African Bird Guide

Learn more about African birds below or browse through our Kruger Birding Guide for detailed descriptions of all the best bird driving routes in Kruger Park, complete with birding calendars and bird habitat maps.

Bat Hawk

The adult Bat Hawk is brownish black all over, except for a white spot above and below the eye. The centre of the chest and throat are white, with a broad black median streak. The eyes are brilliant yellow.

Cape Wagtail

The common Cape Wagtail is unmistakable with its grey-brown upperparts, dark band across chest and white outer tail-feathers. No white on secondaries...

Hawk Eagle

It's easily identified in flight by the underwing pattern - a dark central stripe which runs from the wing base to the carpal joint. African hawk eagle is medium to large in size..

Plum Coloured Starling

Plum Coloured Starlings weigh 45 g and the sexes are dimorphic in plumage. The males upperparts, including the chin, throat and wings are iridescent purple. The underparts are pure white. The coloration varies from...

Brown Headed Parrot

The Brown Headed Parrot is another green bird with a brownish grey head. It has yellow under the wings at the front which unfortunately can only be seen properly when in flight. The iris is a greyish...

Black Headed Oriole

This bird has a very liquid sounding call which is a common sound in the area. Black Headed Orioles are a striking yellow colour with a black head. Like the other orioles, it has bright yellow plumage...

Black Stork

A Black Stork resembles the white stork in size, but shines with redish green tint. It has a white breast, belly, and a white spot under the tail. It's legs and beak are red. When in full flight...

Bateleur Eagle

The Bateleur eagle is the most famous of the snake eagles. Bateleur is French for tightrope-walker. Bateleur eagles spend 8-9 hours each day in the air looking for food. 

Grey Plover

The size, high forehead, short bill and long legs, distinguishes the Grey Plover from other waders. In summer plumage the underparts from the chin to lower belly are totally...


Sanderlings have a rather drab colouring, mainly white in appearance but with pale grey on crown and upper parts. Bill and legs are black. Short heavy bill, has no hind toe, leaving three...

Damara Tern

The Damara Tern is found in small groups on Atlantic coast, feeding offshore and in bays and estuaries. Confined to the coasts of South West Africa and Cape.

Greyheaded Gull

Adult Greyheaded Gulls have all-grey hood, pale yellow eyes and bright red bills and legs. When non-breeding, the head is white. A fresh water Gull found on large lakes and dams.

Crested Barbet

A Crested Barbet has a speckled yellow and red face with a small black crest, their belly is yellow with red speckles, the wings are black with white specks and a broad black band on its neck...


Because of their black colouration, Cormorants are often referred to as sea crows. In fact, the family name, Phalacrocoracidae, means bald raven in Greek. While Cormorants do appear black...

Scops Owl

These Owls are also known simply as White-faced Owls. Because of several distinctions from other Scops Owls, some specialists give this Owl it's own Genus - Ptilopsis. Small grey, nocturnal Owl...

Purple Roller

Purple Rollers have a length of 35-40cm, and weigh 160g. The sexes look alike. It is a large, stocky and dull roller. From a distance or in poor light it appears, a plain dark brown with broad pale...


Kingfishers are among the most brilliantly coloured of all birds, and many have strident voices and dramatic courtship displays. Most species have some blue plumage, and many have red bills...

Fish Eagle

The African Fish Eagle is a fairly large eagle. Its is a distinctive black, brown, and white plumage. Although, as its name suggests, it feeds extensively on fish, in some areas it preys on..


The Spoonbill is a long-legged wading bird. Its height is 90 cm. Its body is predominantly white, except for its red legs, face, and bill. Its wings are 365-403 mm long...

Eagle Owl

The Giant Eagle Owl is the largest owl in the world. As the biggest of all the Owls the Eagle owl is easily recognised by its huge size and wingspan. They are light grey in colour.

Martial Eagle

The head, upperparts and breast of a Martial Eagle are dark brown and the belly white with dark brown spots. The Martial Eagle is the largest eagle in Africa.

Pearl Spotted Owl

Pearl Spotted Owls have cinnamon brown heads with off-white facial disks. Their upper-parts are brown with numerous dusky rimmed white spots...

Marabou Stork

Its huge size and repulsive appearance leave no doubt as to the identity of the Marabou Stork. The naked head and neck bear sparse woolly down which, in the immature bird, is thicker...

Lilac Breasted Roller

The average size of a Lilac Breasted Roller is 14.5 inches. The washed green head is large, the neck is short, the greenish yellow legs are rather short and the feet are small.

Kori Bustard

The Kori Bustard is huge in size and the lack of reddish on its hind-neck render this species unmistakable. Female much smaller than male...

Green Pigeon

The upperparts of a Green Pigeon are greyish green to yellowish green, their thighs are yellow with mauve patches on the top of the wing. Their bills are red at the base white at the tip.


The Ostrich (struthio camelus) is a member of a group of birds known as ratites, that is they are flightless birds without a keel to their breastbone. The ostrich is the largest bird.

White-breasted Cormorant

Identified by large size and white underparts, throat to breast or, in immatures, entirely white underparts, of the White-breasted Cormorant are much whiter than the immature of the Reed Cormorant...

White Fronted Plover

The White-fronted Plover male has a more conspicuous black line behind eye and usually small dark patches on sides of breast. The birds from the western Cape are white below...

Kruger National Park - South African Safari