List of birds of Burkina Faso
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Burkina Faso. The avifauna of Burkina Faso include a total of 499 species, of which seven are rare or accidental. One species listed is extirpated in Burkina Faso and is not included in the species count.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species count for Burkina Faso.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Burkina Faso
- (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Burkina Faso although populations exist elsewhere
The ostrich is a flightless bird native to Africa. It is the largest living species of bird. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at high speeds.
- Common ostrich, Struthio camelus (Ex)
Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Burkina Faso.
- Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis
Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful.
Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving.
- African darter, Anhinga rufa
Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes.
Bitterns, herons and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.
- Grey heron, Ardea cinerea
- Black-headed heron, Ardea melanocephala
- Goliath heron, Ardea goliath
- Purple heron, Ardea purpurea
- Great egret, Ardea alba
- Intermediate egret, Ardea intermedia
- Black heron, Egretta ardesiaca
- Western reef heron, Egretta gularis
- Little egret, Egretta garzetta
- Squacco heron, Ardeola ralloides
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Striated heron, Butorides striata
- Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
- White-backed night heron, Gorsachius leuconotus
- Dwarf bittern, Ixobrychus sturmii
- Great bittern, Botaurus stellaris
The hammerkop is a medium-sized bird with a long shaggy crest. The shape of its head with a curved bill and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, hence its name. Its plumage is drab-brown all over.
- Hamerkop, Scopus umbretta
Ibises and spoonbills
Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers.
- Sacred ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus
- Hadada ibis, Bostrychia hagedash
- Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
- Eurasian spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia
- African spoonbill, Platalea alba
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory.
- Yellow-billed stork, Mycteria ibis
- African openbill, Anastomus lamelligerus
- Black stork, Ciconia nigra
- Abdim's stork, Ciconia abdimii
- Woolly-necked stork, Ciconia episcopus
- White stork, Ciconia ciconia
- Saddle-billed stork, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis
- Marabou stork, Leptoptilos crumenifer
Ducks, geese and swans
Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.
- Fulvous whistling duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
- White-faced whistling duck, Dendrocygna viduata
- White-backed duck, Thalassornis leuconotus
- Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus
- Spur-winged goose, Plectropterus gambensis
- Knob-billed duck, Sarkidiornis melanotos
- African pygmy goose, Nettapus auritus
- Eurasian teal, Anas crecca
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta
- Garganey, Spatula querquedula
- Northern shoveler, Spatula clypeata
- Common pochard, Aythya ferina (A)
- Ferruginous pochard, Aythya nyroca (A)
The family Pandionidae contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Hawks, kites and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.
- African cuckoo-hawk, Aviceda cuculoides
- European honey buzzard, Pernis apivorus
- Bat hawk, Macheiramphus alcinus
- Black-winged kite, Elanus caeruleus
- Scissor-tailed kite, Chelictinia riocourii
- Black kite, Milvus migrans
- Yellow-billed kite, Milvus aegyptius
- African fish eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer
- Palm-nut vulture, Gypohierax angolensis
- Hooded vulture, Necrosyrtes monachus
- Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus
- White-backed vulture, Gyps africanus
- Rüppell's vulture, Gyps rueppelli
- Lappet-faced vulture, Torgos tracheliotos
- White-headed vulture, Trigonoceps occipitalis
- Short-toed snake eagle, Circaetus gallicus
- Beaudouin's snake eagle, Circaetus beaudouini
- Brown snake eagle, Circaetus cinereus
- Banded snake eagle, Circaetus cinerascens
- Bateleur, Terathopius ecaudatus
- Western marsh harrier, Circus aeruginosus
- Pallid harrier, Circus macrourus
- Montagu's harrier, Circus pygargus
- African harrier-hawk, Polyboroides typus
- Lizard buzzard, Kaupifalco monogrammicus
- Dark chanting goshawk, Melierax metabates
- Gabar goshawk, Micronisus gabar
- African goshawk, Accipiter tachiro
- Shikra, Accipiter badius
- Red-thighed sparrowhawk, Accipiter erythropus
- Ovampo sparrowhawk, Accipiter ovampensis
- Grasshopper buzzard, Butastur rufipennis
- Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus
- Red-necked buzzard, Buteo auguralis
- Tawny eagle, Aquila rapax
- African hawk-eagle, Aquila spilogaster
- Wahlberg's eagle, Hieraaetus wahlbergi
- Booted eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus
- Martial eagle, Polemaetus bellicosus
- Long-crested eagle, Lophaetus occipitalis
The secretarybird is a bird of prey in the order Falconiformes but is easily distinguished from other raptors by its long crane-like legs.
