List of birds of Tanzania

List of birds of Tanzania

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Tanzania. The avifauna of Tanzania includes a total of 1108 species, of which 23 are endemic, 4 have been introduced by humans, and 43 are rare or accidental. 36 species are globally threatened.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of Clements's 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflects this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Tanzania.

The following tags have been used to highlight certain relevant categories. It must be noted that not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring, native species.

* (A) Accidental A species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Tanzania.
* (E) Endemic A species endemic to Tanzania.
* (I) Introduced A species introduced to Tanzania as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions.



Order: StruthioniformesFamily: Struthionidae

The Ostrich is a flightless bird native to Africa. It is the largest living species of bird. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at high speeds.

*Ostrich "Struthio camelus"


Order: PodicipediformesFamily: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Little Grebe "Tachybaptus ruficollis"
*Great Crested Grebe "Podiceps cristatus"
*Eared Grebe "Podiceps nigricollis"


Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Shy Albatross "Thalassarche cauta"

hearwaters and Petrels

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with a medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Antarctic Giant Petrel "Macronectes giganteus"
*White-chinned Petrel "Procellaria aequinoctialis" (A)
*Wedge-tailed Shearwater "Puffinus pacificus" (A)
*Audubon's Shearwater "Puffinus lherminieri" (A)


Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels, and are the smallest of sea-birds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*White-bellied Storm-Petrel "Fregetta grallaria" (A)


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*White-tailed Tropicbird "Phaethon lepturus"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Great White Pelican "Pelecanus onocrotalus"
*Pink-backed Pelican "Pelecanus rufescens"

Boobies and Gannets

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups comprise medium-to-large coastal sea-birds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Cape Gannet "Morus capensis"
*Masked Booby "Sula dactylatra"
*Red-footed Booby "Sula sula"
*Brown Booby "Sula leucogaster"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phalacrocoracidae

The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating sea-birds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black and white, and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Great Cormorant "Phalacrocorax carbo"
*Long-tailed Cormorant "Phalacrocorax africanus"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Anhingidae

Darters are frequently referred to as "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged.The males have black and dark brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have a much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are 4 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Darter "Anhinga melanogaster"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large sea-birds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black and white or completely black, with long wings and deeply-forked tails. The males have inflatable coloured throat pouches. They do not swim or walk, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There are 5 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Great Frigatebird "Fregata minor"
*Lesser Frigatebird "Fregata ariel"

Bitterns, Herons and Egrets

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-necked birds suck as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 61 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Gray Heron "Ardea cinerea"
*Black-headed Heron "Ardea melanocephala"
*Goliath Heron "Ardea goliath"
*Purple Heron "Ardea purpurea"
*Great Egret "Ardea alba"
*Black Heron "Egretta ardesiaca"
*Intermediate Egret "Egretta intermedia"
*Little Egret "Egretta garzetta"
*Squacco Heron "Ardeola ralloides"
*Madagascar Pond-Heron "Ardeola idae"
*Rufous-bellied Heron "Ardeola rufiventris"
*Cattle Egret "Bubulcus ibis"
*Striated Heron "Butorides striata"
*Black-crowned Night-Heron "Nycticorax nycticorax"
*White-backed Night-Heron "Gorsachius leuconotus"
*Little Bittern "Ixobrychus minutus"
*Dwarf Bittern "Ixobrychus sturmii"
*Great Bittern "Botaurus stellaris"


Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Scopidae

The Hammerkop is a medium-sized bird with a long shaggy crest. The shape of its head with a curved bill and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, hence its name. Its plumage is a drab brown all over.

*Hamerkop "Scopus umbretta"


Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Yellow-billed Stork "Mycteria ibis"
*African Openbill "Anastomus lamelligerus"
*Black Stork "Ciconia nigra"
*Abdim's Stork "Ciconia abdimii"
*Woolly-necked Stork "Ciconia episcopus"
*White Stork "Ciconia ciconia"
*Saddle-billed Stork "Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis"
*Marabou Stork "Leptoptilos crumeniferus"


Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Balaenicipididae

The Shoebill is a large bird related to the storks. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill.

*Shoebill "Balaeniceps rex"

Ibises and Spoonbills

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Threskiornithidae

The Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Sacred Ibis "Threskiornis aethiopicus"
*Olive Ibis "Bostrychia olivacea"
*Spot-breasted Ibis "Bostrychia rara"
*Hadada Ibis "Bostrychia hagedash"
*Glossy Ibis "Plegadis falcinellus"
*African Spoonbill "Platalea alba"


Order: PhoenicopteriformesFamily: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet high, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. They are more numerous in the latter. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly-shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down. There are 6 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Greater Flamingo "Phoenicopterus roseus"
*Lesser Flamingo "Phoenicopterus minor"

Ducks, Geese and Swans

Order: AnseriformesFamily: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 22 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Fulvous Whistling-Duck "Dendrocygna bicolor"
*White-faced Whistling-Duck "Dendrocygna viduata"
*White-backed Duck "Thalassornis leuconotus"
*Egyptian Goose "Alopochen aegyptiacus"
*Spur-winged Goose "Plectropterus gambensis"
*Comb Duck "Sarkidiornis melanotos"
*African Pygmy-goose "Nettapus auritus"
*African Black Duck "Anas sparsa"
*Eurasian Wigeon "Anas penelope"
*Eurasian Teal "Anas crecca"
*Cape Teal "Anas capensis"
*Yellow-billed Duck "Anas undulata"
*Northern Pintail "Anas acuta"
*Red-billed Duck "Anas erythrorhyncha"
*Hottentot Teal "Anas hottentota"
*Garganey "Anas querquedula"
*Cape Shoveler "Anas smithii"
*Northern Shoveler "Anas clypeata"
*Southern Pochard "Netta erythrophthalma"
*Common Pochard "Aythya ferina"
*Tufted Duck "Aythya fuligula" (A)
*Maccoa Duck "Oxyura maccoa"


Order: FalconiformesFamily: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the Osprey. The Osprey is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

*Osprey "Pandion haliaetus"

Hawks, Kites and Eagles

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 56 species which occur in Tanzania.

*African Cuckoo-Hawk "Aviceda cuculoides"
*European Honey-buzzard "Pernis apivorus"
*Bat Hawk "Macheiramphus alcinus"
*Black-shouldered Kite "Elanus caeruleus"
*Scissor-tailed Kite "Chelictinia riocourii"
*Black Kite "Milvus migrans"
*African Fish-Eagle "Haliaeetus vocifer"
*Palm-nut Vulture "Gypohierax angolensis"
*Hooded Vulture "Necrosyrtes monachus"
*Lammergeier "Gypaetus barbatus"
*Egyptian Vulture "Neophron percnopterus"
*White-backed Vulture "Gyps africanus"
*Rueppell's Griffon "Gyps rueppellii"
*Lappet-faced Vulture "Torgos tracheliotus"
*White-headed Vulture "Trigonoceps occipitalis"
*Beaudouin's Snake-Eagle "Circaetus beaudouini"
*Black-breasted Snake-Eagle "Circaetus pectoralis"
*Brown Snake-Eagle "Circaetus cinereus"
*Fasciated Snake-Eagle "Circaetus fasciolatus"
*Banded Snake-Eagle "Circaetus cinerascens"
*Bateleur "Terathopius ecaudatus"
*Western Marsh-Harrier "Circus aeruginosus"
*African Marsh-Harrier "Circus ranivorus"
*Pallid Harrier "Circus macrourus"
*Montagu's Harrier "Circus pygargus"
*African Harrier-Hawk "Polyboroides typus"
*Lizard Buzzard "Kaupifalco monogrammicus"
*Dark Chanting-Goshawk "Melierax metabates"
*Eastern Chanting-Goshawk "Melierax poliopterus"
*Gabar Goshawk "Micronisus gabar"
*African Goshawk "Accipiter tachiro"
*Shikra "Accipiter badius"
*Levant Sparrowhawk "Accipiter brevipes"
*Little Sparrowhawk "Accipiter minullus"
*Ovampo Sparrowhawk "Accipiter ovampensis"
*Eurasian Sparrowhawk "Accipiter nisus"
*Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk "Accipiter rufiventris"
*Black Goshawk "Accipiter melanoleucus"
*Grasshopper Buzzard "Butastur rufipennis"
*Eurasian Buzzard "Buteo buteo"
*Mountain Buzzard "Buteo oreophilus"
*Long-legged Buzzard "Buteo rufinus"
*Augur Buzzard "Buteo augur"
*Lesser Spotted Eagle "Aquila pomarina"
*Greater Spotted Eagle "Aquila clanga" (A)
*Tawny Eagle "Aquila rapax"
*Steppe Eagle "Aquila nipalensis"
*Imperial Eagle "Aquila heliaca"
*Wahlberg's Eagle "Aquila wahlbergi"
*Verreaux's Eagle "Aquila verreauxii"
*African Hawk-Eagle "Aquila spilogaster"
*Booted Eagle "Aquila pennatus"
*Ayres's Hawk-Eagle "Aquila ayresii"
*Martial Eagle "Polemaetus bellicosus"
*Long-crested Eagle "Lophaetus occipitalis"
*Crowned Hawk-Eagle "Stephanoaetus coronatus"


Order: FalconiformesFamily: Sagittariidae

The Secretary-bird is a bird of prey in the order Falconiformes but is easily distinguished from other raptors by it long crane-like legs.

