List of birds of Namibia

List of birds of Namibia

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Namibia. The avifauna of Namibia includes a total of 706 species, of which 1 is endemic, 14 are near endemic, 1 has been introduced by humans, and 35 are rare or accidental. 16 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 Namibia.

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 Namibia.
* (E) Endemic A species endemic to Namibia.
* (NE) Near Endemic A species with 90-95% of its population in Namibia.
* (I) Introduced A species introduced to Namibia 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: SphenisciformesFamily: Spheniscidae

The penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. There are 17 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*Little Penguin "Eudyptula minor"
*African Penguin "Spheniscus demersus"


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 Namibia.

*Little Grebe "Tachybaptus ruficollis"
*Great Crested Grebe "Podiceps cristatus"
*Black-necked 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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*Wandering Albatross "Diomedea exulans"
*Grey-headed Albatross "Thalassarche chrysostoma"
*Black-browed Albatross "Thalassarche melanophris"
*Shy Albatross "Thalassarche cauta"
*Yellow-nosed Albatross "Thalassarche chlororhynchos"

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 20 species which occur in Namibia.

*Southern Giant Petrel "Macronectes giganteus"
*Northern Giant Petrel "Macronectes halli"
*Southern Fulmar "Fulmarus glacialoides"
*Cape Petrel "Daption capense"
*Great-winged Petrel "Pterodroma macroptera"
*Atlantic Petrel "Pterodroma incerta" (A)
*Soft-plumaged Petrel "Pterodroma mollis"
*Broad-billed Prion "Pachyptila vittata"
*Antarctic Prion "Pachyptila desolata"
*Slender-billed Prion "Pachyptila belcheri" (A)
*Fairy Prion "Pachyptila turtur"
*Bulwer's Petrel "Bulweria bulwerii" (A)
*White-chinned Petrel "Procellaria aequinoctialis"
*Kerguelen Petrel "Aphrodroma brevirostris"
*Cory's Shearwater "Calonectris diomedea"
*Greater Shearwater "Puffinus gravis"
*Wedge-tailed Shearwater "Puffinus pacificus"
*Sooty Shearwater "Puffinus griseus"
*Manx Shearwater "Puffinus puffinus"
*Balearic Shearwater "Puffinus mauretanicus"


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 4 species which occur in Namibia.

*Wilson's Storm-petrel "Oceanites oceanicus"
*Black-bellied Storm-petrel "Fregetta tropica" (A)
*European Storm-petrel "Hydrobates pelagicus"
*Leach's Storm-petrel "Oceanodroma leucorhoa"


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 Namibia.

*White-tailed Tropicbird "Phaethon lepturus" (A)


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 Namibia.

*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 Namibia.

*Cape Gannet "Morus capensis"
*Australian Gannet "Morus serrator" (A)
*Red-footed Booby "Sula sula" (A)
*Brown Booby "Sula leucogaster" (A)


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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*Great Cormorant "Phalacrocorax carbo"
*Cape Cormorant "Phalacrocorax capensis"
*Bank Cormorant "Phalacrocorax neglectus"
*Long-tailed Cormorant "Phalacrocorax africanus"
*Crowned Cormorant "Phalacrocorax coronatus"


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 Namibia.

*African Darter "Anhinga rufa"

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 17 species which occur in Namibia.

*Grey Heron "Ardea cinerea"
*Black-headed Heron "Ardea melanocephala"
*Goliath Heron "Ardea goliath"
*Purple Heron "Ardea purpurea"
*Great Egret "Ardea alba"
*Slaty Egret "Egretta vinaceigula"
*Black Heron "Egretta ardesiaca"
*Intermediate Egret "Egretta intermedia"
*Little Egret "Egretta garzetta"
*Squacco Heron "Ardeola ralloides"
*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"
*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 Namibia.

*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"

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 4 species which occur in Namibia.

*Sacred Ibis "Threskiornis aethiopicus"
*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 Namibia.

*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 19 species which occur in Namibia.