- Secretarybird, Sagittarius serpentarius
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.
- Lesser kestrel, Falco naumanni
- Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
- Fox kestrel, Falco alopex
- Gray kestrel, Falco ardosiaceus
- Red-necked falcon, Falco chicquera
- Red-footed falcon, Falco vespertinus
- Eurasian hobby, Falco subbuteo
- African hobby, Falco cuvierii
- Lanner falcon, Falco biarmicus
- Barbary falcon, Falco pelegrinoides
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
Pheasants and francolins
The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.
- Coqui francolin, Peliperdix coqui
- White-throated francolin, Peliperdix albogularis
- Double-spurred francolin, Pternistis bicalcaratus
- Common quail, Coturnix coturnix
- Blue quail, Excalfactoria adansonii
- Stone partridge, Ptilopachus petrosus
Guineafowl are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage.
- Helmeted guineafowl, Numida meleagris
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances".
- Black crowned crane, Balearica pavonina
- Red-chested flufftail, Sarothrura rufa
Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.
- African crake, Crex egregia
- Black crake, Amaurornis flavirostris
- Little crake, Porzana parva
- African swamphen, Porphyrio madagascariensis
- Allen's gallinule, Porphyrio alleni
- Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
- Lesser moorhen, Gallinula angulata
- Eurasian coot, Fulica atra
Sungrebe and finfoots
Heliornithidae is a small family of tropical birds with webbed lobes on their feet similar to those of grebes and coots..
- African finfoot, Podica senegalensis
Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays.
- Arabian bustard, Ardeotis arabs
- Denham's bustard, Neotis denhami
- White-bellied bustard, Eupodotis senegalensis
- Savile's bustard, Lophotis savilei
- Black-bellied bustard, Lissotis melanogaster
The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young.
The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat.
Painted-snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Burkina Faso.
- Greater painted-snipe, Rostratula benghalensis
Avocets and stilts
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.
The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.
- Water thick-knee, Burhinus vermiculatus
- Senegal thick-knee, Burhinus senegalensis
- Spotted thick-knee, Burhinus capensis
Pratincoles and coursers
Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards.
- Egyptian plover, Pluvianus aegyptius
- Cream-colored courser, Cursorius cursor
- Temminck's courser, Cursorius temminckii
- Bronze-winged courser, Rhinoptilus chalcopterus
- Collared pratincole, Glareola pratincola
Plovers and lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.
- Spur-winged plover, Vanellus spinosus
- Black-headed lapwing, Vanellus tectus
- White-headed lapwing, Vanellus albiceps
- Wattled lapwing, Vanellus senegallus
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- Common ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula
- Little ringed plover, Charadrius dubius
- Kittlitz's plover, Charadrius pecuarius
- Forbes's plover, Charadrius forbesi
- White-fronted plover, Charadrius marginatus
- Snowy plover, Charadrius alexandrinus
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
- Jack snipe, Lymnocryptes minimus
- Great snipe, Gallinago media
- Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago
- Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Spotted redshank, Tringa erythropus
- Common redshank, Tringa totanus
- Marsh sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis
- Common greenshank, Tringa nebularia
- Green sandpiper, Tringa ochropus
- Wood sandpiper, Tringa glareola
- Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Little stint, Calidris minuta
- Temminck's stint, Calidris temminckii (A)
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years. Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish.
- Gray-headed gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
- Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
- Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia
- Little tern, Sternula albifrons
- Whiskered tern, Chlidonias hybrida
- White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
- Black tern, Chlidonias niger
- African skimmer, Rynchops flavirostris
Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes.
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia
- Speckled pigeon, Columba guinea
- Eurasian turtle dove, Streptopelia turtur
- African collared dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea
- Mourning collared dove, Streptopelia decipiens
- Red-eyed dove, Streptopelia semitorquata
- Vinaceous dove, Streptopelia vinacea
- Laughing dove, Spilopelia senegalensis
- Black-billed wood dove, Turtur abyssinicus
- Blue-spotted wood dove, Turtur afer
- Namaqua dove, Oena capensis
- Bruce's green pigeon, Treron waalia
- African green pigeon, Treron calva
Old World parrots
- Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri
African and New World parrots
- Senegal parrot, Poicephalus senegalus
The turacos, plantain eaters and go-away-birds make up the bird family Musophagidae. They are medium-sized arboreal birds. The turacos and plantain eaters are brightly coloured, usually in blue, green or purple. The go-away birds are mostly grey and white.
