South Sudan

Central Africa

644,330 km²



Strongly Afrotropical avifauna
Approximately 820 recorded species (10th longest bird list of any country in the ABC region)

Shoebill (Adam Riley)
Abyssinian Waxbill (John Caddick)
Cinnamon Weaver (Tom Jenner)

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not near-endemics (1/2)
Cinnamon Weaver
Abyssinian Waxbill

Proposed new species or splits not yet accepted by IOC
Archer’s Francolin
Schuett’s Spurfowl
Black-shouldered Nightjar
Abyssinian Nightjar
Eastern Black-billed Turaco
Congo Pied Hornbill
Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet
Singing Bush Lark
Ethiopian Saw-wing (1/2)
Mangbettu Saw-wing (1/2)
Eastern Crombec
African Reed Warbler
Mongalla Cisticola (1/2)
Tawny-breasted Camaroptera
Ethiopian White-eye
White-winged Scrub Robin
Emin’s Weaver
Black-faced Quailfinch
Grey Firefinch
Ethiopian Firefinch

Yellow-billed Shrike (Tasso Leventis)
Cinnamon Bracken Warbler (Tasso Leventis)
Spotted Ground Thrush (Kevin Ravno)

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Common Ostrich (camelus)
Stone Partridge
Schlegel’s Francolin
Heuglin’s Spurfowl
Clapperton’s Spurfowl
Yellow-necked Spurfowl
Slender-tailed Nightjar
Standard-winged Nightjar
Pennant-winged Nightjar
White-bellied Go-away-bird
Eastern Plantain-eater
White-crested Turaco
Arabian Bustard (ESS butleri)
Denham’s Bustard
Hartlaub’s Bustard
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (ellioti)
Four-banded Sandgrouse
Bruce’s Green Pigeon
Black Crowned Crane
Black-headed Lapwing
Egyptian Plover
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle
Western Banded Snake Eagle
Grasshopper Buzzard
Black Scimitarbill
Abyssinian Scimitarbill
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
Northern Red-billed Hornbill
Hemprich’s Hornbill
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill
Abyssinian Roller
Red-throated Bee-eater
African Green Bee-eater
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
Red-fronted Barbet
Spot-flanked Barbet
Vieillot’s Barbet
White-headed Barbet
Black-billed Barbet
Double-toothed Barbet
Black-breasted Barbet
D’Arnaud’s Barbet
Fine-spotted Woodpecker
Nubian Woodpecker
Speckle-breasted Woodpecker
African Grey Woodpecker
Brown-backed Woodpecker
Niam-niam Parrot
Red-headed Lovebird
Fox Kestrel
Grey-headed Batis (chadensis)
Western Black-headed Batis
Black-headed Gonolek
Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike
Yellow-billed Shrike
Emin’s Shrike
Grey-backed Fiscal
Fan-tailed Raven
White-shouldered Black Tit
White-winged Black Tit
Sennar Penduline Tit
Yellow Penduline Tit
Rufous-rumped Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark (leucotis)
Red-winged Lark (ESS kathangorensis)
Kordofan Lark
White-tailed Lark
Sun Lark
Northern Brownbul
Foxy Cisticola
Red-winged Prinia (jodoptera)
Red-winged Grey Warbler
Buff-bellied Warbler
Green-backed Eremomela
Rufous Chatterer
Brown Babbler
Dusky Babbler
Yellow-bellied Hyliota
Lesser Blue-eared Starling
Bronze-tailed Starling
Splendid Starling
Purple Starling
Rüppell’s Starling
Long-tailed Glossy Starling
Superb Starling
African Grey Flycatcher (neumanni)
Gambaga Flycatcher
Spotted Palm Thrush
Sooty Chat
Heuglin’s Wheatear
White-fronted Black Chat
Western Violet-backed Sunbird
Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird
Pygmy Sunbird
Nile Valley Sunbird
Beautiful Sunbird
Red-chested Sunbird
Palestine Sunbird (decorsei)
Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow
Sahel Bush Sparrow
Chestnut Sparrow
Shelley’s Sparrow
Swainson’s Sparrow
White-headed Buffalo Weaver
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver
Grey-capped Social Weaver
Speckle-fronted Weaver
Heuglin’s Masked Weaver
Northern Masked Weaver
Cinammon Weaver
Grey-headed Silverbill
African Silverbill
Grey-headed Oliveback
Black-cheeked Waxbill
Black-rumped Waxbill
Blue-capped Cordon-bleu
Black-bellied Seedcracker
Red-winged Pytilia (emini)
Dybowski’s Twinspot
Brown Twinspot
Jameson’s Firefinch
Black-bellied Firefinch
Bar-breasted Firefinch (lateritia)
Jambandu Indigobird
Wilson’s Indigobird
Quailfinch Indigobird
Cameroon Indigobird
Straw-tailed Whydah
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah
Sahel Paradise Whydah
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah
Golden Pipit
White-rumped Seedeater
Stripe-breasted Seedeater
West African Seedeater
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Gosling’s Bunting
Brown-rumped Bunting

Clapperton’s Spurfowl (Kevin Ravno)