*Fulvous Whistling Duck "Dendrocygna bicolor"
*White-faced Whistling-duck "Dendrocygna viduata"
*White-backed Duck "Thalassornis leuconotus"
*Egyptian Goose "Alopochen aegyptiacus"
*South African Shelduck "Tadorna cana"
*Spur-winged Goose "Plectropterus gambensis"
*Comb Duck "Sarkidiornis melanotos"
*African Pygmy-goose "Nettapus auritus"
*African Black Duck "Anas sparsa"
*Cape Teal "Anas capensis"
*Yellow-billed Duck "Anas undulata"
*Northern Pintail "Anas acuta" (A)
*Red-billed Duck "Anas erythrorhyncha"
*Hottentot Teal "Anas hottentota"
*Garganey "Anas querquedula"
*Cape Shoveler "Anas smithii"
*Northern Shoveler "Anas clypeata" (A)
*Southern Pochard "Netta erythrophthalma"
*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"

Eagles, kites and allies

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 48 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Cuckoo-Hawk "Aviceda cuculoides"
*Honey Buzzard "Pernis apivorus"
*Bat Hawk "Macheiramphus alcinus"
*Black-shouldered Kite "Elanus caeruleus"
*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" (A)
*White-backed Vulture "Gyps africanus"
*Cape Griffon "Gyps coprotheres"
*Lappet-faced Vulture "Torgos tracheliotus"
*White-headed Vulture "Trigonoceps occipitalis"
*Black-chested Snake-eagle "Circaetus pectoralis"
*Brown Snake-eagle "Circaetus cinereus"
*Banded Snake-eagle "Circaetus cinerascens"
*Bateleur "Terathopius ecaudatus"
*Western Marsh Harrier "Circus aeruginosus"
*African Marsh Harrier "Circus ranivorus"
*Black Harrier "Circus maurus"
*Pallid Harrier "Circus macrourus"
*Montagu's Harrier "Circus pygargus"
*African Harrier-hawk "Polyboroides typus"
*Lizard Buzzard "Kaupifalco monogrammicus"
*Dark Chanting-goshawk "Melierax metabates"
*Pale Chanting-goshawk "Melierax canorus"
*Gabar Goshawk "Micronisus gabar"
*African Goshawk "Accipiter tachiro"
*Shikra "Accipiter badius"
*Little Sparrowhawk "Accipiter minullus"
*Ovampo Sparrowhawk "Accipiter ovampensis"
*Black Goshawk "Accipiter melanoleucus"
*Common Buzzard "Buteo buteo"
*Long-legged Buzzard "Buteo rufinus" (A)
*Augur Buzzard "Buteo augur"
*Jackal Buzzard "Buteo rufofuscus"
*Lesser Spotted Eagle "Aquila pomarina"
*Tawny Eagle "Aquila rapax"
*Steppe Eagle "Aquila nipalensis"
*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"


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 15 species which occur in Namibia.

*Pygmy Falcon "Polihierax semitorquatus"
*Lesser Kestrel "Falco naumanni"
*Eurasian Kestrel "Falco tinnunculus"
*Greater Kestrel "Falco rupicoloides"
*Grey Kestrel "Falco ardosiaceus"
*Dickinson's Kestrel "Falco dickinsoni"
*Red-necked Falcon "Falco chicquera"
*Red-footed Falcon "Falco vespertinus"
*Amur Falcon "Falco amurensis"
*Sooty Falcon "Falco concolor"
*Eurasian Hobby "Falco subbuteo"
*African Hobby "Falco cuvierii"
*Lanner Falcon "Falco biarmicus"
*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 10 species which occur in Namibia.

*Coqui Francolin "Francolinus coqui"
*Crested Francolin "Francolinus sephaena"
*Orange River Francolin "Francolinus levaillantoides"
*Hartlaub's Francolin "Francolinus hartlaubi" (NE)
*Red-billed Francolin "Francolinus adspersus"
*Cape Francolin "Francolinus capensis"
*Red-necked Francolin "Francolinus afer"
*Swainson's Francolin "Francolinus swainsonii"
*Common Quail "Coturnix coturnix"
*Harlequin Quail "Coturnix delegorguei"


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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*Helmeted Guineafowl "Numida meleagris"
*Crested Guineafowl "Guttera pucherani"


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 1 species which occurs in Namibia.

*Small Buttonquail "Turnix sylvatica"


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 3 species which occur in Namibia.

*Grey Crowned Crane "Balearica regulorum"
*Blue Crane "Anthropoides paradisea"
*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 16 species which occur in Namibia.

*Buff-spotted Flufftail "Sarothrura elegans"
*Red-chested Flufftail "Sarothrura rufa"
*Streaky-breasted Flufftail "Sarothrura boehmi" (A)
*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"
*Purple Gallinule "Porphyrio martinica" (A)
*Common Moorhen "Gallinula chloropus"
*Lesser Moorhen "Gallinula angulata"
*Red-knobbed Coot "Fulica cristata"


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 Namibia.

