Specific names' & taxonomy is based on The Birds of Africa, volumes 1 5 as published, and volumes 6 & 7 as planned. The sub-species are based on same work, but restricted to volumes 1 to 5 as the remaining information is not yet available. The remaining sub-species were based on various references, (primarily) Urban & Brown’s “A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia”, Mackworth-Praed & Grant’s “Birds of Africa: Series 1” and Clement’s “Finches & Sparrows”. Where some authorities have split (or lumped) species, these are indicated in the text (where known).
The sub-specific assignments were based (in order) on:
clearly identifiable characteristics (e.g. Plectropterus gambensis gambensis, Otus scops senegalensis / scops, Phoenicurus phoenicurus phoenicurus / samamisicus, Nectarinia venustus albiventris / fazoqlensis, etc); otherwise
clearly defined geographic distribution (e.g. Gyps rueppellii erlangeri, Melierax canorus poliopterus, Lybius undatus leucogenys / undatus / salvadori / thiogaster, etc); otherwise
comparative evaluation in which considerable confidence was placed (e.g. Falco tinnunculus rupicolaeformis / rufescens / rupicolus, Streptopelia turtur turtur / arenicola / isabellina, Oenanthe pleschanka pleschanka / cypriaca, etc); or otherwise
best guess (e.g. Coturnix coturnix coturnix / erlangeri, Apus apus apus / pekinensis, Monticola solitarius solitarius / longirostris, etc)
Status of species is given in general terms and based on my own observations - which do not necessarily reflect their actual status. I define the terms as follows:
"common" to mean that I generally saw the species at least once per day when in suitable habitat and within its normal range;
"frequent" to mean that the species was seen several times when in suitable habitat and within its normal range;
where a species was seen only once or twice, then the location is given. I have not given exact locations as I believe that in general birds move around, although for a few localized species (Harwood's Francolin, Red-chested Swallow, Ankober Serin, Long-eared Owl, Salvadori's Serin, Ruspoli's Turaco and Sidamo Lark), I did rely on the localities described in Richard Webb's excellent trip report;
"widespread" to mean that the species was seen in a variety of localities within its normal range; and
where terms such as south, west, highlands, etc are used, the areas defined in Urban & Brown's “A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia” are used.
In many cases I didn’t bother to clearly identify species that were easily seen, but often hard to identify accurately enough to record. Examples are swallows (European / Red-chested), coucals, cisticolas, weavers & bishops (most being in non-breeding plumage). Hence many of these species were under-recorded in the list that follows.
Species marked with a * were lifers to me.
An Ethiopian trip: 27/11/1999 to 17/01/2000Giles Mulholland 31 January 2000