Africa Wild Bird Book

Mon May 21, 2012 6:05 pm

All entries will be updated and information and photos can be added! This is an Africa Wild team effort and work in progress!

Please note: All entries will be edited and updated (additional photos and information will be added by moderators). New entries will be posted according to taxonomic order and the post date does not reflect the actual date of new posts.

Alphabetical Bird Index


Index to Bird Orders & Families

Mon May 21, 2012 6:05 pm

The Africa Wild Bird Book classification below follows mostly the I O C World Bird List classification and taxonomic order proposed by the International Ornithological Congress.

Family Struthionidae Ostriches ... =237#p2790

Family Anatidae Ducks, Geese and Swans ... 2790#p2796

Family Numididae Guineafowl
Family Phasianidae Pheasants and allies

Family Spheniscidae Penguins

Family Diomedeidae Albatrosses
Family Procellariidae Petrels, Shearwaters
Family Hydrobatidae Storm Petrels
Family Pelecanoididae Diving Petrels

Family Podicipedidae Grebes

Family Phoenicopteridae Flamingos

Family Phaethontidae Tropicbirds

Family Ciconiidae Storks

Family Threskiornithidae Ibises, Spoonbills
Family Ardeidae Herons, Bitterns
Family Scopidae Hamerkop ... 3390#p3390
Family Balaenicipitidae Shoebill
Family Pelecanidae Pelicans ... 3390#p3393

Family Fregatidae Frigatebirds
Family Sulidae Gannets, Boobies
Family Phalacrocoracidae Cormorants, Shags
Family Anhingidae Anhingas, Darters

Family Sagittariidae Secretarybird
Family Pandionidae Osprey
Family Accipitridae Kites, Hawks and Eagles ... 98#p181598

Family Falconidae Falcons ... 790#p65790

ORDER OTIDIFORMES ... 081#p66081
Family Otididae Bustards ... 104#p66104

Family Sarothruridae Flufftails
Family Heliornithidae Finfoots
Family Rallidae Rails, Crakes and Coots
Family Gruidae Cranes

Family Turnicidae Buttonquail
Family Burhinidae Stone-curlews, Thick-knees
Family Chionidae Sheathbills
Family Haematopodidae Oystercatchers
Family Dromadidae Crab-plover
Family Recurvirostridae Stilts, Avocets
Family Charadriidae Plovers
Family Rostratulidae Painted-snipes
Family Jacanidae Jacanas
Family Scolopacidae Sandpipers, Snipes
Family Glareolidae Coursers, Pratincoles
Family Laridae Gulls, Terns and Skimmers
Family Stercorariidae Skuas

Family Pteroclidae Sandgrouse

Family Columbidae Pigeons, Doves

Family Musophagidae Turacos

Family Cuculidae Cuckoos ... 52#p183452

Family Tytonidae Barn Owls ... 53#p183553
Family Strigidae Owls ... 65#p183565

Family Caprimulgidae Nightjars ... 40#p183640

ORDER APODIFORMES ... 45#p183745
Family Apodidae Swifts ... 46#p183746

ORDER COLIIFORMES ... 58#p183758
Family Coliidae Mousebirds ... 59#p183759

Family Trogonidae Trogons ... 95#p183795

Family Coraciidae Rollers ... 02#p183802
Family Alcedinidae Kingfishers ... 13#p183813
Family Meropidae Bee-eaters ... 42#p183842

Family Upupidae Hoopoes ... 93#p183893
Family Phoeniculidae Wood Hoopoes ... 13#p183913
Family Bucerotidae Hornbills ... 94#p183994
Family Bucorvidae Ground Hornbills ... 54#p184054

ORDER PICIFORMES ... 60#p184060
Family Lybiidae African Barbets ... 62#p184062
Family Indicatoridae Honeyguides ... 82#p184082
Family Picidae Woodpeckers ... 47#p184247

