Ningizimu Afrika | Mzantsi-Afrika | Suid-Afrika | South Africa | Afrika-Borwa | Aforika Borwa | Afrika Borwa | Afrika Dzonga | Ningizimu Afrika | Afurika Tshipembe | Sewula Afrika

Southern Africa

1,219,090 km² (9th largest country in Africa) excluding the subantarctic Prince Edward Islands, which are outside the ABC Region



Distinct temperate avifauna with a high degree of endemism in the south, Afrotropical in the north
Approximately 870 recorded species (8th longest bird list of any country in the ABC region)

Cape Rockjumper (John Caddick)
Cape Sugarbird (Kevin Ravno)
Protea Canary (Kevin Ravno)

Endemics (E)
Southern Black Korhaan | Black Bustard (VU)
Fynbos Buttonquail (LC)
Forest Buzzard (NT)
Knysna Woodpecker (NT)
Cape Parrot (VU)
Cape Rockjumper (NT)
Agulhas Long-billed Lark (NT)
Karoo Lark (LC)
Red Lark (VU)
Rudd’s Lark (EN)
Botha’s Lark (EN)
Cape Bulbul (LC)
Victorin’s Warbler (LC)
Knysna Warbler (VU)
Cape Sugarbird (LC)
Orange-breasted Sunbird (LC)
Cape Siskin (LC)
Protea Canary (NT)

Agulhas Long-billed Lark (John Caddick)
Jackal Buzzard (Phil Penlington)
Knysna Turaco (Phil Penlington)
Knysna Woodpecker (John Caddick)

Near-endemics (NE), including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Cape Spurfowl
Karoo Korhaan | Karoo Bustard (ESS vigorsii)
Blue Crane
Black Harrier
Jackal Buzzard
Southern Tchagra (ESS tchagra + caffrariae)
Fairy Flycatcher (ESS scita + saturatior)
Grey Tit
Cape Long-billed Lark | Cape Lark (ESS curvirostris)
Black-eared Sparrow-Lark
Cape Clapper Lark
Sclater’s Lark
Large-billed Lark (ESS magnirostris)
South African Cliff Swallow | South African Swallow
Cape Grassbird (ESS intermedius + afer)
Barratt’s Warbler (ESS godfreyi)
Cloud Cisticola (ESS textrix)
Karoo Prinia
Namaqua Warbler (ESS substriata)
Cinnamon-breasted Warbler | Kopje Warbler
Karoo Eremomela | Yellow-rumped Eremomela
Layard’s Warbler | Layard’s Tit-Babbler (ESS layardi + subsolana)
Cape White-eye
Gurney’s Sugarbird (ESS gurneyi)
Olive Thrush (ESS transvaalensis + culminans + olivaceus + pondoensis)
Karoo Thrush
Karoo Scrub Robin (ESS cinerea)
Brown Scrub Robin
Sickle-winged Chat (ESS sinuata)
Fiscal Flycatcher (ESS silens)
Southern Double-collared Sunbird (ESS subalaris)
Cape Weaver
Swee Waxbill
Cape Longclaw | Orange-throated Longclaw (ESS capensis)
Yellow-breasted Pipit
Black-headed Canary
Cape Canary (ESS canicollis)

Black-headed Canary (Kevin Ravno)
African Oystercatcher (John Caddick)
Cape Canary (John Caddick)
Cape Rockjumper (Kevin Ravno)
Streaky-headed Seedeater (Kevin Ravno)
Orange-breasted Sunbird (Kevin Ravno)

Birds best found in South Africa but occurring more widely (BT), including ESS
South African Shelduck
Cape Shoveler
Maccoa Duck
Southern Crested Guineafowl
Grey-winged Francolin
Orange River Francolin
Natal Spurfowl
Swainson’s Spurfowl
Knysna Turaco (ESS corythaix)
Blue Korhaan | Blue Bustard
African Black Swift | African Swift (ESS barbatus)
White-winged Flufftail
Striped Flufftail (ESS affinis)
Hartlaub’s Gull
African Penguin
Cape Gannet
Crowned Cormorant
Bank Cormorant
Southern Bald Ibis
Cape Vulture | Cape Griffon
African Grass Owl
Ground Woodpecker
Woodwards’ Batis
Olive Bushshrike (olivaceus)
Bokmakierie (ESS zeylonus)
Southern Boubou (ESS pondoensis + ferrugineus)
Drakensberg Rockjumper
Short-clawed Lark
Eastern Long-billed Lark (ESS transvaalensis + algida)
Eastern Clapper Lark
Melodious Lark | Latakoo Lark
Pink-billed Lark
Pearl-breasted Swallow
White-throated Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow
Lazy Cisticola (minor)
Grey-backed Cisticola | Red-headed Cisticola (ESS subruficapilla + jamesi)
Rufous-winged Cisticola (galactotes)
Levaillant’s Cisticola (ESS elegans)
Pale-crowned Cisticola (egregius)
Wing-snapping Cisticola | Ayres’s Cisticola (ayresii)
Drakensberg Prinia
Rudd’s Apalis (fumosa)
Rufous-eared Warbler (ESS pectoralis)
Bush Blackcap
Orange River White-eye
Pied Starling | African Pied Starling
Spotted Ground Thrush (ESS guttata)
White-throated Robin-Chat
Chorister Robin-Chat (ESS mimica)
Cape Rock Thrush
Sentinel Rock Thrush (ESS explorator)
Buff-streaked Chat
Malachite Sunbird (famosa)
Neergaard’s Sunbird
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Yellow-crowned Bishop (taha)
Southern Red Bishop
Long-tailed Widowbird (progne)
Pink-throated Twinspot
Purple Indigobird
Dusky Indigobird | Variable Indigobird (funerea)
Cape Wagtail
Mountain Pipit
African Rock Pipit | Yellow-tufted Pipit
Bushveld Pipit | Bush Pipit
Forest Canary (ESS kirbyi + umbrosa)
Lemon-breasted Canary | Lemon-breasted Seedeater
Streaky-headed Seedeater (ESS humilis)
Drakensberg Siskin
Cape Bunting (ESS cinnamomea + vinacea)