*Secretary-bird "Sagittarius serpentarius"

Caracaras and Falcons

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 62 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Pygmy Falcon "Polihierax semitorquatus"
*Lesser Kestrel "Falco naumanni"
*Eurasian Kestrel "Falco tinnunculus"
*Greater Kestrel "Falco rupicoloides"
*Gray Kestrel "Falco ardosiaceus"
*Dickinson's Kestrel "Falco dickinsoni"
*Red-necked Falcon "Falco chicquera"
*Red-footed Falcon "Falco vespertinus"
*Amur Falcon "Falco amurensis"
*Eleonora's Falcon "Falco eleonorae"
*Sooty Falcon "Falco concolor"
*Eurasian Hobby "Falco subbuteo"
*African Hobby "Falco cuvierii"
*Lanner Falcon "Falco biarmicus"
*Saker Falcon "Falco cherrug"
*Barbary Falcon "Falco pelegrinoides" (A)
*Taita Falcon "Falco fasciinucha"
*Peregrine Falcon "Falco peregrinus"

Pheasants and Partridges

Order: GalliformesFamily: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they may vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Coqui Francolin "Francolinus coqui"
*Forest Francolin "Francolinus lathami"
*Crested Francolin "Francolinus sephaena"
*Ring-necked Francolin "Francolinus streptophorus"
*Red-winged Francolin "Francolinus levaillantii"
*Shelley's Francolin "Francolinus shelleyi"
*Scaly Francolin "Francolinus squamatus"
*Hildebrandt's Francolin "Francolinus hildebrandti"
*Yellow-necked Francolin "Francolinus leucoscepus"
*Gray-breasted Francolin "Francolinus rufopictus" (E)
*Red-necked Francolin "Francolinus afer"
*Common Quail "Coturnix coturnix"
*Harlequin Quail "Coturnix delegorguei"
*Blue Quail "Coturnix adansonii"
*Udzungwa Partridge "Xenoperdix udzungwensis" (E)


Order: GalliformesFamily: Numididae

Guineafowl are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage. There are 6 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Helmeted Guineafowl "Numida meleagris"
*Crested Guineafowl "Guttera pucherani"
*Vulturine Guineafowl "Acryllium vulturinum"


Order: GruiformesFamily: Turnicidae

The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes, and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young. There are 16 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Small Buttonquail "Turnix sylvatica"
*Hottentot Buttonquail "Turnix hottentotta"
*Quail-plover "Ortyxelos meiffrenii"


Order: GruiformesFamily: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Gray Crowned-Crane "Balearica regulorum"
*Wattled Crane "Bugeranus carunculatus"

Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, and Coots

Order: GruiformesFamily: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Tanzania.

*White-spotted Flufftail "Sarothrura pulchra"
*Buff-spotted Flufftail "Sarothrura elegans"
*Red-chested Flufftail "Sarothrura rufa"
*Chestnut-headed Flufftail "Sarothrura lugens"
*Streaky-breasted Flufftail "Sarothrura boehmi"
*Striped Flufftail "Sarothrura affinis"
*African Rail "Rallus caerulescens"
*African Crake "Crecopsis egregia"
*Corn Crake "Crex crex"
*Black Crake "Amaurornis flavirostris"
*Baillon's Crake "Porzana pusilla"
*Spotted Crake "Porzana porzana"
*Striped Crake "Aenigmatolimnas marginalis"
*Purple Swamphen "Porphyrio porphyrio"
*Allen's Gallinule "Porphyrio alleni"
*Common Moorhen "Gallinula chloropus"
*Lesser Moorhen "Gallinula angulata"
*Red-knobbed Coot "Fulica cristata"

ungrebe and Finfoots

Order: GruiformesFamily: Heliornithidae

The Heliornithidae are small family of tropical birds with webbed lobes on their feet similar to those of grebes and coots. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*African Finfoot "Podica senegalensis"


Order: GruiformesFamily: Otididae

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips, and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays. There are 26 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Kori Bustard "Ardeotis kori"
*Stanley Bustard "Neotis denhami"
*White-bellied Bustard "Eupodotis senegalensis"
*Buff-crested Bustard "Eupodotis gindiana"
*Black-bellied Bustard "Lissotis melanogaster"
*Hartlaub's Bustard "Lissotis hartlaubii"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide in the Tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Lesser Jacana "Microparra capensis"
*African Jacana "Actophilornis africanus"

Painted snipe

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Rostratulidae

Painted snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Greater Painted-snipe "Rostratula benghalensis"

Crab Plover

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Dromadidae

The Crab Plover is related to the waders. It resembles a plover but with very long grey legs and a strong heavy black bill similar to a tern. It has black and white plumage, a long neck, partially webbed feet and a bill designed for eating crabs.

*Crab Plover "Dromas ardeola"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Eurasian Oystercatcher "Haematopus ostralegus"

Avocets and Stilts

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Black-winged Stilt "Himantopus himantopus"
*Pied Avocet "Recurvirostra avosetta"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Burhinidae

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are 9 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Water Thick-knee "Burhinus vermiculatus"
*Eurasian Thick-knee "Burhinus oedicnemus"
*Spotted Thick-knee "Burhinus capensis"

Pratincoles and Coursers

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Temminck's Courser "Cursorius temminckii"
*Double-banded Courser "Smutsornis africanus"
*Three-banded Courser "Rhinoptilus cinctus"
*Bronze-winged Courser "Rhinoptilus chalcopterus"
*Collared Pratincole "Glareola pratincola"
*Black-winged Pratincole "Glareola nordmanni"
*Madagascar Pratincole "Glareola ocularis"
*Rock Pratincole "Glareola nuchalis"

Plovers and Lapwings

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions. There are 66 species worldwide and 22 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Long-toed Lapwing "Vanellus crassirostris"
*Blacksmith Plover "Vanellus armatus"
*Spur-winged Plover "Vanellus spinosus"
*Black-headed Lapwing "Vanellus tectus"
*White-headed Lapwing "Vanellus albiceps"
*Senegal Lapwing "Vanellus lugubris"
*Black-winged Lapwing "Vanellus melanopterus"
*Crowned Lapwing "Vanellus coronatus"
*Wattled Lapwing "Vanellus senegallus"
*Brown-chested Lapwing "Vanellus superciliosus"
*Pacific Golden-Plover "Pluvialis fulva"
*Black-bellied Plover "Pluvialis squatarola"
*Common Ringed Plover "Charadrius hiaticula"
*Little Ringed Plover "Charadrius dubius"
*Kittlitz's Plover "Charadrius pecuarius"
*Three-banded Plover "Charadrius tricollaris"
*Forbes's Plover "Charadrius forbesi"
*White-fronted Plover "Charadrius marginatus"
*Chestnut-banded Plover "Charadrius pallidus"
*Lesser Sandplover "Charadrius mongolus"
*Greater Sandplover "Charadrius leschenaultii"
*Caspian Plover "Charadrius asiaticus"

andpipers and allies

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Scolopacidae

The Scolopacidae are a large diverse family of small to medium sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 89 species worldwide and 26 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Jack Snipe "Lymnocryptes minimus"
*African Snipe "Gallinago nigripennis"
*Great Snipe "Gallinago media"
*Common Snipe "Gallinago gallinago"
*Black-tailed Godwit "Limosa limosa"
*Bar-tailed Godwit "Limosa lapponica"
*Whimbrel "Numenius phaeopus"
*Eurasian Curlew "Numenius arquata"
*Spotted Redshank "Tringa erythropus"
*Common Redshank "Tringa totanus"
*Marsh Sandpiper "Tringa stagnatilis"
*Common Greenshank "Tringa nebularia"
*Green Sandpiper "Tringa ochropus"
*Wood Sandpiper "Tringa glareola"
*Terek Sandpiper "Xenus cinereus"
*Common Sandpiper "Actitis hypoleucos"
*Ruddy Turnstone "Arenaria interpres"
*Red Knot "Calidris canutus"
*Sanderling "Calidris alba"
*Little Stint "Calidris minuta"
*Temminck's Stint "Calidris temminckii"
*Long-toed Stint "Calidris subminuta" (A)
*Curlew Sandpiper "Calidris ferruginea"
*Broad-billed Sandpiper "Limicola falcinellus"
*Ruff "Philomachus pugnax"
*Red-necked Phalarope "Phalaropus lobatus"

kuas and Jaegers

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Pomarine Jaeger "Stercorarius pomarinus"
*Parasitic Jaeger "Stercorarius parasiticus"
*Long-tailed Jaeger "Stercorarius longicaudus" (A)


