Birdwatching in Eritrea

Eritrea Information



Species checklist


This comprehensive checklist includes all the species reliably recorded in Eritrea.  We have kept it as close as possible to the sequence used in the field guide that visiting birders are most likely to use: Redman, Stevenson and Fanshawe: Birds of the Horn of Africa (Christopher Helm, 2009), following the order and taxonomy given in the checklist at the back of the book. Status symbols used are taken from the ABC Checklist (© ABC and Bob Dowsett 2007).  Our selection of species to include follows the official Eritrea checklist kept by John Ash and status information follows Ash and Atkins' Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea (Christopher Helm, 2009).  In the Comments column of the checklist, we have indicated where other authors might differ from the above references, regarding splits and lumps, as well as alternative names (Alt) and other points of interest. Many thanks to Nigel Redman, John Atkins, John Ash and John Caddick of ABC for their help in compiling this list.


Click here to open the checklist  It's an Excel (xls) file.  Left click to open it in your browser.  Right click, and choose 'Save Target As...' if you want to download it to your computer. Then save it to My Documents or Desktop.  If you need it in Word or another format, just email me.


An Expanding Checklist

Eritrea is very underwatched.  As a result the current checklist of over 570 species is still increasing.  Any visiting birders should keep detailed records of species seen that may be new for the country, including photographic evidence.  These records should be submitted to us and to John Ash, whose details can be found on the African Birding Club website, Eritrea page.


Additions to the Eritrea Checklist since 2007 are listed below:


Black-winged Pratincole

24 April 2017


Seen by Nigel Redman. See ABC Bulletin 25.1

Trumpeter Finch

July 2013

Colluli, Dankalia

Seen by Futsum Hagos, identified from photos by Nigel Redman. See ABC Bulletin 25.1

Red-footed Booby

18 June 2011

Red Sea between Massawa and Dahret

Seen by Giorgio Chiozzi. Ref: Chiozzi etl al. 2012. Additions to the avifauna of Eritrea and further records of rare species. ABC Bulletin 19.2

African Jacana

8 October 2006


Found by Dawit Semere, freshly dead. Presumed vagrant. Ref: Chiozzi etl al. 2012. Additions to the avifauna of Eritrea and further records of rare species. ABC Bulletin 19.2  

Brown-throated Wattle-eye

1890 (museum specimen)


Collected in 1890 and originally misidentified. robably extinct now in Ghinda area, may still survive in Filfil. Ref: Chiozzi etl al. 2012. Additions to the avifauna of Eritrea and further records of rare species. ABC Bulletin 19.2

Montane Nightjar

25 February 2009

Adi Keih

Bird flushed, then photographed. Likely to be resident. Several previous records were unconfirmed.

Great Cormorant

03 February 2009

Mai Nefe

One bird photographed on reservoir.  Probable vagrant.

Grasshopper Warbler

26 January 2009

Filfil Sabur

One bird photographed.  Probably vagrant or winter visitor.

Caspian Gull

24 January 2009

Dahlak Islands

One bird photographed by Giuseppe De Marchi, subsequently confirmed as Caspian, subspecies barabensis (Steppe Gull).

Maccoa Duck


25 April 2008

Adi Keih

Regular on reservoirs, but only officially recorded in 2008. Likely to have recently expanded its range north from Ethiopia into Eritrea.

Cape Eagle Owl

01 April 2008

Adi Keih

A single injured adult bird was recorded and photographed.  Likely to be a resident, if uncommon species.

Somali Courser

06 March 2008

Adi Keih

A single bird at Mealawia (2500m), near Adi Keih.  Presumed vagrant.  Another unsubmitted record of four birds from the Foro area, nearby at sea level by Harte and Berhane* suggests that this species may be resident in the coastal lowlands.

African Olive Pigeon

26 January 2008

Filfil Medhanit

Recorded at Filfil, and more recently photographed at Karibossa, Adi Keih.  Likely to be resident, extending the species' previously known distribution range north significantly.

Mountain Wagtail

21 October 2007

Adi Keih

A party of three birds recorded and photographed, including one juvenile.  May be breeding in Eritrea.  Extends the species' previously known distribution range north significantly.

Familiar Chat

12 October 2007


Recorded twice near Safira.  Likely to be resident. 


*Kenneth J. Harte and Dawit Berhane; Trip List to Eritrea, December 2004, unpublished.

Eritrea Information             
Abyssinian Endemics            
Bird Checklist for Eritrea
Travel & Accommodation     
In Italiano                           
Other Wildlife                      
Asmara Birdwatching           
Filfil Birdwatching                
Adi Keih Birdwatching          
Massawa Birdwatching         
Dahlak Islands Birdwatching    
Elabered / Keren Birdwatching
Gash Barka Birdwatching        
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