*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 9 species which occur in Namibia.

*Kori Bustard "Ardeotis kori"
*Ludwig's Bustard "Neotis ludwigii"
*Stanley Bustard "Neotis denhami"
*Karoo Bustard "Eupodotis vigorsii"
*Rüppell's Bustard "Eupodotis rueppellii" (NE)
*Red-crested Bustard "Eupodotis ruficrista"
*Black Bustard "Eupodotis afra"
*White-quilled Bustard "Eupodotis afraoides"
*Black-bellied Bustard "Lissotis melanogaster"


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 Namibia.

*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 Namibia.

*Greater Painted-snipe "Rostratula benghalensis"


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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Oystercatcher "Haematopus moquini"
*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 Namibia.

*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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*Water Thick-knee "Burhinus vermiculatus"
*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 Namibia.

*Burchell's Courser "Cursorius rufus"
*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"
*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 19 species which occur in Namibia.

*Long-toed Lapwing "Vanellus crassirostris"
*Blacksmith Plover "Vanellus armatus"
*White-headed Lapwing "Vanellus albiceps"
*Senegal Lapwing "Vanellus lugubris"
*Crowned Lapwing "Vanellus coronatus"
*Wattled Lapwing "Vanellus senegallus"
*Pacific Golden Plover "Pluvialis fulva" (A)
*American Golden Plover "Pluvialis dominica" (A)
*Grey Plover "Pluvialis squatarola"
*Ringed Plover "Charadrius hiaticula"
*Little Ringed Plover "Charadrius dubius"
*Kittlitz's Plover "Charadrius pecuarius"
*Three-banded Plover "Charadrius tricollaris"
*White-fronted Plover "Charadrius marginatus"
*Chestnut-banded Plover "Charadrius pallidus"
*Kentish Plover "Charadrius alexandrinus"
*Lesser Sand Plover "Charadrius mongolus"
*Greater Sand Plover "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 29 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Snipe "Gallinago nigripennis"
*Great Snipe "Gallinago media"
*Black-tailed Godwit "Limosa limosa"
*Bar-tailed Godwit "Limosa lapponica"
*Whimbrel "Numenius phaeopus"
*Eurasian Curlew "Numenius arquata"
*Common Redshank "Tringa totanus" (A)
*Marsh Sandpiper "Tringa stagnatilis"
*Common Greenshank "Tringa nebularia"
*Green Sandpiper "Tringa ochropus"
*Wood Sandpiper "Tringa glareola"
*Terek Sandpiper "Tringa 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"
*White-rumped Sandpiper "Calidris fuscicollis" (A)
*Baird's Sandpiper "Calidris bairdii" (A)
*Pectoral Sandpiper "Calidris melanotos" (A)
*Curlew Sandpiper "Calidris ferruginea"
*Dunlin "Calidris alpina"
*Broad-billed Sandpiper "Limicola falcinellus" (A)
*Buff-breasted Sandpiper "Tryngites subruficollis" (A)
*Ruff "Philomachus pugnax"
*Wilson's Phalarope "Phalaropus tricolor" (A)
*Red-necked Phalarope "Phalaropus lobatus"
*Grey Phalarope "Phalaropus fulicarius"


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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*South Polar Skua "Stercorarius maccormicki"
*Brown Skua "Stercorarius antarctica"
*Pomarine Skua "Stercorarius pomarinus"
*Arctic Skua "Stercorarius parasiticus"
*Long-tailed Skua "Stercorarius longicaudus"


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 7 species which occur in Namibia.

*Kelp Gull "Larus dominicanus"
*Lesser Black-backed Gull "Larus fuscus"
*Grey-headed Gull "Larus cirrocephalus"
*Hartlaub's Gull "Larus hartlaubii"
*Black-headed Gull "Larus ridibundus" (A)
*Franklin's Gull "Larus pipixcan" (A)
*Sabine's Gull "Larus sabini"


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 Namibia.

*Gull-billed Tern "Sterna nilotica" (A)
*Caspian Tern "Sterna caspia"
*Lesser Crested Tern "Sterna bengalensis" (A)
*Sandwich Tern "Sterna sandvicensis"
*Royal Tern "Sterna maxima" (A)
*Great Crested Tern "Sterna bergii"
*Roseate Tern "Sterna dougallii"
*Common Tern "Sterna hirundo"
*Arctic Tern "Sterna paradisaea"
*Antarctic Tern "Sterna vittata"
*Little Tern "Sterna albifrons"
*Damara Tern "Sterna balaenarum"
*Bridled Tern "Sterna anaethetus" (A)
*Whiskered Tern "Chlidonias hybridus"
*White-winged Tern "Chlidonias leucopterus"
*Black Tern "Chlidonias niger"


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 Namibia.

