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A Photographic Field Guide to the Common Birds of the Gambia and Senegal West Africa By Patrick Wise

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A taste of the Gambia, West Africa cooking. Chili free unlike in Asian cooking. A taste of the Gambia, West Africa cooking. Chili free unlike in Asian cooking.
The Gambia Bird logo birds Africa           Pelicans, Cormorants, Darters, Grebes and Gannets
Herons, Egrets, Storks, Ibises, Spoonbills and Flamingoes
Ducks and Geese
Vultures, Harries, Eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Kites and Falcons
Francolins, Quails, Fowls, Rails, Crakes and Coots
Stilts, Plovers, Sandpipers, and Thick-knees
Skuas, Gulls and Terns
Doves, Pigeons, Sand grouse, Parrots and Turacos
Cuckoos, Coucals, Owls, Nightjars and Swifts
Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, Rollers, Hornbills, Barbet and Tinker birds
Woodpeckers, Larks, Swallows, Martins, Bulbuls and Babblers
Thrushes, Chats, Warblers and Flycatchers
Sunbirds, Starlings, Bush Shrikes and Shrikes
Sparrows, Weavers, Finches, Whydahs and Estrildids

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Below is a comprehensive list of the Birds
of the Gambia and Senegal West Africa.

Pelicans, Cormorants, Darters, Grebes & Gannets
Common name (Scientific name)

Great white pelican (pelecanus onocrotalus)
Pink-backed pelican (pelecanus rufescens)
Little grebe (tachybaptus ruficollis)
Northern gannet (sula bassana)
Great cormorant (phalacrocorax carbo)
Long-tailed cormorant (phalacrocorax africanus)
African darter (anhinga rufa)
Hammer head or Hamerkop (scopus umbretta)

Herons, Egrets, Storks, Ibises, Spoonbills & Flamingoes
Common name (Scientific name)

Black-crowned night heron (nycticorax nycticorax)
Striated or green-back heron (butorides striatus)
Cattle egret (bubulcus ibis)
Squacco heron (ardeola ralloides)
Little egret (egretta garzetta)
Intermediate egret (egrette intermedia)
Great white egret (egretta Alba)
Black egret (egretta ardesiaca)
Western reef heron (egretta Western reef heron (egretta gularis)
Black-headed heron (ardea melanocephala)
Grey heron (ardea cinerea)
Reuzenreiger (goliath heron ardea goliath)
Purple heron (ardea pururea)
Black crowned crane (balearica pavonina)
Yellow-billed stork (mycteria ibis)
Woolly-necked stork (ciconia episcopus)
Saddle-billed stork (ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)
Marabou stork (leptoptilos crumenifercus)
Sacred ibis (threskiornis aethiopicus)
Hadada ibis (bostrychia hagedash)
African spoonbill (platalea Alba)
European spoonbill (platalea leucorodia)
Lesser flamingo (phoenicopterus minor)
Greater flamingo (phornicopterus rubber)

Ducks &Geese
Common name (Scientific name)

White-faced whistling duck (dendrocygna viduata)
Fulvous whisteling duck (dedrocygna bicolor)
Spur-winged goose (plectropterus gambensis)
Knob-billed duck (sarkidiornis melanotos)
Garganey (anas querquedula)
Common teal (anas crecca)
Northern pintail -anas acuta)
Northern shoveler (anas clypeata)
Tufted duck (aythya fuligula)
African pygmy goose (nettapus auritus)

Vultures, Harries, Eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Kits & Falcons
Common name (Scientific name)

Palm-nut vulture (gypohierax anagolensis)
Egyptian vulture (neoprene percnopterus)
Hooded vulture (necrosyrtes monachus)
White-backed vulture (gyps africanus)
Ruppel’s griffon vulture (gyps rueppelli)
Lappet-faced vulture (torgos tracheliotus)
White-headed vulture (trigonoceps occipitalis)
Pried crow (corvus albus)
African Harrier-hawk (polyboroides typus)
Osprey (pandion haliaetus)
African fish eagle (haliaeetus vocifer)
Bateleur (terathopius ecadatus)
Tawny eagle (Aquila rapax)
Long crested eagle (lophaetus occipitalis)
African hawk eagle (hieraaetus spilogaster)
Montagu’s harrier (circus pygargus)
Black-shouldered kite (elanus caeruleus)
Black kite (milvus migrans)
Shikra (accipiter badius)
Lizard buzzard (kaupifalco monogrammicas)
Common kestrel (falcon ardosiaceus)
Lanner falcon (flacon biarmicus)
African hobby (falco cuviert)

