List of Western Palearctic bird species migrating within Africa

(last updated March 2004)*

 

 

This list includes all Western Palearctic breeding bird species that migrate within Africa.  Western Palearctic species are those described in Snow and Perrins (1998) as regular breeders within the Western Palearctic.  Africa is taken to include island groups in its vicinity, e.g. the Canaries, the Cape Verde, the Madeira, the Sao Tomé and the Socotra group. The list is based mainly on the information found in Curry-Lindahl (1981), Snow and Perrins (1998) and del Hoyo et al. (1992-2002) with additional information from the Birds of Africa series (Brown et al. 1982, Urban et al. 1986, Fry et al. 1988, Keith et al. 1992, Urban et al. 1997, Fry et al. 2000) and Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993).  Latin names were taken from Snow and Perrins (1998), while English names were taken from both Snow and Perrins (1998) and del Hoyo et al. (1992-2002).  Alternative and proposed new English names are put in brackets (see also Appendix in Snow & Perrins 1998).

Two categorical entries follow each species.  Please note that these categorical entries are based on a somewhat subjective judgment as to where the categories should be dividing a phenomenon that is essentially continuous.  For example, the first categorical entry indicates whether the species has been breeding in Africa with any kind of regularity but excludes those species with a single or few breeding attempts.  The second categorical entry indicates whether at least part of a species' population migrates to the sub-Saharan region or not.  Migration is defined as some regular movement between breeding and non-breeding areas of at least a part of a species' population, even if it only involves a relatively short-distance (~100km).  Regular migration thus excludes dispersal and vagrancy, such as occasional or rare records of a species because every migratory species includes some individuals that get disoriented and lost.  For example, it is probable that every migratory sandpiper will eventually be recorded in Africa.  However, to include every Western Palearctic sandpiper species (e.g. Calidris maritima which is occasionally recorded in N Africa, see Curry-Lindahl 1981) in this list would not make much sense. 

While most species were easy to define and categorise, there were a few cases that were ambiguous or needed some explanation, and the comments for these species are found below this list.  Researchers should also always refer to the original sources if in doubt about the precise status of a species.  Please send any comments or suggestions about this list to bawalther@snm.ku.dk

Using these categories in the list below, the following summary table can be constructed:

 

 

breed Africa

not Africa

sub-Saharan

not sub-Sah.

total

non-passerine species

125

90

165

50

215

passerine species

72

56

75

53

128

total

197

146

240

103

343

 

Thus, of a total of 343 species of Western Palearctic species migrating within Africa, 215 species (63%) are non-passerines, 146 species (43%) breed outside of Africa, and 240 species (70%) migrate to the sub-Saharan region.

 

 

Species list

 

The species order of Snow and Perrins (1998) is adopted for this list.

 

Latin name

English name

breeding in Africa

migrating to

sub-Saharan region

 

Gavia immer

Great Northern Diver

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little Grebe

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Podiceps cristatus

Great Crested Grebe

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Podiceps grisegena

Red-necked Grebe

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Podiceps auritus

Slavonian Grebe (Horned Grebe)

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Podiceps nigricollis

Black-necked Grebe

breeding

non sub-Saharan1)

Bulweria bulwerii

Bulwer's Petrel

breeding

sub-Saharan

Calonectris diomedea

Cory´s Shearwater

breeding

sub-Saharan

Calonectris edwardsii

Cape Verde Shearwater

breeding

sub-Saharan

Puffinus puffinus2)

Manx Shearwater

breeding

sub-Saharan

Puffinus mauretanicus2)

Balearic Shearwater

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Puffinus yelkouan2)

Yelkouan Shearwater

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Puffinus assimilis

Little Shearwater

breeding

sub-Saharan

Pelagodroma marina

White-faced Storm-petrel

breeding

sub-Saharan

Hydrobates pelagicus

(European) Storm Petrel

breeding

sub-Saharan

Oceanodroma leucorhoa

Leach´s Storm-petrel

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Oceanodroma castro

Madeiran Storm-petrel

breeding

sub-Saharan

Phaethon aethereus

Red-billed Tropicbird

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sula leucogaster

Brown Booby

breeding

sub-Saharan

Morus bassanus

(Northern) Gannet

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Phalacrocorax carbo

(Great) Cormorant

breeding

sub-Saharan

Phalacrocorax aristotelis

(European) Shag

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Pelecanus onocrotalus

(Great) White Pelican

breeding

sub-Saharan3)