*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 4 species which occur in Namibia.

*Namaqua Sandgrouse "Pterocles namaqua"
*Yellow-throated Sandgrouse "Pterocles gutturalis"
*Double-banded Sandgrouse "Pterocles bicinctus"
*Burchell's Sandgrouse "Pterocles burchelli"

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 10 species which occur in Namibia.

*Rock Pigeon "Columba livia"
*Speckled Pigeon "Columba guinea"
*Turtle Dove "Streptopelia turtur"
*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"
*Namaqua Dove "Oena capensis"
*African Green-pigeon "Treron calva"


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 6 species which occur in Namibia.

*Peach-faced Lovebird "Agapornis roseicollis" (NE)
*Lilian's Lovebird "Agapornis lilianae"
*Black-cheeked Lovebird "Agapornis nigrigenis"
*Brown-necked Parrot "Poicephalus robustus"
*Meyer's Parrot "Poicephalus meyeri"
*Rüppell's Parrot "Poicephalus rueppellii" (NE)


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 4 species which occur in Namibia.

*Schalow's Turaco "Tauraco schalowi"
*Knysna Turaco "Tauraco corythaix"
*Ross's Turaco "Musophaga rossae" (A)
*Grey Go-away-bird "Corythaixoides concolor"


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. Most of the cuckoo species of the Old World are brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Namibia.

*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"
*Klaas's Cuckoo "Chrysococcyx klaas"
*African Emerald Cuckoo "Chrysococcyx cupreus"
*Dideric Cuckoo "Chrysococcyx caprius"
*Black Coucal "Centropus grillii"
*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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Grass-owl "Tyto capensis"
*Barn Owl "Tyto alba"

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 10 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Scops Owl "Otus senegalensis"
*Southern White-faced Owl "Ptilopsis granti"
*Cape Eagle-owl "Bubo capensis"
*Spotted Eagle-owl "Bubo africanus"
*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"
*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 7 species which occur in Namibia.

*Eurasian Nightjar "Caprimulgus europaeus"
*Rufous-cheeked Nightjar "Caprimulgus rufigena"
*Fiery-necked Nightjar "Caprimulgus pectoralis"
*Swamp Nightjar "Caprimulgus natalensis"
*Freckled Nightjar "Caprimulgus tristigma"
*Square-tailed Nightjar "Caprimulgus fossii"
*Pennant-winged Nightjar "Macrodipteryx vexillarius"


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 9 species which occur in Namibia.

*Bat-like Spinetail "Neafrapus boehmi"
*African Palm Swift "Cypsiurus parvus"
*Alpine Swift "Tachymarptis melba"
*Common Swift "Apus apus"
*African Swift "Apus barbatus"
*Bradfield's Swift "Apus bradfieldi"
*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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*White-backed Mousebird "Colius colius"
*Red-faced Mousebird "Urocolius indicus"


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 1 species which occurs in Namibia.

*Narina Trogon "Apaloderma narina"


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 9 species which occur in Namibia.

*Half-collared Kingfisher "Alcedo semitorquata"
*Malachite Kingfisher "Alcedo cristata"
*African Pygmy-Kingfisher "Ispidina picta"
*Grey-headed Kingfisher "Halcyon leucocephala"
*Woodland Kingfisher "Halcyon senegalensis"
*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 7 species which occur in Namibia.

*White-fronted Bee-eater "Merops bullockoides"
*Little Bee-eater "Merops pusillus"
*Swallow-tailed Bee-eater "Merops hirundineus"
*Blue-cheeked Bee-eater "Merops persicus"
*Madagascar Bee-eater "Merops superciliosus"
*European Bee-eater "Merops apiaster"
*Southern Carmine Bee-eater "Merops nubicoides"

Typical rollers

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: CoraciidaeRollers 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 Namibia.

*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 Namibia.

*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 3 species which occur in Namibia.

*Green Woodhoopoe "Phoeniculus purpureus"
*Violet Woodhoopoe "Phoeniculus damarensis"
*Common Scimitar-bill "Rhinopomastus cyanomelas"


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 10 species which occur in Namibia.