Blue Korhaan (John Caddick)
Striped Flufftail (Kevin Ravno)
African Penguin (Kevin Ravno)
Forest Canary (John Caddick)
Sentinel Rock Thrush (Phil Penlington)
Bank Cormorant (John Caddick)
Buff-streaked Chat (Phil Penlington)

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not NE or BT (1/2), including ESS
African Oystercatcher
Karoo Long-billed Lark (ESS subcoronata + gilli)

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2), including ESS
Cape Teal
Ludwig’s Bustard
Namaqua Sandgrouse
Double-banded Sandgrouse
Burchell’s Sandgrouse
Burchell’s Courser
Cape Cormorant
White-backed Mousebird (ESS colius)
Taita Falcon
Cape Penduline Tit | Southern Penduline Tit (ESS gigi)
Sabota Lark (ESS bradfieldi)
Monotonous Lark
Stark’s Lark
Burchell’s Starling
Pale-winged Starling
Karoo Chat (ESS pollux)
Tractrac Chat (ESS tractrac)
Ant-eating Chat | Southern Anteater Chat
Mountain Wheatear
Grey Sunbird | Mouse-coloured Sunbird (ESS veroxii)
Cape Sparrow (ESS melanurus)
Great Sparrow | Great Rufous Sparrow
Sociable Weaver
Scaly-feathered Weaver | Scaly Weaver
Shaft-tailed Whydah
Black-throated Canary
Yellow Canary
Lark-like Bunting

Cape Cormorant (Kevin Ravno)
Lark-like Bunting (Phil Penlington)
Southern Black Korhaan (Kevin Ravno)
Southern Double-collared Sunbird (John Caddick)
African Penguin (John Caddick)

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Southern Red-winged Francolin (BT levaillantii)
Orange River Francolin (BT levalliantoides)
African Quail (africana)
Barrow’s Bustard (BT barrowii)
Grey-breasted Green Pigeon (BT delalandii)
Striped Flufftail (E affinis)
Cape Gull (BT vetula)
Ngami Owlet (ngamiense)
Cape Barred Owlet (E capense)
Cape Eagle-Owl (NE capensis)
Woodwards’ Barbet (1/2 woodwardi)
Southern Red-fronted Tinkerbird (BT pusillus)
Southern Olive Woodpecker (NE griseocephalus)
Grey-headed Parrot (suahelicus)
Four-coloured Bushshrike (BT quadricolor)
Clancey’s Drongo (apivorus)
Southern Crested Flycatcher (NE cyanomelas/segregus)
Eastern Crested Flycatcher (megalolophus)
Bradfield’s Lark (1/2 naevia + herero + bradfieldi)
Barlow’s Lark (BT patae/cavei)
Agulhas Clapper Lark (E marjoriae)
African Reed Warbler (B2 suahelicus/hallae/baeticatus)
Green White-eye (NE virens)
Maputaland Scrub Robin (BT tongensis)
Brown Scrub Robin (E signata)
Pretoria Rock Thrush (NE pretoriae)
Red-backed Mannikin (nigriceps)
Spectacled Quailfinch (digressa)
Damara Canary (BT leucolaemus)

