Birds of Eritrea

Birding in Eritrea

Eritrea is not well known as a birdwatching destination.  But it should be.  Despite being one of the most ‘underbirded’ countries in Africa, it has an impressive checklist of over 560 species, which is increasing rapidly.  Ethiopia is famous as one of the best birding destinations in the world.  Most highly prized are its Abyssinian ‘endemics’, many of which are in fact shared with Eritrea, as the Abyssinian Highlands are split between the two countries.  There are approximately 32 endemic species in the Abyssinian Highlands (depending on splits), of which Eritrea shares at least 17, including Wattled Ibis, Ruppell’s (Black) Chat, Rouget’s Rail, White-backed Black Tit, Abyssinian Woodpecker and Black-winged Lovebird.  Eritrea has a good range of habitat types within the borders of a small country.  It has the furthest north rainforest in Africa (Filfil), the mountainous landscape (up to 3000m) around Adi Keih and Senafe, the pristine beauty of the Dahlak Island Archipelago, one of the hottest plains in the world (Danikalia), the extensive acacia woodland of the Western Lowlands (Gash Barka) and over 1000km of coastline, which is rich in migrating species in spring and autumn.  Visiting birders can see all of this within a week, and often take home a species list of 250-300 birds.

See also

The Fat Birder – introduction to Eritrea

Eritrea is a wonderful birdwatching destination. Despite its small size and the relative scarcity of visiting birders, nearly 580 species have been recorded here. It shares nearly 20 of the prized Abyssinian endemics with Ethiopia, including Wattled Ibis, Rouget’s Rail, Ruppell’s (Black) Chat, Ethiopian Oriole, Black-winged Lovebird, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Banded Barbet, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, White-backed Black Tit and White-billed Starling.

See also

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