*Monteiro's Hornbill "Tockus monteiri" (NE)
*Damara Hornbill "Tockus damarensis" (NE)
*Red-billed Hornbill "Tockus erythrorhynchus"
*Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill "Tockus flavirostris"
*Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill "Tockus leucomelas"
*Crowned Hornbill "Tockus alboterminatus"
*Bradfield's Hornbill "Tockus bradfieldi"
*African Grey Hornbill "Tockus nasutus"
*Trumpeter Hornbill "Ceratogymna bucinator"
*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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*Yellow-throated Tinkerbird "Pogoniulus subsulphureus"
*Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird "Pogoniulus chrysoconus"
*Pied Barbet "Tricholaema leucomelas"
*Black-collared Barbet "Lybius torquatus"
*Crested Barbet "Trachyphonus vaillantii"


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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*Scaly-throated Honeyguide "Indicator variegatus" (A)
*Greater Honeyguide "Indicator indicator"
*Lesser Honeyguide "Indicator minor"
*Green-backed Honeyguide "Prodotiscus zambesiae"
*Wahlberg's Honeyguide "Prodotiscus regulus"


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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*Bennett's Woodpecker "Campethera bennettii"
*Golden-tailed Woodpecker "Campethera abingoni"
*Cardinal Woodpecker "Dendropicos fuscescens"
*Bearded Woodpecker "Dendropicos namaquus"
*Olive Woodpecker "Dendropicos griseocephalus"


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 Namibia.

*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 Namibia.

*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 26 species which occur in Namibia.

*Monotonous Lark "Mirafra passerina"
*Rufous-naped Lark "Mirafra africana"
*Flappet Lark "Mirafra rufocinnamomea"
*Cape Clapper Lark "Mirafra apiata"
*Eastern Clapper Lark "Mirafra fasciolata"
*Sabota Lark "Calendulauda sabota"
*Fawn-colored Lark "Calendulauda africanoides"
*Ferruginous Lark "Calendulauda burra"
*Karoo Lark "Calendulauda albescens"
*Barlow's Lark "Calendulauda barlowi" (NE)
*Dune Lark "Calendulauda erythrochlamys" (E)
*Dusky Lark "Pinarocorys nigricans"
*Cape Lark "Certhilauda curvirostris"
*Karoo Long-billed Lark "Certhilauda subcoronata"
*Benguela Lark "Certhilauda benguelensis" (NE)
*Spike-heeled Lark "Chersomanes albofasciata"
*Black-eared Sparrow-Lark "Eremopterix australis"
*Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark "Eremopterix leucotis"
*Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark "Eremopterix verticalis"
*Gray's Lark "Ammomanopsis grayi" (NE)
*Bimaculated Lark "Melanocorypha bimaculata"
*Red-capped Lark "Calandrella cinerea"
*Pink-billed Lark "Spizocorys conirostris"
*Sclater's Lark "Spizocorys sclateri"
*Stark's Lark "Spizocorys starki"
*Long-billed Lark "Galerida magnirostris"

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 17 species which occur in Namibia.

*Sand Martin "Riparia riparia"
*Plain Martin "Riparia paludicola"
*Banded Martin "Riparia cincta"
*Grey-rumped Swallow "Pseudhirundo griseopyga"
*Rock Martin "Ptyonoprogne fuligula"
*Barn Swallow "Hirundo rustica"
*Angola Swallow "Hirundo angolensis"
*White-throated Swallow "Hirundo albigularis"
*Wire-tailed Swallow "Hirundo smithii"
*Pearl-breasted Swallow "Hirundo dimidiata"
*Greater Striped Swallow "Cecropis cucullata"
*Lesser Striped Swallow "Cecropis abyssinica"
*Rufous-chested Swallow "Cecropis semirufa"
*Mosque Swallow "Cecropis senegalensis"
*South African Swallow "Petrochelidon spilodera"
*House Martin "Delichon urbica"
*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 17 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Pied Wagtail "Motacilla aguimp"
*Cape Wagtail "Motacilla capensis"
*Yellow Wagtail "Motacilla flava"
*Grey Wagtail "Motacilla cinerea" (A)
*Golden Pipit "Tmetothylacus tenellus"
*Fuelleborn's Longclaw "Macronyx fuellebornii"
*Orange-throated Longclaw "Macronyx capensis"
*Rosy-throated Longclaw "Macronyx ameliae"
*Striped Pipit "Anthus lineiventris"
*Mountain Pipit "Anthus hoeschi"
*Kimberley Pipit "Anthus pseudosimilis"
*Woodland Pipit "Anthus nyassae"
*Plain-backed Pipit "Anthus leucophrys"
*Buffy Pipit "Anthus vaalensis"
*African Pipit "Anthus cinnamomeus"
*Long-billed Pipit "Anthus similis"
*Tree Pipit "Anthus trivialis"