National bird
African Fish Eagle | Kuëi

Afromontane forest, Guinea woodlands, moist savannas, swamps

12 Important Bird Areas

The Sudd for Shoebill, Cinnamon Weaver and wetland species
Imatong mountains for montane and some lowland forest species including African Black Duck, Scarce Swift, African Olive Pigeon, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon (sharpei), Dusky Turtle Dove, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Mountain Buzzard, White-headed Wood Hoopoe (jacksoni), Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Cassin’s Honeybird, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Pink-footed Puffback, Lühder’s Bushshrike, Grey Cuckooshrike (purus), Purple-throated Cuckooshrike (martini), Sharpe’s Drongo, White-bellied Tit, Dusky Tit, Joyful Greenbul, Cabanis’s Greenbul (sucosus), Toro Olive Greenbul, Brown Woodland Warbler (mackenzianus), Mountain Yellow Warbler, Bamboo Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler (cavei), Highland Rush Warbler (sudanensis), Rock-loving Cisticola (petrophilus), Wing-snapping Cisticola (imatong), Black-collared Apalis, Black-throated Apalis, Grey Apalis, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Rufous-crowned Eremomela (ESS latukae), African Hill Babbler, Brown Parisoma (jacksoni), Waller’s Starling (elgonensis), Stuhlmann’s Starling, Sharpe’s Starling, Spotted Ground Thrush (ESS maxis), Abyssinian Ground Thrush (ESS hadii), White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher (fischeri), African Dusky Flycatcher (pumila), Brown-chested Alethe (ESS giloensis), Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat (bartteloti), White-starred Robin (ESS pallidiflava), Equatorial Akalat (ESS acholiensis), African Stonechat (albofasciatus), Grey-chinned Sunbird, Tacazze Sunbird (jacksoni), Malachite Sunbird (cupreonitens), Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Black-billed Weaver (stephanophorus), Dark-backed Weaver (mentalis), Brown-capped Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe, Yellow-bellied Waxbill (quartinia), Green Twinspot (chubbi), Abyssinian Crimsonwing (kilimensis), Grey-headed Nigrita (schistaceus), Black-crowned Waxbill, Oriole Finch (elgonensis), Southern Citril (brittoni), Streaky Seedeater and Yellow-crowned Canary
Bengengai for Niam-niam Parrot and lowland forest species including Latham’s Francolin, White-naped Pigeon, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, White-spotted Flufftail, Long-tailed Hawk, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Black-headed Bee-eater, Willcock’s Honeyguide, Spotted Honeyguide, Buff-spotted Woodpecker (herberti), Little Green Woodpecker (permista), Lowland Sooty Boubou, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Dusky Crested Flycatcher (nigromitrata), Yellow-eyed Bristlebill (ugandae), Simple Greenbul, Red-tailed Greenbul (emini), Yellow Longbill, Spotted Thrush-Babbler (turdina), Puvel’s Illadopsis (strenuipes), Fire-crested Alethe, Forest Robin (xanthogaster) and Blue-billed Malimbe
Bengengai and Imatong mountains for Great Blue Turaco, Grey-throated Barbet, Least Honeyguide, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Black-winged Oriole, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Western Nicator, Red-tailed Bristlebill (woosnami), Honeyguide Greenbul, Plain Greenbul, White-throated Greenbul, Green Crombec, Green Hylia, White-chinned Prinia, Brown Illadopsis (ugandae), Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Little Green Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird and Red-headed Bluebill
Aloma plateau for Afep Pigeon, Shining-blue Kingfisher, Black-casqued Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Red-tailed Leaflove, Buff-throated Apalis (nigrescens), Fraser’s Rufous Thrush, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Sooty Flycatcher, Vieillot’s Black Weaver and Crimson-rumped Waxbill
Boma plateau for White-cheeked Turaco, Kori Bustard, Lemon Dove (bronzina), Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Ethiopian Bee-eater, Eastern Grey Woodpecker, Ethiopian Boubou, White-rumped Babbler, Boran Cisticola, Abyssinian Ground Thrush (piaggiae), Rüppell’s Robin-Chat, White-crowned Robin-Chat and Baglafecht Weaver (baglafecht)
Extreme south-east for arid savanna species including Sombre Nightjar, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, Star-spotted Nightjar, Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (sukensis), Somali Courser, Jackson’s Hornbill, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Olive Bee-eater, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Black-throated Barbet, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Pygmy Batis, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Three-streaked Tchagra, Slate-coloured Boubou, Northern White-crowned Shrike, Taita Fiscal, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark (harrisoni), Pink-breasted Lark, Red-faced Crombec, Ashy Cisticola, Tiny Cisticola, Pale Prinia (erlangeri), Red-fronted Prinia (smithi), Brown-tailed Apalis, Grey Wren-Warbler, Shelley’s Starling, Magpie Starling, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Hunter’s Sunbird, Shining Sunbird (turkanae), Parrot-billed Sparrow, Purple Grenadier, Reichenow’s Seedeater, White-bellied Canary and Somali Bunting

TIMING (Jan–Mar)
Best in the dry season (Nov–Mar) when access is easier and Afro-Palearctic migrants are present

Birds of Africa (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara by Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan (2010)
Birds of East Africa by Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe (2020) treats almost all species
Birds of the Horn of Africa by Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe (2011) and Birds of Western Africa by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey (2014) each have most species

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

Distribution Atlas of Sudan’s Birds with Notes on Habitat and Status by Gerhard Nikolaus (1987)

Further reading
Birds of South Sudan by Gerhard Nikolaus (1989)
Sudan 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)
Bird Observations from South-east Sudan by Marc de Bont (2009)
Bird Observations around Juba, South Sudan by Mark Mallalieu (2013)
Articles in Scopus, Bull. ABC, etc.

Birding South Sudan by Mark Mallalieu (2011-2012)
South Sudan Safaris – Bahr el Jebel Safaris (2015-2016)
Wildlife Advocacy South Sudan


There is currently no BirdLife Partner in South Sudan

Bird or conservation organisations active in South Sudan include –
South Sudan Wildlife Society (SSWS)
South Sudan Nature Conservation Organisation (SSNCO)
Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
WCS South Sudan

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