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large birds seabirds and includes gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Sooty Gull "Larus hemprichii"
*Kelp Gull "Larus dominicanus" (A)
*Lesser Black-backed Gull "Larus fuscus"
*Heuglin's Gull "Larus heuglini" (A)
*Gray-headed Gull "Larus cirrocephalus"
*Black-headed Gull "Larus ridibundus"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Sternidae

Terns are a group of generally general medium to large sea-birds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25 to 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Gull-billed Tern "Sterna nilotica"
*Caspian Tern "Sterna caspia"
*Lesser Crested Tern "Sterna bengalensis"
*Sandwich Tern "Sterna sandvicensis"
*Great Crested Tern "Sterna bergii"
*Roseate Tern "Sterna dougallii"
*Black-naped Tern "Sterna sumatrana"
*Common Tern "Sterna hirundo"
*Little Tern "Sterna albifrons"
*Saunders's Tern "Sterna saundersi"
*White-cheeked Tern "Sterna repressa"
*Bridled Tern "Sterna anaethetus"
*Sooty Tern "Sterna fuscata"
*Whiskered Tern "Chlidonias hybridus"
*White-winged Tern "Chlidonias leucopterus"
*Brown Noddy "Anous stolidus"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Rynchopidae

Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*African Skimmer "Rynchops flavirostris"


Order: PterocliformesFamily: Pteroclidae

Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes. There are 16 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse "Pterocles exustus"
*Yellow-throated Sandgrouse "Pterocles gutturalis"
*Black-faced Sandgrouse "Pterocles decoratus"

Pigeons and Doves

Order: ColumbiformesFamily: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Speckled Pigeon "Columba guinea"
*Afep Pigeon "Columba unicincta"
*Rameron Pigeon "Columba arquatrix"
*Delegorgue's Pigeon "Columba delegorguei"
*Lemon Dove "Columba larvata"
*Eurasian Turtle-Dove "Streptopelia turtur" (A)
*Dusky Turtle-Dove "Streptopelia lugens"
*African Mourning Dove "Streptopelia decipiens"
*Red-eyed Dove "Streptopelia semitorquata"
*Ring-necked Dove "Streptopelia capicola"
*Laughing Dove "Streptopelia senegalensis"
*Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove "Turtur chalcospilos"
*Blue-spotted Wood-Dove "Turtur afer"
*Tambourine Dove "Turtur tympanistria"
*Namaqua Dove "Oena capensis"
*Pemba Green-Pigeon "Treron pembaensis" (E)
*African Green-Pigeon "Treron calva"

Parrots, Macaws and allies

Order: PsittaciformesFamily: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and the have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two back. There are 335 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Gray-headed Lovebird "Agapornis canus" (I)
*Red-headed Lovebird "Agapornis pullarius"
*Fischer's Lovebird "Agapornis fischeri"
*Yellow-collared Lovebird "Agapornis personatus" (E)
*Lilian's Lovebird "Agapornis lilianae"
*Gray Parrot "Psittacus erithacus"
*Brown-necked Parrot "Poicephalus robustus"
*Red-fronted Parrot "Poicephalus gulielmi"
*Meyer's Parrot "Poicephalus meyeri"
*Brown-headed Parrot "Poicephalus cryptoxanthus"
*Red-bellied Parrot "Poicephalus rufiventris"


Order: CuculiformesFamily: Musophagidae

The turacos, plantain eaters and go-away birds make up the bird family Musophagidae. They are medium-sized arboreal birds. The turacos and plantain eaters are brightly coloured birds, usually blue, green or purple. The go-away birds are mostly grey and white. There are 23 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Great Blue Turaco "Corythaeola cristata"
*Livingstone's Turaco "Tauraco livingstonii"
*Schalow's Turaco "Tauraco schalowi"
*Black-billed Turaco "Tauraco schuettii"
*Fischer's Turaco "Tauraco fischeri"
*Hartlaub's Turaco "Tauraco hartlaubi"
*Purple-crested Turaco "Tauraco porphyreolophus"
*Ross's Turaco "Musophaga rossae"
*Bare-faced Go-away-bird "Corythaixoides personatus"
*Gray Go-away-bird "Corythaixoides concolor"
*White-bellied Go-away-bird "Corythaixoides leucogaster"
*Eastern Plantain-eater "Crinifer zonurus"

Cuckoos and Anis

Order: CuculiformesFamily: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 21 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Pied Cuckoo "Clamator jacobinus"
*Levaillant's Cuckoo "Clamator levaillantii"
*Great Spotted Cuckoo "Clamator glandarius"
*Thick-billed Cuckoo "Pachycoccyx audeberti"
*Red-chested Cuckoo "Cuculus solitarius"
*Black Cuckoo "Cuculus clamosus"
*Common Cuckoo "Cuculus canorus"
*African Cuckoo "Cuculus gularis"
*Lesser Cuckoo "Cuculus poliocephalus"
*Madagascar Cuckoo "Cuculus rochii"
*Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo "Cercococcyx mechowi"
*Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo "Cercococcyx montanus"
*Klaas's Cuckoo "Chrysococcyx klaas"
*African Emerald Cuckoo "Chrysococcyx cupreus"
*Dideric Cuckoo "Chrysococcyx caprius"
*Yellowbill "Ceuthmochares aereus"
*Black Coucal "Centropus grillii"
*Blue-headed Coucal "Centropus monachus"
*Coppery-tailed Coucal "Centropus cupreicaudus"
*Senegal Coucal "Centropus senegalensis"
*White-browed Coucal "Centropus superciliosus"

Barn owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Tanzania.

*African Grass-Owl "Tyto capensis"
*Barn Owl "Tyto alba"
*Congo Bay-Owl "Phodilus prigoginei"

Typical owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Sokoke Scops-Owl "Otus ireneae"
*African Scops-Owl "Otus senegalensis"
*Pemba Scops-Owl "Otus pembaensis" (E)
*Southern White-faced Owl "Ptilopsis granti"
*Cape Eagle-Owl "Bubo capensis"
*Spotted Eagle-Owl "Bubo africanus"
*Usambara Eagle-Owl "Bubo vosseleri" (E)
*Verreaux's Eagle-Owl "Bubo lacteus"
*Pel's Fishing-Owl "Scotopelia peli"
*African Wood-Owl "Strix woodfordii"
*Pearl-spotted Owlet "Glaucidium perlatum"
*African Barred Owlet "Glaucidium capense"
*Short-eared Owl "Asio flammeus" (A)
*Marsh Owl "Asio capensis"


Order: CaprimulgiformesFamily: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Eurasian Nightjar "Caprimulgus europaeus"
*Sombre Nightjar "Caprimulgus fraenatus"
*Rufous-cheeked Nightjar "Caprimulgus rufigena" (A)
*Nubian Nightjar "Caprimulgus nubicus"
*Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar "Caprimulgus donaldsoni"
*Fiery-necked Nightjar "Caprimulgus pectoralis"
*Abyssinian Nightjar "Caprimulgus poliocephalus"
*Montane Nightjar "Caprimulgus ruwenzorii" (A)
*Swamp Nightjar "Caprimulgus natalensis"
*Plain Nightjar "Caprimulgus inornatus"
*Freckled Nightjar "Caprimulgus tristigma"
*Slender-tailed Nightjar "Caprimulgus clarus"
*Square-tailed Nightjar "Caprimulgus fossii"
*Pennant-winged Nightjar "Macrodipteryx vexillarius"
*Standard-winged Nightjar "Macrodipteryx longipennis" (A)


Order: ApodiformesFamily: Apodidae

Swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Scarce Swift "Schoutedenapus myoptilus"
*Mottled Spinetail "Telacanthura ussheri"
*Bat-like Spinetail "Neafrapus boehmi"
*African Palm-Swift "Cypsiurus parvus"
*Alpine Swift "Tachymarptis melba"
*Mottled Swift "Tachymarptis aequatorialis"
*Common Swift "Apus apus"
*Nyanza Swift "Apus niansae"
*African Swift "Apus barbatus"
*Forbes-Watson's Swift "Apus berliozi" (A)
*Little Swift "Apus affinis"
*Horus Swift "Apus horus"
*White-rumped Swift "Apus caffer"


Order: ColiiformesFamily: Coliidae

The mousebirds are slender greyish or brown birds with soft, hairlike body feathers and very long thin tails. They are arboreal and scurry through the leaves like rodents in search of berries, fruit and buds. They are acrobatic, and can feed upside down. All species have strong claws and reversible outer toes. They also have crests and stubby bills. There are 6 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Speckled Mousebird "Colius striatus"
*White-headed Mousebird "Colius leucocephalus"
*Blue-naped Mousebird "Urocolius macrourus"
*Red-faced Mousebird "Urocolius indicus"

Trogons and Quetzals

Order: TrogoniformesFamily: Trogonidae

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. There are 33 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Narina Trogon "Apaloderma narina"
*Bar-tailed Trogon "Apaloderma vittatum"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Half-collared Kingfisher "Alcedo semitorquata"
*Shining-blue Kingfisher "Alcedo quadribrachys" (A)
*Malachite Kingfisher "Alcedo cristata"
*White-bellied Kingfisher "Alcedo leucogaster"
*African Pygmy-Kingfisher "Ispidina picta"
*Gray-headed Kingfisher "Halcyon leucocephala"
*Woodland Kingfisher "Halcyon senegalensis"
*Mangrove Kingfisher "Halcyon senegaloides"
*Blue-breasted Kingfisher "Halcyon malimbica"
*Brown-hooded Kingfisher "Halcyon albiventris"
*Striped Kingfisher "Halcyon chelicuti"
*Giant Kingfisher "Megaceryle maximus"
*Pied Kingfisher "Ceryle rudis"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Meropidae

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Tanzania.

