Kruger's Summer Visitors
Kruger Park Birding

© Brett Hilton Barber
Of the 500 or so species found in the Park, about half are visitors, with a more or less equal split between breeders and non-breeders.

There are the regular migrants from Europe and Asia and elsewhere in Africa that arrive for the southern African summer. See Migration Routes

Then there are subcontinental vagrants and nomads whose appearance in the Park is sporadic and related to the availibility of food. In winter, there are altitudinal migrants that come down to the lowveld in search of food, and inhabit niches vacated by the departing migrants. There are also some Kruger waterbirds that migrate northwards during winter to the floodplains of the Sahel. In terms of sheer numbers, Red-billed Queleas make up almost 80% of the birds that migrate to Kruger.

Eurasian or Palaearctic migrants
African migrants and nomads
Altitudinal migrants
Steppe Eagle
Steppe Buzzard
Lesser Spotted Eagle
Booted Eagle
Eurasian Hobby*
Amur Falcon*
Lesser Kestrel
Barn Swallow
White Stork
Willow Warbler
Curlew Sandpiper
Common Ringed Plover
European Bee-eater
European Roller
Eurasian Golden Oriole
Common Cuckoo
Red-backed Shrike
Wahlberg's Eagle
Yellow-billed Kite
African Cuckoo
Red-chested Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Jacobin Cuckoo
African Emerald Cuckoo
Klaas's Cuckoo
Diderick Cuckoo
Black Coucal
African Pygmy-Kingfisher
Woodland Kingfisher
Grey-hooded Kingfisher
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Greater Striped Swallow
Lesser Striped Swallow
White-throated Swallow
White-rumped Swift
Horus Swift
Red-billed Quelea
African Paradise-Flycatcher
Violet-backed Starling*
Pennant-winged Nightjar
African Openbill
Yellow-billed Stork
Abdim's Stork
Senegal Lapwing*
Dusky Lark
Fiscal Flycatcher
African Stonechat
White-starred Robin*
Green Twinspot
Some warblers
Guernsey's Sugarbird
Cape Batis
Grey Cuckooshrike
Marico Flycatcher

Bird of Consolation

Swallows are a common sight throughout the Park. Most are residents, although the European and Barn Swallow are summer visitors. A Scandinavian legend tells how the swallow got its name. At the time of the crucifixion, a bird flew around the cross trying to draw the thorns from Christ's brow. Its call was "svala... svala", which means 'console console'. Consequently the swallow is known as the 'Bird of Consolation'.
Best Birding Guide to Kruger Park