Bird Watching

Rated by the African Bird Club as the number four birding site in Africa, the Bale Mountains National Park is home to over 310 species of birds. Furthermore, over 170 migratory birds have been recorded within the park. The Bale Mountains are home to almost every highland Abyssinian and Ethiopian endemic. Over 863 species of birds have been registered in Ethiopia, representing approximately 9.5 percent of the world’s birds and 39 percent of the birds in Africa. 18 of these birds are endemic to Ethiopia, while a further 14 are endemic to Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea.

The Bale Mountains are the best location in Ethiopia to spot the wattled crane, moorland and chestnut-naped francolins, and spot-breasted plover. There are also relict populations of three primarily Eurasian species that breed nowhere else in sub- saharan Africa: the ruddy shelduck, golden eagle and red-billed chough. Due to the diversity and density of rodents, the Bale Mountains are also an extremely important area for resident as well as wintering and passing raptors. Bale is an exquisite location for longtime birders as well as inexperienced visitors interested in seeing rare and endemic birds.

Endemic birds of the Bale Mountains

  • Blue-winged Goose Cyanochen cyanoptera
  • Spot-breasted lapwing/plover Vanellus melanochepalus
  • Yellow-fronted parrot Poicephalus flavifrons
  • Abyssinian longclaw Macronyx flavicollis
  • Abyssinian catbird Parophasma galinieri
  • Ethiopian/Black-headed siskin Serinus nigriceps





Near Endemic birds of the Bale Mountains (endemic to the Abyssinian Highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea)

  • Wattled ibis Bostrychia carunculata
  • Rouget’s rail Rougetius rougetii
  • White-collared pigeon Columba albitorques
  • Abyssinian slaty flycatcher Melaenornis chocolatinus
  • White-backed black tit Parus leuconotus
  • Abyssinian black-headed oriole Abyssinian woodpecker
  • Thick-billed raven Corvus crassirostris
  • Black-winged lovebird Agapornis taranta
  • Banded Barbet Lybius undatus
  • Gold-mantled Woodpecker Dendropicos abyssinicus
  • White-billed Starling Onychognathus albirostris