Sénégal | Senegal

SUB-REGION
West Africa

SIZE
196,722 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity

Afrotropical avifauna, with a minor Palaearctic element
Approximately 670 recorded species

River Prinia (Bram Piot)
Black Scrub Robin (Paul van Giersbergen)
Sennar Penduline Tit (Nik Borrow)

Birds best found in Senegal but occurring more widely (BT)
Savile’s Bustard
Little Grey Woodpecker | Sahelian Woodpecker
Sennar Penduline Tit
River Prinia
Chestnut-bellied Starling
Black Scrub Robin
Sudan Golden Sparrow
Mali Firefinch | Kulikoro Firefinch

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2)
Black-headed Lapwing
Western Red-billed Hornbill
African Green Bee-eater
Cricket Warbler | Cricket Longtail
Anteater Chat | Northern Anteater Chat
White-billed Buffalo Weaver

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Black-shouldered Nightjar
Pallid Heron | Mauritanian Heron (1/2)
Western Piping Hornbill
Barbary Falcon
Desert Grey Shrike
Glossy-backed Drongo
Western Square-tailed Drongo
Singing Bush Lark
Yellow-throated Greenbul
West African Swallow
Yellow-bellied Crombec
African Reed Warbler
Grey-hooded Capuchin Babbler
African Scrub Robin (BT)
Black-faced Quailfinch
Vinaceous Firefinch (B2)

Other taxa of interest (see also under Birding Sites)
Stone Partridge
White-throated Francolin
Double-spurred Spurfowl
Long-tailed Nightjar
Standard-winged Nightjar
Mottled Spinetail
Western Plantain-eater
Violet Turaco
Guinea Turaco | Green Turaco (buffoni)
Denham’s Bustard
White-bellied Bustard
Black-bellied Bustard
Senegal Coucal
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Four-banded Sandgrouse
African Collared Dove
Vinaceous Dove
Black-billed Wood Dove
Blue-spotted Wood Dove
Bruce’s Green Pigeon
African Green Pigeon
African Finfoot
Lesser Moorhen
African Swamphen
Black Crowned Crane
Quail-plover
Senegal Thick-knee
Spotted Thick-knee
Spur-winged Lapwing
African Wattled Lapwing
Kentish Plover
Egyptian Plover
Greater Painted-snipe
African Jacana
Temminck’s Courser
Bronze-winged Courser
Collared Pratincole
African Skimmer
Little Tern (guineae)
West African Crested Tern
Grey-headed Gull | Gray-hooded Gull
Dwarf Bittern
Western Reef Heron
White-backed Night Heron
Pink-backed Pelican
Scissor-tailed Kite | African Swallow-tailed Kite
Egyptian Vulture
Rüppell’s Vulture | Rüppell’s Griffon
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle
Western Banded Snake Eagle | Banded Snake Eagle
Grasshopper Buzzard
Pearl-spotted Owlet
African Scops Owl
Northern White-faced Owl
Greyish Eagle-Owl
Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl
African Wood Owl
Blue-naped Mousebird
Green Wood Hoopoe
Black Scimitarbill
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
Abyssinian Roller
Blue-bellied Roller
Striped Kingfisher
Blue-breasted Kingfisher
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
Red-throated Bee-eater
White-throated Bee-eater
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
Vieillot’s Barbet
Bearded Barbet
Fine-spotted Woodpecker
Golden-tailed Woodpecker (chrysura)
Cardinal Woodpecker
African Grey Woodpecker (goertae)
Grey Kestrel
Red-necked Falcon
Lanner Falcon
Senegal Parrot
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Senegal Batis
Brown-throated Wattle-eye
Grey-headed Bushshrike
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Black-crowned Tchagra
Northern Puffback (gambensis)
Yellow-crowned Gonolek
Brubru
White-crested Helmetshrike | White Helmetshrike
Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike
African Golden Oriole
African Paradise Flycatcher
Yellow-billed Shrike
Piapiac
Pied Crow
White-shouldered Black Tit
Yellow Penduline Tit
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark
Crested Lark (senegallensis)
Common Bulbul
Brown-throated Martin | Plain Martin
Pied-winged Swallow
Wire-tailed Swallow
Red-chested Swallow
Red-breasted Swallow
Mosque Swallow
Northern Crombec
Greater Swamp Warbler (senegalensis)
Singing Cisticola (swanzii)
Winding Cisticola (amphilectus)
Short-winged Cisticola | Siffling Cisticola
Zitting Cisticola (uropygialis)
Tawny-flanked Prinia
Oriole Warbler
Grey-backed Camaroptera (brevicaudata)
Yellow-bellied Eremomela (alexanderi)
Senegal Eremomela
Northern Yellow White-eye
Brown Babbler
Blackcap Babbler
Greater Blue-eared Starling
Lesser Blue-eared Starling
Bronze-tailed Starling
Splendid Starling
Purple Starling
Long-tailed Glossy Starling
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
African Thrush (chiguancoides)
Northern Black Flycatcher
Swamp Flycatcher
White-crowned Robin-Chat
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
Western Violet-backed Sunbird
Pygmy Sunbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Beautiful Sunbird
Splendid Sunbird
Variable Sunbird
Copper Sunbird
Sahel Bush Sparrow
Northern Grey-headed Sparrow
Speckle-fronted Weaver
Little Weaver
Olive-naped Weaver
Vitelline Masked Weaver
Village Weaver
Black-headed Weaver
Red-billed Quelea
Yellow-crowned Bishop
Black-winged Red Bishop
Northern Red Bishop
Bronze Mannikin
African Silverbill
Lavender Waxbill
Orange-cheeked Waxbill
Black-rumped Waxbill
Cut-throat Finch | Cut-throat
Orange-breasted Waxbill | Zebra Waxbill
Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu
Green-winged Pytilia (citerior)
Red-billed Firefinch (senegala)
Village Indigobird
Pin-tailed Whydah
Sahel Paradise Whydah (aucupum)
Plain-backed Pipit (ansorgei)
White-rumped Seedeater (riggenbachi)
Yellow-fronted Canary (caniceps)
Gosling’s Bunting