Other taxa of interest (see also under Birding Sites), including more ESS
Common Ostrich
White-backed Duck
African Black Duck
Southern Pochard
Helmeted Guineafowl (ESS coronatus)
Shelley’s Francolin
Red-billed Spurfowl
Red-necked Spurfowl (ESS castaneiventer)
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar
Fiery-necked Nightjar (ESS pectoralis)
Square-tailed Nightjar
Bradfield’s Swift (ESS deserticola)
Horus Swift
Grey Go-away-bird
Purple-crested Turaco
Livingstone’s Turaco
Kori Bustard
Denham’s Bustard (ESS stanleyi)
Red-crested Korhaan | Red-crested Bustard
Northern Black Korhaan | White-quilled Bustard
Burchell’s Coucal
Green Malkoha
Yellow-throated Sandgrouse
African Olive Pigeon | Rameron Pigeon
Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon | Delegorgue’s Pigeon
Ring-necked Dove | Cape Turtle Dove (ESS capicola)
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
African Finfoot
Buff-spotted Flufftail
Red-chested Flufftail
African Rail | African Water Rail
Lesser Moorhen
Grey Crowned Crane (regulorum)
Wattled Crane
Great Crested Grebe (infuscatus)
Black-necked Grebe | Eared Grebe (gurneyi)
Greater Flamingo
Lesser Flamingo
Blacksmith Lapwing
Black-winged Lapwing
Crowned Lapwing
Chestnut-banded Plover
Greater Painted-snipe
African Snipe (nigripennis)
Double-banded Courser (ESS granti)
Black-winged Pratincole
Caspian Tern
Greater Crested Tern | Swift Tern
Sandwich Tern
Little Tern
Damara Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Antarctic Tern
Eurasian Bittern | Great Bittern
Bearded Vulture | Lammergeier
Southern Banded Snake Eagle | Fasciated Snake Eagle
Booted Eagle
Verreaux’s Eagle | Black Eagle
Pale Chanting Goshawk (ESS canorus)
Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk
African Marsh Harrier
Southern White-faced Owl
Marsh Owl
Speckled Mousebird (ESS striatus)
Red-faced Mousebird (ESS indicus)
Common Scimitarbill
Green Wood Hoopoe (ESS purpureus)
Southern Ground Hornbill
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Crowned Hornbill
Trumpeter Hornbill
Lilac-breasted Roller
Brown-hooded Kingfisher (ESS albiventris)
Mangrove Kingfisher
Half-collared Kingfisher
White-fronted Bee-eater
European Bee-eater | Golden Bee-eater
White-eared Barbet
Acacia Pied Barbet | Pied Barbet (ESS leucomelas)
Black-collared Barbet
Crested Barbet
Red-throated Wryneck | Rufous-necked Wryneck
Bennett’s Woodpecker
Bearded Woodpecker (namaquus/coalescens)
Pygmy Falcon
Rock Kestrel
Greater Kestrel
Brown-headed Parrot
Rosy-faced Lovebird
African Broadbill (ESS capensis)
Cape Batis (ESS capensis)
Chinspot Batis
Pririt Batis (ESS pririt)
Black-throated Wattle-eye
Grey-headed Bushshrike (ESS extremus)
Black-backed Puffback | Southern Puffback (ESS cubla, okavangensis/hamatus)
Crimson-breasted Shrike | Crimson-breasted Gonolek
Grey Cuckooshrike
Magpie Shrike
Southern White-crowned Shrike | White-crowned Shrike
Southern Fiscal
Black-headed Oriole | African Black-headed Oriole
Square-tailed Drongo (ESS ludwigii)
African Paradise Flycatcher (ESS granti)
White-necked Raven
Southern Black Tit
Ashy Tit
Grey Penduline Tit | African Penduline Tit
Eastern Nicator
Spike-heeled Lark (ESS alticola + garrula + macdonaldi)
Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark
Rufous-naped Lark (ESS africana)
Sombre Greenbul (importunus)
Yellow-bellied Greenbul
Terrestrial Brownbul (ESS terrestris)
Yellow-streaked Greenbul
African Red-eyed Bulbul | Black-fronted Bulbul (ESS superior)
Blue Swallow | Montane Blue Swallow
Long-billed Crombec | Cape Crombec
Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler (ESS voelckeri + ruficapilla)
Lesser Swamp Warbler
Little Rush Warbler (ESS baboecala)
Tinkling Cisticola
Wailing Cisticola (ESS monticola + maculatus)
Neddicky | Piping Cisticola (ESS ruficapilla + dumicola + silberbauer)
Black-chested Prinia
Bar-throated Apalis (ESS spelonkensis + venusta + thoracica + claudei + capensis + griseopyga)
Yellow-breasted Apalis (ESS florisuga)
Green-backed Camaroptera (ESS brachyura)
Barred Wren-Warbler
Yellow-bellied Eremomela (ESS saturatior)
Burnt-necked Eremomela (usticollis)
Chestnut-vented Warbler | Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler (ESS subcoerulea)
Southern Yellow White-eye
Arrow-marked Babbler
Southern Pied Babbler
Black-bellied Starling
Cape Starling
Red-winged Starling
Red-billed Oxpecker
Orange Ground Thrush (ESS gurneyi)
Groundscraper Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
Bearded Scrub Robin
Kalahari Scrub Robin
Chat Flycatcher (ESS seimundi)
Marico Flycatcher | Mariqua Flycatcher
African Dusky Flycatcher (ESS fuscula + adusta)
Cape Robin-Chat (caffra + namaquensis)
Red-capped Robin-Chat (ESS natalensis)
White-starred Robin (ESS stellata)
African Stonechat (ESS clanceyi + torquatus)
Capped Wheatear
Familiar Chat (ESS familiaris)
Plain-backed Sunbird
Collared Sunbird (ESS collaris)
Olive Sunbird (ESS olivacea)
Amethyst Sunbird
Marico Sunbird | Mariqua Sunbird
Dusky Sunbird
Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow (ESS superciliaris)
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver
Thick-billed Weaver | Grosbeak Weaver (ESS albifrons)
Spectacled Weaver (ocularis)
Eastern Golden Weaver | Yellow Weaver
Holub’s Golden Weaver | Golden Weaver
Southern Brown-throated Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Dark-backed Weaver | Forest Weaver (ESS bicolor)
Yellow Bishop (ESS approximans + capensis)
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah | Eastern Paradise Whydah
Green Twinspot | Green-backed Twinspot
Black-faced Waxbill
Grey Waxbill | Black-tailed Waxbill (incana)
Common Waxbill (ESS tenebridorsa)
Red-headed Finch
Violet-eared Waxbill
Blue Waxbill | Southern Cordon-bleu (niassensis)
African Pied Wagtail (aguimp)
Rosy-throated Longclaw
African Pipit (ESS rufuloides)
Nicholson’s Pipit (ESS primarius)
Buffy Pipit (vaalensis)
Striped Pipit
Short-tailed Pipit
Brimstone Canary (ESS sulphurata)
White-throated Canary (ESS orangensis + albogularis)
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