Francolins, Quails, Fowls, Rails, Crakes & Coots
Common name (Scientific name)

Double-spurred francolin (francolinus bicalcaratus)
Stone partridge (ptilopachus petrosus)
Helmeted guineafowl (numida meleagris)
Purple swamphen (porphyrio)
Common moorhen (gallinule chloropus)
Black crake (amaurornis flavirostris)
Greater painted-snipe (rostratula benghalensis)
African finfoot (podica senegalensis)
African jacana (actophilornis africanus)

Stilts, Plovers, Sandpipers & Thick-knees
Common name (Scientific name)

Eurasian oystercatcher (haematopus ostralegus)
Spur-winged plover (vanellus spinosus)
Lapwing (vanellus (vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed plover (vanellus tectus)
Wattled plover (vanellus senegallus)
White-crowned plover (vanellus albiceps)
Little ringe plover (charadius dubius)
Kentish plover (charadrius alexandrius)
Ringed plover (chradrius hiaticula)
Grey plover (pluvialis squatarola)
Whimbrel (numennius phaeopus)
Eurasian curlew (numenius arquata)
Black-tailed godwit (limosa limosa)
Bar-tailed godwit (limosa lapponica)
Common redshank(tringa tetanus)
Common greenshank (tringa nebularia)
Common sandpiper (actitis hypoleucos)
Marsh sandpiper (tringa stagnatilis)
Green sandpiper (tringa ochtropus)
Wood sandpiper (tring glareola)
Pied (recurvirostra avosetta)
Black-winged stilt (himantopus himantopus)
Common snipe (gulling gulling)
Ruff (philomachus pugnax)
Turnstone (arenaria interpres)
Little stint (calidris minuta)
Dunlin (calidris alpine)
Sanderling (calidris Alba)
Curlew sandpiper
Senegal thick-knee (burhinus senegalensis)
Spotted thick-knee (burhinus capensis)
Stone curlew (burhinus oedicnemus)
Egyptian plover (pluvianus aegyptius)
Collared pratincole (glareola pratincola)


Skuas, Gulls &Terns
Common name (Scientific name)

Artic skua (stercoratius parasiticus)
Great skua (catharacta skua)
Black-headed gull (larus ridibundus)
Grey-headed grull (larus cirrocephalus)
Slender-billed gull (larus genei)
Lesser black-backed gull (larnus fuscus)
Common gull (larus canus)
Black tern (chlidonias niger)
Little tern (sterna albifrons)
Common tern (sterna hirundo)
Lesser crested tern (sterna begalensis)
Caspian tern (sterna Caspian)
Royal tern (sterna maxima)
Sandwich tern (sterna sandvicensis)

Doves, pigeons, Sandgrouse, Parrots & Turacos
Common name (Scientific name)

Blue-spotted wood dove (turtur afer)
Black-billed wood dove (turtur abyssinicus)
Speckled pigeon (Columba guinea)
Red-eyed dove (streptopelia semitorquata)
African mourning dove (streptropelia decipiens)
Vinaceous dove (streptopelia vinacea)
Laughing dove (streptopelia senegalensis)
European turtle dove (streptopelia turtur)
Namaqua dove (ocean capensis)
African green pigion (treron calva)
Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (pterocle exustus)
Four-banded sandgrouse (pterocles quadricinctus)
Senegal parrot (poicephalus senegalus)
Rose-ringed parakeet (psittacula krameri)
Brown-necked parrot (poicephalus robustus)
Western grey plantain-eater (crinifer piscator)
Green turaco (tauraco persa)
Violet turaco (musophaga violacea)

Cuckoos, Coucals, Owls, Nightjars & Swifts
Common name (Scientific name)