Pelecanus crispus

Dalmatian Pelican

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Fregata magnificens

Magnificent Frigatebird

breeding

sub-Saharan

Botaurus stellaris

(Eurasian) Bittern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Ixobrychus minutus

Little Bittern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Nycticorax nycticorax

(Black-crowned) Night Heron

breeding

sub-Saharan

Ardeola ralloides

Squacco Heron

breeding

sub-Saharan

Bubulcus ibis

Cattle Egret

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Egretta gularis

Western Reef Heron

breeding

sub-Saharan4)

Egretta garzetta

Little Egret

breeding

sub-Saharan

Egretta alba

Great (White) Egret

breeding

sub-Saharan

Ardea cinerea

Grey Heron

breeding

sub-Saharan

Ardea purpurea

Purple Heron

breeding

sub-Saharan

Ciconia nigra

Black Stork

breeding

sub-Saharan

Ciconia ciconia

(European) White Stork

breeding

sub-Saharan

Plegadis falcinellus

Glossy Ibis

breeding

sub-Saharan

Geronticus eremita

(Northern) Bald Ibis (Waldrapp)

breeding

sub-Saharan5)

Platalea leucorodia

(Eurasian) Spoonbill

breeding

sub-Saharan

Phoenicopterus ruber

Greater Flamingo

breeding

sub-Saharan

Anser fabalis

Bean Goose

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Anser albifrons

White-fronted Goose

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Anser anser

Greylag Goose

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Tadorna ferruginea

Ruddy Shelduck

breeding

non sub-Saharan6)

Tadorna tadorna

(Common) Shelduck

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Anas penelope

(Eurasian) Wigeon

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Anas strepera

Gadwall

breeding

sub-Saharan

Anas crecca

(Common) Teal

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Anas platyrhynchos

Mallard

breeding

sub-Saharan

Anas acuta

(Common) Pintail

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Anas querquedula

Garganey

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Anas clypeata

(Northern) Shoveler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Marmaronetta angustirostris

Marbled Teal (Duck)

breeding

sub-Saharan

Netta rufina

Red-crested Pochard

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Aythya ferina

(Common) Pochard

breeding

sub-Saharan

Aythya nyroca

Ferruginous Duck

breeding

sub-Saharan

Aythya fuligula

Tufted Duck

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Melanitta nigra

Common Scoter (Black Scoter)

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Mergus serrator

Red-breasted Merganser

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Oxyura leucocephala

White-headed Duck

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Pernis apivorus

(European) Honey Buzzard

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Elanus caeruleus

Black-winged Kite

breeding

sub-Saharan7)

Milvus migrans

Black Kite

breeding

sub-Saharan

Milvus milvus

Red Kite

breeding

non sub-Saharan8)

Neophron percnopterus

Egyptian Vulture

breeding

sub-Saharan

Gyps fulvus

(Eurasian) Griffon Vulture

breeding

sub-Saharan

Aegypius monachus

(Europian) Black Vulture

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Circaetus gallicus

Short-toed Eagle

breeding

sub-Saharan

Circus aeruginosus

(Western) Marsh Harrier

breeding

sub-Saharan

Circus cyaneus

Hen Harrier

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Circus macrourus

Pallid Harrier

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Circus pygargus

Montagu´s Harrier

breeding

sub-Saharan

Accipiter gentilis

(Northern) Goshawk

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Accipiter nisus

(Eurasian) Sparrowhawk

breeding

sub-Saharan

Accipiter brevipes

Levant Sparrowhawk

non-breeding

sub-Saharan9)

Buteo buteo

(Common) Buzzard

breeding

sub-Saharan

Buteo rufinus

Long-legged Buzzard

breeding

sub-Saharan

Aquila pomarina

Lesser Spotted Eagle

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Aquila clanga

(Greater) Spotted Eagle

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Aquila nipalensis10)

Steppe Eagle

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Aquila heliaca11)

(Eastern) Imperial Eagle

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Hieraaetus pennatus

Booted Eagle

breeding

sub-Saharan

Pandion haliaetus

Osprey

breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco naumanni

Lesser Kestrel

breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco tinnunculus

(Common) Kestrel

breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco vespertinus

Red-footed Falcon

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco columbarius

Merlin

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Falco subbuteo

(Eurasian) Hobby

breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco eleonorae

Eleonora´s Falcon

breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco concolor

Sooty Falcon

breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco biarmicus

Lanner (Falcon)

breeding

sub-Saharan12)

Falco cherrug

Saker (Falcon)