Family Psittacidae Parrots ... 65#p184265

Family Eurylaimidae Broadbills
Family Pittidae Pittas
Family Platysteiridae Wattle-eyes, Batises ... 83#p184283
Family Prionopidae Helmetshrikes ... 98#p184298
Family Malaconotidae Bushshrikes ... 20#p184320
Family Campephagidae Cuckooshrikes ... 96#p184396
Family Laniidae Shrikes ... 04#p184404
Family Oriolidae Orioles ... 54#p184454
Family Dicruridae Drongos ... 60#p184460
Family Monarchidae Monarch Flycatchers ... 99#p184499
Family Corvidae Crows ... 11#p184511
Family Chaetopidae Rockjumpers
Family Stenostiridae Fairy Flycatchers ... 29#p196529
Family Paridae Tits ... 69#p184569
Family Remizidae Penduline Tits
Family Nicatoridae Nicators ... 00#p184600
Family Alaudidae Larks ... 17#p184617
Family Pycnonotidae Bulbuls ... 55#p184655
Family Hirundinidae Swallows, Martins ... 81#p184681
Family Macrosphenidae Crombecs, African Warblers ... 37#p184737
Family Erythrocercidae Yellow Flycatchers
Family Phylloscopidae Leaf Warblers ... 50#p184750
Family Acrocephalidae Marsh/Reed Warblers and Tree Warblers ... 10#p184810
Family Locustellidae Grassbirds and Allies
Family Cisticolidae Cisticolas and Allies ... 21#p184921
Family Leiothrichidae Laughingthrushes, Babblers ... 02#p185502
Family Sylviidae Sylviid Babblers ... 14#p185514
Family Zosteropidae White-eyes ... 42#p185542
Family Promeropidae Sugarbirds ... 46#p185646
Family Hyliotidae Hyliotas
Family Certhiidae Treecreepers
Family Sturnidae Starlings ... 57#p185657
Family Buphagidae Oxpeckers ... 91#p186191
Family Turdidae Thrushes ... 98#p186198
Family Muscicapidae Chats, Old World Flycatchers ... 19#p186219
Family Nectariniidae Sunbirds ... 89#p186889
Family Passeridae Old World Sparrows ... 51#p186951
Family Ploceidae Weavers, Widowbirds ... 05#p187005
Family Estrildidae Waxbills and Allies ... 80#p187480
Family Viduidae Indigobirds, Whydahs ... 08#p187608
Family Motacillidae Wagtails, Pipits ... 14#p187814
Family Fringillidae Finches ... 83#p187883
Family Emberizidae Buntings ... 28#p187928

ORDER STRUTHIONIFORMES Family Struthionidae (Ostrich)

Mon May 21, 2012 6:05 pm

This is a small order with some very remarkable birds in it. It includes 5 families all of which were until recently given ordinal status in their own right, however, modern DNA information and cladistic analyses have brought them all together in one order. These five families are called Ratites and are all flightless birds without a keeled breastbone. They are all primarily herbivorous to omnivorous.
Other things that all members of the order have in common are nesting on the ground and incubation of the eggs mostly or entirely by the male.

Family Struthionidae (Ostrich)
There is only one species of Ostrich, Struthio camelus. Ostriches are distinguished from other ratites by having only 2 toes, instead of 3, remaining on their feet.

Struthio camelus Common Ostrich 001 ... =237#p2792

Common Ostrich

Mon May 21, 2012 6:06 pm

001. Common Ostrich Struthio camelus (Volstruis)
Order: Struthioniformes. Family: Struthionidae

Adult female. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Unmistakable. The largest and heaviest of all living birds, with long bare neck; legs flesh-pink becoming brighter during the breeding season.
Males are black with white wings and with white tails, sometimes rufous tipped, and white leggings. Females smaller and browner.
Juvenile resembles female, but smaller. Chicks unmistakable with 'hedgehog' down.

Natural distribution is in the drier regions of Africa, including southern Africa, the Sahel, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.


Open arid savanna woodland, shrublands and desert plains.

Diet Feeds on grasses, seeds and leaves. In dry areas succulent plants are also taken. Takes sometimes insects and small vertebrates.
Forages in groups, browsing close to ground.

The breeding season and strategy of the ostrich vary with location. Where food is scarce, breeding pairs tend to be monogamous, but elsewhere breeding groups usually form, consisting of a territorial male together with a main or “major” hen and several secondary, “minor” hen. At the start of the breeding season, the male scrapes out a nest, a mere depression in the ground, and then attempts to attract females using an elaborate courtship display, which involves dropping to the ground, opening the wings and tail, shaking each wing alternately, and moving the tail up and down, while swaying the head and neck from side to side. The male will then approach the female with the wings open and the brightly coloured neck puffed out, while stamping the feet. After mating, the main female lays up to 11 creamy white eggs, while the other females lay around 2 to 6 eggs each, in the same nest, and may also lay eggs in other nests. The egg of the ostrich is the largest in the world, although relatively small in relation to the size of the bird, at around 16 cm in length and 1.5 kg in weight, with a 2 mm thick shell. Incubation is performed only by the male and the main female, and lasts between 42 and 46 days. Males incubate at night and females mostly by day. Any surplus eggs which the pair cannot cover are pushed out of the nest by the female, who is somehow able to recognise and retain her own, leaving about 20 eggs in total. The young are buff-coloured with black lines and specks, and leave the nest within the first three days. The pair may sometimes take chicks from other broods, and large crèches often form, escorted by one or more adults.