*White-fronted Bee-eater "Merops bullockoides"
*Little Bee-eater "Merops pusillus"
*Blue-breasted Bee-eater "Merops variegatus"
*Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater "Merops oreobates"
*Swallow-tailed Bee-eater "Merops hirundineus"
*Somali Bee-eater "Merops revoilii"
*White-throated Bee-eater "Merops albicollis"
*Boehm's Bee-eater "Merops boehmi"
*Blue-cheeked Bee-eater "Merops persicus"
*Madagascar Bee-eater "Merops superciliosus"
*European Bee-eater "Merops apiaster"
*Northern Carmine Bee-eater "Merops nubicus"
*Southern Carmine Bee-eater "Merops nubicoides"

Typical Rollers

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Coraciidae

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Tanzania.

*European Roller "Coracias garrulus"
*Lilac-breasted Roller "Coracias caudata"
*Racket-tailed Roller "Coracias spatulata"
*Rufous-crowned Roller "Coracias naevia"
*Broad-billed Roller "Eurystomus glaucurus"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Upupidae

Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Hoopoe "Upupa epops"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Phoeniculidae

The woodhoopoes are related to the kingfishers, rollers and hoopoe. They most resemble the last species with their long curved bills, used for probing for insects, and short rounded wings. However, they differ in that they have metallic plumage, often blue, green or purple, and lack an erectile crest. There are 8 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Green Woodhoopoe "Phoeniculus purpureus"
*Violet Woodhoopoe "Phoeniculus damarensis"
*White-headed Woodhoopoe "Phoeniculus bollei"
*Forest Woodhoopoe "Phoeniculus castaneiceps"
*Common Scimitar-bill "Rhinopomastus cyanomelas"
*Abyssinian Scimitar-bill "Rhinopomastus minor"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Bucerotidae

Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly coloured. There are 57 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Red-billed Hornbill "Tockus erythrorhynchus"
*Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill "Tockus flavirostris"
*Von der Decken's Hornbill "Tockus deckeni"
*Crowned Hornbill "Tockus alboterminatus"
*African Pied Hornbill "Tockus fasciatus"
*African Gray Hornbill "Tockus nasutus"
*Pale-billed Hornbill "Tockus pallidirostris"
*Trumpeter Hornbill "Ceratogymna bucinator"
*Silvery-cheeked Hornbill "Ceratogymna brevis"
*Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill "Ceratogymna subcylindricus"
*Southern Ground-Hornbill "Bucorvus leadbeateri"


Order: PiciformesFamily: Capitonidae

The barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured. There are 84 species worldwide and 25 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Gray-throated Barbet "Gymnobucco bonapartei"
*White-eared Barbet "Stactolaema leucotis"
*Whyte's Barbet "Stactolaema whytii"
*Green Barbet "Stactolaema olivacea"
*Moustached Tinkerbird "Pogoniulus leucomystax"
*Green Tinkerbird "Pogoniulus simplex"
*Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird "Pogoniulus bilineatus"
*Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird "Pogoniulus chrysoconus"
*Red-fronted Tinkerbird "Pogoniulus pusillus"
*Yellow-spotted Barbet "Buccanodon duchaillui"
*Hairy-breasted Barbet "Tricholaema hirsuta"
*Red-fronted Barbet "Tricholaema diademata"
*Miombo Barbet "Tricholaema frontata"
*Spot-flanked Barbet "Tricholaema lachrymosa"
*Black-throated Barbet "Tricholaema melanocephala"
*White-headed Barbet "Lybius leucocephalus"
*Red-faced Barbet "Lybius rubrifacies"
*Black-billed Barbet "Lybius guifsobalito"
*Black-collared Barbet "Lybius torquatus"
*Brown-breasted Barbet "Lybius melanopterus"
*Black-backed Barbet "Lybius minor"
*Double-toothed Barbet "Lybius bidentatus"
*Crested Barbet "Trachyphonus vaillantii"
*Red-and-yellow Barbet "Trachyphonus erythrocephalus"
*D'Arnaud's Barbet "Trachyphonus darnaudii"


Order: PiciformesFamily: Indicatoridae

Honeyguides are among the few birds that feed on wax. They are named for the behaviour of the Greater Honeyguide which leads large animals to bees' nests and then feeds on the wax once the animal has broken the nest open to get at the honey. There are 17 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Scaly-throated Honeyguide "Indicator variegatus"
*Greater Honeyguide "Indicator indicator"
*Lesser Honeyguide "Indicator minor"
*Least Honeyguide "Indicator exilis"
*Pallid Honeyguide "Indicator meliphilus"
*Green-backed Honeyguide "Prodotiscus zambesiae"
*Wahlberg's Honeyguide "Prodotiscus regulus"

Woodpeckers and allies

Order: PiciformesFamily: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium sized birds with chisel like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 218 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Rufous-necked Wryneck "Jynx ruficollis"
*Nubian Woodpecker "Campethera nubica"
*Bennett's Woodpecker "Campethera bennettii"
*Reichenow's Woodpecker "Campethera scriptoricauda"
*Golden-tailed Woodpecker "Campethera abingoni"
*Mombasa Woodpecker "Campethera mombassica"
*Green-backed Woodpecker "Campethera cailliautii"
*Tullberg's Woodpecker "Campethera tullbergi"
*Buff-spotted Woodpecker "Campethera nivosa"
*Brown-eared Woodpecker "Campethera caroli"
*Cardinal Woodpecker "Dendropicos fuscescens"
*Stierling's Woodpecker "Dendropicos stierlingi"
*Bearded Woodpecker "Dendropicos namaquus"
*Golden-crowned Woodpecker "Dendropicos xantholophus" (A)
*Gray Woodpecker "Dendropicos goertae"
*Gray-headed Woodpecker "Dendropicos spodocephalus"
*Olive Woodpecker "Dendropicos griseocephalus"
*Brown-backed Woodpecker "Dendropicos obsoletus"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Eurylaimidae

The broadbills are small, brightly coloured birds that feed on fruit and also take insects in flycatcher fashion, snapping their broad bills. Their habitat is canopies of wet forests. There are 15 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*African Broadbill "Smithornis capensis"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Pittidae

Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards, and stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails and stout bills. Many, but not all, are brightly coloured. They are spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects and similar invertebrate prey which they find there. There are 32 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*African Pitta "Pitta angolensis"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Singing Bushlark "Mirafra cantillans"
*White-tailed Lark "Mirafra albicauda"
*Friedmann's Lark "Mirafra pulpa"
*Red-winged Lark "Mirafra hypermetra"
*Angola Lark "Mirafra angolensis"
*Rufous-naped Lark "Mirafra africana"
*Flappet Lark "Mirafra rufocinnamomea"
*Pink-breasted Lark "Calendulauda poecilosterna"
*Fawn-colored Lark "Calendulauda africanoides"
*Foxy Lark "Calendulauda alopex"
*Dusky Lark "Pinarocorys nigricans"
*Beesley's Lark "Chersomanes beesleyi" (E)
*Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark "Eremopterix leucotis"
*Fischer's Sparrow-Lark "Eremopterix leucopareia"
*Red-capped Lark "Calandrella cinerea"
*Short-tailed Lark "Pseudalaemon fremantlii"

wallows and Martins

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 21 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Bank Swallow "Riparia riparia"
*Plain Martin "Riparia paludicola"
*Banded Martin "Riparia cincta"
*Mascarene Martin "Phedina borbonica"
*Gray-rumped Swallow "Pseudhirundo griseopyga"
*Rock Martin "Ptyonoprogne fuligula"
*Barn Swallow "Hirundo rustica"
*Ethiopian Swallow "Hirundo aethiopica"
*Angola Swallow "Hirundo angolensis"
*White-throated Swallow "Hirundo albigularis"
*Wire-tailed Swallow "Hirundo smithii"
*Blue Swallow "Hirundo atrocaerulea"
*Pearl-breasted Swallow "Hirundo dimidiata"
*Greater Striped-Swallow "Cecropis cucullata"
*Lesser Striped-Swallow "Cecropis abyssinica"
*Rufous-chested Swallow "Cecropis semirufa"
*Mosque Swallow "Cecropis senegalensis"
*Red-rumped Swallow "Cecropis daurica"
*Common House-Martin "Delichon urbica"
*White-headed Sawwing "Psalidoprocne albiceps"
*Blue Sawwing "Psalidoprocne pristoptera"

Wagtails and Pipits

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Motacillidae

The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide and 23 species which occur in Tanzania.