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Falco peregrinus

Peregrine (Falcon)

breeding

sub-Saharan

Coturnix coturnix

(Common) Quail

breeding

sub-Saharan

Rallus aquaticus

Water Rail

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Porzana porzana

Spotted Crake

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Porzana parva

Little Crake

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Porzana pusilla

Baillon´s Crake

breeding

sub-Saharan13)

Crex crex

Corncrake

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Gallinula chloropus

(Common) Moorhen

breeding

sub-Saharan

Fulica atra

(Eurasian) Coot

breeding

sub-Saharan

Grus grus

(Common) Crane

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Anthropoides virgo

Demoiselle Crane

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Tetrax tetrax

Little Bustard

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Chlamydotis macqueenii14)

Macqueen's Bustard

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Haematopus ostralegus

(Eurasian) Oystercatcher

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Himantopus himantopus

Black-winged Stilt

breeding

sub-Saharan

Recurvirostra avosetta

(Pied) Avocet

breeding

sub-Saharan

Dromas ardeola

Crab Plover

breeding

sub-Saharan

Burhinus oedicnemus

Stone Curlew

breeding

sub-Saharan

Cursorius cursor

Cream-coloured Courser

breeding

sub-Saharan

Glareola pratincola

Collared Pratincole

breeding

sub-Saharan

Glareola nordmanni

Black-winged Pratincole

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Charadrius dubius

Little Ringed Plover

breeding

sub-Saharan

Charadrius hiaticula

(Common) Ringed Plover

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Charadrius alexandrinus

Kentish Plover

breeding

sub-Saharan

Charadrius leschenaultii

Greater Sand Plover

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Charadrius asiaticus

Caspian Plover

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Charadrius morinellus

(Eurasian) Dotterel

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Pluvialis apricaria

(European) Golden Plover

non-breeding

sub-Saharan15)

Pluvialis squatarola

Grey Plover

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Vanellus spinosus

Spur-winged Plover (Lapwing)

breeding

non sub-Saharan16)

Vanellus gregarius

Sociable Plover (Lapwing)

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Vanellus leucurus

White-tailed Plover (Lapwing)

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Vanellus vanellus

(Northern) Lapwing

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Calidris alba

Sanderling

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Calidris minuta

Little Stint

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Calidris temminckii

Temminck´s Stint

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Calidris alpina

Dunlin

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Limicola falcinellus

Broad-billed Sandpiper

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Philomachus pugnax

Ruff

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Lymnocryptes minimus

Jack Snipe

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Gallinago gallinago

(Common) Snipe

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Gallinago media

Great Snipe

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Scolopax rusticola

(Eurasian) Woodcock

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Limosa limosa

Black-tailed Godwit

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Limosa lapponica

Bar-tailed Godwit

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Numenius phaeopus

Whimbrel

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Numenius tenuirostris17)

Slender-billed Curlew

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Numenius arquata

(Eurasian) Curlew

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Tringa erythropus

Spotted Redshank

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Tringa totanus

(Common) Redshank

breeding

sub-Saharan

Tringa stagnatilis

Marsh Sandpiper

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Tringa nebularia

(Common) Greenshank

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Tringa ochropus

Green Sandpiper

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Tringa glareola

Wood Sandpiper

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Xenus cinereus

Terek Sandpiper

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Actitis hypoleucos

Common Sandpiper

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Arenaria interpres

(Ruddy) Turnstone

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Phalaropus fulicarius

Grey Phalarope (Red Phalarope)

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Stercorarius pomarinus

Pomarine Skua (Jaeger)

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Stercorarius parasiticus

Arctic Skua (Parasitic Jaeger)

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Stercorarius longicaudus

Long-tailed Skua (Jaeger)

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Catharacta skua

Great Skua

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus hemprichii

Sooty Gull

breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus leucophthalmus

White-eyed Gull

breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus ichthyaetus

Great Black-headed Gull

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus melanocephalus

Mediterranean Gull

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Larus minutus

Little Gull

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Larus sabini

Sabine's Gull

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus ridibundus

Black-headed Gull

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus genei

Slender-billed Gull

breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus audouinii

Audouin's Gull

breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus canus

Common Gull (Mew Gull)

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Larus fuscus

Lesser Black-backed Gull

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus cachinnans

Yellow-legged Gull

breeding

sub-Saharan

Larus armenicus

Armenian Gull

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Larus marinus

Great Black-backed Gull

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Rissa tridactyla

(Black-legged) Kittiwake

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Gelochelidon nilotica

Gull-billed Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna caspia

Caspian Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna maxima

Royal Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna bergii

Swift Tern (Greater Crested Tern)

