Namibia’s 15 key birds

10,000 Birds

The League of Nations thereafter mandated this huge block of land to South Africa to administer and autonomy was only granted after the protracted Namibian War of Independence that was fought between the South African defense force and Namibian freedom fighters based in Angola, Zambia and other neighboring countries. Only in the far northern border regions with Angola and Zambia, where the mighty Okavango and Zambezi Rivers flow, is the country home to higher population densities.

Landfill by Tim Dee: Review

10,000 Birds

In one of the first of Dee’s observations about gullers he calls them: “men leaving their homes and their families to spend time peering at arsey birds in some of the arseholes of the world.”. Claire (not that Dee mentions that) has waited for the civil war in Angola to end, only to go searching for a lost bird, described in Angola in 1960s and then lost during the war.

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Introducing the African Birding Beat

10,000 Birds

Families that are endemic to the continent include such strange birds as Shoebill , Secretarybird , Hamerkop , mousebirds and rockfowl ( picathartes ) and delightful groups including bushshrikes, sugarbirds, rockjumpers, woodhoopoes, turacos and hyliotas. Besides these truly African families, Africa abounds in a wealth of species in other more widespread groups; weavers, barbets, kingfishers, sunbirds, rollers, bee-eaters, and dare I mention them, cisticolas!

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Africa’s Barbets

10,000 Birds

Originally they were all placed in the family Capitonidae , but over time taxonomists have determined that actual relationships between these barbets are far more complex. In the Neotropics the barbets have been placed into two families, the original Capitonidae (New World Barbets) with 14 species and Semnornithidae (Toucan Barbets) with 2 species (Toucan and Prong-billed Barbet). Gray-throated Barbet is one of the plainer members of the African Barbet family.

South Africa’s endemic birds

10,000 Birds

Their taxonomic affinities have caused great confusion and debate amongst ornithologists; they were originally assigned to the thrush family, then Old World warblers before being shifted to babblers (the last mentioned a common dumping-ground for any aberrant passerines). They have been considered sunbirds, Australasian honeyeaters and thrushes before being placed in their own family, Promeropidae. My home country of South Africa can only be described as a birding paradise!

The Bee-eaters of Africa

10,000 Birds

The wonderful family Meropidae contains 27 dazzling species, of which Africa is endowed with no less than 20 species, the balance occurring across Asia and with one as far afield as Australia. Furthermore, they are far more secretive, quietly perching on forest edges (where their predominantly green plumage makes them tough to spot), usually solitarily or in small family groups and inconspicuously making short sallies to catch bees and other prey.

Weavers

10,000 Birds

Its restricted range extends from the very northern parts of Angola, eastern People’s Republic of Congo and western DRC with a few records from Central African Republic, but even within this range, it has been recorded only in isolated patches. This group of 4 species (as well as all the remaining “weavers” that are covered below) are not even placed in the weaver family ( Ploceidae ) but in Passeridae – the Old World Sparrow family.

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