thiopia is one of the best birding and safari destinations in Africa. We have numerous endemic and near-endemic species, many resident waders, and forest and savannah species, topped up with a large number of seasonal migrants, some from the Palearctic region. We estimate about 850 species in all, of which about 670 are resident. A total of 827 species was recorded by Urban & Brown “Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia” (University Press 1971), and of these 665 were resident.
The exact number of endemic species is open to interpretation, depending on recent additions, modern taxonomy and cognizance of recent changes in political boundaries.
Some lists may include the Nechisar Nightjar, discovered in 1992, but identified only from a decomposing wing found in Nechisar National Park. A reasonable estimate is 16 endemics, and a further 14 shared with Eritrea. Fortunately, most of these can be found in quite accessible locations, so visitors have a unique opportunity of seeing a number of birds found nowhere else in the world. For serious ornithologists, we can provide customized itineraries designed to visit all the known sites for endemics.
Casual visitors from Europe and North America will immediately recognize familiar birds of prey, ducks and geese, avocets, starlings, warblers, larks, flycatchers, pipits and wagtails. They will be less familiar with ostrich, hamerkop, marabou stork, secretary bird, bustards, jacanas, African snipe, coucals, turacos, parrots, lovebirds, hornbills, wood-hoopoes, mousebirds, trogons, barbets, honey-guides, bulbuls, cuckoo-shrikes, drongos, oxpeckers, sunbirds, weaver-birds and waxbills.