African cuckoo (cuculus gularis)
Levaillant’s cuckoo (clamatator levaillantii)
Diederik cuckoo (chysococcyx caprius)
Emerald cuckoo (chrysoccyx cupreus)
Senegal coucal (centropus senegalensis)
Piapiac (ptilostomus afer)
Barn owl (tyto Alba)
White-faced scops owl (otus leucotis)
African scops owl (otus senegalensis)
Pearl-spotted (otus senegalensis)
Pealt-spotted (owlet glaucidium perlatum)
short-eared owl (asio flammeus)
Marsh owl (asi capensis)
Verreaux’s eagle owl (buba lacteus)
Long-tailed nightjar (caprimulgus cilmacurus)
Standard-winged nightjar (macrodipteryx longipennis)
Red-neck nightjar (caprimulgus ruficollis)
Common swift (Apus Apus)
Mottled spinetail (chaetura ussheri)
Little swift (Apus affinis)
African palm swift (cypsiurus parvus)



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Kingfishers, Bee-eater, Rollers, Hornbills, Barbets & Tinkerbird
Common name (Scientific name)

Giant kingfisher (megaceryle maxima)
Pied kingfisher (ceryle rudis)
Woodland kingfisher (halcyon senegalensis)
Blue-breasted kingfisher (halcyon malimbica)
Grey-headed kingfisher (halcyon leucocephala)
Striped kingfisher (halcyon chelicutt)
African pygmy kingfisher (Ceyx picta)
Malachite kingfisher (alcedo cristata)
Swallow-tailed bee-eater (merops hirundineus)
Little bee-eater (merops pusillus)
Blue-cheeked bee-eater (merops persius)
Little green bee-eater (merops orientails)
Carmine bee-eater (merops nubicus)
Red-throated bee-eater (merops bulocki)
European bee-eater (merops apiaster)
White-throated bee-eater (merops albicollis)
Abyssinian roller (coracias abyssinica)
Blue-bellied roller (coracia cyanogaster)
Rufous-crowned roller (coracias naevia)
Broad-billed roller (eurystomus glaucurus)
Blue-naped moosebird (urocolius marcrourus)
Hoopoe (upupa epops)
Green wood hoopoe (rhinopomastus aterrimus)
Red-billed hornbill (tockus erythrorhynchus)
Pied hornbill (tockus fasiatus)
Grey hornbill (tockus nasutus)
Abyssinian ground hornbill (bucorvus abyssinicus)
Vieillot’s barbet (lybius vieillotti)
Bearded barbet (lybius dubius)
Yellow-fronted tinkerbird (pogoniulus chrysoconus)
Yellow-rumped tinkerbird (pogoniulus bilineatus)

Woodpeckers, Larks, Swallows , Martins, Bulbuls & babblers  
Common name (Scientific name)

Fine-spotted woodpecker (campethera punctuligera)
Buff-spotted woodpecker (campethera nivosa)
Cardinal woodpecker (denropicos fuscescens)
Grey woodpecker (mesopicus goertae)
Crested lark (galerida cristata)
Chestnut-backed sparrow-lark (eremopterix leucotis)
Red-throated pipit (anthus cervinus)
Greater honeyguide (indicator indicator)
Fanti saw-wing (psalidoprocne obscura)
Wire-tailed swallow (hirundo smithii)
Barn swallow (hirundo rustica)
Mosque swallow (hirundo senegalensis)
Sand martin (riparia riparia)
Fork-tailed drongo (dicrurus adsimilis )
White wagtail (motacilla Alba)
Yellow wagtail (motacilla flava)
Red-shouldered cuckoo-shrike (coracina phoenicea)
African golden oriole (oriolus auratus)
Oriole warbler (hypergerus articeps)
Capuchin babbler (phyllanthus artripennis)
Common bulbul (phcnonotus barbatus)
Leaflove (pyrrhurus scandens)
Blackcap babbler (turdoides reinwardii)
Brown babbler (turdoides plebejus)

Trushes, Warblers and Allies, Flycatchers
Common name (Scientific name)