*White Wagtail "Motacilla alba"
*African Pied Wagtail "Motacilla aguimp"
*Cape Wagtail "Motacilla capensis"
*Yellow Wagtail "Motacilla flava"
*Gray Wagtail "Motacilla cinerea"
*Mountain Wagtail "Motacilla clara"
*Golden Pipit "Tmetothylacus tenellus"
*Yellow-throated Longclaw "Macronyx croceus"
*Fuelleborn's Longclaw "Macronyx fuellebornii"
*Rosy-throated Longclaw "Macronyx ameliae"
*Pangani Longclaw "Macronyx aurantiigula"
*Striped Pipit "Anthus lineiventris"
*Jackson's Pipit "Anthus latistriatus" (A)
*Woodland Pipit "Anthus nyassae"
*Plain-backed Pipit "Anthus leucophrys"
*Buffy Pipit "Anthus vaalensis"
*African Pipit "Anthus cinnamomeus"
*Long-billed Pipit "Anthus similis"
*Short-tailed Pipit "Anthus brachyurus"
*Bush Pipit "Anthus caffer"
*Sokoke Pipit "Anthus sokokensis"
*Tree Pipit "Anthus trivialis"
*Red-throated Pipit "Anthus cervinus"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Campephagidae

The cuckoo-shrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured. There are 82 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Tanzania.

*White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike "Coracina pectoralis"
*Gray Cuckoo-shrike "Coracina caesia"
*Black Cuckoo-shrike "Campephaga flava"
*Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike "Campephaga quiscalina"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Pycnonotidae

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throat or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests. There are 130 species worldwide and 31 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Common Bulbul "Pycnonotus barbatus"
*Shelley's Greenbul "Andropadus masukuensis"
*Little Greenbul "Andropadus virens"
*Gray Greenbul "Andropadus gracilis" (A)
*Plain Greenbul "Andropadus curvirostris"
*Slender-billed Greenbul "Andropadus gracilirostris"
*Sombre Greenbul "Andropadus importunus"
*Yellow-whiskered Bulbul "Andropadus latirostris"
*Eastern Mountain-Greenbul "Andropadus nigriceps"
*Stripe-cheeked Bulbul "Andropadus milanjensis" (A)
*Honeyguide Greenbul "Baeopogon indicator" (A)
*Spotted Greenbul "Ixonotus guttatus"
*Yellow-throated Greenbul "Chlorocichla flavicollis"
*Yellow-bellied Greenbul "Chlorocichla flaviventris"
*Joyful Greenbul "Chlorocichla laetissima" (A)
*Leaf-love "Phyllastrephus scandens"
*Cabanis's Greenbul "Phyllastrephus cabanisi"
*Fischer's Greenbul "Phyllastrephus fischeri"
*Terrestrial Brownbul "Phyllastrephus terrestris"
*Northern Brownbul "Phyllastrephus strepitans"
*Gray-olive Greenbul "Phyllastrephus cerviniventris"
*Baumann's Greenbul "Phyllastrephus baumanni" (A)
*Toro Olive-Greenbul "Phyllastrephus hypochloris" (A)
*Yellow-streaked Bulbul "Phyllastrephus flavostriatus"
*Tiny Greenbul "Phyllastrephus debilis"
*Icterine Greenbul "Phyllastrephus icterinus"
*Xavier's Greenbul "Phyllastrephus xavieri"
*Common Bristlebill "Bleda syndactyla"
*Yellow-spotted Nicator "Nicator chloris"
*Eastern Nicator "Nicator gularis"
*Lesser Bristlebill "Bleda notata"

Thrushes and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush "Neocossyphus fraseri"
*Red-tailed Ant-Thrush "Neocossyphus rufus"
*White-tailed Ant-Thrush "Neocossyphus poensis"
*Miombo Rock-Thrush "Monticola angolensis"
*Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush "Monticola saxatilis"
*Little Rock-Thrush "Monticola rufocinereus"
*Abyssinian Ground-Thrush "Zoothera piaggiae"
*Orange Ground-Thrush "Zoothera gurneyi"
*Spotted Ground-Thrush "Zoothera guttata"
*Groundscraper Thrush "Psophocichla litsipsirupa"
*Olive Thrush "Turdus olivaceus"
*Kurrichane Thrush "Turdus libonyanus"
*African Thrush "Turdus pelios"
*African Bare-eyed Thrush "Turdus tephronotus"
*Brown-chested Alethe "Alethe poliocephala"
*White-chested Alethe "Alethe fuelleborni"

Cisticolas and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Cisticolidae

The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. There are 111 species worldwide and 48 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Red-faced Cisticola "Cisticola erythrops"
*Singing Cisticola "Cisticola cantans"
*Trilling Cisticola "Cisticola woosnami"
*Chubb's Cisticola "Cisticola chubbi"
*Hunter's Cisticola "Cisticola hunteri"
*Black-lored Cisticola "Cisticola nigriloris"
*Rock-loving Cisticola "Cisticola aberrans"
*Rattling Cisticola "Cisticola chiniana"
*Ashy Cisticola "Cisticola cinereolus"
*Wailing Cisticola "Cisticola lais"
*Churring Cisticola "Cisticola njombe"
*Winding Cisticola "Cisticola galactotes"
*Chirping Cisticola "Cisticola pipiens"
*Carruthers's Cisticola "Cisticola carruthersi"
*Tinkling Cisticola "Cisticola tinniens" (A)
*Stout Cisticola "Cisticola robustus"
*Croaking Cisticola "Cisticola natalensis"
*Piping Cisticola "Cisticola fulvicapillus"
*Tabora Cisticola "Cisticola angusticaudus"
*Siffling Cisticola "Cisticola brachypterus"
*Tiny Cisticola "Cisticola nana"
*Zitting Cisticola "Cisticola juncidis"
*Desert Cisticola "Cisticola aridulus"
*Black-necked Cisticola "Cisticola eximius" (A)
*Pectoral-patch Cisticola "Cisticola brunnescens"
*Pale-crowned Cisticola "Cisticola cinnamomeus"
*Wing-snapping Cisticola "Cisticola ayresii"
*Tawny-flanked Prinia "Prinia subflava"
*White-chinned Prinia "Prinia leucopogon"
*Red-winged Prinia "Prinia erythroptera"
*Bar-throated Apalis "Apalis thoracica"
*Black-throated Apalis "Apalis jacksoni"
*White-winged Apalis "Apalis chariessa"
*Masked Apalis "Apalis binotata"
*Yellow-breasted Apalis "Apalis flavida"
*Buff-throated Apalis "Apalis rufogularis"
*Chestnut-throated Apalis "Apalis porphyrolaema"
*Chapin's Apalis "Apalis chapini"
*Black-headed Apalis "Apalis melanocephala"
*Gray Apalis "Apalis cinerea"
*Brown-headed Apalis "Apalis alticola"
*Karamoja Apalis "Apalis karamojae"
*Red-fronted Warbler "Urorhipis rufifrons"
*Gray-capped Warbler "Eminia lepida"
*Green-backed Camaroptera "Camaroptera brachyura"
*Olive-green Camaroptera "Camaroptera chloronota"
*Miombo Camaroptera "Calamonastes undosus"
*Gray Wren-Warbler "Calamonastes simplex"

Old World warblers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. The Sylviidae mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 291 species worldwide and 58 species which occur in Tanzania.

