It is quite a fascinating hobbie to have a birding life list to tick off whilst carrying out the rest of your life, if you have one then Cape Town, in fact the entire Western Cape can and does account for 610 bird species, of which 220 have been spotted in a single day. The entire area accounts for a completed 70% of the pelagic birding as well as endemic birds found in Southern Africa. Whether you’re a life list birder ticking off your lists, a beginner or a birder in between, Cape Town is without a doubt the hot spot of a lifetime.
Cape Town is home to many species of flora that are indigenous to the area and are found nowhere else on the planet, this is one of the many reasons why birding in the Cape is also home to bird species found nowhere else on the planet. The practice of birding itself is such an incredible past time that some find solace in making it their life passion and pursue it to the depths that reach into various rarities and bizarre conditions that exist in particular birds including odd colour morphs, hybridisations, melanism or leucism to name but a few. It is strange to note that many such instances have been recorded in Southern Africa, mostly in the Cape.
www.westerncapebirding.co.za is an exceptional website containing the latest information on bird listing and bird species spotted within specified areas, they are extremely dedicated in conservation of the bird life in the area. They have an extensive listing of birder friendly establishments that also contribute to their website on a regular basis allowing visitors to get a better understanding of the services available to birders who come to the area. There is a constantly updated events section which outlines not only local, but regional and provincial gatherings such as pelagic weekend getaways and birding excursions. Their news is updated daily and contains any new and useful, important information that a birder coming to the area would require including all news on the bird life and conservation of our feathered friends in the Western Cape.
www.zestforbirds.co.za is the place to visit if you’re an avid birder or perhaps found a new interest. Their website is constantly updated and contains the most interesting information from the rarities in birds found in Southern Africa with accompanying photographs to the rough estimation of overseas birders visiting the region. Interestingly enough they have a phenomenal section dedicated to the birders who pride themselves in pelagic birding. Zest for Birds is run by the founders, Trevor Hardaker and John Graham who have both seen in excess of 850 bird species within Southern Africa, they run many pelagic birding trips and the website has these updated details and booking information.
www.capebirdingroute.org is successfully run by the youngest birders to land the 800 species mark within Southern Africa, as well as the authors of Essential Birding. The company which they have founded, Birding Africa concentrates and prides itself in consulting and extreme specialist guiding services which are offered to local and international birders alike. This website can be found at www.birdingafrica.com. Both websites provide a rich well of knowledge essential to birders from beginners to expert careering birders coming to visit the area.
To accurately portray the immense birding diversity in the Southern Africa region a campaign was launched and carried out successfully in 3 weeks. It saw 350 bird species being photographed within the tiny window of only 24 hours. This was achieved, from the word go, to the 24hour cut off mark 350 bird species had been photographed. It shows the incredible abundance and diversity available to birders. You can view the results and subsequent photographs at www.350.birdingafrica.com. So if you’re ticking off that list one bird at a time, or racing to complete an empty life list, whether you’re an avid birder or decided to begin today, Cape Town is without a doubt the area to begin ticking off the Suikerbekkie on the Protea or a Giant Eagle Owl right in front of your eyes.