Bird species

These are the bird species on the BDI website. Within each species group, the species in that group are listed alphabetically. Species in italics are names which have recently been changed, but which are still very much in use.

For each of these species, the text on the BDI website has been structured into the order we think is the most useful. First comes a section on identification, which starts with annotated photographs, like the ones above. The second section is on distribution. This is illustrated by the distribution map for the species. This comes from the database of the Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project; the interpretation guidelines for these multicoloured maps are here. The third section deals with habitat, and contains photographs which show some typical habitat for the species. The fourth section describes the behaviour of the species. Sometimes there are sections dealing with other aspects of the biology of the species, such as breeding.

Bishop:    Yellow Bishop
Bokmakierie:    Bokmakierie
Bulbul:    African Red-eyed Bulbul    Cape Bulbul    Dark-capped Bulbul
   Ludwig’s Bustard
Canary:    Cape Canary
Chat:   Ant-eating Chat   Familiar Chat   Karoo Chat   Sickle-winged Chat   Tractrac Chat
Cormorant:    White-breasted Cormorant
Courser:    Burchell’s Courser   Double-banded Courser
Crow:   Pied Crow
Dove:   Cape Turtle Dove   Laughing Dove   Red-eyed Dove   Ring-necked Dove
Eagle:  Booted Eagle
Egret:   Little Egret
Fiscal:   Southern Fiscal
Flycatcher:   Fiscal Flycatcher
Goose:   Egyptian Goose
Goshawk:   Pale Chanting Goshawk
Grebe:   Little Grebe
Gull:   Hartlaubs’ Gull    Kelp Gull    Lesser Black-backed Gull
Ibis:   African Sacred Ibis    Hadeda Ibis
Kestrel:   Greater Kestrel
Korhaan:   Karoo Korhaan
Lapwing:   Blacksmith Lapwing   Crowned Lapwing
Lark:    Cape Clapper Lark   Eastern Clapper Lark    Karoo Lark    Large-billed Lark    Red Lark    Sclater’s Lark    Stark’s Lark
Mannikin:   Bronze Mannikin
Martin:   Rock Martin
Mousebird:    Red-faced Mousebird    Speckled Mousebird    White-backed Mousebird
Owl:   Spotted Eagle Owl
Oystercatcher:    African Oystercatcher    Eurasian Oystercatcher
Pigeon:   Speckled Pigeon
Prinia:   Karoo Prinia
Robin-chat:    Cape Robin-chat
Rock-thrush:    Short-toed Rock-thrush
Sparrow:    Cape Sparrow    House Sparrow    Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Sparrow-lark:    Black-eared Sparrow-lark    Grey-backed Sparrow-lark
Starling:    Common Starling    Red-winged Starling
Sugarbird:    Cape Sugarbird    Gurney’s Sugarbird
Sunbird:   Southern Double-collared Sunbird
Swallow:    Greater Striped Swallow   White-throated Swallow
Thrush:    Olive Thrush
Wagtail:    Cape Wagtail
Warbler:    Cinnamon-breasted Warbler    Namaqua Warbler    Rufous-eared Warbler
Waxbill:    Common Waxbill    Swee Waxbill
Weaver:    Cape Weaver    Southern Masked Weaver
Wheatear:   Capped Wheatear    Mountain Wheatear
White-eye:    Cape White-eye    Orange River White-eye
Whydah:    Pin-tailed Whydah

We will update these species texts from time to time. But more important at present is to increase the number of species covered.

Recommended citation format: BDI Admin 2023. Bird species. Biodiversity and Development Institute. Available online at