Birds in Etosha
The summers are ideal for birding in Etosha National Park. While game viewing benefits from dry conditions, the summer rains turn some of the vast pans into seasonal lakes and attract migratory and wetland species. Etosha is home to 340 bird species, about a third of which are migratory. The avian residents of the park make up an eclectic mix that ranges from flamingos to the colourful lilac-breasted roller and eagles soaring high above.
One of the best birding spots is Fisher’s Pan. When the rains gather in the pan you can see flamingos and storks wading through the shallow water. African openbill and great crested and black necked grebe can be seen here as well. After good rains the 5 000 km² Etosha Pan fills with water and attracts a pink cloud of flamingo. The curious bird comes to here to breed in thousands. The best time to see them is during January and February when water is present in the pan. Usually, the amount of flamingos over this period depends on the amount of rain Etosha National Park is receiving.
Etosha’s 35 raptors feast in dry conditions. Bateleur, tawny eagle and martial eagle float in the upwinds. Goshawks sit in the branches and eight species of owl can be spotted after sunset. The vultures that visit Etosha include lapped-faced, white-backed and hooded vultures.
Namibian specials include Bare-cheeked babbler, violet wood-hope, Carp’s tit, Monterio’s hornbill, rockrunner and Rüppel’s parrot. Record breaking species are the ostrich as the world’s largest bird and the kori bustard, which is the heaviest flying bird.