Egyptian Plover (Paul van Giersbergen)
Beautiful Sunbird (Paul van Giersbergen)

MAIN HABITATS
Arid savanna, wetlands

BIRD AREAS
Upper Niger valley Secondary Area
21 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Saint-Louis Lagoons, Les Trois Marigots, Richard Toll and Podor area for waterbirds including African Pygmy Goose, Marbled Duck, Greater Flamingo, Slender-billed Gull, Grey Heron (monicae) and Great White Pelican, also Common Shelduck, Allen’s Gallinule, Black-necked Grebe, Lesser Flamingo and Lesser Jacana, as well as Horus Swift and African Stonechat (moptanus), and Sahelian species including Golden Nightjar, Arabian Bustard, Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Kordofan Lark, Desert Cisticola, Fulvous Babbler, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (minor), Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow (pallida) and Golden-breasted Bunting (flavigaster), also Egyptian Nightjar, Eurasian Stone-curlew, Cream-colored Courser, Greater Hoopoe-Lark and Aquatic Warbler
Îles de la Madeleine, île de Ngor and the sea off Dakar for Bridled Tern (melanopterus), Red-billed Tropicbird (mesonauta), Brown Booby and White-breasted Cormorant, as well as non-breeding seabirds including Red Phalarope, Gull-billed Tern, Black Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Roseate Tern, Sandwich Tern, Lesser Crested Tern (emigratus), Sabine’s Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull (graellsii), Long-tailed Skua, Parasitic Jaeger, Pomarine Jaeger, Great Skua, South Polar Skua, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, White-faced Storm Petrel, European Storm Petrel, Leach’s Storm Petrel, Band-rumped Storm Petrel, Cory’s Shearwater, Scopoli’s Shearwater, Cape Verde Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Barolo Shearwater, Boyd’s Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel and Northern Gannet
Saloum Delta for White-fronted Plover, Caspian Tern, Kelp Gull (vetula), White-crested Tiger Heron and Goliath Heron among other waterbirds, also Palm-nut Vulture and Mangrove Sunbird
Niokolo-Koba NP, Bandafassi Cliffs, Dande Plateau and Dindéfello Nature Reserve for Freckled Nightjar, Black Coucal, Adamawa Turtle Dove, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Narina Trogon, West African Pied Hornbill, Shining-blue Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (leucolaimus), Brown-backed Honeybird, Willcocks’s Honeyguide (ansorgei), Brown-backed Woodpecker, Fox Kestrel, African Blue Flycatcher, Rufous-rumped Lark, Flappet Lark (buckleyi), Sun Lark, Red-throated Rock Martin (bansoensis), Preuss’s Cliff Swallow, Moustached Grass Warbler, Red-faced Cisticola, Croaking Cisticola, Dorst’s Cisticola, Rufous Cisticola, Red-winged Prinia, Yellow-breasted Apalis (caniceps), Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Neumann’s Starling, Pale Flycatcher, Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Mocking Cliff Chat (bambarae), Heuglin’s Wheatear, White-fronted Black Chat, Familiar Chat (falkensteini), Green-headed Sunbird, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Heuglin’s Masked Weaver, Red-headed Weaver, Red-collared Widowbird, Magpie Mannikin, Red-winged Pytilia, Dybowski’s Twinspot, Black-bellied Firefinch, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Black-faced Firefinch (vinacea), Wilson’s Indigobird, Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, African Pied Wagtail, Brown-rumped Bunting (nigeriae) and Cabanis’s Bunting, as well as waterbirds including White-crowned Lapwing, Forbes’s Plover and Saddle-billed Stork
Basse-Casamance for Turati’s Boubou as well as Ahanta Spurfowl, Fiery-necked Nightjar (nigriscapularis), Black-throated Coucal, Blue Malkoha, African Emerald Cuckoo, White-spotted Flufftail, African Crake, Senegal Lapwing, African Goshawk (macroscelides), Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Black Sparrowhawk, Piping Hornbill (fistulator), Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Spotted Honeyguide, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Little Green Woodpecker, Brown-necked Parrot (fuscicollis), Sharpe’s Drongo (occidentalis), Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Western Nicator, Slender-billed Greenbul, Grey-headed Bristlebill (morelorum), Yellow-throated Leaflove (flavicollis), Swamp Palm Bulbul, Simple Greenbul, Red-tailed Greenbul (verreauxi), Little Greenbul (erythroptera), Yellow-whiskered Greenbul (congener), White-throated Greenbul, Red-tailed Leaflove, Fanti Saw-wing, Green Crombec (flaviventris), Green Hylia, Whistling Cisticola, Black-backed Cisticola, Brown Illadopsis, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Capuchin Babbler (atripennis), White-tailed Alethe, White-browed Forest Flycatcher, Collared Sunbird (subcollaris), Olive Sunbird (guineensis), Olive-bellied Sunbird (kempi), Compact Weaver, Blue-billed Malimbe, Red-headed Quelea, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Chestnut-breasted Nigrita, Grey-headed Oliveback, Quailfinch (ansorgei), Western Bluebill, Crimson Seedcracker, African Firefinch, Cuckoo-finch and Yellow-throated Longclaw

