The Biosphere Reserve provides important protected territory for birds in wetland, grassland, and forest habitats. Two hundred and ten bird species inhabit Kafa which constitutes 23% of the country’s total bird species and includes 11 endemic species. Kafa supports birds of prey, warblers, thrushes, weavers, swallows, and many other birds. As a result of this vast array of birds the Biosphere Reserve is listed as an Important Bird Area. The plumage and songs of Ethiopian birds present an especially vivid range.
The wetland habitat in Kafa is an important habitat for the dignified Wattled Crane and the Black Crowned Crane. Ground-dwelling endemic Abyssinian Longclaws are striking with their bright yellow throat and chest surrounded by a black necklace. Rouget’s Rail, also endemic, often flicks its tail in clumps of grass near water or in meadows.
Scientists are working to record Kafa's 210 species of birds, 170 of which are residents to Ethiopia meaning that they breed here. However, migratory species also enjoy roosting in Kafa. The forests serve as resting and feeding stages for 24 Palearctic migrants which winter in Ethiopia but breed in Europe, Russia, Northern Africa, or the Middle East. Kafa also shelters 10 intra-African migrants with resident breeding populations in Ethiopia.
For more information on bird species in Kafa please refer to: Download a list of bird species in Kafa here from Berhan, L. A., (2008). Status and Distribution of Faunal Diversity in Kafa report, presented to PPP Project.
Redman, N., Stevenson, T., and Fanshawe, J., (2009). Birds of the Horn of Africa. Princeton University Press.
Sinclair, I. and Ryan, P., (2003). Birds of Africa: South of the Sahara. Princeton University Press.
Vivero Pol, J. L. (2006) A Guide to Endemic Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Shama Books.
Important Birds Areas of Ethiopia (1996). Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society