Nigeria

SUB-REGION
West Africa

SIZE
923,770 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity
Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 920 recorded species (7th longest bird list of any country in the ABC region)

Ibadan Malimbe (Tasso Leventis)
Jos Plateau Indigobird (Tasso Leventis)
Anambra Waxbill (Thierry Helsens)

Endemics (E)
Ibadan Malimbe (EN)

Near-endemics (NE)
Anambra Waxbill
Jos Plateau Indigobird

Birds occurring in only two territories but not NE (1/2)
Green-breasted Bushshrike
Mount Kupe Bushshrike
Yellow-breasted Boubou
Cameroon Greenbul
Grey-headed Greenbul
Bangwa Forest Warbler
Bamenda Apalis
White-throated Mountain Babbler
Mountain Robin-Chat
Bannerman’s Weaver
Rock Firefinch

Bamenda Apalis (Kevin Ravno)
White-throated Mountain Babbler (Tasso Leventis)
Rock Firefinch (Tasso Leventis)
Bannerman’s Weaver (Nik Borrow)

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2)
Cameroon Olive Pigeon
Western Greenbul
Cameroon Olive Greenbul
Black-capped Woodland Warbler
Green Longtail
White-tailed Warbler
Cameroon Sunbird
Shelley’s Oliveback

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Verreaux’s Turaco
Johnston’s Woodpecker (1/2)
Brown-backed Cisticola (1/2)
Western Buff-throated Apalis
Volcano Sunbird (B2)
Cameroon Pipit (1/2)

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Black Guineafowl
Latham’s Francolin
Coqui Francolin (spinetorum)
White-throated Francolin
Savile’s Bustard
Brown-chested Lapwing
Sjöstedt’s Owlet
Freckled Nightjar (ESS pallidogriseus)
Fernando Po Swift
Bates’s Swift
Rosy Bee-eater
Western Tinkerbird
Tullberg’s Woodpecker
Senegal Parrot
White-spotted Wattle-eye
Mountain Sooty Boubou
Rufous-vented Paradise Flycatcher
Grey-necked Rockfowl | Red-headed Picathartes
Sjöstedt’s Honeyguide Greenbul
Baumann’s Greenbul
Western Bearded Greenbul (ESS ansorgeanus)
White-bearded Greenbul
Kemp’s Longbill (flammeus)
Rock-loving Cisticola
Black-throated Apalis (bambuluensis)
Rwenzori Hill Babbler
Grey-chested Babbler
Forest White-eye
Crossley’s Ground Thrush
Yellow-footed Flycatcher
White-bellied Robin-Chat
Short-tailed Akalat | Alexander’s Akalat
Green-throated Sunbird (crossensis)
Neumann’s Weaver
Oriole Finch
West African Seedeater

Rosy Bee-eater (Lionel Sineux)
Brown-chested Lapwing (Marc Languy)

National bird
Black Crowned Crane (EW in Nigeria)

MAIN HABITATS
Lowland forest, montane forest, savannas, Guinea woodlands

BIRD AREAS
Cameroon and Gabon lowlands Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
Cameroon mountains EBA
Lower Niger valley Secondary Area (SA)
South-west Nigeria SA
27 Important Bird Areas (IBAs)

BIRDING SITES
Jos Plateau for the indigobird and Rock Firefinch
Obudu Plateau for montane species
Ifon Forest Reserve for Ibadan Malimbe
Cross River National Park (NP) for lowland forest species
Chad Basin NP for arid savanna species
Yankari Game Reserve for Guinea woodland species

TIMING (Oct, Mar–Apr)
The north is probably best after the rains (Oct–Dec) and the south in the dry season (Feb–Apr)
Avoid the main rains (May–Sep)

RESOURCES
Apps
Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)
Common Birds of IITA by Taiye Adeyanju, Ulf Ottosson & Shiiwua Manu (2012)

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

Atlases
Nigerian Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP), a member of the African Bird Atlas Project

Further reading
Discovering Birds: an Introduction to the Birds of Nigeria by Anne Nason (1992)
The Birds of Nigeria: an Annotated Checklist by J H Elgood, J B Heignham, A M Moore, A M Nason, R E Sharland & N J Skinner (1994)
Comments on the Ornithology of Nigeria, including Amendments to the National List by Robert J Dowsett (2015)
Nigeria by Augustine U Ezealor in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Critical Sites for Biodiversity Conservation in Nigeria edited by Augustine U Ezealor (2002)
Kagoro Forest Conservation Study: Forest Outliers in Jema’s Division, Kaduna State, Nigeria by Roger Wilkinson & Roger Beecroft (1988)
A New Ornithological Institute in Nigeria by Juliet Vickery & Peter Jones (2002)
Articles in Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society), The Nigerian Field, Bull. ABC, etc.

Websites
Finima Nature Park

Blogs
NiBAP Articles

Facebook groups
Nigerian Bird Atlas Project is the official Facebook group for NiBAP

ORGANISATIONS

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is the BirdLife Partner in Nigeria

Ibadan Bird Club and Lekki Bird Club were both started by NCF and are just two of many more active bird clubs across Nigeria which are initiatives of NiBAP

The A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), an autonomous field station of the University of Jos, is the foremost ornithological research and conservation training centre in West Africa

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Nigeria include –
Nigerian Field Society (NFS)
Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team (NEST)
Better Earth Foundation
Biodiversity Preservation Center
Mbe Mountain Conservation Initiative (MMCI)
Savanna Conservation Nigeria (SCN), formerly Yankari Initiative
Centre for Environmental Resources and Sustainable Ecosystems (CERASE)
Niger Delta Wetlands Centre (NDWC)
Centre for Education, Research & Conservation of Primates and Nature (CERCOPAN)
Eden Creation Care Initiative (A Rocha International)
Africa Nature Investors (ANI) Foundation (Nigeria): Gashaka-Gumti
WCS Nigeria

The IITA Forest Center at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture headquarters in Ibadan also has a focus on birds

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