*African Bush-Warbler "Bradypterus baboecala"
*White-winged Scrub-Warbler "Bradypterus carpalis"
*Bamboo Scrub-Warbler "Bradypterus alfredi"
*Cameroon Scrub-Warbler "Bradypterus lopezi"
*Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler "Bradypterus cinnamomeus"
*Black-faced Rufous-Warbler "Bathmocercus rufus"
*Mrs. Moreau's Warbler "Bathmocercus winifredae" (E)
*Moustached Grass-Warbler "Melocichla mentalis"
*Eurasian River Warbler "Locustella fluviatilis"
*Sedge Warbler "Acrocephalus schoenobaenus"
*Eurasian Reed-Warbler "Acrocephalus scirpaceus"
*African Reed-Warbler "Acrocephalus baeticatus"
*Marsh Warbler "Acrocephalus palustris"
*Great Reed-Warbler "Acrocephalus arundinaceus"
*Basra Reed-Warbler "Acrocephalus griseldis"
*Greater Swamp-Warbler "Acrocephalus rufescens"
*Lesser Swamp-Warbler "Acrocephalus gracilirostris"
*Eastern Olivaceous Warbler "Hippolais pallida"
*Upcher's Warbler "Hippolais languida"
*Olive-tree Warbler "Hippolais olivetorum"
*Icterine Warbler "Hippolais icterina"
*African Yellow Warbler "Chloropeta natalensis"
*Mountain Yellow Warbler "Chloropeta similis"
*Papyrus Yellow Warbler "Chloropeta gracilirostris"
*Buff-bellied Warbler "Phyllolais pulchella"
*African Tailorbird "Orthotomus metopias"
*Long-billed Tailorbird "Orthotomus moreaui"
*Yellow-vented Eremomela "Eremomela flavicrissalis" (A)
*Yellow-bellied Eremomela "Eremomela icteropygialis"
*Greencap Eremomela "Eremomela scotops"
*Black-necked Eremomela "Eremomela atricollis" (A)
*Green Crombec "Sylvietta virens"
*White-browed Crombec "Sylvietta leucophrys"
*Northern Crombec "Sylvietta brachyura"
*Red-capped Crombec "Sylvietta ruficapilla"
*Red-faced Crombec "Sylvietta whytii"
*Somali Crombec "Sylvietta isabellina" (A)
*Cape Crombec "Sylvietta rufescens"
*Yellow Longbill "Macrosphenus flavicans"
*Gray Longbill "Macrosphenus concolor" (A)
*Kretschmer's Longbill "Macrosphenus kretschmeri"
*Green Hylia "Hylia prasina"
*Laura's Wood-Warbler "Phylloscopus laurae"
*Yellow-throated Wood-Warbler "Phylloscopus ruficapillus"
*Uganda Wood-Warbler "Phylloscopus budongoensis"
*Brown Woodland-Warbler "Phylloscopus umbrovirens"
*Willow Warbler "Phylloscopus trochilus"
*Common Chiffchaff "Phylloscopus collybita"
*Wood Warbler "Phylloscopus sibilatrix"
*Yellow-bellied Hyliota "Hyliota flavigaster"
*Usambara Hyliota "Hyliota usambarae" (E)
*Fan-tailed Grassbird "Schoenicola brevirostris"
*Blackcap "Sylvia atricapilla"
*Garden Warbler "Sylvia borin"
*Greater Whitethroat "Sylvia communis"
*Barred Warbler "Sylvia nisoria"
*Brown Warbler "Parisoma lugens"
*Banded Warbler "Parisoma boehmi"

Old World flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is very varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide and 58 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Silverbird "Empidornis semipartitus"
*Pale Flycatcher "Bradornis pallidus"
*African Gray Flycatcher "Bradornis microrhynchus"
*White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher "Melaenornis fischeri"
*Northern Black-Flycatcher "Melaenornis edolioides"
*Southern Black-Flycatcher "Melaenornis pammelaina"
*Spotted Flycatcher "Muscicapa striata"
*Sooty Flycatcher "Muscicapa infuscata"
*Boehm's Flycatcher "Muscicapa boehmi"
*Swamp Flycatcher "Muscicapa aquatica"
*African Dusky Flycatcher "Muscicapa adusta"
*Ashy Flycatcher "Muscicapa caerulescens"
*Gray-throated Tit-Flycatcher "Myioparus griseigularis"
*Gray Tit-Flycatcher "Myioparus plumbeus"
*Collared Flycatcher "Ficedula albicollis"
*Semicollared Flycatcher "Ficedula semitorquata"
*White-starred Robin "Pogonocichla stellata"
*Swynnerton's Robin "Swynnertonia swynnertoni"
*Forest Robin "Stiphrornis erythrothorax"
*Bocage's Akalat "Sheppardia bocagei"
*Lowland Akalat "Sheppardia cyornithopsis"
*Sharpe's Akalat "Sheppardia sharpei"
*East Coast Akalat "Sheppardia gunningi"
*Usambara Akalat "Sheppardia montana" (E)
*Iringa Akalat "Sheppardia lowei" (E)
*Rubeho Akalat "Sheppardia aurantiithorax" (E)
*Thrush Nightingale "Luscinia luscinia"
*Common Nightingale "Luscinia megarhynchos"
*White-throated Robin "Irania gutturalis"
*Olive-flanked Robin-Chat "Cossypha anomala"
*Cape Robin-Chat "Cossypha caffra"
*Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat "Cossypha cyanocampter"
*Gray-winged Robin-Chat "Cossypha polioptera"
*Rueppell's Robin-Chat "Cossypha semirufa"
*White-browed Robin-Chat "Cossypha heuglini"
*Red-capped Robin-Chat "Cossypha natalensis"
*Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat "Cossypha niveicapilla"
*Collared Palm-Thrush "Cichladusa arquata"
*Spotted Morning-Thrush "Cichladusa guttata"
*Bearded Scrub-Robin "Cercotrichas quadrivirgata"
*Miombo Scrub-Robin "Cercotrichas barbata"
*Brown-backed Scrub-Robin "Cercotrichas hartlaubi"
*Red-backed Scrub-Robin "Cercotrichas leucophrys"
*Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin "Cercotrichas galactotes"
*Common Redstart "Phoenicurus phoenicurus"
*Whinchat "Saxicola rubetra"
*African Stonechat "Saxicola torquata"
*Northern Wheatear "Oenanthe oenanthe"
*Mourning Wheatear "Oenanthe lugens"
*Pied Wheatear "Oenanthe pleschanka"
*Capped Wheatear "Oenanthe pileata"
*Isabelline Wheatear "Oenanthe isabellina"
*Familiar Chat "Cercomela familiaris"
*Moorland Chat "Cercomela sordida"
*Northern Anteater-Chat "Myrmecocichla aethiops"
*Sooty Chat "Myrmecocichla nigra"
*White-headed Black-Chat "Myrmecocichla arnotti"
*Mocking Cliff-Chat "Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Platysteiridae

The wattle-eyes or puffback flycatchers are small stout passerine birds of the African tropics. They get their name from the brightly coloured fleshy eye decorations found in most species in this group. There are 31 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Tanzania.

*African Shrike-flycatcher "Megabyas flammulatus"
*Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher "Bias musicus"
*Brown-throated Wattle-eye "Platysteira cyanea"
*Black-throated Wattle-eye "Platysteira peltata"
*Chestnut Wattle-eye "Platysteira castanea"
*Jameson's Wattle-eye "Platysteira jamesoni"
*Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye "Platysteira concreta"
*Short-tailed Batis "Batis mixta"
*Ruwenzori Batis "Batis diops"
*Cape Batis "Batis capensis"
*Chinspot Batis "Batis molitor"
*Pale Batis "Batis soror"
*Black-headed Batis "Batis minor"
*Pygmy Batis "Batis perkeo"

Monarch flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Monarchidae

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines, which hunt by flycatching. There are 99 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Yellow Flycatcher "Erythrocercus holochlorus"
*Livingstone's Flycatcher "Erythrocercus livingstonei"
*African Blue-Flycatcher "Elminia longicauda"
*White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher "Elminia albicauda"
*Dusky Crested-Flycatcher "Elminia nigromitrata"
*White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher "Elminia albonotata"
*African Crested-Flycatcher "Trochocercus cyanomelas"
*Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher "Terpsiphone rufiventer"
*African Paradise-Flycatcher "Terpsiphone viridis"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Timaliidae

The babblers or timaliids are somewhat diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. There are 270 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Spot-throat "Modulatrix stictigula"
*Dapple-throat "Arcanator orostruthus"
*Scaly-breasted Illadopsis "Illadopsis albipectus"
*Pale-breasted Illadopsis "Illadopsis rufipennis"
*Brown Illadopsis "Illadopsis fulvescens"
*Mountain Illadopsis "Illadopsis pyrrhoptera"
*African Hill Babbler "Illadopsis abyssinica"
*Scaly Chatterer "Turdoides aylmeri"
*Rufous Chatterer "Turdoides rubiginosus"
*Black-lored Babbler "Turdoides sharpei"
*Scaly Babbler "Turdoides squamulatus"
*Hartlaub's Babbler "Turdoides hartlaubii"
*Northern Pied-Babbler "Turdoides hypoleucus"
*Brown Babbler "Turdoides plebejus" (A)
*Arrow-marked Babbler "Turdoides jardineii"

Thornbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Acanthizidae

Thornbills are small passerine birds, similar in habits to the tits. There are 65 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Striated Fieldwren "Calamanthus fuliginosus"

Chickadees and Titmice

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Paridae

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are species 59 worldwide and 7 species which occur in Tanzania.

