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Birdlife

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Birds In Paradise.

Anyone with a bucket list consisting of a must-see list of birds to spot need look no further than Etosha.

 

 

You will find most of them here:

1. The smallest southern African bird, the Cape penduline tit
2. The world’s largest bird, the ostrich
3. The largest flying bird, the Kori bustard
4. The critically endangered blue crane

When To Go

The rainy season is the best time for bird watching as the full house of 340 species is in residence.  About a third of these are migratory, leaving Etosha for greener pastures during the dry winters and returning to revel in the vast lakes and pans that fill up during the rains.

Water birds and waders arrive in their thousands, including fabulous flamingos of both the lesser and greater kind.  Lilac breasted rollers flash electric blue in flight, while beady-eyed raptors survey the terrain from lofty perches and vultures circle soundlessly overhead.

Birds of prey include the Bateleur, tawny eagle and martial eagle, goshawks, eight species of owl, lappet-faced, white-backed and hooded vultures.

Bare-cheeked babbler, violet wood hoopoe, Carp’s tit, Monterio’s hornbill, rockrunner and Rüppel’s parrot fly the Namibian flag while comical ground hornbills waddle along batting eyelashes to rival those of any supermodel.

Where To Find Them

1. Fisher’s Pan

Fischer’s Pan is an excellent spot for birding when it is full and you are likely to see the following species here:

1. Great Crested Grebe
2. Black-necked Grebe
3. Lesser Flamingo
4. Greater Flamingo
5. Yellow-billed Stork
6. African Openbill
7. Saddle-billed Stork

 

2. Namutoni Camp

This waterhole can provide some good sightings which include:

1. Caspian Plover
2. Greater Painted-snipe
3. Bradfield’s Hornbill

3. Bloubokkie Draai

Black-faced Babbler are frequently seen here.

4. Andoni Plains

Home of Etosha’s small population of Blue Cranes, Andoni Plains is a hotspot for larks such as:

1. Eastern Clapper Lark
2. Red-capped Lark
3. Fawn-coloured Lark
4. Sabota Lark
5. Spike-heeled Lark
6. Pink-billed Lark
7. Stark’s Lark
8. Grey-backed Sparrowlark
9. Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark

5. Springfontein

The open flats here are good for certain species such as:

1. Double-banded Courser
2. Temminck’s Courser
3. Black-winged Pratincole
4. Rufous-eared Warbler
5. Pallid Harrier
6. Montagu’s Harrier

 6. Etosha Lookout

The Etosha pan is a favourite haunt of waterfowl and storks when it is full and it is one of only two places in southern Africa where flamingos breed.

Other species found here include:

1. Chestnut-banded Plover
2. Caspian Plover
3. Wattled Crane
4. Grey Crowned Crane

7. Halali Camp

Southern white-faced Scops-Owl inhabits the camp and Namibian specials are most often spotted at Halali, these are:

1. Bare-cheeked Babbler
2. Violet Wood-Hoopoe
3. Carp’s Tit

8. Okaukuejo Camp

Another good birding spot, Okaukuejo Camp features:

1. Sociable Weaver
2. Pygmy Falcon
3. Southern Pied Babbler
4. Crimson-breasted Shrike
5. Violet-eared Waxbill
6. Red-headed Finch
7. Cut-throat Finch
8. Double-banded Sandgrouse
9. Marsh Owl
10. Barn Owl
11. Rufous-cheeked Nightjar

9. Far western Etosha

The area near Otjovasandu and the surrounding escarpment, although not open to the public, can be accessed through registered tour operators.  Several birds, some of which do not occur elsewhere in the park, can be seen at Hobatere such as:

1. Hartlaub’s Spurfowl
2. Monteiro’s Hornbill
3. Rüppell’s Parrot
4. White-tailed Shrike
5. Rockrunner
6. Violet Wood-Hoopoe
7. Bare-cheeked Babbler

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