Deep booming boo boo boooooh hoo given by male, mainly in breading season (not unlike lion's roar!).
Listen to Bird Call.

Common resident.

Common Ostrich Photos

Mon May 21, 2012 6:07 pm

001. Common Ostrich Struthio camelus (Volstruis)

Adult male

Adult male with two adult females

Image © nan
Mating pair


Image © leachy

Image © ExFmem

Species Text Sabap1
Rael Loon, Hélène Loon, Sasol Birds: The Inside Story: Putting all their Eggs into one Basket


Mon May 21, 2012 6:08 pm

Anseriformes is an order of birds. It comprises about 150 living species in three families: Anhimidae (the screamers), Anseranatidae (the Magpie Goose), and Anatidae, the largest family, which includes over 140 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans.
All species in the order are highly adapted for an aquatic existence at the water surface. All are web-footed for efficient swimming (although some have subsequently become mainly terrestrial).
The ancestors of the Anseriformes developed the characteristic bill structure that they still share. The combination of the internal shape of the bill and a modified tongue acts as a suction pump to draw water in at the tip of the bill and expel it from the sides and rear; an array of fine filter plates called lamellae traps small particles, which are then licked off and swallowed.
All Anseriformes have this basic structure, but many have subsequently adopted alternative feeding strategies: geese graze on plants.

Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese and Swans)
The scientific family of birds that includes ducks, geese and swans. While there is much variation among birds in this family, they all share a variety of common characteristics, including: Well adapted for swimming, floating and diving. Spatulate bill includes a nail on the tip that may or may not be a different color. Relatively round body shape with short legs and longer necks than other types of birds.

Dendrocygna viduata White-faced Duck 099 viewtopic.php?f=244&t=237&p=2790#p2797
Dendrocygna bicolor Fulvous Duck 100 viewtopic.php?f=244&t=237#p2799
Thalassornis leuconotus White-backed Duck 101 viewtopic.php?p=2802#p2802
Cygnus olor Mute Swan viewtopic.php?p=2806#p2806
Plectropterus gambensis Spur-winged Goose 116 viewtopic.php?p=2810#p2810
Sarkidiornis melanotos Knob-billed Duck 115 viewtopic.php?p=2814#p2814
Alopochen aegyptiacus Egyptian Goose 102 viewtopic.php?p=2820=10#p2820
Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck (exotic)
Tadorna cana South African Shelduck 103 viewtopic.php?p=2825#p2825
Nettapus auritus African Pygmy-goose 114 viewtopic.php?p=2829#p2829
Anas undulata Yellow-billed Duck 104 viewtopic.php?p=2832#p2832
Anas sparsa African Black Duck 105 viewtopic.php?p=2835#p2835
Anas capensis Cape Teal 106 viewtopic.php?p=2837p2837
Anas hottentota Hottentot Teal 107 viewtopic.php?p=2842#p2842
Anas erythrorhyncha Red-billed Teal 108 viewtopic.php?p=2846#p2846
Anas acuta Northern Pintail 109 viewtopic.php?p=2856#p2856
Anas querquedula Garganey 110 viewtopic.php?p=2860#p2860
Anas clypeata Northern Shoveler 111 viewtopic.php?p=2862#p2862
Anas smithii Cape Shoveler 112 viewtopic.php?p=2865#p2865
Anas platyrhynchos Mallard (introduced) viewtopic.php?p=2867#p2867
Netta erythrophthalma Southern Pochard 113 viewtopic.php?p=2874#p2874
Aythya fuligula Tufted Duck (introduced)
Oxyura maccoa Maccoa Duck 117 viewtopic.php?f=244&t=237&start=40#p243374

White-faced Duck

Mon May 21, 2012 6:09 pm

099. White-faced Duck Dendrocygna viduata (Nonnetjie-eend)
Order Anseriformes. Family: Dendrocygnidae


Has a long neck and white face. Black head and neck, black rear head, dark brown to black back and wings, black underparts, fine white barred flanks, chestnut neck, long grey bill. Dark plumage. It stands very erect. Sexes are alike.
Juveniles lack the white face, but have a smudged brown face and throat.

