List of birds of Saint Helena

List of birds of Saint Helena

The UK Overseas Territory of St Helena is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world and consequently has been relatively little visited by ornithologists. Prior to the colonial period, the island supported a surprising diversity of endemic bird species paralleled by large-scale endemism amongst invertebrates and plants. Since its discovery in 1502, the island has, however, suffered large-scale environmental degradation and invasion by alien species. This has resulted in the extinction of at least two endemic seabirds, a Pterodroma petrel and a Bulweria petrel, and a minimum of four terrestrial endemics, two rails, a cuckoo, and a hoopoe. An endemic shearwater and a flightless pigeon are also known from sub-fossil remains but may have died out naturally at an earlier date (Olson 1975). The only surviving endemic species is a small sand plover, closely related to Kittlitz’s Plover Charadrius Pecuarius, St Helena Plover, or Wirebird Charadrius Sanctaehelenae (BirdLife International 2000) as it is known locally.

Size & Location
How to get there
Areas of interest
When to visit
Where to stay
  • African swamphen
  • Allen’s gallinule
  • Amur falcon
  • Antarctic giant petrel
  • Antarctic tern
  • Arctic tern
  • Band-rumped storm petrel
  • Barn swallow
  • Barolo shearwater
  • Black noddy
  • Black-bellied plover
  • Black-bellied storm petrel
  • Black-browed albatross
  • Black-crowned night heron
  • Blacksmith lapwing
  • Broad-billed prion
  • Brown booby
  • Brown noddy
  • Brown skua
  • Bulwer’s petrel
  • Cape francolin
  • Cape petrel
  • Cattle egret
  • Chukar
  • Common house-martin
  • Common myna
  • Common quail
  • Common waxbill
  • Cory’s shearwater
  • Dwarf bittern
  • Eurasian blackbird
  • Eurasian moorhen
  • Gray francolin
  • Gray heron
  • Great frigatebird
  • Green sandpiper
  • Indian peafowl
  • Java sparrow
  • Kitilitz’s plover
  • Leach’s storm petrel
  • Lesser frigatebird
  • Long-tailed jaeger
  • Masked booby
  • Murphy’s petrel
  • Olson’s petrel
  • Parasitic jaeger
  • Pectoral sandpiper
  • Pomarine jaeger
  • Purple gallinule
  • Purple heron
  • Red fody
  • Red junglefowl
  • Red knot
  • Red-billed tropicbird
  • Red-footed booby
  • Red-necked francolin
  • Ring-necked pheasant
  • Rock partridge
  • Rock pigeon
  • Ruddy turnstone
  • Ruff
  • Saint Helena crake
  • Saint Helena dove
  • Saint Helena petrel
  • Saint Helena plover
  • Saint Helena rail
  • Saint Helena shearwater
  • Sanderling
  • Scopoli’s shearwater
  • Snowy sheathbill
  • Soft-plumed petrel
  • Song thrush
  • Sooty albatross
  • Sooty shearwater
  • Sooty tern
  • Southern fulmer
  • Squacco heron
  • Tristan thrush
  • Wandering albatross
  • White stork
  • White tern
  • White-bellied storm petrel
  • White-chinned petrel
  • White-faced storm petrel
  • White-rumped sandpiper
  • Wilson’s storm petrel
  • Yellow canary
  • Yellow-nosed albatross
  • Zebra dove

Best time for birding in Saint Helena

St Helena is so far off the main migration routes that vagrants are very scarce. The island is, however, very much under-watched and much is undoubtedly missed. October to early December tends to be the best period for accidentals.