Drakensberg Birding Checklist

Drakensberg Birding Checklist

The many endemic & special bird species of the Drakensberg and KwaZulu Natal Midlands attract bird watchers from all over the world. So if birding is on your list of leisure activities, then the viewing the many Drakensberg and Kwazulu Natal Midlands birds of this regions is a fantastic choice. Home to over 300 recorded bird species including the critically-endangered Bearded Vulture and the Lesser Kestrel, it offers an abundance of sightings for the enthusiast.

The Drakensberg is much more than high mountains. The foothills are a mosaic of grassland, protea woodland and evergreen Afro-montane forest, with thornveld in warmer valleys, all dissected with perennial clear streams and associated riverine thicket. Thornveld specials include the dazzling Violet-backed Starling and endemic Fiscal Flycatcher. In the grassland are six species of cisticola, the endemic Cape Longclaw and Yellow Bishop, and, strolling majestically, the Secretarybird, Southern Bald Ibis and Southern Ground-Hornbill. Forest species include Southern Boubou, Bush Blackcap, Chorister Robin-Chat and Forest Canary – all endemics.

Coqui Francolin Peliperdix coqui
Grey-winged Francolin Scleroptila africanus
Red-winged Francolin Scleroptila levaillantii
Red-necked Spurfowl Pternistis afer
Swainson’s Spurfowl Pternistis swainsonii
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
African Black Duck Anas sparsa
Yellow-billed Duck Anas undulata
Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator
Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor
Brown-backed Honeybird Prodotiscus regulus
Red-throated Wryneck Jynx ruficollis
Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni
Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus
Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
Olive Woodpecker Dendropicos griseocephalus
Black-collared Barbet Lybius torquatus
Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii
Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri
African Hoopoe Upupa africana
Green Wood-Hoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus
Half-collared Kingfisher Alcedo semitorquata
Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
Grey-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala
Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris
Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maxima
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
White-fronted Bee-eater Merops bullockoides
Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
Jacobin Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus
Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius
Black Cuckoo Cuculus clamosus
Klaas’s Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas
Diderick Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius
Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba
Common Swift Apus apus
African Black Swift Apus barbatus
Little Swift Apus affinis
Horus Swift Apus horus
White-rumped Swift Apus caffer
African Wood-Owl Strix woodfordii
Marsh Owl Asio capensis
Fiery-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus pectoralis
Freckled Nightjar Caprimulgus tristigma
Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
African Olive-Pigeon Columba arquatrix
Lemon Dove Aplopelia larvata
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Cape Turtle-Dove Streptopelia capicola
Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Denham’s Bustard Neotis denhami
Buff-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura elegans
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis
Blacksmith Lapwing Vanellus armatus
African Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda cuculoides
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius
African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres
African Harrier-Hawk Polyboroides typus
African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro
Little Sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus
Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk Accipiter rufiventris
Black Sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus
Steppe Buzzard Buteo vulpinus
Forest Buzzard Buteo trizonatus
Jackal Buzzard Buteo rufofuscus
Verreaux’s Eagle Aquila verreauxii
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus
Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis
African Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus
Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius
Rock Kestrel Falco rupicolus
Amur Falcon Falco amurensis
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
African Darter Anhinga rufa
Reed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus
White-breasted Cormorant Phalacrocorax lucidus
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala
Goliath Heron Ardea goliath
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Green-backed Heron Butorides striatus
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
Hadeda Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus
African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
African Spoonbill Platalea alba
Black Stork Ciconia nigra
White Stork Ciconia ciconia
Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis
Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita
African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis
Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus cubla
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegala
Southern Tchagra Tchagra tchagra
Southern Boubou Laniarius ferrugineus
Bokmakierie Telophorus zeylonus
Olive Bush-Shrike Telophorus olivaceus
Cape Batis Batis capensis
Cape Crow Corvus capensis
Pied Crow Corvus albus
White-necked Raven Corvus albicollis
Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia
Black Cuckooshrike Campephaga flava
Southern Black Tit Parus niger
Brown-throated Martin Riparia paludicola
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
White-throated Swallow Hirundo albigularis
Greater Striped Swallow Hirundo cucullata
Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula
Common House-Martin Delichon urbica
Black Saw-wing Psalidoprocne holomelaena
Dark-capped Bulbul Pycnonotus tricolor
Terrestrial Brownbul Phyllastrephus terrestris
Barratt’s Warbler Bradypterus barratti
Cape Grassbird Sphenoeacus afer
African Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus
Lesser Swamp-Warbler Acrocephalus gracilirostris
Long-billed Crombec Sylvietta rufescens
Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Broad-tailed Warbler Schoenicola brevirostris
Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii
Bush Blackcap Lioptilus nigricapillus
Cape White-eye Zosterops pallidus
Lazy Cisticola Cisticola aberrans
Wailing Cisticola Cisticola lais
Levaillant’s Cisticola Cisticola tinniens
Neddicky Cisticola fulvicapillus
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Wing-snapping Cisticola Cisticola ayresii
Drakensberg Prinia Prinia hypoxantha
Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica
Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana
Cape Rock-Thrush Monticola rupestris
Sentinel Rock-Thrush Monticola explorator
Groundscraper Thrush Psophocichla litsipsirupa
Olive Thrush Turdus olivaceus
Karoo Thrush Turdus smithi
Southern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina
Fiscal Flycatcher Sigelus silens
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata
Cape Robin-Chat Cossypha caffra
Chorister Robin-Chat Cossypha dichroa
African Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata
Mountain Wheatear Oenanthe monticola
Familiar Chat Cercomela familiaris
Anteating Chat Myrmecocichla formicivora
Mocking Cliff-Chat Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris
Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio
Cape Glossy Starling Lamprotornis nitens
Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
Pied Starling Spreo bicolor
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus
Amethyst Sunbird Chalcomitra amethystina
Malachite Sunbird Nectarinia famosa
Southern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris chalybea
Greater Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris afra
Gurney’s Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi
Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis
Cape Weaver Ploceus capensis
Southern Masked-Weaver Ploceus velatus
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
Yellow-crowned Bishop Euplectes afer
Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
Fan-tailed Widowbird Euplectes axillaris
Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes ardens
Long-tailed Widowbird Euplectes progne
African Firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
Orange-breasted Waxbill Amandava subflava
African Quailfinch Ortygospiza atricollis
Bronze Mannikin Lonchura cucullata
Dusky Indigobird Vidua funerea
Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow Passer diffusus
Cape Wagtail Motacilla capensis
Mountain Wagtail Motacilla clara
Cape Longclaw Macronyx capensis
African Rock Pipit Anthus crenatus
African Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus
Plain-backed Pipit Anthus leucophrys
Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
Cape Canary Serinus canicollis
Forest Canary Serinus scotops
Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus
Yellow Canary Serinus flaviventris
Brimstone Canary Serinus sulphuratus
Streaky-headed Seedeater Serinus gularis
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi
Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris

Special Drakensberg birding secrets

Falcon ridge bird of prey display
Falcon Ridge offers both aenteraining and educational bird of prey show
Hlatikhulu Crane and wetland sanctuary
Hlatikhulu Crane and wetland sanctuary
Giants Castle Vulture hide
Giants Castle Vulture Hide
Lammergeier Hide at Giants Castle
The Lammergeier hide at Giants Castle is a birding destination of choice
Antbear Lodge - Drakensberg accommodation
Relax on the Deck of your luxury cave - Antbear offers a perfect Drakensberg birding destinatio
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