Provisional atlas of breeding birds of Walvis Bay in the coastal Namib Desert

  • Grzegorz Kopij
Keywords: bird, breeding, community ecology, population density, urban ornithology


In austral summer 2016/17, a provisional bird atlas project was conducted in the town of Walvis Bay (~260 ha), Namibia. In total, 18 breeding bird species were recorded. Four eudominant species (Cape Sparrow, Rock Dove, Laughing Dove, and Common Waxbill) comprised together 65.2% of all breeding birds. Three dominant species – House Sparrow, Southern Masked Weaver, and Speckled Pigeon – comprised additional 23.0%. The community dominance index (DI) was = 0.40, Shannon’s Diversity Index H’ = 2.21, Simpson’s Diversity Index D = 0.87, and Pielou’s Evenness Index J’ = 0.76. By far the most numerous feeding guild were granivores (88.0% of all birds recorded) followed by insectivores (6.0%) and frugivores (5.3%). Tree and/or shrub nesting birds comprised 59.5%, while birds nesting in/on buildings the remaining 40.5%. There were neither ground-nesting nor holenesting birds. Structure-wise, the avian community in the town resembles avian communities in other parts of the world (strong dominance of granivores, such as sparrows and doves). In austral summer 2018/19, a total of 25 marine species were recorded in the lagoon, of which nine (36%) were Palearctic migrant and 16 (64%) African residents. In terms of the number of individuals, Palearctic migrants constituted 17% and African residents 83%. More than half of all marine birds were Greater Flamingos, while the most numerous Palearctic species was the Curlew Sandpiper.

General Biology