Cuckoos and anis
- Pied cuckoo, Clamator jacobinus
- Levaillant's cuckoo, Clamator levaillantii
- Great spotted cuckoo, Clamator glandarius
- Thick-billed cuckoo, Pachycoccyx audeberti
- Red-chested cuckoo, Cuculus solitarius
- Black cuckoo, Cuculus clamosus
- Common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus
- African cuckoo, Cuculus gularis
- Klaas's cuckoo, Chrysococcyx klaas
- Dideric cuckoo, Chrysococcyx caprius
- Black coucal, Centropus grillii
- Senegal coucal, Centropus senegalensis
Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.
- Barn owl, Tyto alba
The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.
- African scops owl, Otus senegalensis
- Eurasian scops owl, Otus scops
- Northern white-faced owl, Ptilopsis leucotis
- Spotted eagle-owl, Bubo africanus
- Grayish eagle-owl, Bubo cinerascens
- Verreaux's eagle-owl, Bubo lacteus
- Pel's fishing owl, Scotopelia peli
- Pearl-spotted owlet, Glaucidium perlatum
- Marsh owl, Asio capensis
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.
- Red-necked nightjar, Caprimulgus ruficollis (A)
- Egyptian nightjar, Caprimulgus aegyptius
- Golden nightjar, Caprimulgus eximius
- Plain nightjar, Caprimulgus inornatus
- Freckled nightjar, Caprimulgus tristigma
- Long-tailed nightjar, Caprimulgus climacurus
- Pennant-winged nightjar, Caprimulgus vexillarius
- Standard-winged nightjar, Caprimulgus longipennis
Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Burkina Faso.
- Mottled spinetail, Telacanthura ussheri
- African palm-swift, Cypsiurus parvus
- Alpine swift, Tachymarptis melba
- Mottled swift, Tachymarptis aequatorialis
- Common swift, Apus apus
- Pallid swift, Apus pallidus
- Little swift, Apus affinis
- White-rumped swift, Apus caffer
The mousebirds are slender greyish or brown birds with soft, hairlike body feathers and very long thin tails. They are arboreal and scurry through the leaves like rodents in search of berries, fruit and buds. They are acrobatic and can feed upside down. All species have strong claws and reversible outer toes. They also have crests and stubby bills.
- Blue-naped mousebird, Urocolius macrourus
Trogons and quetzals
The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage.
- Narina trogon, Apaloderma narina
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.
- Shining-blue kingfisher, Alcedo quadribrachys
- Malachite kingfisher, Corythornis cristatus
- African pygmy kingfisher, Ispidina picta
- Gray-headed kingfisher, Halcyon leucocephala
- Woodland kingfisher, Halcyon senegalensis
- Blue-breasted kingfisher, Halcyon malimbica
- Striped kingfisher, Halcyon chelicuti
- Giant kingfisher, Megaceryle maximus
- Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis
The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar.
- Red-throated bee-eater, Merops bulocki
- Little bee-eater, Merops pusillus
- Swallow-tailed bee-eater, Merops hirundineus
- White-throated bee-eater, Merops albicollis
- Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis
- Blue-cheeked bee-eater, Merops persicus
- European bee-eater, Merops apiaster
- Northern carmine bee-eater, Merops nubicus
Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. .
- European roller, Coracias garrulus
- Abyssinian roller, Coracias abyssinica
- Rufous-crowned roller, Coracias naevia
- Blue-bellied roller, Coracias cyanogaster
- Broad-billed roller, Eurystomus glaucurus
Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head..
- Hoopoe, Upupa epops
The woodhoopoes are related to the kingfishers, rollers and hoopoes. They most resemble the hoopoes with their long curved bills, used to probe for insects, and short rounded wings. However, they differ in that they have metallic plumage, often blue, green or purple, and lack an erectile crest.
Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly coloured.
- Western red-billed hornbill, Tockus kempi
- African pied hornbill, Lophoceros fasciatus
- African grey hornbill, Lophoceros nasutus
- Abyssinian ground-hornbill, Bucorvus abyssinicus
The barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured.
