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Republic of Côte d'Ivoire

Dwarf Bittern
Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii ©Lionel Sineux Website

Ivory Coast, officially République de Côte d'Ivoire, is a country located in southern West Africa, approximately square in shape and about the size of Germany. The climate is generally warm and humid, ranging from equatorial in the southern coasts of the Gulf of Guinea, tropical in the middle and semiarid in the far north.

Such a climatic range creates very diverse biotopes for the local avifauna, which provides a bird list of about 730 species.

After years of political turmoil, the country is now accessible to independent birders, able to deal with the absence of specialised agencies.

13 IBAs are present in Ivory Coast, but conservation has for a long time not been a priority, so some of them are badly damaged. Nevertheless, two top sites offer huge birding opportunities, along with safe and quite comfortable visiting conditions.

First, in the west of the country, is the Parc National de Taï, which is one of the most beautiful primary forests in West Africa. Some of the much sought after species found here include Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, White-breasted Guineafowl, Nkulengu Rail, Red-Chested Owlet, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Western Wattled Cuckoo-shrike, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Black-headed Rufous Warbler, Yellow-headed Picathates & Rufous-winged Illadopsis. Among an inventory of about 230 local species, 12 endemics of the Upper Guinean forest ecosystem have been listed.

Then, there is the Parc National de la Comoé, a large wooded savannah area near the Burkina and Ghana borders. Top species there are Marabou Stork, Bateleur (50 species of diurnal birds have been listed!), Denham's Bustard, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and more than 450 other species.

There are guiding facilities in both places, but there are not any that specialise in birding.

Top Sites

Parc National de Taï

Website

Satellite View

One of the most beautiful primary forests in West Africa. Some of the much sought after species found here include Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, White-breasted Guineafowl, Nkulengu Rail, Red-Chested Owlet, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Western Wattled Cuckoo-shrike, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Black-headed Rufous Warbler, Yellow-headed Picathates & Rufous-winged Illadopsis.

African Bird Club List of Sites

Webpage

Contributor

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 741

Endemics

White-cheeked Turaco Tauraco leucotis

Useful Reading

Birds of Western Africa: An Identification Guide

Nik Borrow and Ron Demey Series: CHRISTOPHER HELM IDENTIFICATION GUIDE SERIES 832 pages, 147 col plates, 1100 dist maps. Christopher Helm

ISBN: 0713639598

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa

Nik Borrow and Ron Demey Series: HELM FIELD GUIDES 496 pages, 150 col plates, 1300 maps. Christopher Helm See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713666927

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Conservation de la nature et aires protégées en Côte d'Ivoire

Lauginie, F. (2007) Afrique nature, Abidjan

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

1999 [03 March] Michiel de Boer

Report

The main reason to go to Ivory Coast was to try and find the Yellow-headed Rockfowl or White-necked Rockfowl Picathartes gymnocephalus which to me seemed to be the most amazing and bizarre bird in the world. This bird is only known from Ivory Coast and adjacent Liberia and was our target bird…

2000 [06 June] Frank Rheindt

Report

From April 19 through June 24 2000, I spent a little more than 2 months in the République de Côte d`Ivoire. Most of that time (May 1 through June 18) was spent at the Biological Research Camp of the University of Wuerzburg (Germany) in the Parc National de la Comoé, where I did some research work on the general differences of the vocalizations of the birds to be found in the different microhabitats within the park. Thus, a lot of time was spent in the field making bird recordings, whilst - at the beginning of my stay - some time had also been invested in mist-netting…

Organisations

African Bird Club

Website

Côte d'Ivoire has a bird list of about 730 species which is a good total for a country about the size of Italy but not exceptional. Although it has deserved more ornithological attention than have many West African countries and although the number of recorded species is probably not far from the real one, much still remains to be discovered about the distribution and habits of Ivorian birds, and the country cannot be considered as very well-known. This state of knowledge will probably not improve for some time due to the current political troubles.

West African Ornithological Society

Website

The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society, which was founded in February 1964. Its object is to promote scientific interest in the birds of West Africa and to further the region’s ornithology, mainly by means of its journal Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society). This journal is biannual and bilingual, a unique feature in Africa.The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society, which was founded in February 1964. Its object is to promote scientific interest in the birds of West Africa and to further the region’s ornithology, mainly by means of its journal Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society). This journal is biannual and bilingual, a unique feature in Africa.

WWF Programme Office - Cote d'Ivoire

08 B.P. 1776, Ibidjan. + 225 448786 zebasouleymane@hotmail.com

Reserves

Comoé National Park

Website

Birds include 10 species of herons such as grey heron Ardea cinerea, goliath heron A. goliath, yellow-billed egret Egretta intermedia, ducks (Anatidae); raptors (Accipitridae); plovers and francolins (Phasianidae); hammerkop Scopus umbretta, black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus, four of the six West African stork species, and five of the six West African vulture species…

IBAs

Website

BirdLife International identified 14 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Côte d'Ivoire covering 23,553 km2, equivalent to 7.3% of the land-surface area of the country…

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

Website

There are a number of rare and endemic bird species and a detailed account of birds in Liberian Nimba is given in Coston and Curry-Lindahl (1986)…

Taï National Park

Website

Over 230 bird species have been recorded, 143 typical of primary forest, including white-breasted guineafowl Agelastes meleagrides (E); Nimba flycatcher Melaenornis annamarulae (I); western wattled cuckoo-shrike Campephaga lobata (V); and yellow-throated olive greenbul Criniger olivaceus (V). More details about birds are given in Thiollay (1985)…