Verreaux’s Eagle (John Caddick)
Bokmakierie (John Caddick)
Red-crested Korhaan (John Caddick)
Secretarybird (John Caddick)
Cape Batis (Kevin Ravno)

National bird
Blue Crane | Indwe | Bloukraanvoël | Mogolodi (VU)

Introduced species
Indian Peafowl
Chukar Partridge
Rock Dove
Rose-ringed Parakeet
House Crow
Common Myna
Common Starling
House Sparrow
Common Chaffinch

Karoo shrublands, Fynbos scrublands, Benguela current shorelines, Afromontane forest, montane grasslands, coastal sand forests, savanna, desert

Cape fynbos Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
Lesotho highlands EBA
South African forests EBA
South-east African coast EBA
Southern African grasslands EBA
Karoo Secondary Area
99 Important Bird Areas

Blue Crane (John Caddick)

Tankwa Karoo and Bushmanland for Karoo species
Sir Lowry’s Pass, De Hoop Nature Reserve (NR) and West Coast National Park (NP) for fynbos species
Wakkerstroom and Sani Pass for montane grassland species
Kruger NP, Mapungubwe NP, Marakele NP and uMkhuze Game Reserve (GR) for moist savanna species including Crested Francolin, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Mottled Spinetail, Böhm’s Spinetail, Senegal Coucal, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Mourning Collared Dove, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Three-banded Courser, White-headed Vulture, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Racket-tailed Roller, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Meyer’s Parrot, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Tropical Boubou, Retz’s Helmetshrike, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Dusky Lark, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Meves’s Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Arnot’s Chat, Purple-banded Sunbird, White-bellied Sunbird, Lesser Masked Weaver, Orange-winged Pytilia and Jameson’s Firefinch as well as waterbirds including White-crowned Lapwing, African Skimmer, African Openbill and Saddle-billed Stork
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Polokwane GR for arid savanna species
Grootvadersbosch NR, Xumeni and Magoebaskloof for Afromontane forest species
Eshowe (Dlinza Forest) for coastal forest species
St Lucia (iSimangaliso Wetland Park) for East Coast littoral specials and waterbirds including African Pygmy Goose, Long-toed Lapwing, Senegal Lapwing and Lesser Jacana
Waters off the Cape Peninsula for seabirds including Sabine’s Gull, Arctic Tern, Brown Skua, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Black-bellied Storm Petrel, Snowy Albatross, Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Shy Albatross, Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, European Storm Petrel, Leach’s Storm Petrel, Southern Giant Petrel, Northern Giant Petrel, Southern Fulmar, Cape Petrel, Antarctic Prion, Great-winged Petrel, Soft-plumaged Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Cory’s Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Manx Shearwater and Subantarctic Shearwater
Ocean off Cape Vidal for more seabirds including Lesser Crested Tern, Sooty Tern and Flesh-footed Shearwater

TIMING (Oct–Nov, Jan)
Best to visit the west in spring (Sep–Nov), after the rains and when most birds breed
Best to visit the east in early summer, once the rains start (Nov–Jan) and more migrants are present (Dec–Mar)
Highland areas are unproductive in winter (May–Aug)

Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)
Roberts Bird Guide 2
Sasol eBirds Southern Africa
Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa
South African Bird Identifier by NatureAi
Birds of Southern Africa by Doussy

Field guides
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton, Niall Perrins, Dominic Rollinson & Peter Ryan (2020)
Roberts Bird Guide: Illustrating Nearly 1,000 Species in Southern Africa by Hugh Chittenden, Greg Davies & Ingrid Weiersbye (2017)
Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa by Kenneth Newman, Faansie Peacock & Vanessa Newman (2010)
Birds of Southern Africa by Ber van Perlo (2009)
Sappi Birds of South Africa with Callfinder by Saartjie Kidson & Herman van Niekerk (2014)
The Complete Photographic Guide to Southern African Birds with App and Calls by Burger Cillié, Faansie Peacock, Niel Cillié, Phil Penlington & Karen Wiesler (2022)
Complete Photographic Field Guide Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan (2009)
Birds of South Africa by Adam Riley (2022) is a photographic guide to more than 340 species that regularly occur in the country
Pocket Guide to Birds of Southern Africa by Burger Cillié & Ulrich Oberprieler (2013)
Pocket Guide Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair (2009)
Roberts Geographic Variation of Southern African Birds: a Guide to the Plumage Variation of 613 Bird Races in Southern Africa by Hugh Chittenden, David Allan & Ingrid Weiersbye (2012)
Roberts Nests & Eggs of Southern African Birds: a Comprehensive Guide to the Nesting Habits of over 720 Bird Species in Southern Africa by Warwick Tarboton (2012)
Avian Architects: Quick ID Guide to Nests and Eggs of Southern African Birds by Chris & Mathilde Stuart (2021)
Birds of Southern Africa and Their Tracks & Signs by Lee Gutteridge (2020)
Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa by Peter Ryan (2023)
Chamberlain’s Waders: the Definitive Guide to Southern Africa’s Shorebirds by Faansie Peacock (2017)
Field Guide to Shorebirds of South Africa by Roy Cowgill & Stephen Davis (2013)
Chamberlain’s LBJs: the Definitive Guide to Southern Africa’s Little Brown Jobs by Faansie Peacock (2012)
The Raptor Guide of Southern Africa by Ulrich Oberprieler (2012)
Nocturnal Birds of Southern Africa by John Carlyon (2012)
Gamebirds of Southern Africa by Rob Little & Tim Crowe (2011)
Roberts Birds of KwaZulu-Natal and Their Zulu Names by Adrian Koopman, Roger Porter & Noleen Turner (2021)
Birds of Kruger National Park by Keith Barnes & Ken Behrens (2017)
Guide to Birds of the Kruger National Park by Warwick Tarboton & Peter Ryan (2016)
Roberts Bird Guide: Kruger National Park and Adjacent Lowveld by Hugh Chittenden & Ian Whyte (2008)
Sasol Southern African LBJs Made Simple by Doug Newman & Gordon King (2021)
Sasol First Field Guide to Common Birds of Southern Africa by Tracey Hawthorne (2015)
Sasol First Field Guide to Birds of Prey of Southern Africa by David Allen (2015)
Wildlife of South Africa: a Photographic Guide by Duncan Butchart (2009) covers the country’s mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and trees that are most likely to be seen on a visit

Southern African Bird Sounds by Guy Gibbon
Southern African Bird Calls by Len Gillard
500 Common Bird Calls in Southern Africa by Doug Newman
Birdsongs of South Africa by Scott Connop

Site guides
Southern African Birdfinder: Where to Find 1,400 Bird Species in Southern Africa and Madagascar by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Jonathan Rossouw (2006)
Birding in South Africa’s National Parks by Rob Little (2018)
Cape Peninsula Birdlife: an Introduction to Better Birdwatching by Roy Siegfried & Ian Sinclair (2016)
The Chamberlain Guide to Birding Gauteng: 101 Prime Birding Sites in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria by Etienne Marais & Faansie Peacock (2008)
Birding in the Kalahari and Surrounding Regions: a New Approach to Birding in Southern Africa by Neels de Ronde (2011)
Where to Watch Birds in World Cities by Paul Milne (2006) covers sites in and around Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria
Essential Birding Western South Africa: Key Routes from Cape Town to the Kalahari by Callan Cohen & Claire Spottiswoode (2001)
Pelagic Seabirding off Cape Town, South Africa by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Barrie Rose (2001)
Birding Africa’s Basement: the Cape to the Kalahari by Keith Barnes (1999)
Birding in Southern KwaZulu-Natal: Featuring Birds in Zulu Culture by David Allan (1998)
Birds of the Southwestern Cape and Where to Watch Them by Wally Petersen & Mel Tripp (1995)
Where to See Birds in KwaZulu-Natal: a Guide to the Best Birdwatching Localities in KwaZulu-Natal by Gordon Bennet & Steven Herbert (1995)
Top Birding Spots of Southern Africa by Hugh Chittenden (1992)
Go Birding in the Transvaal: the Essential Handbook to Prime Birding Sites Including the Kruger National Park by Brendan Ryan & John Isom (1992)
Where to Watch Birds in the Orange Free State: a Guide to Some Good Birdwatching Areas in the Orange Free State edited by Roy A Earlé (1986) 
Where to Watch Birds in Southern Africa by A Berruti & J C Sinclair (1983)

