Birding Factoids

791 species
 in 70  families

1 endemic species
27 speciality birds
12 endangered species 

Checklist of Zambia's BirdsConservation, Biodiversity and the EnvironmentTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country Information
Check out Chris Gibbin's Zambian Birds on Postage Stamps
Zambia Specialities
Fish Eagle
Photo copyright Eddy Horvath

Striped Kingfisher - Photo copyright Nigel Blake

Photo copyright Nigel Blake

Photo copyright John Parr

Black Crake - Photo copyright Safaricamlive

Photo copyright Safaricamlive
    ....Zambian Ornithological Society -  The society, in conjunction with
      Birdlife International, co-ordinates and sponsors academic research into the status of Zambia’s birds. We maintain an authoritative database of Zambian bird sightings and our publications include a field guide, Zambian checklists, a monthly newsletter and annual bird report.
    ....Zambia's Birding Spots - accounts of 6 representative areas of Zambia.
      Most of the habitat types occurring in Zambia are represented, but the choices were made more for ease of access than comprehensive coverage. Many superb areas have been omitted, purely because they are difficult to get to. Information is provided on:
      • Lochinvar/Blue Lagoon
      • Luangwa Valley
      • Nyika Plateau
      • Kasanka
      • Bengwuelu
      • Mwinilunga District
    ....Birdlife in Zambia - To a large extent Zambia’s avifauna is that of 
      the Central African Plateau. The vegetation is principally miombo woodland, bisected by grassy dambos along drainage lines. In some areas the miombo woodland is replaced by other woodland types, dry forest or thicket. Along watercourses there may be riparian forest, or in wetter areas in the north, wet evergreen forest. Most of these habitats have a distinctive set of birds.
    ....Birdwatching in Zambia - Zambia fills a gap between Southern Africa
      and Eastern Africa, which are the parts most visited by tours. Only one species  is totally endemic to Zambia, the Chaplin's Barbet of fig trees in the Kafue basin. The Blackcheeked Lovebird's breeding  population is confined to an area in SW Zambia, only stragglers reach neighbouring countries making it a second virtual  endemic....Zambia's ornithological riches lie in the moist Central African woodland zone which here reaches the peak of its  development. In addition the large river systems with associated lakes and wetlands draining both into the Zambezi and  north into the Congo system provide rich habitats.
    ....Zambia's South Luangwa National Park -
      Over 400 species make South Luangwa a birder's paradise. Sharp eyes will spot sacred ibis, saddle bill and yellow bill storks, fish eagles, crested cranes and long-tailed starlings.
    ....In Search of a Latter Day Dodo  - To the North of Zambia is a vast, 
      watery wilderness known as the Bangweulu Swamp. The Bangweulu Swamp is the home of a prehistoric looking bird that looks as if it is related to the extinct Dodo. This bird is the Shoebill, the object of this expedition, and the imaginative name of the island we were camped on. Another site on the Swamp.
    ....Zambia's National Parks - this site describes the various parks, with 
      the wildlife, and birdlife, to be found at each one. 
    ....Zambia - Directory of Wetlands of International Importance - includes
      information on all Zambia's Ramsar designated sites, including:
      • Kafue Flats: Lochinvar & Blue Lagoon
      • Bangweulu Swamps: Chikuni
    ....Trip Report: Malawi and Zambia, July 10 - August 2, 1999 - by Jan
      Vermeulen. In July 1999 I spent more than three weeks in Malawi and the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. The main objective of the trip was to see as many birds as possible. The two major habitats we covered during our visit were (Brachystegia) woodland and montane forests. We recorded 367 species during this time.
    ....Trip Report: Zambia, Namibia & Botswana - The Miombo, Mavunda
      and Mwinilunga and living deserts of Namibia. A Tropical Birding Trip Report. 22 October – 12 November 2003. Zambia is curiously underestimated as a birding destination despite a long list of selling points: it has a high diversity of habitats, many localised species, stable politics and reasonable infrastructure. This trip delivered a huge number of birds, and we managed 505 species (including heards) in 20 days of birding. 

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Conservation, Biodiversity

and Environment

Black-cheeked Lovebird - ENDANGERED - Photo copyright Birdlife International
Photo copyright Birdlife International
    ....Black-cheeked Lovebird Recovery Project, Zambia - funded by the 
      Loro Parque Fundación . The Black-cheeked Lovebird Agapornis nigrigenis of  south-west Zambia is an endangered species which appears to have been declining since heavy trapping for the bird trade in the 1920s. The factors which continue to prevent its natural recovery in the wild state are speculative, and a priority need is to ascertain the present distribution and status, as well as to identify all threats limiting its recovery, so that a conservation strategy can be prepared. For more information, contact Yves de Soye/Loro Parque Fundación
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Tours and Guides


Crested Barbet - Photo copyright Lynnette Oxley
Photo copyright Lynnette Oxley

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Cape Wagtail - Photo copyright Stefan Tewinkel
Photo copyright Stefan Tewinkel
    ...Kasaba Bay Lodge - Wildlife and Birding Mecca situated in the 
      Nsumbu National Park

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Endemics and Specialities

in Zambia

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.05, supplemented by material found in Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley. African speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Africa. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Zambia. 

Endemics in Zambia
___ Chaplin's Barbet
Endangered Birds in Zambia
(endemics are printed in bold italic)

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Black-cheeked Lovebird
___ Blue Swallow
___ Slaty Egret
___ Taita Falcon
___ Thin-billed Flycatcher-Warbler
___ Wattled Crane
___ White-chested Tinkerbird
___ White-winged Flufftail
___ Corn Crake
___ Lesser Kestrel

Other Speciality and Near-endemic Birds in Zambia
(adapted from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Angola Babbler
___ Angola Lark
___ Babbling Starling
___ Bannerman's Weaver
___ Bar-winged Weaver
___ Black-and-Rufous Swallow
___ Black-cheeked Lovebird
___ Black-lored Cisticola
___ Black-necked Eremomela
___ Bocage's Akalat
___ Bocage's Weaver
___ Boulton's Batis
___ Brown Firefinch
___ Buff-shouldered Widowbird
___ Chapin's Apalis
___ Churring Cisticola
___ Coppery-tailed Coucal
___ Fuelleborn's Boubou
___ Grimwood's Longclaw
___ Katanga Masked-Weaver
___ Laura's Wood-Warbler
___ Malawi Batis
___ Oustalet's Sunbird
___ Perrin's Bushshrike
___ Salvadori's Eremomela
___ Slaty Egret
___ Slender-tailed Cisticola

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