Birds of São Tomé and Príncipe

Over 150 birds live in São Tomé and Príncipe, a series of islands in the Gulf of Guinea. Despite its small size, these islands are home to many endemic avian species, including the São Tomé Ibis (the world’s smallest species of Ibis) and the Giant Sunbird (the largest species of Sunbird). Other notable species include the São Tomé Oriole, the São Tomé Fiscal, and the São Tomé Paradise Flycatcher.

Birds of São Tomé and Príncipe

List of Common Birds Found in São Tomé and Príncipe

Native Birds

  • Black-capped Speirops
  • Giant Sunbird
  • Olive Sunbird
  • Principe Kingfisher
  • Principe Starling
  • Príncipe Sunbird
  • Príncipe Thrush
  • Príncipe White-eye
  • São Tomé Barbet
  • São Tomé Blue Pigeon
  • São Tomé Bronze-naped Pigeon
  • São Tomé Firefinch
  • São Tomé Fiscal
  • São Tomé Green Pigeon
  • São Tomé Grosbeak
  • São Tomé Ibis
  • São Tomé Kingfisher
  • São Tomé Olive Pigeon
  • São Tomé Oriole
  • São Tomé Paradise Flycatcher
  • São Tomé Prinia
  • São Tomé Scops Owl
  • São Tomé Speirops
  • São Tomé Spinetail
  • São Tomé Sunbird
  • São Tomé Thrush
  • São Tomé Weaver
  • São Tomé Whipper
  • São Tomé White-eye
  • São Tomé Woodpecker
  • Splendid Starling
  • Spotted Flycatcher

Non-native Birds

  • African Pygmy Goose
  • Allen’s Gallinule
  • Common Ringed Plover
  • Common Swift
  • Common Waxbill
  • Eurasian Thick-knee
  • Pallid Swift
  • Red Knot
  • Ruff
  • Sanderling
  • Southern Cordonbleu
  • Village Weaver

São Tomé and Príncipe are stunning destinations for birdwatching, with their lush forests and unique avian species. Some of the notable birding sites on these islands include Obo National Park, Praia Piscina Beach, Rolas Island, Lagoa Azul Lake, and Príncipe Biosphere Reserve. The last one is notable as it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 

The peak season for birding in São Tomé and Príncipe typically coincides with the dry season, which usually runs from June to September. During this time, the weather is generally more stable with less rainfall, making it easier to access birdwatching sites and explore the forests and natural areas. That being said, São Tomé and Príncipe can be visited for birdwatching throughout the year. Even during the wet season (October to May), you can still see many species, but bird activity might be slightly reduced, and access to certain areas could be more challenging due to the rains.

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