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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike "Coracina pectoralis"
*Black Cuckoo-shrike "Campephaga flava"


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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*Common Bulbul "Pycnonotus barbatus"
*Black-fronted Bulbul "Pycnonotus nigricans"
*Yellow-bellied Greenbul "Chlorocichla flaviventris"
*Terrestrial Brownbul "Phyllastrephus terrestris"
*Eastern Nicator "Nicator gularis"

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 4 species which occur in Namibia.

*Short-toed Rock-Thrush "Monticola brevipes"
*Groundscraper Thrush "Psophocichla litsipsirupa"
*Olive Thrush "Turdus olivaceus"
*Kurrichane Thrush "Turdus libonyanus"

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 20 species which occur in Namibia.

*Red-faced Cisticola "Cisticola erythrops"
*Rattling Cisticola "Cisticola chiniana"
*Grey Cisticola "Cisticola rufilatus"
*Red-headed Cisticola "Cisticola subruficapillus"
*Winding Cisticola "Cisticola galactotes"
*Chirping Cisticola "Cisticola pipiens"
*Tinkling Cisticola "Cisticola tinniens"
*Croaking Cisticola "Cisticola natalensis"
*Piping Cisticola "Cisticola fulvicapillus"
*Zitting Cisticola "Cisticola juncidis"
*Desert Cisticola "Cisticola aridulus"
*Tawny-flanked Prinia "Prinia subflava"
*Black-chested Prinia "Prinia flavicans"
*Karoo Prinia "Prinia maculosa"
*Namaqua Prinia "Prinia substriata"
*Rufous-eared Warbler "Malcorus pectoralis"
*Yellow-breasted Apalis "Apalis flavida"
*Green-backed Camaroptera "Camaroptera brachyura"
*Barred Camaroptera "Calamonastes fasciolatus"
*Kopje Warbler "Euryptila subcinnamomea"

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 25 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Bush-Warbler "Bradypterus baboecala"
*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"
*Greater Swamp-Warbler "Acrocephalus rufescens"
*Lesser Swamp-Warbler "Acrocephalus gracilirostris"
*Olive-tree Warbler "Hippolais olivetorum"
*Icterine Warbler "Hippolais icterina"
*African Yellow Warbler "Chloropeta natalensis"
*Yellow-bellied Eremomela "Eremomela icteropygialis"
*Greencap Eremomela "Eremomela scotops"
*Yellow-rumped Eremomela "Eremomela gregalis"
*Burnt-neck Eremomela "Eremomela usticollis"
*Red-capped Crombec "Sylvietta ruficapilla"
*Cape Crombec "Sylvietta rufescens"
*Willow Warbler "Phylloscopus trochilus"
*Wood Warbler "Phylloscopus sibilatrix"
*Garden Warbler "Sylvia borin"
*Greater Whitethroat "Sylvia communis"
*Barred Warbler "Sylvia nisoria"
*Layard's Warbler "Parisoma layardi"
*Rufous-vented Warbler "Parisoma subcaeruleum"

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 33 species which occur in Namibia.

*Pale Flycatcher "Bradornis pallidus"
*Chat Flycatcher "Bradornis infuscatus"
*Mariqua Flycatcher "Bradornis mariquensis"
*Southern Black-Flycatcher "Melaenornis pammelaina"
*Fiscal Flycatcher "Sigelus silens"
*Spotted Flycatcher "Muscicapa striata"
*Ashy Flycatcher "Muscicapa caerulescens"
*Grey Tit-flycatcher "Myioparus plumbeus"
*Fairy Flycatcher "Stenostira scita"
*Collared Flycatcher "Ficedula albicollis"
*Thrush Nightingale "Luscinia luscinia"
*Cape Robin-chat "Cossypha caffra"
*White-browed Robin-chat "Cossypha heuglini"
*Red-capped Robin-chat "Cossypha natalensis"
*Collared Palm-thrush "Cichladusa arquata"
*Rufous-tailed Palm-thrush "Cichladusa ruficauda"
*Bearded Scrub-robin "Cercotrichas quadrivirgata"
*Red-backed Scrub-robin "Cercotrichas leucophrys"
*Kalahari Scrub-robin "Cercotrichas paena"
*Karoo Scrub-robin "Cercotrichas coryphaeus"
*Herero Chat "Namibornis herero" (NE)
*Common Redstart "Phoenicurus phoenicurus"
*Whinchat "Saxicola rubetra"
*African Stonechat "Saxicola torquata"
*Mountain Wheatear "Oenanthe monticola"
*Northern Wheatear "Oenanthe oenanthe" (A)
*Capped Wheatear "Oenanthe pileata"
*Sicklewing Chat "Cercomela sinuata"
*Karoo Chat "Cercomela schlegelii"
*Tractrac Chat "Cercomela tractrac"
*Familiar Chat "Cercomela familiaris"
*Southern Anteater-Chat "Myrmecocichla formicivora"
*White-headed Black-Chat "Myrmecocichla arnotti"