Whinchat (saxicola rubetra)
Northern wheatear (oenanthe oenanthe)
Nightingale (luscinia megarhynchos)
Bluethroat (lusicinia svecica)
Common redstart (phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Rufous scrub robin (cercotrichas galactotes)
White-crowned robin-chat (cossypha albicapilla)
Snowy-crowned robin-chat (cossypha niveicapilla)
African thrush (turdus pelios)
Fire-crested alethe (alethe castanea)
Reed warbler (acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Yellow white-eye (zosterrops senegalensis)
Garden wabler (Sylvia borin)
Common whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
Black cap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Willow warbler (phylloscopus trochillus)
Sedge (acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Zitting cisticola (cisticola juncidis)
Grey-backed camaroptera (camaroptera branchyura)
Green-back eremomela (eremomela pusilla)
Northern crombec (sylvietta virens)
Green hylia (hylia prasina)
Common wattle-eye (platysteira cyanea)
Senegal batis (batis senegalensis)
Northern black flycatcher (melaenornis edolioides)
African blue flycatcher (elminia longicauda)
African paradise flycatcher (terpsiphone viridis)
Red-bellied paradise flycatcher (terpsiphone rufiventer)

Sunbirds, Starlings, Bush shrikes
Common name (Scientific name)

Pygmy sunbird (anthreptes platurus)
Collared sunbird (anthreptes collaris)
Mouse-brown sunbird (anthreptes gabonicus)
Beautiful sunbird (nectarinia pulchella)
Variable sunbird (nectarinia venusta)
Olive-bellied sunbird (nectarinia chloropygia)
Splendid sunbird (nectarinia coccinigastra)
Scarlet-chested sunbird (nectarinia senegalensis)
Copper sunbird (nectarinia cuprea)
Green-headed sunbird (nectarinia verticalis)
Long-tailed glossy starling (lamprotornis caudatus)
Greater blue-eared glossy starling (lamprotornis chalybaeus)
Lesser blue-eared glossy starling (lamprotornis chloropterus)
Splendid glossy starling (lamprotornis splendidus)
Purple glossy starling (lamprotornis purpureus)
Violet-backed starling (cinnyricinclus leucogaster)
Chestnut-bellied starling (lamprotornis pulcher)
Yellow-billed oxpecker (buphagus africanus)
Woodchat shrike (lanius senator)
Northern puffback (dryoscopus gambensis)
Yellow-crowned gonolek (laniarius barbarus)
Black-crowned tchagra (tchangra senegala)
Sulphur-breasted bush shrike (malaconotus sulfureopectus)
Grey-headed bush shrike (malconotus blanchoti)
Yellow billed shrike (corvinella corvine)
White-crested helmet strike (prionop plumatus)

Sparrows, Weavers, Finches, Whydahs & Estrildids
Common name (Scientific name)

House sparrow (passer domesticus)
Grey-headed sparrow (passer griseus)
Speckle-fronted weaver (sporopipes frontails)
Bush petronia (petronia dentate)
Sudan golden sparrow (passer luteus)
Yellow-fronted canary (serinus mozambicus)
White-rumped seedeater (serinus leucopygius)
White-billed buffalo-weaver (bubalornis albirostris)
Black-necked weaver (ploceus nigricollis)
Little weaver (ploceua luteolus)
Vitelline masked weaver (ploceus velatus)
Heuglin’s masked weaver (ploceus heuglini)
Village weaver (ploceus cucullatus)
Yellow-backed weaver (ploceus melanocephalus)
Northern red bishop (euplectec franciscanus)
Black-winged red bishop (euplectes horeaceus)
Yellow-crowned bishop (euplectes afer)
Yellow-shouldered widowbird (euplectes marcrourus)
Green-winged pytilia (pytilia Melba)
Red-winged pytilia (pytilia phoenicoptera)
Red-cheeked cordon-bleu (uraeginthus bengalus)
Lavender waxbill (estrida caerulescens)
Black-rumped waxbill (esrilda troglodytes)
Orange-cheeked waxbill (estrilda melpoda)
Red-billed firefinch (lagonosticta senegala)
Black-faced firefinch (lagonosticta larvata)
African silverbill (lonchura cantans)
Cut-throat finch (amadina fasciata)
Quail-finch (ortygospiza artricollic)
Bronze (lonchura cucullata)
Magpie manikin (lonchura frigilloides)
Exclamatory paradise whydah (vidua interjecta)
Pin-tailed whydah (vidua macroura)
Village indigobird (vidua chalybeate)
Chestnut-breasted negrofinch (nigrita bicolor)
Brown-rumped bunting (emberiza affinis)
Cinnamon-breasted bunting (emberiza tahapist)

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