If you’re considering a trip to the African country, you’re probably wondering when you can see the most birds.
The best time to see birds in Gabon is from mid-August to early September, but you can’t be sure when you’ll see the African River-Martin until late September.
You’ll also find that breeding and singing activity are at its highest during October and November, but late rains can cut off these activities and make the roads unsuitable.
What will I learn?
Sao Tome (Maroon) Olive-pigeon
The endangered So Tome olive-pigeon, or maroon pigeon, is a native bird of the island of So Tomé. First described by José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage in 1888, it is now listed as endangered.
In the last century, it has declined from around 1 million to just over one hundred and thirty. To protect its species, there are several conservation projects underway to help the bird.
The Sao Tome Olive Pigeon, or maroon pigeon, is endemic to the islands of Sao-Tomé and Principe in the Gulf of Guinea. It lives mostly in higher-elevation forests near the Pica mountains.
Historically, it also lived on the tiny island of Rolas. The Sao Tome Olive-pigeon is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List 2007 because of its plight.
The extinction of the maroon pigeon has been attributed to human activity. While large areas of rainforest have been cleared to grow coffee and cocoa, the remaining primary and secondary forest are being deforested for timber and fuelwood.
This has drastically reduced the maroon pigeon’s range and pushed it into an increasingly small area of montane forest. Furthermore, hunting has become a major threat to the maroon pigeon, as hunters lure them closer to the cultivated forest.
Despite its lack of diversity in appearance, the Sao Tome Olive-pigeon remains a common sight in Africa. Its contrasting plumage is a rich, deep maroon.
Its tail is dark grey with yellowish spots and the wing feathers are brown. Despite its lack of fear of man, this pigeon allows humans to approach and photograph it.
Sao Tome (Maroon) Spinetail
To view the rare Sao Tome (Maroon) spinetail birds of Gabon, you must be prepared to make a trip to this part of Africa.
This beautiful country is home to a variety of endemic species, including the elusive bobcat. Bobcats inhabit the dense forest canopy, where they feed on insects and fruit.
The bobcat lives in a region that is far removed from the main landmasses and is therefore difficult to observe.
The island of Sao Tome is situated in southwestern Africa, among the forest regions of the country. The people living here are arguably the friendliest in Africa, and their natural scenery is stunning.
In addition, you can spend time on some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Sao Tome is home to 6 endemic birds, including the Principe Thrush, which may split off the Sao Tome Thrush in the future.
The Sao Tome Oriole is a beautiful bird in its own right. It belongs to the family of Oriolidae and is endemic to Sao Tome and Principe.
Its habitat includes moist montane forests and subtropical lowland forests, but it is threatened by habitat loss. Its name derives from its dull olive head and black base of bill, bronzed mantle, and wing-coverts.
The Dwarf Ibis of Gabon, also known as the Dwarf Olive Ibis, is a small, forest-dwelling bird. It was only known from historical records and anecdotal evidence until 1989, when a study confirmed its existence.
The goal of the study is to identify important habitats for this species, and develop a population estimate. This article will describe the unique features of this species.
The American Museum of Natural History published a note on Lampribis olivacea. In addition, Bannerman D. A. published a report on Lampribis rothschildi.
Another article describing the Dwarf Ibis of Gabon, published by the University of Florida, focused on the species’ distribution in East Africa. This study provides important information on the biology of this species.
The Dwarf Ibis of Gabon is one of the world’s smallest ibis. It lives in the rainforests of eastern Gabon, the Gulf of Guinea.
There are endemic species on the islands, including Sao Tome Short-tailed, Giant Sunbird, White-eye, Black-capped Speirops, and Sao Tome kingfisher. The region is home to many endemic bird species, including the African River Martin, Spinetail, and White-tailed Tropicbird.
Other interesting birds to see in Gabon include the Black Woodhoopoe and the Olive-bellied Thrush.
The Olive-bellied Thrush is a small, red-colored bird with a green belly and is found in garden settings throughout southern Gabon. Other notable birds in Gabon include the White-thighed Hornbill (Ceratogymna albotibialis), African Pied Hornbill, and African Blackbird.
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Sao Tome Scops-owl
The So Tome scops owl is a species of endemic owl native to the island nation of So Thomas and Prncipe in the Gulf of Guinea.
It is the only true owl native to So Tomé and Prncipe and is a great bird to watch on your next trip to the island. Listed as an endangered species, the scops owl is a unique bird that you should be aware of.
The Sao Tome scops owl is a member of the owl family, the Strigidae, and is endemic to the tiny island nation of So Thomase and Prncipe.
It is approximately eighteen centimetres in length and weighs 79 grams. Its habitat is largely undeveloped, so it is not uncommon to see people fishing in the Gulf from the island.
The Sao Tome Scops owl breeds in August and October. It lives in trees, and makes its nests in ground-level tree cavities. It forages in lower-level forest, and it calls regularly at dusk and dawn.
The Sao Tome scops owl is classified as Vulnerable (VU) because of its declining habitat. It is an important species for the conservation of the island, and you can help it by ensuring that its habitat is protected.
The Principe Scops-owl is a nocturnal species that does not shy away from humans. The male is larger than the female, and the underparts are largely brown with a white chin and eyebrows.
Despite its small size, the nocturnal owl is not shy when it comes to humans. A study of this species in Sao Tome e Principe by Bird Conservation Fund is expected to provide important data about the species’ ecology.
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Sao Tome Spinetail
One of the most stunning bird species in Gabon is the Sao Tome Spinetail, a species of spinetail that is endemic to the region. Rare and inaccessible, the bird has no other home in Africa.
Known as a Spinetail, this species is easily confused with other endemic birds, including the White-tailed Tropicbird.
While Gabon has no endemic birds, it does contain several near-endemic species, including the African River Martin, the Loango Weaver, and the Finsch’s Francolin.
Currently, there are 25 endemic species and 11 endemic subspecies in Sao Tome and Principe – and some dozens of other species.
The majority of the records from the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe’s avifauna were collected during scientific visits between 1946 and 1973.
The main collectors were Fernando Frade and Rene de Naurois. The former coordinated a three-month scientific expedition to Sao Tome and Principe in 1954. Rene de Naurois visited the islands in 1970 and collected the region’s birds.
The Little Swift, Apus affinis, was also recorded in Sao Tome. In addition to the African Palm Swift, Fernando Po was also seen on the beach at Santo Antonio.
The two species feed alongside each other in Sao Tome Town. Observations were made at eye level and in flight.
Fernando Po was blue-black with no contrast on the upper wing surface of the secondaries. The tail fork was also very shallow, and the throat was little or no white.
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Sao Tome Green-pigeon
The So Tome green-pigeon is a species of bird that is endemic to the island of So Tomé, in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The birds are primarily found in tropical and subtropical lowland forests.
Johann Friedrich Gmelin first described this bird in 1789. It is now one of the most endangered species in the world. But if you want to see this bird, it is certainly worth the trip!
The Sao Tome green-pigeon has an interesting face and an attractive, bright yellow beak. Its wingspans are slightly longer than its wings. The tail is black and its wings are brown. Its legs are rounded.
It is similar to a starling, but slightly longer. As it grows older, it flies faster. This unique coloration allows it to blend in with the surrounding vegetation.