Chad is a landlocked African country in the center of the African continent. Several ecological regions are located within its borders, including the Saharan desert, Sahel belt, Sudanian savanna, and Lake Chad wetlands. This diversity in ecosystems provides habitats for many kinds of birds, some migrating through and some native to the region. This article takes a look at some of the birds native to Chad.
The Kordofan sparrow is endemic to eastern Chad and northwestern Sudan. This bird has a light colored chest and stomach area, tan colored back, and black markings on its throat, head, and wings. It inhabits arid land near human settlements and agriculture where it can easily obtain its diet of grains and seeds. June through September is its breeding season, during which 3 to 5 eggs are laid. Because of its large range and stable numbers, this species is not considered vulnerable.
The Cretzschmar’s bunting is a migratory bird that spends its winters in Chad. The males can be recognized by their grey head and chest area, the presence of an orange “mustache”, a pink beak, and a brown-streaked back. During breeding season, it migrates to such Mediterranean countries in Europe as Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. This bird species feeds on seeds and insects. Current population estimates are between 447,000 and 920,000 with no evidence of threats or declines.
Vitelline Masked Weaver
The Vitelline masked weaver is a small, bright yellow bird with a black forehead and face, brown head crown, and black markings on its wings. It has a wide distribution across the continent within the Sahel belt, the dry savanna woodland found between the Sahara desert and the Sudanian savanna. This weaver bird feeds on seeds, insects, and nectar from the Leonotis nepetifolia, a member of the mint family. The Vitelline masked weaver is a common bird with no known significant threats.
The piapiac is related to both the Crow and Central Asian Ground Jay Families of birds. It is black with a purplish iridescence, brown-colored tail, and thick beak. The preferred habitat of this species is in savanna grasslands near towns and agriculture. They move in flocks of 10 or more, searching for insects and invertebrates on the ground. They also consume other animal carcasses. Between March and April, the female lays 3 to 7 light blue eggs and typically nests in palm trees. This species is not considered vulnerable.
The fork-tailed drongo inhabits open forests and shrublands throughout Chad and other African countries. It is black in appearance with a slight greenish gloss on the top of its head and has red eyes, a hook-shaped bill, and a forked tail. Its diet consists of large insects, but they have also been known to catch small fish. They nest in the highest tree branches and lay between two and four eggs. This species has a large range and a stable population.
The common ostrich is the only flightless, fast running bird on the list. The males grow to between 6 feet, 11 inches and 9 feet, 2 inches, weighing from 139 to 320 pounds as adults. They can run up to speeds of 43 miles per hour, making them the fastest land bird on earth. These birds inhabit the savanna grass and shrublands where cheetahs, lions, leopards, and hyenas prey on them. Its diet is mainly vegetarian although it also consumes invertebrates. Although the ostrich population continues to be large and spread over a large range, it is rapidly declining. Once threatened by the feather trade and hunting, currently, its biggest threat is habitat degradation.
A list containing other native birds of Chad can be found below.