*White-winged Black-Tit "Melaniparus leucomelas"
*White-shouldered Black-Tit "Melaniparus guineensis"
*White-bellied Tit "Melaniparus albiventris"
*Rufous-bellied Tit "Melaniparus rufiventris"
*Red-throated Tit "Melaniparus fringillinus"
*Somali Tit "Melaniparus thruppi"
*Miombo Tit "Melaniparus griseiventris"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Spotted Creeper "Salpornis spilonotus"

Penduline tits

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Remizidae

The penduline tits are a group of small passerine birds, related to the true tits. They are insectivores. There are 13 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Mouse-colored Penduline-Tit "Anthoscopus musculus"
*African Penduline-Tit "Anthoscopus caroli"

unbirds and Spiderhunters

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Nectariniidae

The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. There are 131 species worldwide and 47 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Gray-headed Sunbird "Deleornis axillaris"
*Plain-backed Sunbird "Anthreptes reichenowi"
*Anchieta's Sunbird "Anthreptes anchietae"
*Western Violet-backed Sunbird "Anthreptes longuemarei"
*Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird "Anthreptes orientalis"
*Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird "Anthreptes neglectus"
*Little Green Sunbird "Anthreptes seimundi" (A)
*Green Sunbird "Anthreptes rectirostris"
*Banded Sunbird "Anthreptes rubritorques" (E)
*Collared Sunbird "Hedydipna collaris"
*Amani Sunbird "Hedydipna pallidigaster"
*Green-headed Sunbird "Cyanomitra verticalis"
*Blue-throated Brown Sunbird "Cyanomitra cyanolaema"
*Eastern Olive-Sunbird "Cyanomitra olivacea"
*Western Olive-Sunbird "Cyanomitra obscura"
*Mouse-colored Sunbird "Cyanomitra veroxii"
*Green-throated Sunbird "Chalcomitra rubescens"
*Amethyst Sunbird "Chalcomitra amethystina"
*Scarlet-chested Sunbird "Chalcomitra senegalensis"
*Hunter's Sunbird "Chalcomitra hunteri"
*Tacazze Sunbird "Nectarinia tacazze"
*Bronze Sunbird "Nectarinia kilimensis"
*Golden-winged Sunbird "Drepanorhynchus reichenowi"
*Red-tufted Sunbird "Nectarinia johnstoni"
*Malachite Sunbird "Nectarinia famosa"
*Olive-bellied Sunbird "Cinnyris chloropygius"
*Miombo Sunbird "Cinnyris manoensis"
*Regal Sunbird "Cinnyris regius"
*Eastern Double-collared Sunbird "Cinnyris mediocris"
*Moreau's Sunbird "Cinnyris moreaui" (E)
*Beautiful Sunbird "Cinnyris pulchellus"
*Loveridge's Sunbird "Cinnyris loveridgei" (E)
*Mariqua Sunbird "Cinnyris mariquensis"
*Shelley's Sunbird "Cinnyris shelleyi"
*Red-chested Sunbird "Cinnyris erythrocerca"
*Black-bellied Sunbird "Cinnyris nectarinioides"
*Purple-banded Sunbird "Cinnyris bifasciatus"
*Tsavo Sunbird "Cinnyris tsavoensis"
*Violet-breasted Sunbird "Cinnyris chalcomelas"
*Pemba Sunbird "Cinnyris pembae"
*Orange-tufted Sunbird "Cinnyris bouvieri" (A)
*Superb Sunbird "Cinnyris superbus"
*Rufous-winged Sunbird "Cinnyris rufipennis" (E)
*Oustalet's Sunbird "Cinnyris oustaleti"
*White-breasted Sunbird "Cinnyris talatala"
*Variable Sunbird "Cinnyris venustus"
*Copper Sunbird "Cinnyris cupreus"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small and are mostly of undistinguished appearance, the plumage above being generally either some dull color like greenish olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests many species have a white ring around the eyes. There are 96 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Tanzania.

*African Yellow White-eye "Zosterops senegalensis"
*Broad-ringed White-eye "Zosterops poliogastrus"
*White-breasted White-eye "Zosterops abyssinicus"
*Pemba White-eye "Zosterops vaughani" (E)

Old World Orioles

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Oriolidae

The Old World Orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Eurasian Golden Oriole "Oriolus oriolus"
*African Golden Oriole "Oriolus auratus"
*Green-headed Oriole "Oriolus chlorocephalus"
*Western Black-headed Oriole "Oriolus brachyrhynchus" (A)
*African Black-headed Oriole "Oriolus larvatus"
*Black-tailed Oriole "Oriolus percivali"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 31 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Red-backed Shrike "Lanius collurio"
*Rufous-tailed Shrike "Lanius isabellinus"
*Brown Shrike "Lanius cristatus" (A)
*Souza's Shrike "Lanius souzae"
*Lesser Gray Shrike "Lanius minor"
*Gray-backed Fiscal "Lanius excubitoroides"
*Long-tailed Fiscal "Lanius cabanisi"
*Taita Fiscal "Lanius dorsalis"
*Mackinnon's Shrike "Lanius mackinnoni"
*Common Fiscal "Lanius collaris"
*Masked Shrike "Lanius nubicus" (A)
*Woodchat Shrike "Lanius senator"
*Magpie Shrike "Corvinella melanoleuca"
*White-rumped Shrike "Eurocephalus rueppelli"

Bushshrikes and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Malaconotidae

Bushshrikes are similar in habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush. Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be either colourful species or largely black; some species are quite secretive. There are 46 species worldwide and 22 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Brubru "Nilaus afer"
*Northern Puffback "Dryoscopus gambensis"
*Pringle's Puffback "Dryoscopus pringlii"
*Black-backed Puffback "Dryoscopus cubla"
*Pink-footed Puffback "Dryoscopus angolensis"
*Marsh Tchagra "Tchagra minuta"
*Black-crowned Tchagra "Tchagra senegala"
*Brown-crowned Tchagra "Tchagra australis"
*Three-streaked Tchagra "Tchagra jamesi"
*Luehder's Bushshrike "Laniarius luehderi"
*Braun's Bushshrike "Laniarius brauni"
*Tropical Boubou "Laniarius aethiopicus"
*Black-headed Gonolek "Laniarius erythrogaster"
*Papyrus Gonolek "Laniarius mufumbiri"
*Slate-colored Boubou "Laniarius funebris"
*Fuelleborn's Boubou "Laniarius fuelleborni"
*Rosy-patched Bushshrike "Rhodophoneus cruentus"
*Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike "Telophorus sulfureopectus"
*Black-fronted Bushshrike "Telophorus nigrifrons"
*Four-colored Bushshrike "Telophorus viridis"
*Gray-headed Bushshrike "Malaconotus blanchoti"
*Uluguru Bushshrike "Malaconotus alius" (E)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Prionopidae

The helmetshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes, but tend to be colourful species with distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name. There are 12 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Tanzania.

*White Helmetshrike "Prionops plumatus"
*Gray-crested Helmetshrike "Prionops poliolophus"
*Retz's Helmetshrike "Prionops retzii"
*Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike "Prionops scopifrons"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Dicruridae

The drongos are mostly are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. There are 24 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Square-tailed Drongo "Dicrurus ludwigii"
*Fork-tailed Drongo "Dicrurus adsimilis"

Crows, Jays, Ravens and Magpies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Corvidae

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show high levels of learning behavior. There are 120 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Tanzania.

*House Crow "Corvus splendens" (I)
*Cape Crow "Corvus capensis"
*Pied Crow "Corvus albus"
*White-necked Raven "Corvus albicollis"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 26 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Wattled Starling "Creatophora cinerea"
*Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis chalybaeus"
*Lesser Blue-eared Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis chloropterus"
*Splendid Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis splendidus"
*Rueppell's Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis purpuropterus"
*Golden-breasted Starling "Lamprotornis regius"
*Sharp-tailed Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis acuticaudus"
*Black-bellied Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis corruscus"
*Superb Starling "Lamprotornis superbus"
*Hildebrandt's Starling "Lamprotornis hildebrandti"
*Shelley's Starling "Lamprotornis shelleyi" (A)
*Violet-backed Starling "Cinnyricinclus leucogaster"
*Fischer's Starling "Spreo fischeri"
*Ashy Starling "Spreo unicolor"
*Red-winged Starling "Onychognathus morio"
*Slender-billed Starling "Onychognathus tenuirostris"
*Chestnut-winged Starling "Onychognathus fulgidus"
*Waller's Starling "Onychognathus walleri"
*Stuhlmann's Starling "Poeoptera stuhlmanni"
*Kenrick's Starling "Poeoptera kenricki"
*Sharpe's Starling "Pholia sharpii"
*Abbott's Starling "Pholia femoralis"
*Magpie Starling "Speculipastor bicolor"
*Babbling Starling "Neocichla gutturalis"
*Red-billed Oxpecker "Buphagus erythrorhynchus"
*Yellow-billed Oxpecker "Buphagus africanus"

