Africa’s endangered species

10,000 Birds

More than 150 bird species are known to have become extinct over the past 500 years, and many more are estimated to have been driven to extinction before they became known to science. The bulk of the recent bird extinctions has been on islands, where species are more susceptible to extermination due to smaller ranges, lower population sizes and a lack of adaptation for coping with introduced predators.

Dreaming of Congo rainforest: Gabon, Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic

10,000 Birds

Lango Camp deck overlooking Lango Baï, by Congo Conservation Company The forests of the Congo Basin contain more than a 1,000 species of birds, together with 400 species of mammals, including Okapi, Hippos, Leopards, Chimpanzees and Bonobos.

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

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. I have visited my local landfill for the last seven years, usually several times per winter, only to recently stumble upon a book called the Landfill! While I have written several blogs on the topic (e.g., here and here ), Tim Dee devoted an entire book to it and I just had to read it.

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World birding from a Schrödinger’s house

10,000 Birds

Will the threatened species make it through if there are no birding tourists to make those birds and their habitats valuable to local people just the way they are (as opposed to tropical timber)? And beating the previous Strycker record by 810 species? Colombia 1959 bird species 2.

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Birdwatching the Okavango Delta

10,000 Birds

Rainfall in Angola forms a myriad of waterways which converge to form the Cubango River which flows southwards into Botswana where it becomes the Okavango River, the fourth longest river in southern Africa.

Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

10,000 Birds

It divides countries into categories, where the next category has 200 more species. In some cases the data are outdated, e.g. Costa Rica has 900 and not 800 species, but I made no corrections, remaining faithful to the original map data. Shown as a list, it looks like this: Less than 200 bird species: Antarctica; oceanic islands. now the pace quickens: USA; Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia; Nepal, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam.

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Africa’s Barbets

10,000 Birds

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). In Asia, their 30 barbet species are placed into their own family Megalaimidae , and finally in Africa, we have 42 species in the family Lybiidae , the topic of this blogpost. Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird is a woodland species that occurs widely through Africa.

Introducing the African Birding Beat

10,000 Birds

Approximately 2,300 bird species inhabit Africa, however as impressive as that sounds, much smaller South America boasts nearly 1,000 species more. 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! Madagascar’s mammals are equally remarkable; over 100 species of endearing lemurs and bizarre carnivores amongst them!

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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. We have both resident and migratory species, and this post will briefly discuss each of the 20 species of African bee-eaters. My personal record is 8 species in a morning along the Nile in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park.

South Africa’s endemic birds

10,000 Birds

Originally considered monotypic, two species are now recognized. Drakensberg (or Orange-breasted) Rockjumper is a Drakensberg Mountain species whose range is shared with the tiny landlocked kingdom of Lesotho. Males of this species are more brightly colored in their non-breeding winter plumage. The Southern (or Lesser) Double-collared Sunbird (left) is an often abundant species that is usually first detected by its cheery song.

Weavers

10,000 Birds

The IOC world birdlist recognizes 90 species that bear the name “weaver” or “malimbe” Not all of these are true weavers as we will discuss below. There are currently 64 recognized species in this genus, a remarkable number indeed, and this includes the 5 Asian and 2 Malagasy species. This is the weaver standard, but as always in nature there are exceptions, especially when such a large number of species is involved!

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Collaborative List – November 2019

10,000 Birds

Whatever it was, Corey was found at his keyboard 2 hours later, covered in blood and snot and sporting a cut lip, having announced that he and Mike would rescue the failing list by taking personal responsibility for adding 300 species. Angola Swallow – Hirundo angolensis.

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Best Bird of the Year for 2015

10,000 Birds

During my previous five trips to Indonesia, I only heard but never caught a glimpse of three species. Now my tally stands at four species seen and a fifth heard-only. But his Best Bird of the Year was neither a sparrow nor a bunting… My goal for 2015 was to finally hit 200 species in my new home county, where I’ve lived for two years now. However, all that changed when I saw a species that was both a long-awaited lifer and a very rare vagrant for Costa Rica.

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