- Yellow-fronted tinkerbird, Pogoniulus chrysoconus
- Vieillot's barbet, Lybius vieilloti
- Double-toothed barbet, Lybius bidentatus
- Bearded barbet, Lybius dubius
- Yellow-breasted barbet, Trachyphonus margaritatus
Honeyguides are among the few birds that feed on wax. They are named for the greater honeyguide which leads traditional honey-hunters to bees' nests and, after the hunters have harvested the honey, feeds on the remaining contents of the hive.
Woodpeckers and allies
Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.
- Eurasian wryneck, Jynx torquilla
- Fine-spotted woodpecker, Campethera punctuligera
- Golden-tailed woodpecker, Campethera abingoni
- Cardinal woodpecker, Chloropicus fuscescens
- African grey woodpecker, Chloropicus goertae
- Brown-backed woodpecker, Chloropicus obsoletus
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds.
- Singing bushlark, Mirafra cantillans
- Kordofan lark, Mirafra cordofanica
- Flappet lark, Mirafra rufocinnamomea
- Rufous-rumped lark, Pinarocorys erythropygia
- Chestnut-backed sparrow-lark, Eremopterix leucotis
- Black-crowned sparrow-lark, Eremopterix nigriceps
- Desert lark, Ammomanes deserti
- Crested lark, Galerida cristata
- Sun lark, Galerida modesta
Swallows and martins
The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.
- Sand martin, Riparia riparia
- Brown-throated martin, Riparia paludicola
- Banded martin, Riparia cincta
- Gray-rumped swallow, Pseudhirundo griseopyga
- Rock martin, Ptyonoprogne fuligula
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
- Red-chested swallow, Hirundo lucida
- Ethiopian swallow, Hirundo aethiopica
- Wire-tailed swallow, Hirundo smithii
- Pied-winged swallow, Hirundo leucosoma
- Lesser striped swallow, Cecropis abyssinica
- Rufous-chested swallow, Cecropis semirufa
- Mosque swallow, Cecropis senegalensis
- Red-rumped swallow, Cecropis daurica
- Preuss's swallow, Petrochelidon preussi
- Common house martin, Delichon urbicum
- Fanti sawwing, Psalidoprocne obscura
Wagtails and pipits
Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country.
- White wagtail, Motacilla alba
- African pied wagtail, Motacilla aguimp
- Yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava
- Yellow-throated longclaw, Macronyx croceus
- Plain-backed pipit, Anthus leucophrys
- Tawny pipit, Anthus campestris
- Tree pipit, Anthus trivialis
- Red-throated pipit, Anthus cervinus
The cuckooshrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured.
Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests.
- Common bulbul, Pycnonotus barbatus
- Yellow-throated leaflove, Atimastillas flavicollis
- Yellow-spotted nicator, Nicator chloris
Thrushes and allies
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.
- African thrush, Turdus pelios
Cisticolas and allies
The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub.
- Red-faced cisticola, Cisticola erythrops
- Singing cisticola, Cisticola cantans
- Whistling cisticola, Cisticola lateralis
- Rock-loving cisticola, Cisticola aberrans
- Winding cisticola, Cisticola galactotes
- Croaking cisticola, Cisticola natalensis
- Siffling cisticola, Cisticola brachypterus
- Rufous cisticola, Cisticola rufus
- Zitting cisticola, Cisticola juncidis
- Desert cisticola, Cisticola aridulus
- Black-necked cisticola, Cisticola eximius
- Tawny-flanked prinia, Prinia subflava
- Red-winged prinia, Prinia erythroptera
- Cricket longtail, Spiloptila clamans
- Yellow-breasted apalis, Apalis flavida
- Oriole warbler, Hypergerus atriceps
- Green-backed camaroptera, Camaroptera brachyura
- Yellow-bellied eremomela, Eremomela icteropygialis
- Senegal eremomela, Eremomela pusilla
- Green hylia, Hylia prasina
- Sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
- Eurasian reed warbler, Acrocephalus scirpaceus
- Great reed warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus
- Eastern olivaceous warbler, Iduna pallida
- Western olivaceous warbler, Iduna opaca
- Melodious warbler, Hippolais polyglotta
- Willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus
- Common chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita
- Western Bonelli's warbler, Phylloscopus bonelli
- Wood warbler, Phylloscopus sibilatrix
- Yellow-bellied hyliota, Hyliota flavigaster
Old World warblers
The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. They mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs.
