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Birds – Calitzdorp is situated in a unique area for birding. Right in the heart of the Little Karoo, surrounded by mountains, rivers and wetlands, within the overlapping of four unique floral biomes, the different habitats are many and birds are numerous and varied. The concentration of bird varieties in such a small area is impressive thanks to the geography of the area.

Black Shouldered Kite

Black Shouldered Kite




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English bird list



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Afrikaans bird list



Download the pdf birdlists – in both English and Afrikaans, which list birds of the Little Karoo region.

As visitors to Calitzdorp are likely to visit mountains, valleys, poorts and passes all within short distances from town, birds from all habitats will be seen.

The Swartbnerg  directly north of Calitzdorp is a designated IBA (Important Bird Area) of South Africa.  It’s number is SA106,  status Global IBA (A1, A2, A3) and is a partially protected area of 179 490 ha. Full details on the Birdlife webpage.

The beautiful Black Shouldered Kite is often seen sitting on telephone poles along the road, and Barn Owls and Spotted Eagle Owls  call frequently in the night.

Calitzdorp has the largest Pale Chanting Goshawk population in South Africa. This bird is reputedly South Africa’s only polyandrous raptor.

An interesting study was done in the Calitzdorp area in 1999 by Dr Malan of the University of Durban-Westville and Dr Crouch Scientific Officer: Entomology & Arachnology on the symbiotic relationship between social spiders and the Goshawk in whose nests spiders are invariably found!

We also have birds normally associated with Karoo habitat such as Ludwig’s Bustard.

During your visit to Calitzdorp don’t miss this opportunity to add to your sightings list – and help the new Bird Atlas project by filling out a pentad report of sightings where you live, or are on holiday.

This project is being co-ordinated from the Animal Demographic Unit, of the University of Cape Town. To participate, contact the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 here. 

Calitzdorp is situated in pentad 3330_2140.  (A pentad is a 5 minute x 5 minute coordinate grid (atlas minutes as in minutes and degrees) super-imposed over the continent for spatial reference.)