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna bengalensis

Lesser Crested Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna sandvicensis

Sandwich Tern

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna dougallii

Roseate Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna hirundo

Common Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna paradisaea

Arctic Tern

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna repressa

White-cheeked Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna anaethetus

Bridled Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna albifrons

Little Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sterna saundersi

Saunders´ (Little) Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Chlidonias hybrida18)

Whiskered Tern

breeding

sub-Saharan

Chlidonias niger

Black Tern

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Chlidonias leucopterus

White-winged (Black) Tern

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Alca torda

Razorbill

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Fratercula arctica

(Atlantic) Puffin

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Pterocles coronatus

Crowned Sandgrouse

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Pterocles senegallus

Spotted Sandgrouse

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Pterocles alchata

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Columba oenas

Stock Dove

breeding

non sub-Saharan19)

Columba palumbus

(Common) Woodpigeon

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Streptopelia turtur

(European) Turtle Dove

breeding

sub-Saharan

Clamator glandarius

Great Spotted Cuckoo

breeding

sub-Saharan

Cuculus canorus

(Common) Cuckoo

breeding

sub-Saharan

Otus scops

(European) Scops Owl

breeding

sub-Saharan

Asio otus

Long-eared Owl

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Asio flammeus

Short-eared Owl

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Caprimulgus europaeus

(European) Nightjar

breeding

sub-Saharan

Caprimulgus ruficollis

Red-necked Nightjar

breeding

sub-Saharan

Caprimulgus aegyptius

Egyptian Nightjar

breeding

sub-Saharan

Tachymarptis melba

Alpine Swift

breeding

sub-Saharan

Apus unicolor

Plain Swift

breeding

non sub-Saharan20)

Apus apus

(Common) Swift

breeding

sub-Saharan

Apus pallidus

Pallid Swift

breeding

sub-Saharan

Apus caffer

White-rumped Swift

breeding

sub-Saharan21)

Apus affinis

Little Swift

breeding

sub-Saharan

Alcedo atthis

(Common) Kingfisher

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Merops persicus

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

breeding

sub-Saharan

Merops apiaster

(European) Bee-eater

breeding

sub-Saharan

Coracias garrulus

(European) Roller

breeding

sub-Saharan

Upupa epops

(Eurasian) Hoopoe

breeding

sub-Saharan

Jynx torquilla

(Eurasian) Wryneck

breeding

sub-Saharan

Melanocorypha calandra

Calandra Lark

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Melanocorypha bimaculata

Bimaculated Lark

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Calandrella brachydactyla

(Greater) Short-toed Lark

breeding

sub-Saharan

Calandrella rufescens

Lesser Short-toed Lark

breeding

non sub-Saharan22)

Lullula arborea

Woodlark

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Alauda arvensis

(Eurasian) Skylark

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Eremophila bilopha

Temminck's (Horned) Lark

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Riparia riparia

Sand Martin (Bank Swallow)

breeding

sub-Saharan

Hirundo fuligula

(African) Rock-Martin

breeding

sub-Saharan

Hirundo rupestris

(Eurasian) Crag-Martin

breeding

sub-Saharan

Hirundo rustica

(Barn) Swallow

breeding

sub-Saharan

Hirundo daurica

Red-rumped Swallow

breeding

sub-Saharan

Delichon urbica

(Common) House-Martin

breeding

sub-Saharan

Anthus novaeseelandiae

Richard's Pipit

breeding

non sub-Saharan23)

Anthus campestris

Tawny Pipit

breeding

sub-Saharan

Anthus trivialis

Tree Pipit

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Anthus pratensis

Meadow Pipit

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Anthus cervinus

Red-throated Pipit

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Anthus spinoletta24)

Water Pipit

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Anthus petrosus24)