TIMING (Aug–Sep, Mar)
Being arid, most birds breed at the end of the rains (Sep–Nov)

RESOURCES
Apps
Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Senegal and The Gambia by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2023)
Birds of The Gambia and Senegal by Clive Barlow & Tim Wacher (2010)
Oiseaux du Sénégal by Jean-Marie Dupart (2017)
Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014)

Sounds
Audio Guide to the Birds of Senegal/Guide Sonore des Oiseaux du Sénégal curated by Bram Piot
Bird Song of The Gambia and Senegal: an Aid to Identification by Clive Barlow, John Hammick & Pat Sellar
Oiseaux d’Afrique/African Bird Sounds Vol 2: Afrique Occidentale et Centrale/West and Central Africa by Claude Chappuis

Site guides
Birding in the Dakar Area by Betsy Hopkins (2005)
Seawatching at N’Gor by Niklas Holmström (2005)

Atlases
Atlas des Oiseaux de Casamance

Further reading
Senegal by N D Coulthard in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Les Oiseaux de Sénégambie: Notices et Cartes de Distribution by Gérard J Morel & Marie-Yvonne Morel (1990)
Oiseaux Nicheurs sur les Côtes du Parc National du Delta du Sine-Saloum et du Parc National Langue de Barbarie, Sénégal, 1998 by Guido O Keijl, Allix Brenninkmeijer, Frans J Schepers, Robert E Brasseur, Abdoulaye Ndiaye, Eric W M Stienen & Jan Veen (2000)
Oiseaux d’Eau dans le Delta du Sine-Saloum et la Petite Côte, Sénégal, Janvier 1997 by FJ Schepers, G O Keijl, P L Meininger & J B Rigoulot (1998)
Land Cover and Avian Biodiversity in Rice Fields and Mangroves of West Africa by Daan Bos, Ion Grigoras & Abdoulaye Ndiaye (2006)
Birding Northern Senegal (St. Louis, Richard Toll and Podor), a trip report by David Karr (2018)
Synthèse des Observations Ornithologiques faites au Sénégal, a detailed report by Richard Devisse of observations of 392 species during 53 visits to 12 sites (including one in The Gambia) between 1985 and 1989 (1991)
Articles in Malimbus, Bull. ABC, etc.

Websites
Les Oiseaux du Sénégal
Seawatching in Senegal
UNESCO World Heritage List: Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary and Niokolo-Koba National Park
Senegal Tours – Ashanti African Tours

Blogs
Senegal Wildlife – Birdwatching and Natural History in Dakar and Beyond/L’Ornithologie et l’Histoire Naturelle de Dakar et Au-delà
ORNITHO’NDAR – Des Oiseaux et Autres dans le Nord du Sénégal/Birds and Others in Northern Senegal

Facebook groups
Nature et Oiseaux Sénégal
Birding Senegal
Parc National des Oiseaux de Djoudj

ORGANISATIONS

Association Nature-Communautés-Développement (NCD) is the BirdLife Partner in Senegal

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Senegal include –
APALIS (Association pour l’Études et la Conservation des Oiseaux de Casamance au Sénégal)/GÉPOC (Groupe d’Études et de Protection des Oiseaux de Casamance)
GIE Niokolo
Comité de Gestion de la Réserve Ornithologique de Kalissaye (ROK)
Association Sénégalaise des Amis de la Nature (ASAN)
Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE)
Oceanium de Dakar
Nébéday
Neene Ladde
Innovations Environnement et Développement Durable (IE2D)
Aire Marine Protégée du Gandoule GIE Niowudane (AMPG)
Partenariat Régional pour la Conservation de la Zone Côtière et Marine (PRCM) en Afrique de l’Ouest
Wetlands International Afrique (WIACO)
WeForest
StopDesert

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