Weavers and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Ploceidae

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season. There are 116 species worldwide and 59 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver "Bubalornis niger"
*White-headed Buffalo-Weaver "Dinemellia dinemelli"
*Speckle-fronted Weaver "Sporopipes frontalis"
*White-browed Sparrow-Weaver "Plocepasser mahali"
*Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Weaver "Plocepasser rufoscapulatus" (A)
*Rufous-tailed Weaver "Histurgops ruficauda" (E)
*Gray-headed Social-Weaver "Pseudonigrita arnaudi"
*Black-capped Social-Weaver "Pseudonigrita cabanisi"
*Baglafecht Weaver "Ploceus baglafecht"
*Bertram's Weaver "Ploceus bertrandi"
*Slender-billed Weaver "Ploceus pelzelni"
*Little Weaver "Ploceus luteolus"
*Lesser Masked-Weaver "Ploceus intermedius"
*Spectacled Weaver "Ploceus ocularis"
*Black-necked Weaver "Ploceus nigricollis"
*Black-billed Weaver "Ploceus melanogaster"
*African Golden-Weaver "Ploceus subaureus"
*Holub's Golden-Weaver "Ploceus xanthops"
*Orange Weaver "Ploceus aurantius"
*Golden Palm Weaver "Ploceus bojeri"
*Taveta Golden-Weaver "Ploceus castaneiceps"
*Southern Brown-throated Weaver "Ploceus xanthopterus"
*Northern Brown-throated Weaver "Ploceus castanops"
*Kilombero Weaver "Ploceus burnieri" (E)
*Southern Masked-Weaver "Ploceus velatus"
*Vitelline Masked-Weaver "Ploceus vitellinus"
*Lufira Masked-Weaver "Ploceus reichardi" (E)
*Village Weaver "Ploceus cucullatus"
*Speke's Weaver "Ploceus spekei"
*Vieillot's Weaver "Ploceus nigerrimus"
*Weyns's Weaver "Ploceus weynsi"
*Black-headed Weaver "Ploceus melanocephalus"
*Golden-backed Weaver "Ploceus jacksoni"
*Chestnut Weaver "Ploceus rubiginosus"
*Forest Weaver "Ploceus bicolor"
*Usambara Weaver "Ploceus nicolli" (E)
*Olive-headed Weaver "Ploceus olivaceiceps"
*Brown-capped Weaver "Ploceus insignis"
*Compact Weaver "Pachyphantes superciliosus"
*Red-headed Malimbe "Malimbus rubricollis"
*Red-headed Weaver "Anaplectes rubriceps"
*Cardinal Quelea "Quelea cardinalis"
*Red-headed Quelea "Quelea erythrops"
*Red-billed Quelea "Quelea quelea"
*Yellow-crowned Bishop "Euplectes afer"
*Fire-fronted Bishop "Euplectes diadematus"
*Black Bishop "Euplectes gierowii"
*Black-winged Bishop "Euplectes hordeaceus"
*Red Bishop "Euplectes orix"
*Zanzibar Bishop "Euplectes nigroventris"
*Yellow Bishop "Euplectes capensis"
*Fan-tailed Widowbird "Euplectes axillaris"
*Yellow-shouldered Widowbird "Euplectes macrourus"
*White-winged Widowbird "Euplectes albonotatus"
*Red-collared Widowbird "Euplectes ardens"
*Marsh Widowbird "Euplectes hartlaubi"
*Buff-shouldered Widowbird "Euplectes psammocromius"
*Jackson's Widowbird "Euplectes jacksoni"
*Grosbeak Weaver "Amblyospiza albifrons"

Waxbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have a wide variation in plumage colours and pattern. There are 141 species worldwide and 41 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Jameson's Antpecker "Parmoptila jamesoni" (A)
*White-breasted Negrofinch "Nigrita fusconota" (A)
*Gray-headed Negrofinch "Nigrita canicapilla"
*White-collared Oliveback "Nesocharis ansorgei"
*Orange-winged Pytilia "Pytilia afra"
*Green-winged Pytilia "Pytilia melba"
*Green-backed Twinspot "Mandingoa nitidula"
*Red-faced Crimson-wing "Cryptospiza reichenovii"
*Abyssinian Crimson-wing "Cryptospiza salvadorii"
*Black-bellied Seedcracker "Pyrenestes ostrinus"
*Lesser Seedcracker "Pyrenestes minor"
*Red-headed Bluebill "Spermophaga ruficapilla"
*Peters's Twinspot "Hypargos niveoguttatus"
*Brown Firefinch "Lagonosticta nitidula"
*Red-billed Firefinch "Lagonosticta senegala"
*African Firefinch "Lagonosticta rubricata"
*Jameson's Firefinch "Lagonosticta rhodopareia"
*Blue-breasted Cordonbleu "Uraeginthus angolensis"
*Red-cheeked Cordonbleu "Uraeginthus bengalus"
*Blue-capped Cordonbleu "Uraeginthus cyanocephalus"
*Purple Grenadier "Uraeginthus ianthinogaster"
*Black-tailed Waxbill "Estrilda perreini"
*Yellow-bellied Waxbill "Estrilda quartinia"
*Fawn-breasted Waxbill "Estrilda paludicola"
*Crimson-rumped Waxbill "Estrilda rhodopyga"
*Black-rumped Waxbill "Estrilda troglodytes" (A)
*Common Waxbill "Estrilda astrild"
*Black-crowned Waxbill "Estrilda nonnula"
*Black-cheeked Waxbill "Estrilda erythronotos"
*Red-rumped Waxbill "Estrilda charmosyna"
*Zebra Waxbill "Sporaeginthus subflavus"
*Red-billed Quailfinch "Ortygospiza gabonensis"
*African Quailfinch "Ortygospiza fuscocrissa"
*Locustfinch "Paludipasser locustella"
*African Silverbill "Euodice cantans"
*Gray-headed Silverbill "Odontospiza griseicapilla"
*Bronze Mannikin "Spermestes cucullatus"
*Black-and-white Mannikin "Spermestes bicolor"
*Magpie Mannikin "Spermestes fringilloides"
*Java Sparrow "Padda oryzivora" (I)
*Cut-throat "Amadina fasciata"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Viduidae

The indigobirds are finch-like species which usually have black or indigo predominating in their plumage. All are brood parasites, which lay their eggs in the nests of estrildid finch species. There are 20 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Village Indigobird "Vidua chalybeata"
*Variable Indigobird "Vidua funerea"
*Green Indigobird "Vidua codringtoni"
*Purple Indigobird "Vidua purpurascens"
*Pale-winged Indigobird "Vidua wilsoni"
*Steel-blue Whydah "Vidua hypocherina"
*Straw-tailed Whydah "Vidua fischeri"
*Pin-tailed Whydah "Vidua macroura"
*Eastern Paradise-Whydah "Vidua paradisaea"
*Broad-tailed Paradise-Whydah "Vidua obtusa"

Weavers and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Ploceidae

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season. There are 116 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Tanzania.

*Parasitic Weaver "Anomalospiza imberbis"

Buntings, Sparrows, Seedeaters and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Emberizidae

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are named as buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as Sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are species 275 worldwide and 5 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Cinnamon-breasted Bunting "Emberiza tahapisi"
*Cape Bunting "Emberiza capensis"
*Golden-breasted Bunting "Emberiza flaviventris"
*Somali Bunting "Emberiza poliopleura"
*Cabanis's Bunting "Emberiza cabanisi"

iskins, Crossbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Tanzania.

*Oriole Finch "Linurgus olivaceus"
*Cape Canary "Serinus canicollis"
*Yellow-crowned Canary "Serinus flavivertex"
*Western Citril "Serinus frontalis"
*Southern Citril "Serinus hyposticutus"
*Papyrus Canary "Serinus koliensis"
*Black-throated Canary "Serinus atrogularis"
*Reichenow's Seedeater "Serinus reichenowi"
*Yellow-fronted Canary "Serinus mozambicus"
*Southern Grosbeak-Canary "Serinus buchanani"
*White-bellied Canary "Serinus dorsostriatus"
*Brimstone Canary "Serinus sulphuratus"
*Reichard's Seedeater "Serinus reichardi"
*Black-eared Seedeater "Serinus mennelli"
*Streaky Seedeater "Serinus striolatus"
*Yellow-browed Seedeater "Serinus whytii"
*Thick-billed Seedeater "Serinus burtoni"
*Tanzania Seedeater "Serinus melanochrous" (E)


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Tanzania.

*House Sparrow "Passer domesticus" (I)
*Kenya Rufous Sparrow "Passer rufocinctus"
*Gray-headed Sparrow "Passer griseus"
*Parrot-billed Sparrow "Passer gongonensis"
*Swaheli Sparrow "Passer suahelicus"
*Southern Gray-headed Sparrow "Passer diffusus"
*Chestnut Sparrow "Passer eminibey"
*Yellow-spotted Petronia "Petronia pyrgita"
*Yellow-throated Petronia "Petronia superciliaris"

ee also

*List of birds
*Lists of birds by region


*cite web
last = Lepage
first = Denis
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
url =
title = Checklist of birds of Tanzania
format =
work = Bird Checklists of the World
publisher = Avibase
accessdate = 27 April
accessyear = 2007

*cite book
title=Birds of the World: a Checklist
first= James F.
last = Clements
publisher = Cornell University Press
date = 2000
id = ISBN 0934797161
pages = 880

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