Rock Pipit

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Motacilla flava

Yellow Wagtail

breeding

sub-Saharan

Motacilla cinerea

Grey Wagtail

breeding

sub-Saharan

Motacilla alba

White Wagtail

breeding

sub-Saharan

Prunella modularis

Dunnock

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Prunella collaris

Alpine Accentor

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Cercotrichas galactotes

Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin

breeding

sub-Saharan

Erithacus rubecula

(European) Robin

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Luscinia luscinia

Thrush Nightingale

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Luscinia megarhynchos

(Common) Nightingale

breeding

sub-Saharan

Luscinia svecica

Bluethroat

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Irania gutturalis

White-throated Robin

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Phoenicurus ochruros

Black Redstart

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Phoenicurus phoenicurus

(Common) Redstart

breeding

sub-Saharan

Phoenicurus moussieri

Moussier's Redstart

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Saxicola rubetra

Whinchat

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Saxicola torquata

(Common) Stonechat

breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe isabellina

Isabelline Wheatear

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe oenanthe

(Northern) Wheatear

breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe pleschanka

Pied Wheatear

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe cypriaca

Cyprus Wheatear

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe hispanica

Black-eared Wheatear

breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe deserti

Desert Wheatear

breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe finschii

Finsch´s Wheatear

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Oenanthe xanthoprymna

(Rufous-) Red-tailed Wheatear

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Oenanthe lugens

Mourning Wheatear

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Monticola saxatilis

(Rufous-tailed) Rock-Thrush

breeding

sub-Saharan

Monticola solitarius

Blue Rock-Thrush

breeding

sub-Saharan

Turdus torquatus

Ring Ouzel

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Turdus merula

(Common) Blackbird

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Turdus pilaris

Fieldfare

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Turdus philomelos

Song Thrush

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Turdus iliacus

Redwing

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Turdus viscivorus

Mistle Thrush

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Cettia cetti

Cetti's Warbler

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Locustella naevia

(Common) Grasshopper Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Locustella fluviatilis

(Eurasian) River Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Locustella luscinioides

Savi's Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Acrocephalus melanopogon

Moustached Warbler

breeding

non sub-Saharan25)

Acrocephalus paludicola

Aquatic Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Sedge Warbler

non-breeding26)

sub-Saharan

Acrocephalus palustris

Marsh Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Acrocephalus scirpaceus

(Eurasian) Reed-Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Great Reed-Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Acrocephalus griseldis

Basra Reed-Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Hippolais pallida

Olivaceous Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Hippolais languida

Upcher's Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Hippolais olivetorum

Olive-Tree Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Hippolais icterina

Icterine Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Hippolais polyglotta

Melodious Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia sarda

Marmora's Warbler

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Sylvia undata

Dartford Warbler

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Sylvia deserticola

Tristam's Warbler

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Sylvia conspicillata

Spectacled Warbler

breeding

non sub-Saharan27)

Sylvia cantillans

Subalpine Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia mystacea

Ménétries's Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia melanocephala

Sardinian Warbler

breeding

non sub-Saharan27)

Sylvia melanothorax

Cyprus Warbler

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan28)

Sylvia rueppelli

Rüppell's Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia nana

Desert Warbler

breeding

non sub-Saharan27)

Sylvia hortensis

Orphean Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia nisoria

Barred Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia curruca

Lesser Whitethroat

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia communis

(Common/Greater) Whitethroat

breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia borin

Garden Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Sylvia atricapilla

Blackcap

breeding

sub-Saharan

Phylloscopus bonelli29)

(Western) Bonelli´s Warbler

breeding

sub-Saharan

Phylloscopus orientalis29)

Eastern Bonelli's Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Wood Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Phylloscopus collybita30)

(Eurasian/Common) Chiffchaff

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Phylloscopus ibericus30, 31)

Iberian Chiffchaff

breeding

sub-Saharan

Phylloscopus trochilus

Willow Warbler

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Regulus regulus

Goldcrest

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Regulus ignicapilla31)

Firecrest

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Muscicapa striata

Spotted Flycatcher

breeding

sub-Saharan

Ficedula parva

Red-breasted Flycatcher

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan32)

Ficedula semitorquata

Semi-collared Flycatcher

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Ficedula albicollis

Collared Flycatcher

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Ficedula hypoleuca33)

(European) Pied Flycatcher

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Remiz pendulinus

(Eurasian) Penduline Tit

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Anthreptes platurus

Pygmy Sunbird

breeding

sub-Saharan

Anthreptes metallicus

Nile Valley Sunbird

breeding

sub-Saharan

Nectarinia osea

Palestine Sunbird

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Oriolus oriolus

(Eurasian) Golden-Oriole

breeding

sub-Saharan

Lanius isabellinus

(Isabelline) Rufous-tailed Shrike

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Lanius collurio

Red-backed Shrike

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Lanius minor

Lesser Grey Shrike

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Lanius meridionalis34)

Southern Grey Shrike

breeding

sub-Saharan

Lanius senator

Woodchat Shrike

breeding

sub-Saharan

Lanius nubicus

Masked Shrike

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Corvus frugilegus

Rook

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Sturnus vulgaris

(Common) Starling

breeding

non sub-Saharan35)