- Eurasian blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla
- Garden warbler, Sylvia borin
- Greater whitethroat, Sylvia communis
- Western Orphean warbler, Sylvia hortensis
- Subalpine warbler, Sylvia cantillans
Old World flycatchers
Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.
- Common rock thrush, Monticola saxatilis
- Pale flycatcher, Melaenornis pallidus
- Northern black-flycatcher, Melaenornis edolioides
- Spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa striata
- Gambaga flycatcher, Muscicapa gambagae
- Swamp flycatcher, Muscicapa aquatica
- African dusky flycatcher, Muscicapa adusta
- Ashy flycatcher, Muscicapa caerulescens
- Grey tit-flycatcher, Myioparus plumbeus
- European pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca
- Common nightingale, Luscinia megarhynchos
- Bluethroat, Luscinia svecica
- Snowy-crowned robin-chat, Cossypha niveicapilla
- White-crowned robin-chat, Cossypha albicapilla
- Forest scrub-robin, Cercotrichas leucosticta
- Rufous-tailed scrub robin, Cercotrichas galactotes
- Black scrub robin, Cercotrichas podobe
- Common redstart, Phoenicurus phoenicurus
- Whinchat, Saxicola rubetra
- Northern wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe
- Black-eared wheatear, Oenanthe hispanica
- Desert wheatear, Oenanthe deserti
- Isabelline wheatear, Oenanthe isabellina (A)
- Heuglin's wheatear, Oenanthe heuglini
- Familiar chat, Cercomela familiaris
- Northern anteater-chat, Myrmecocichla aethiops
- White-fronted black-chat, Myrmecocichla albifrons
- Mocking cliff-chat, Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris
The wattle-eyes, or puffback flycatchers, are small stout passerine birds of the African tropics. They get their name from the brightly coloured fleshy eye decorations found in most species in this group.
- African shrike-flycatcher, Megabyas flammulatus
- Brown-throated wattle-eye, Platysteira cyanea
- Senegal batis, Batis senegalensis
- African blue flycatcher, Elminia longicauda
The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching.
- Black-headed paradise flycatcher, Terpsiphone rufiventer
- African paradise flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis
- Fulvous chatterer, Turdoides fulvus (A)
- Blackcap babbler, Turdoides reinwardtii
- Brown babbler, Turdoides plebejus
Chickadees and titmice
The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects.
- White-shouldered black tit, Melaniparus guineensis
Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees.
- African spotted creeper, Salpornis salvadori
The penduline tits are a group of small passerine birds related to the true tits. They are insectivores.
Sunbirds and spiderhunters
The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed.
- Mouse-brown sunbird, Anthreptes gabonicus
- Western violet-backed sunbird, Anthreptes longuemarei
- Collared sunbird, Hedydipna collaris
- Pygmy sunbird, Hedydipna platura
- Green-headed sunbird, Cyanomitra verticalis
- Scarlet-chested sunbird, Chalcomitra senegalensis
- Beautiful sunbird, Cinnyris pulchellus
- Splendid sunbird, Cinnyris coccinigaster
- Johanna's sunbird, Cinnyris johannae
- Copper sunbird, Cinnyris cupreus
The white-eyes are small and mostly undistinguished, their plumage above being generally some dull colour like greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye.
- African yellow white-eye, Zosterops senegalensis
Old World orioles
The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles.
Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey.
- Emin's shrike, Lanius gubernator
- Great grey shrike, Lanius excubitor
- Northern fiscal, Lanius humeralis
- Woodchat shrike, Lanius senator
- Yellow-billed shrike, Corvinella corvina
Bushshrikes and allies
Bushshrikes are similar in habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush. Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be either colourful species or largely black; some species are quite secretive.
- Brubru, Nilaus afer
- Northern puffback, Dryoscopus gambensis
- Black-crowned tchagra, Tchagra senegala
- Brown-crowned tchagra, Tchagra australis
- Common gonolek, Laniarius barbarus
- Sulphur-breasted bushshrike, Telophorus sulfureopectus
- Many-coloured bushshrike, Telophorus multicolor
- Fiery-breasted bushshrike, Malaconotus cruentus
- Gray-headed bushshrike, Malaconotus blanchoti
The helmetshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes, but tend to be colourful species with distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name.