BirdLife South Africa Checklist of Birds in South Africa 2022
Liste des Noms Français des Oiseaux Présents en Afrique du Sud by Edouard Germiquet (2021)
Bird Checklist for South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens compiled by Christopher K Willis, Odette E Curtis & Mark D Anderson (2008)
Mondi BLSA Guides briefly continued Southern Birds (1975-1995), originally South African Avifauna Series (1961-1972), which published annotated checklists of bird species for localities in southern Africa

The second Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2) launched in 2007 and is a member of the African Bird Atlas Project
The Atlas of Southern African Birds Vol 1: Non-passerines & Vol 2: Passerines edited by J A Harrison, D G Allan, L G Underhill, M Herremans, A J Tree, V Parker & C J Brown (1997) was the final product of SABAP1, which ran its course across South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe from 1986 to 1997 and produced the newsletter SABAP News
SABAP in South Africa superseded –
Atlas of the Birds of the Southwestern Cape by Philip A R Hockey, Leslie G Underhill, Miriam Neatherway & Peter G Ryan (1989)
First Atlas of Bird Distribution in the Orange Free State by Roy Earlé & Nick Grobler (1987)
Birds of the Transvaal by Warwick R Tarboton, Meg I Kemp & Alan C Kemp (1987)
Bird Atlas of Natal by Digby Cyrus & Nigel Robson (1980)

The Birds in Reserves Project (BIRP) has as its basic purpose to compile a comprehensive catalogue of the species of birds which occur and breed in South Africa’s many protected areas
BIRP is a joint project of BirdLife South Africa (BLSA) and the Animal Demography Unit (ADU), a research unit of the University of Cape Town (UCT), which also runs the South African Nest Record Card Scheme (NERCS) and has published guides to both these projects

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)
State of South Africa’s Birds Report 2018 compiled by Martin R Taylor & Faansie Peacock (2018)
South Africa’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Status Report 2015 compiled by Daniel Marnewick, Nicholas Theron & Dale Wright (2015)
South Africa by K N Barnes, D J Johnson, M D Anderson & P B Taylor in The Important Bird Areas of Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Birds and Environmental Change: Building an Early Warning System in South Africa edited by Marienne S de Villiers (2009)
The Ultimate Companion for Birding in Southern Africa by Peter Ginn & Geoff McIlleron (2020)
Sasol Birdwatching in Southern Africa by Peter Ryan (2008)
Sasol Birds the Inside Story: Bird Biology and Behaviour in Southern Africa by Rael & Helene Loon (2006)
The Forgotten Scientist: the Story of Saul Sithole by Lorato Trok (2020)
Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore by Adrian Koopman (2019)
Featherings: True Stories in Search of Birds edited by Vernon R L Head (2018)
Kingdom of Daylight: Memories of a Birdwatcher by Peter Steyn (2017)
Taken Captive by Birds: a Memoir by Marguerite Poland (2013)
A Delight of Owls: African Owls Observed by Peter Steyn (2010)
Pipits of Southern Africa: the Complete Guide to Africa’s Ultimate LBJ’s by Faansie Peacock (2006)
Sasol Owls & Owling in Southern Africa by Warwick Tarboton & Rudy Erasmus (2004)
Birds of the Orange River Estuary and Surrounding Area by Mark D Anderson (2006)
Wildlife of Robben Island by Robert Crawford & Bruce Dyer (2000)
Review of Ring Recoveries of Waterbirds in Southern Africa by L G Underhill, A J Tree, H D Oschadleus & V Parker (1999)
Breeding Birds of Southern Africa by Peter Steyn (1997)
Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park by Rob M Little & William R Bainbridge (1992)
Southern African Bird Names Explained by Charles Clinning (1989)
Shrikes of Southern Africa by Tony Harris & Graeme Arnott (1988)
Birds of the National Parks of South Africa by Meg & Alan Kemp (1987)
The Doves, Parrots, Louries and Cuckoos of Southern Africa by M K Rowan (1983)
Birds of Prey of Southern Africa: Their Identification and Life Histories by Peter Steyn (1982)
Waterbirds of Southern Africa by Peter Ginn & Geof McIlleron (1982)
Birds of the South Western Cape by Joy Frandsen (1982)

Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology is the scientific journal of BLSA
Biodiversity Observations, a semi-scientific, open-content electronic journal published by the ADU), is the continuation of Ornithological Observations and all issues are freely available on UCT Libraries’ archive
Afring News (formerly Safring News) is an electronic journal published by the South African Bird Ringing Unit (SAFRING) at UCT, which administers bird ringing in southern Africa and has published a SAFRING Bird Ringing Manual as an ADU Guide
Gabar, formerly Journal of African Raptor Biology, is the biannual journal of the Birds of Prey Programme (previously the Raptor Conservation Group) of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT)
Vulture News, originally the journal of the Vulture Study Group of the EWT, is now the journal of the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group
African Zoology is a peer-reviewed research journal published in association with the Zoological Society of South Africa (ZSSA)
Bothalia – African Biodiversity & Conservation is a peer-reviewed publication of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
Indago, previously called Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, is the journal of the National Museum, Bloemfontein
Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History continue the annals of the former Transvaal Museum
Durban Natural Science Museum Novitates, formerly Durban Museum Novitates, is the scientific journal of the Durban Natural Science Museum
Bulletin of the African Bird Club

The ADU produces the newsletter Bird Numbers twice a year
African Birdlife (2012-date), the bi-monthly magazine of BLSA (previous issues are available in digital format free of charge on BLSA’s African Birdlife archive), superseded Africa – Birds & Birding (1996-2012) and Birding in Southern Africa (1989-1995) formerly Bokmakierie (1948-1988)
BLSA also distributes a free, monthly electronic newsletter, formerly known as Indaba Inyoni
Conservation Matters is the bi-monthly magazine of the EWT, ChitterChatter is the EWT’s bi-monthly electronic newsletter and The Eagle’s Eye is the newsletter of the EWT’s Birds of Prey Programme

Bokmakierie, formerly WBC News, is the newsletter of the Witwatersrand Bird Club
Promerops is the magazine of the Cape Bird Club
Laniarius is BirdLife Northern Gauteng’s newsletter/magazine
KZN Birds is a newsletter for bird clubs in KwaZulu-Natal affiliated to BLSA
The Bee-Eater is the magazine/newsletter of BirdLife Eastern Cape
The Hornbill is the newsletter/magazine of BirdLife Lowveld
The Lark is the BirdLife Polokwane magazine
The Batis is the Somerset West Bird Club magazine
The Kite is the newsletter of the Tygerberg Bird Club
The Familiar Chat is the newsletter of the West Coast Bird Club
Diaz Diary is the newsletter of the Diaz Cross Bird Club
Kurukuru is the newsletter of the Rand Barbet Bird Club
See also Mirafra (the newsletter of the former Orange Free State Ornithological Society), Sakabula (the newsletter of the former Free State Bird Club), Albatross (the newsletter of the former Natal Bird Club), Blue Swallow (the newsletter of the former Natal Midlands Bird Club), Sandwatch (the magazine of the former Sandton Bird Club), Hadeda (the newsletter of the former North-Eastern Bird Club), Hoep-hoep (the newsletter of the former Wesvaal Bird Club), The Trogon (the newsletter of BirdLife Southern KwaZulu-Natal), The Stonechat (the newsletter of the former Vaal Reefs Bird Club), Drawwertjie (the newsletter of the William Quinton Karoo Wild Bird Society) and the former Bloemfontein Bird Club newsletter

Coordinated Waterbird Counts (CWAC)
Coordinated Avifaunal Roadcounts (CAR)
iSpot southern Africa – your place to share nature
Birding Routes across South Africa
Zest for Birds
Cape Birding Route
Cape Town Pelagics
Agulhas Plain Birding Project
Bird Surveys by Vincent Parker
Limpopo Birding Routes
Birds of the Limpopo Waterberg
Warwick Tarboton
Niall’s Nature Pages
Simply Birding Africa
BirdPics Southern Africa
UNESCO World Heritage List: Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, Cape Floral Region Protected Areas, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Maloti-Drakensberg Park and Vredefort Dome

Allen Birdcam – a live stream from a webcam at a bird feeder in a suburban garden in Pretoria

The Birding Life
Never a Gull Moment: Duncan Butchart’s Brushes with Birds
The Lazy Birder
The Endemic Birds of South Africa – Birding Ecotours
Hornbills of South Africa – 10,000 Birds by Kai Pflug (2022)

SA Birdnet aims to promote communication between birders within South Africa about birding-related matters in southern Africa (to join, send a blank message to
Cape Birdnet allows you to share information (group discussion forum) with other birders in the Cape, on the Internet (to join, send a blank message to
SARarebirdalert permits rapid internet communication of southern African rarity sightings (to join, send a blank message to

