In this article we’ll look at some of the more interesting species found in Burkina Faso, including Wattle-eyes, Laridae, and Anhingas.
There are also a number of species that aren’t easy to spot elsewhere. Read on to learn about the best birds to see in Burkina Faso and discover a few of the best birding destinations in the region.
What will I learn?
Anhinga (from the Tupi language of Brazil) is a bird of tropical Africa that is found in shallow water. Anhingas are a very common species of waterbird with a distinctive cross-shaped silhouette and long necks.
They are sometimes referred to as snakebirds or darters. Their striking ability is facilitated by the presence of the eighth and ninth cervical vertebrae.
Compared to double-crested cormorants, anhingas have much longer tails and can swim in shallow water. The adult male is nearly black with silvery white streaks on his belly and head. They can be seen during the breeding season and during migration periods.
Anhingas live year-round in shallow, freshwater lakes and streams. They use branches and logs near water for sunning and drying. They also frequent brackish bays on the coast.
In Burkina Faso, there are approximately 5,000 Anhingas. They are very difficult to observe, but are worth the effort to view. Observations have been made of anhingas from both the continent and its neighbors.
The country is characterized by three bioclimatic zones. The northern Sahelian region receives less than 400 mm of uncertain rainfall annually.
The Sahelian region features semi-deciduous gallery forests and dense Balanites. The northern area is covered with seasonal lakes and a few tributaries of the Niger. There are also large populations of migratory birds. Large, wild mammals are a rare species in Burkina Faso.
The West African wattle-eye is a member of the bird family Platysteiridae. This group of birds inhabits subtropical forest and moist savanna habitats.
In addition to Burkina Faso, they are found in Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Their habitats include dense forest, moist savanna, and swamps.
The Birds of Burkina Faso comprise 499 species, of which seven are rare or extirpated. Their names are based on the conventions used for species in Clements’s 5th edition.
They are grouped according to their abundance, migration, and wintering habits. Birdwatchers will find a large variety of birds in Burkina Faso, including raptors, songbirds, and gamebirds.
The wattle-eye is an endangered species. Humans have caused its demise. Its range was previously restricted to parts of Cameroon, Senegal, and northern Ghana.
Forest clearance threatens the species’ survival. Two other species, the white-fronted wattle-eye and the banded wattle-eye, are near-threatened. The dark batis, however, is a recent arrival, and is therefore not a common resident of Burkina Faso.
Known by the scientific name of Telophorus, the small bushshrikes of Burkina Faso are found in the thorn veld of West Africa. These birds are usually heard than seen, perched briefly on thick thorn trees.
However, it is possible to find the Yellow-crowned Gonolek, which is endemic to the country. Although it is hard to find in this part of the world, the bird is definitely worth a visit.
This bird is part of the Malaconotidae family and is the largest of the four species in the genus. They have loud, piercing vocalizations, consisting of mournful whistles and tearing sounds.
The males and females of this species are the same age and have yellow eyes, whereas the females are much older and have a darker coloration.
The avifauna of Burkina Faso contains 499 species, with 7 endemic and one rare species. All family accounts are based on Clements’s 5th edition taxonomy, and accidental species are included in total species counts.
Some of these species are extremely rare. There are no other places on Earth where you can see these beautiful birds. You may also find them in other countries, including Ghana and Liberia.
If you are looking for species of birds that are unique to the Sahel, Burkina Faso should be on your list. Burkina Faso has a wide variety of birds and is home to two species of Laridae, one of which is found only in the country.
You can find this species in the Arly National Park, and in nearby Pendjari National Park.
The climate of Burkina Faso is primarily dry and hot, with four main seasons. The country has two main climate zones: the Sahelian, which is semiarid steppe with three to five months of uncertain rainfall.
The Sudanic zone, on the other hand, is tropical wet-dry, with more total rainfall than the Sahelian. For those who wish to visit Burkina Faso, a trip here would be a perfect way to see the wildlife.
The Laridae family consists of several different species of seabirds. These include terns, gulls, and skimmers. Around 100 species of Laridae are found in the Old World, including many in sub-Saharan Africa.
Each species has its own unique appearance, but they share many traits. For instance, Laridae members live primarily in open areas, where they can be found in large numbers.
The Rallidae is a diverse family of birds that includes rails, crakes, coots, swamphens, and gallinules.
While many of these species are associated with wetlands, they can also be found in almost every terrestrial habitat, with the exception of polar regions and areas above the snow line.
In Burkina Faso, the main species of Rallidae are guineafowls.
The avifauna of Burkina Faso consists of 514 species, including one that is extirpated.
Taxonomic treatment is consistent with the Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2021 edition, with family accounts reflecting current global taxonomic status.
The species count includes accidental species. The list highlights several categories, such as species that are endemic to the region. The list does not include commonly occurring species.
The southwestern part of the country is home to the Diefoula forest sector. It is home to a series of hills that rise to 680 m and are part of the GEPRENAF programme, which promotes village-owned commercial wildlife production.
The region is home to more than 20,000 waterbirds and elephants during the dry season. While in Burkina Faso, the Lesser Moorhens are found throughout southern Africa.
The white stallion is the national animal of Burkina Faso. The animal is also represented in duplicate on the country’s coat of arms. Its national parks are home to many of the region’s top wild animals.
W of the Niger National Park, for example, is named for its shape around the Niger River.
The Deux Bales National Park in the eastern central part of the country, and Arli National Park in the southwest are all home to a variety of exotic wildlife. The lion kills approximately 250 people per year in Africa.
The family Heliornithidae includes a single species, the masked finfoot, but it also includes two other related genera: the sungrebe and the masked finfoot.
The sungrebe is the only member of the family native to Burkina Faso, while the masked finfoot is only found in Southeast Asia and eastern India. Both species are closely related, but one is more common in the country.
Three bioclimatic zones in Burkina Faso are known. In the north of the country, the Sahelian sector has less than 400 mm of uncertain rainfall per year and consists of wooded steppes and dense thickets of Balanites.
It also has numerous seasonal lakes and tributaries of the Niger. Because of its climate, it receives large numbers of migratory birds. Large wild mammals are now largely extinct in Burkina Faso, but there are still some sporadic populations of Burkina Faso birds.
The avifauna of Burkina Faso includes 514 species, including one that is extirpated.
The taxonomic treatment and family accounts of each species are consistent with those of the Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2021 edition.
The species count in Burkina Faso includes accidental species as well. Several categories are highlighted by tags. Common native species do not fall into any of these categories.
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