Passer hispaniolensis

Spanish Sparrow

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Passer montanus

(Eurasian) Tree Sparrow

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Carpospiza brachydactyla

Pale Rock-Finch (Sparrow)

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Fringilla coelebs

(Common) Chaffinch

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Fringilla montifringilla

Brambling

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Serinus serinus

(European) Serin

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Carduelis chloris

Greenfinch

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Carduelis carduelis

Goldfinch

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Carduelis spinus

(Eurasian) Siskin

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Carduelis cannabina

(European) Linnet

breeding

non sub-Saharan36)

Coccothraustes coccothraustes

Hawfinch

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Emberiza cia

Rock Bunting

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Emberiza cineracea

Cinereous Bunting

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Emberiza hortulana

Ortolan Bunting

non-breeding

sub-Saharan

Emberiza caesia

Cretzschmar's Bunting

non-breeding

non sub-Saharan

Emberiza schoeniclus

(Common) Reed Bunting

breeding

non sub-Saharan

Miliaria calandra

Corn Bunting

breeding

non sub-Saharan

 

 

Comments

 

1)   Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis):  Recorded from Lake Chad, Sudan, Uganda (Curry-Lindahl 1981), Nigeria (Fry 1981), and Cameroon (Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993), but no regular migration to sub-Saharan region has been observed.

2)   Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), Balearic Shearwater (P. mauretanicus), Yelkouan Shearwater (P. yelkouan):  P. puffinus was recently split into the aforementioned three species (Snow & Perrins 1998, Sangster et al. 2002).

3)   Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus):  European populations most likely migrate south via Israel and Egypt, overwintering in Egypt and probably further south in Sudan where presence masked by large resident populations; also recorded in Algeria, Libya and Tunisia (Curry-Lindahl 1981, Snow & Perrins 1998, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002).  See also Crivelli (1991).

4)   Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis), as defined in Snow & Perrins (1998), includes both E. garzetta gularis (W Africa) and E. g. schistacea (E Africa) as defined in del Hoyo et al. (1992-2002).  Both African races breed in the Southern extremities of the Western Palearctic, and are likely to migrate along coastline to sub-Saharan region.

5)   Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita):  Eastern populations migrated to Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopa, Sudan, and Somalia, while Western populations mostly winter in Morocco, but sometimes move further south, having been recorded in the Spanish Sahara, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Cape Verde Islands (Curry-Lindahl 1981, Brown et al. 1982, Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993, Pegoraro 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002).

6)   Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea):  Sub-Saharan records in Sudan and Kenya could originate either from Western Palearctic populations or breeding population in Ethiopian highlands (Ash 1977, Curry-Lindahl 1981), therefore assumed that Palearctic populations do not migrate to sub-Saharan region until further evidence is presented.

7)   Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus):  Nomadic, ranging widely throughout range in search of prey (Snow & Perrins 1998, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002).  Also indicated as short-distance migrant in Tunisia (Snow & Perrins 1998). 

8)   Red Kite (Milvus milvus):  Recorded south of Sahara as vagrant in The Gambia, Mauritania, and Sudan (Dowsett and Forbes-Watson 1993), but no regular migration to sub-Saharan region has been observed.  S African record (e.g. del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002) rejected by Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993).

9)   Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes):  Absent from breeding areas in winter, and migration over Bospurus and E Black Sea and in Turkey and Israel well-documented, but presumed African winter quarters essentially unknown (Snow & Perrins 1998, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002), although Curry-Lindahl (1981) wrote that species winters in Egypt and had also been recorded in Tunisia, Niger, Sudan, Zaire and Tanzania.  Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) list the species as passage migrant in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti and as vagrant in Zaire, Kenya and Tanzania.  One specimen each from Congo (Wattel 1967) and Uganda (Pearson 1986).

10) Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis):  A. rapax was recently split into the mostly sedentary Tawny Eagle (A. rapax) and the migratory Steppe Eagle (A. nipalensis) (Snow & Perrins 1998, Sangster et al. 2002).

11) Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca):  A. heliaca was recently split into the sedentary Spanish Imperial Eagle (A. adalberti) and the partially migratory Eastern Imperial Eagle (A. heliaca) (Snow & Perrins 1998, Sangster et al. 2002).

12) Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus):  Local N-S migrant in W Africa, and extensive and seasonal movements in Africa indicated by ringing recoveries and local concentrations in response to high prey abundance (Brown et al. 1982, van Zyl et al. 1994, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002).  Also probably absent from desert areas where it can only feed on birds during migratory periods (Jany 1960, Snow & Perrins 1998).  Also indicated as short-distance migrant in Egypt (Snow & Perrins 1998).  Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) list the species as passage migrant in Mali, Sudan, and Djibouti and as vagrant in Liberia, Gabon, and Congo.