Widespread: found in tropical America, sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. Within southern Africa, found mainly in Free State, NW Province, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and western Botswana.

Inland waters, especially those with extensive shallows and emergent vegetation.

Aquatic vegetation, seeds, tubers, insects and molluscs.

Monogamous. Nest consists of a scrape in the ground, lined with grass and other vegetable matter, and hidden among long grass, sedges or other vegetation. Nest is usually situated near the water's edge. Breeding season mainly the spring, summer and autumn periods (September to May), with peak in summer. The female lays 4-13 eggs (clutches of up to 16 eggs probably the result of more than one female laying), one egg being laid per day. Incubation probably starts after the clutch has been completed, lasts 26-30 days, and is undertaken by both sexes (but mainly the male). Young are diving for food by 14 days, are able to fly by 63 days, and have adult plumage by about 180 days. The parents accompany the young until even after they have started flying. They are especially protective of the young in their early development and keep them well hidden and attract predators away from the young by using the broken-wing act.

Very vocal, especially in flight; 3 note whistle swee swee sweeu.
Listen to Bird Call.

Common resident but highly nomadic; gregarious in non-breading season.

White-faced Duck Photos

Mon May 21, 2012 6:09 pm

099. White-faced Duck Dendrocygna viduata (Nonnetjie-eend)

Image © lowveldboy

Image © leachy

Image © Lisbeth

Image © ExFmem

Image © Lisbeth

Image © Lisbeth

Image © BluTuna

Species text Sabap1
Oiseaux net

Fulvous Duck

Mon May 21, 2012 6:10 pm

100. Fulvous Duck Dendrocygna bicolor (Fluiteend)
Order: Anseriformes. Family: Dendrocygnidae


Size 46-53 cm. It has a long grey bill, long head and longish legs, buff head and underparts, the latter reddish-tinged on the flanks with conspicuous white flank stripes. It has a dark crown, a golden, brown face, with a dark line down the centre of the nape and neck, and dark grey back and wings. The tail and wing patches are chestnut, and there is a white crescent on the upper tail which is visible in flight. Sexes are alike.
Juveniles have less contrasted flank and tail colouration.

Widely distributed worldwide: occurs in tropical South America, southern North America, Africa, Madagascar and S Asia. Occurs in patches of India, Pakistan, the Arabian Gulf coast and sub-Saharan Africa, isolated along the coast of West Africa and found from Eritrea and Ethiopia through Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola to north-eastern parts of southern Africa. In southern Africa, concentrated mainly in Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, N Botswana and Namibia (mainly in the north).


Inland water bodies, especially with abundant aquatic vegetation, coastal mudflats, salt works and sewage plants; it breeds on salt pans and saline lakes.

Highly nomadic and a breading migrant in some areas.

Gregarious in non-breading season.

It feeds almost entirely on cyanobacteria (blue green algae: Anabeana and Naticula halophila), but it will also eat small insects and crustaceans. Foraging is done in shallow water with its strangely-shaped bill upside-down. Its large tongue pumps water through the filaments (lamellae) on the edge of its bill, which filter out the cyanobacteria.

Monogamous, colonial nester, breeding in colonies from tens to thousands. The nest is built by both sexes and consists of a scrape in the ground, lined with grass stems, leaves and reeds, and hidden in long grass within 50 m of water. Makes a more substantial, built-up nest if the site chosen is on marshy ground near the water's edge. Also known to nest up to 0.5 m above the water in thick reeds. Breeding season is virtually any time of year but generally after good rains. The female lays 6-13 eggs (probably laying at most one egg per day) after which she and her partner take turns in incubating them for 24-32 days before they hatch. The male usually incubates them at night. By 52 days the young are able to fly and by 60 days old they have almost complete juvenile plumage.

2-syllabled whistle tooo-ee or tou-ee, usually in flight.
Listen to Bird Call.

Uncommon to fairly common resident.

Fulvous Duck Photos

Mon May 21, 2012 6:10 pm

100. Fulvous Duck Dendrocygna bicolor (Fluiteend)

Image © leachy
Kruger National Park, Sunset Dam

Image © PRWIN
Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Gauteng

Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds
Biodiversity Explorer
Newman's Birds of Southern Africa