi Strip by Christopher Hines (1996)

Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2), a member of the African Bird Atlas Project
Atlasing in Namibia: Bird Information System by the Environmental Information Service (EIS) Namibia

Further reading
Roberts – Birds of Southern Africa edited by P A R Hockey, W R J Dean & P G Ryan (2005)
Birds to Watch in Namibia: Red, Rare and Endemic Species by Rob Simmons, Christopher J Brown & Jessica Kemper (2015)
Namibia by Robert E Simmons, Christian Boix-Hinzen, Keith Barnes, Alice M Jarvis & Antony Robertson 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 Namibia: a Photographic Journey by Pompie Burger (2008)
Birds of the Eastern Caprivi by J H Koen (1988)
Birds of the Etosha National Park by R A C Jensen & C F Clinning (1983)
Articles in Lanioturdus (Journal of the Namibia Bird Club), Namibia Bird News, Namibia Scientific Society Journal, Namibian Journal of Environment, Madoqua (Journal of Arid Zone Biology and Nature Conservation Research), Bull. ABC, etc.

The Namibian Avifaunal Database includes all available information on birds in Namibia including SABAP1 data, nest record cards, wetland bird counts, raptor road counts, and museum specimens
Birdwatching in Namibia is a website owned by Neil MacLeod, who runs SafariWise, a tour operator based in Namibia specializing in birding tours
Birds in Etosha National Park
Namib Sand Sea – UNESCO World Heritage List

Birds in Namibia from the Gondwana Collection
Namibia’s 15 Key Birds – 10,000 Birds by Adam Riley

Facebook groups
Birds of Namibia is a group for sharing photos and posts of bird species found in Namibia


There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Namibia

Bird or conservation organisations active in Namibia include –
Namibia Bird Club (formerly the Ornithological Working Group of the Namibia Scientific Society)
Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF)
Namibian Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS)
Vultures Namibia
Wild Bird Trust
Rare & Endangered Species Trust (REST)
Namibia Animal Rehabilitation Research and Education Centre (NARREC)
Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC)
Coastal Environmental Trust of Namibia (CETN)
Lüderitz Marine Research
NamibRand Conservation Foundation (NRCF)
African Safari Foundation (ASF)
Peace Parks Foundation: Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) and /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

NNF supports two working groups who focus on the conservation of Namibia’s birdlife and their habitats –
Namibia Crane Working Group, who publish Namibia Crane News
Raptors Namibia Working Group

The National Museum of Namibia, Windhoek holds the world’s largest collection of Namibian bird specimens

Gobabeb Namib Research Institute is a catalyst for gathering, understanding and sharing knowledge about arid environments, especially the hyper-arid Namib Desert

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