13) Baillon´s Crake (Porzana pusilla):  Most European birds probably overwinter in sub-Saharan region, but their winter distribution is poorly known because of secretive behaviour and close resemblance to resident population (Benson 1964, Snow & Perrins 1998, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002).  Only records of European birds from Senegal, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Angola, Zambia, Madeira, and the Canaries are regarded as acceptable (Curry-Lindahl 1981, Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002).

14) Macqueen's Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueeni):  C. undulata was recently split into the sedentary or dispersive Houbara Bustard (C. undulata) and the migratory Macqueen's Bustard (C. macqueeni) (Snow & Perrins 1998, Knox et al. 2002).

15) European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria):  Recorded in São Tomé, Gabon (Curry-Lindahl 1981) and The Gambia (Snow & Perrins 1998), and listed as passage migrant in Mauritania and as vagrant in Senegal and Sierra Leone (Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993), but no regular migration to sub-Saharan region has been observed.

16) Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus):  Absent from European and Middle Eastern breeding areas in winter, but destination in Africa unclear because presence masked by large resident populations (Snow & Perrins 1998, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002).

17) Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris):  Perhaps nesting in steppelands of SE Russia and NW Kazakhstan (Snow & Perrins 1998), therefore included as Western Palearctic species.  See also Gretton (1991).

18) Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida): Know et al. (2002) pointed out that the correct scientific name for the Whiskered Tern is hybrida, not hybridus.

19) Stock Dove (Columba oenas):  Curry-Lindahl (1981) writes that the species winters in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, while no such mention is made in Snow and Perrins (1998) and del Hoyo et al. (1992-2002).  Urban et al. (1986) also mention a few North African winter records outside small breeding range in Morocco.

20) Plain Swift (Apus unicolor):  Since numbers reduced on Canary Islands during the winter, and some winter records from Mauritania and N Morocco (Fry et al. 1988, del Hoyo et al. 1992-2002), part of population believed to winter in NW Africa.  However, some may even migrate further south, but have not been identified because of difficulty of field identification.

21) White-rumped Swift (Apus caffer):  Since small populations in Morocco and Spain absent in winter (Fry et al. 1988, Snow & Perrins 1998), assumed to migrate to sub-Saharan region where most of population is found.

22) Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens):  Rarely occurs in Mauritania (Keith et al.1992, accepted by Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993) and in grasslands in N Nigeria (Keith et al.1992, rejected by Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993), but no regular migration to sub-Saharan region has been observed.

23) Richard's Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae):  Keith et al. (1992) write that some Palearctic migrants occur in N Africa, especially Egypt, but that the further extent of migration is unclear.  Apparently Palearctic birds were recorded in Mauritania and Mali (Keith et al. 1992, Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993).

24) Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta), Rock Pipit (A. petrosus):  A. spinoletta was recently split into the aforementioned two species (Snow & Perrins 1998, Sangster et al. 2002).

25) Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon):  While birds migrate through and overwinter on the African coast of the Mediterranean (and have even been recorded in appropriate habitats further south in the Sahara), all sub-Saharan records (Grote 1928, Schouteden 1955, Salvan 1968) are doubtful because of lack of confirmation (Cramp 1992, Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993, Urban et al. 1997). 

26) Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus):  While Curry-Lindahl (1981) wrote that the species is "breeding in Algeria", Snow and Perrins (1998) wrote that the species only bred in the early 1900s at Lake Fetzara in NE Algeria, and Urban et al.(1997) do not list the species as breeding in Africa.

27) Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata), Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana):  Shirihai et al. (2001) indicate that these species sometimes migrate a little beyond the southern edge of the Sahara.

28) Cyprus Warbler (Sylvia melanothorax):  Shirihai et al. (2001) indicate that this warbler migrates along the Red Sea coast through Egypt, Sudan and into Eritrea and possibly Ethiopia.  However, further southward migration possible as little is known about this species.

29) Western Bonelli´s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli), Eastern Bonelli´s Warbler (P. orientalis):  P. bonelli was recently split into the aforementioned two species (Snow & Perrins 1998, Sangster et al. 2002).

30) Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), Iberian Chiffchaff (P. ibericus, not brehmii, see 29):  P. collybita was recently split into the aforementioned two species plus the Canary Island Chiffchaff (P. canariensis) and the Mountain Chiffchaff (P. sindianus) (Sangster et al. 2002).

31) Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus  ibericus), Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla): Know et al. (2002) pointed out that the correct scientific names for the Iberian Chiffchaff and the Firecrest are ibericus and ignicapilla, respectively, and not brehmii and ignicapillus.

32) Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva):  Diesselhorst (1971) and Moreau (1972) suggested that a few individuals may winter in West Africa, but this suggestion was not substantiated as no regular winter and spring records for sub-Saharan region have emerged (Cramp & Perrins 1993).  About a dozen African records (Gatter 1972) as well as one N Sudan and two Senegal records (Urban et al. 1997) were probably vagrants, especially because most birds were juveniles (Gatter 1972).  All birds recorded on the African coast of the Mediterranean are now presumed to migrate eastwards to their Asian wintering grounds (or are disoriented).  

33) European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca):  Sætre et al. (2001) recently published molecular evidence suggesting that F. hypoleuca should be split into the European Pied Flycatcher (F. hypoleuca) which only breeds in Europe and the Atlas Flycatcher (F. speculigera) which only breeds in N Africa.  Both appear to migrate to the sub-Saharan region (Cramp & Perrins 1993).

34) Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis):  L. excubitor was recently split into the Great Grey Shrike (L. excubitor) and the Southern Grey Shrike (L. meridionalis) (Snow & Perrins 1998, Sangster et al. 2002).

35) Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris):  Jitschin (1938) reported one bird banded in Poland and recovered in Ethiopia (also marked on map 178 in Curry-Lindahl 1981), but this record almost certainly constitutes a vagrant.  Fry et al. (2000) report vagrants in Mauritania, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia.

36) European Linnet (Carduelis cannabina):  During winter, some populations move south along Western Atlantic coastline, and vagrants have been reported in Mauritania, Senegal and Sudan (Dowsett & Forbes-Watson 1993, Cramp & Perrins 1994), but no regular migration to sub-Saharan region has been observed.

 

 

Note on additional species

 

While Moreau (1972) and Curry-Lindahl (1981) both reported that Blyth´s Pipit (Anthus godlewskii) had been recorded at Lake Chad (described in White 1957), Keith et al. (1992) write that it "would appear to have been a local race of A. novaeseelandiae".  Also, Moreau (1972) and Curry-Lindahl (1981) reported that Blyth's Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum) had been recorded in several African areas (e.g. by Smith 1964, Fry et al. 1974).  However, it is now generally believed that these records resulted from confusion of A. dumetorum with the African Reed Warbler A. baeticatus (Diesselhorst 1965, Clancey 1975, Ash et al. 1989, Cramp 1992, Urban et al. 1997).  Seems like Blyth´s birds are not welcome in Africa!

Western Palearctic populations of the Clamorous Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus) are chiefly resident or dispersive (Urban et al. 1997, Snow & Perrins 1998).  The resident population along the Red Sea coast of Africa is attributed to the race A. s. brunnescens (type locality in India), but there does not appear to be any evidence that migratory Asian races mix with the resident race in Eritrea (R. Dowsett, pers. commun.), as suggested by Smith (1961) and Curry-Lindahl (1981). 

For further rejected species, see page 282 in Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993).

 

 

Acknowledgments

 

I thank Robert Dowsett who commented on an earlier version of this list.

 

 

*Citation

 

The contents of this webpage should be cited as:

 

Walther BA 2004. List of Western Palearctic bird species migrating within Africa

(last updated March 2004).  Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. 

http://www.zmuc.dk/verweb/staff/bawalther/migratoryBirdsList.htm

 

References

 

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Brown LH, Urban EK, Fry CH, Newman K 1982. The birds of Africa, Vol. I. Academic Press, London.

Clancey PA 1975. On the species limits of Acrocephalus baeticatus (Viellot). Arnoldia (Rhodesia) 7 (20).

Benson CW 1964. The European and African races of Baillon's crake, Porzana pusilla. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 84: 2-5.

Cramp S 1992. The birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. VI: warblers. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Cramp S, Perrins CM 1993. The birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. VII: flycatchers to shrikes.  Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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Diesselhorst G 1965. Winter habitat of Acrocephalus dumetorum Blyth. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 85: 111.

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Fry CH 1981. Black-necked grebe new to Nigeria and West Africa. Malimbus 3: 54.

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Grote H 1928. Uebersicht über die Vogelfauna des Tschadgebiets. Journal für Ornithologie 76: 739-783.

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