The drongos are mostly black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright when perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground.
- Square-tailed drongo, Dicrurus ludwigii
- Shining drongo, Dicrurus atripennis
- Fork-tailed drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis
Crows, jays, ravens and magpies
The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.
- Greater blue-eared glossy starling, Lamprotornis chalybaeus
- Lesser blue-eared glossy starling, Lamprotornis chloropterus
- Bronze-tailed glossy starling, Lamprotornis chalcurus
- Purple glossy starling, Lamprotornis purpureus
- Long-tailed glossy starling, Lamprotornis caudatus
- Chestnut-bellied starling, Lamprotornis pulcher
- Violet-backed starling, Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
- Neumann's starling, Onychognathus neumanni
- Narrow-tailed starling, Poeoptera lugubris
- Yellow-billed oxpecker, Buphagus africanus
Weavers and allies
The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season.
- White-billed buffalo weaver, Bubalornis albirostris
- Speckle-fronted weaver, Sporopipes frontalis
- Chestnut-crowned sparrow-weaver, Plocepasser superciliosus
- Little weaver, Ploceus luteolus
- Black-necked weaver, Ploceus nigricollis
- Heuglin's masked weaver, Ploceus heuglini
- Vitelline masked weaver, Ploceus vitellinus
- Village weaver, Ploceus cucullatus
- Black-headed weaver, Ploceus melanocephalus
- Compact weaver, Pachyphantes superciliosus
- Red-vented malimbe, Malimbus scutatus
- Red-headed weaver, Anaplectes rubriceps
- Red-headed quelea, Quelea erythrops
- Red-billed quelea, Quelea quelea
- Yellow-crowned bishop, Euplectes afer
- Black-winged bishop, Euplectes hordeaceus
- Orange bishop, Euplectes franciscanus
- Red bishop, Euplectes orix
- Fan-tailed widowbird, Euplectes axillaris
- Yellow-mantled widowbird, Euplectes macroura
- Parasitic weaver, Anomalospiza imberbis
Waxbills and allies
The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns.
- Gray-headed oliveback, Nesocharis capistrata
- Red-winged pytilia, Pytilia phoenicoptera
- Green-winged pytilia, Pytilia melba
- Red-faced pytilia, Pytilia hypogrammica
- Crimson seedcracker, Pyrenestes sanguineus
- Bar-breasted firefinch, Lagonosticta rufopicta
- Red-billed firefinch, Lagonosticta senegala
- Black-bellied firefinch, Lagonosticta rara
- Black-faced firefinch, Lagonosticta larvata
- Red-cheeked cordonbleu, Uraeginthus bengalus
- Lavender waxbill, Estrilda caerulescens
- Orange-cheeked waxbill, Estrilda melpoda
- Black-rumped waxbill, Estrilda troglodytes
- Zebra waxbill, Sporaeginthus subflavus
- Black-faced quailfinch, Ortygospiza atricollis
- African silverbill, Euodice cantans
- Bronze mannikin, Spermestes cucullatus
- Magpie mannikin, Spermestes fringilloides
- Cut-throat, Amadina fasciata
- Village indigobird, Vidua chalybeata
- Pin-tailed whydah, Vidua macroura
- Togo paradise whydah, Vidua togoensis
- Long-tailed paradise whydah, Vidua interjecta (A)
- Northern paradise whydah, Vidua orientalis
Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies
The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.
- Gosling's bunting, Emberiza goslingi
- Golden-breasted bunting, Emberiza flaviventris
- Brown-rumped bunting, Emberiza affinis
- Cabanis's bunting, Emberiza cabanisi
Siskins, crossbills and allies
Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.
- White-rumped seedeater, Crithagra leucopygius
- Yellow-fronted canary, Crithagra mozambicus
- Streaky-headed seedeater, Crithagra gularis
Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.
- Gray-headed sparrow, Passer griseus
- Sudan golden-sparrow, Passer luteus
- Bush petronia, Gymnornis dentata
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Burkina Faso". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 27 April 2007.
- Clements, James F. (2000). Birds of the World: a Checklist. Cornell University Press. p. 880. ISBN 0-934797-16-1.
- Birds of Burkina Faso - World Institute for Conservation and Environment