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 3 species which occur in Namibia.

*Chinspot Batis "Batis molitor"
*Pririt Batis "Batis pririt"
*White-tailed Shrike "Lanioturdus torquatus" (NE)

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 1 species which occurs in Namibia.

*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 6 species which occur in Namibia.

*Damara Rockjumper "Chaetops pycnopygius" (NE)
*Black-faced Babbler "Turdoides melanops"
*Hartlaub's Babbler "Turdoides hartlaubii"
*Southern Pied-Babbler "Turdoides bicolor"
*Arrow-marked Babbler "Turdoides jardineii"
*Bare-cheeked Babbler "Turdoides gymnogenys" (NE)


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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*Southern Black Tit "Melaniparus niger"
*Carp's Tit "Melaniparus carpi" (NE)
*Rufous-bellied Tit "Melaniparus rufiventris"
*Ashy Tit "Melaniparus cinerascens"
*Grey Tit "Melaniparus afer"

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 Namibia.

*African Penduline-tit "Anthoscopus caroli"
*Southern Penduline-tit "Anthoscopus minutus"

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 13 species which occur in Namibia.

*Collared Sunbird "Hedydipna collaris"
*Amethyst Sunbird "Chalcomitra amethystina"
*Scarlet-chested Sunbird "Chalcomitra senegalensis"
*Malachite Sunbird "Nectarinia famosa"
*Southern Double-collared Sunbird "Cinnyris chalybeus"
*Greater Double-collared Sunbird "Cinnyris afer"
*Mariqua Sunbird "Cinnyris mariquensis"
*Shelley's Sunbird "Cinnyris shelleyi" (A)
*Purple-banded Sunbird "Cinnyris bifasciatus"
*White-breasted Sunbird "Cinnyris talatala"
*Variable Sunbird "Cinnyris venustus"
*Dusky Sunbird "Cinnyris fuscus"
*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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*African Yellow White-eye "Zosterops senegalensis"
*Cape White-eye "Zosterops pallidus"

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 3 species which occur in Namibia.

*Eurasian Golden Oriole "Oriolus oriolus"
*African Golden Oriole "Oriolus auratus"
*Black-headed Oriole "Oriolus larvatus"


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 6 species which occur in Namibia.

*Red-backed Shrike "Lanius collurio"
*Souza's Shrike "Lanius souzae"
*Lesser Grey Shrike "Lanius minor"
*Common Fiscal "Lanius collaris"
*Magpie Shrike "Corvinella melanoleuca"
*White-crowned Shrike "Eurocephalus anguitimens"

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 10 species which occur in Namibia.
*Brubru "Nilaus afer"
*Black-backed Puffback "Dryoscopus cubla"
*Black-crowned Tchagra "Tchagra senegala"
*Brown-crowned Tchagra "Tchagra australis"
*Tropical Boubou "Laniarius aethiopicus"
*Gabon Boubou "Laniarius bicolor"
*Crimson-breasted Gonolek "Laniarius atrococcineus"
*Bokmakierie "Telophorus zeylonus"
*Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike "Telophorus sulfureopectus"
*Grey-headed Bushshrike "Malaconotus blanchoti"


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 2 species which occur in Namibia.

*White Helmetshrike "Prionops plumatus"
*Retz's Helmetshrike "Prionops retzii"


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 1 species which occurs in Namibia.

*Fork-tailed Drongo "Dicrurus adsimilis"

Crows and allies

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 3 species which occur in Namibia.

*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 13 species which occur in Namibia.