Facebook groups
SA birds, birders and birding is a collection of interesting stories, facts and photos about birds, birders and birding in the southern African sub-region
SA Birders Club is a group to share knowledge on birding spots in South Africa
SA Rare Birds is a group to post photos, get information and share sightings of rare birds found in southern Africa
Let’s Go Birding South Africa is all about birding, wild birds in their natural habitat, bird photography, conservation, bird identification and birding tips for beginners
Southern Africa Birding is for everyone who loves birding and wants to share stories about birding in southern Africa
Save The Flamingo is a group campaigning to save Kimberley’s flamingos and Kamfers Dam
Bird Photography South Africa is a group for birders and bird photographers in South Africa
The UCT Birding Club aspires to engage, connect and encourage University of Cape Town student and staff birders of all levels for mutual growth and enjoyment
Africa Wild is a growing forum where southern African birds, among other things, can be discussed and shared


The BirdLife Partner in South Africa is BirdLife South Africa (BLSA) – the Southern African Ornithological Society (SAOS) as was

The BLSA National Rarities Committee (BLSANRC) is tasked with the evaluation of records of birds which would constitute national rarities anywhere in South Africa

BLSA trains Community Bird Guides and founded the South Africa Listers’ Club

More than 40 Bird Clubs across South Africa are affiliated to BLSA –
Barberton Bird Club
BirdLife Border
BirdLife Eastern Cape (formerly Eastern Cape Wild Bird Society)
BirdLife Eastern Free State/Oos Vrystaat (formerly Free State Bird Club)
Birdlife eThekwini KZN (formerly BirdLife Port Natal and Natal Bird Club)
BirdLife Free State/Vrystaat (formerly Orange Free State Ornithological Society)
BirdLife Harties
BirdLife Inkwazi
BirdLife KZN Midlands (formerly Natal Midlands Bird Club)
BirdLife Lowveld (formerly Lowveld Bird Club)
BirdLife Northern Gauteng/Gauteng-Noord (formerly Pretoria Bird Club)
BirdLife Northern Natal
BirdLife Overberg
BirdLife Plettenberg Bay
BirdLife Polokwane
BirdLife President Ridge
BirdLife Queenstown
BirdLife Rustenburg
BirdLife Sandton (formerly Sandton Bird Club)
BirdLife Sisonke
BirdLife Soutpansberg
BirdLife Wesvaal (formerly Wesvaal Bird Club)
BirdLife Worcester
BirdLife Zululand
Cape Bird Club
Diaz Cross Bird Club
Escarpment Bird Club
Graaff-Reinet Bird Club
Hermanus Bird Club
Ladysmith Birders
Lakes Bird Club
Phalaborwa Bird Club
Rand Barbet Bird Club
Somerset West Bird Club
South Coast Trogons Bird Club (formerly BirdLife Trogons)
Stanford Bird Club
The Cuckoo Bird Club
Tygerberg Bird Club
Vaal Bird Club
Wakkerstroom Bird Club
Waterfall Bird Club
West Coast Bird Club
Witwatersrand Bird Club

Other bird or conservation organisations active in South Africa include –
Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT)
Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA)
Wild Bird Trust
Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB)
KZN Crane Foundation
Overberg Crane Group (OCG)
Mabula Ground Hornbill Project (MGHP)
African Raptor Trust (ART)
Black Eagle Project Roodekrans
The Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT)
Wakkerstroom Natural Heritage Association (WNHA)
Friends of Nylsvley
Wolwekraal Conservation and Research Organisation (WCRO)
A Rocha South Africa
Conservation Outcomes
ReWild Africa
Wilderness Foundation Africa
Wildlands Conservation Trust
African Safari Foundation (ASF)
Peace Parks Foundation: Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area, /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Greater Mapungubwe TFCA and Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area
The South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR)
Zoological Society of Southern Africa (ZSSA)
WWF South Africa
Conservation South Africa
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

EWT works across southern and East Africa through specialised programmes, including –
African Crane Conservation Programme (ACCP), in partnership with the International Crane Foundation (ICF)
Birds of Prey Programme (BoPP)
Blue Swallow Working Group (BSWG)
Vultures for Africa (VfA)

The FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology is the largest centre for ornithological research in the Southern Hemisphere
The Institute is also home to the Niven Library, which holds what is probably Africa’s most comprehensive Ornithology collection and reprints of the Institute’s vast publication record

The Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) equips people with the necessary knowledge and applied skills to conserve and protect Africa’s natural resources and its biodiversity in viable, inclusive and economically successful ways

The Biodiversity & Development Institute (BDI) is a non-profit company designed to foster research and community action in the fields of biodiversity conservation and social development

The DITSONG: National Museum of Natural History, formerly known as the Transvaal Museum, is the custodian and documentation centre of South Africa’s natural heritage
The Durban Natural Science Museum (DNSM) has an Ornithology Department, which houses a world-class collection of nearly 40,000 bird study skins and other ornithological specimens, including eggs, nests, skeletons, open wings and specimens preserved in ethanol
The National Museum, Bloemfontein, also includes an Ornithology Department, which has a research remit as well as its own collection of study skins and skeletons

Shopping Cart