*European Starling "Sturnus vulgaris"
*Wattled Starling "Creatophora cinerea"
*Cape Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis nitens"
*Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis chalybaeus"
*Lesser Blue-eared Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis chloropterus"
*Meves's Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis mevesii"
*Burchell's Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis australis"
*Sharp-tailed Glossy-Starling "Lamprotornis acuticaudus"
*Violet-backed Starling "Cinnyricinclus leucogaster"
*African Pied Starling "Spreo bicolor"
*Pale-winged Starling "Onychognathus nabouroup"
*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 22 species which occur in Namibia.

*Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver "Bubalornis niger"
*Scaly Weaver "Sporopipes squamifrons"
*White-browed Sparrow-Weaver "Plocepasser mahali"
*Social Weaver "Philetairus socius"
*Lesser Masked-Weaver "Ploceus intermedius"
*Spectacled Weaver "Ploceus ocularis"
*Cape Weaver "Ploceus capensis"
*Holub's Golden-Weaver "Ploceus xanthops"
*Southern Brown-throated Weaver "Ploceus xanthopterus"
*Southern Masked-Weaver "Ploceus velatus"
*Village Weaver "Ploceus cucullatus"
*Chestnut Weaver "Ploceus rubiginosus"
*Bar-winged Weaver "Ploceus angolensis"
*Red-headed Weaver "Anaplectes rubriceps"
*Cardinal Quelea "Quelea cardinalis" (A)
*Red-billed Quelea "Quelea quelea"
*Yellow-crowned Bishop "Euplectes afer"
*Black-winged Bishop "Euplectes hordeaceus"
*Red Bishop "Euplectes orix"
*Fan-tailed Widowbird "Euplectes axillaris"
*White-winged Widowbird "Euplectes albonotatus"
*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 19 species which occur in Namibia.

*Orange-winged Pytilia "Pytilia afra"
*Green-winged Pytilia "Pytilia melba"
*Peters's Twinspot "Hypargos niveoguttatus"
*Brown Firefinch "Lagonosticta nitidula"
*Red-billed Firefinch "Lagonosticta senegala"
*Jameson's Firefinch "Lagonosticta rhodopareia"
*Blue-breasted Cordonbleu "Uraeginthus angolensis"
*Blue-capped Cordonbleu "Uraeginthus cyanocephalus"
*Common Grenadier "Uraeginthus granatina"
*Cinderella Waxbill "Estrilda thomensis"
*Yellow-bellied Waxbill "Estrilda quartinia"
*Common Waxbill "Estrilda astrild"
*Black-cheeked Waxbill "Estrilda erythronotos"
*Zebra Waxbill "Sporaeginthus subflavus"
*African Quailfinch "Ortygospiza fuscocrissa"
*Bronze Mannikin "Spermestes cucullatus"
*Magpie Mannikin "Spermestes fringilloides"
*Cut-throat "Amadina fasciata"
*Red-headed Finch "Amadina erythrocephala"


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 9 species which occur in Namibia.

*Village Indigobird "Vidua chalybeata"
*Variable Indigobird "Vidua funerea"
*Purple Indigobird "Vidua purpurascens"
*Pale-winged Indigobird "Vidua wilsoni"
*Shaft-tailed Whydah "Vidua regia"
*Pin-tailed Whydah "Vidua macroura"
*Eastern Paradise-Whydah "Vidua paradisaea"
*Broad-tailed Paradise-Whydah "Vidua obtusa"

*Parasitic Weaver "Anomalospiza imberbis"


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 4 species which occur in Namibia.

*Lark-like Bunting "Emberiza impetuani"
*Cinnamon-breasted Bunting "Emberiza tahapisi"
*Cape Bunting "Emberiza capensis"
*Golden-breasted Bunting "Emberiza flaviventris"


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 7 species which occur in Namibia.

*Black-throated Canary "Serinus atrogularis"
*Yellow-fronted Canary "Serinus mozambicus"
*Yellow Canary "Serinus flaviventris"
*White-throated Canary "Serinus albogularis"
*Streaky-headed Seedeater "Serinus gularis"
*Black-eared Seedeater "Serinus mennelli"
*Damara Canary "Alario leucolaema"


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 5 species which occur in Namibia.

*House Sparrow "Passer domesticus" (I)
*Great Rufous Sparrow "Passer motitensis"
*Cape Sparrow "Passer melanurus"
*Southern Grey-headed Sparrow "Passer diffusus"
*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 Namibia
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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