For ornithologists, some 340 species of birds have been recorded, including many uncommon members of the hawk and vulture families.
Amongst the birds of prey, bateleur, martial, tawny and Wahlberg's eagles are fairly common, as are black-breasted and brown snake eagles. Pale-chanting goshawks are more often seen than the similar Gabar or the smaller little banded goshawk. The list of harriers, falcons and kestrels occurring here is even longer, and worthy of a special mention are the very common rock kestrels, which are everywhere, and the unusual red-necked and particularly cute pygmy falcons, which are less readily seen. The impressive peregrine falcon and Montagu's harrier are two of the rarer summer migrants.
Lappet-faced and white-backed vultures are common here, outnumbering the odd pair of white-headed or hooded vultures. Palmnut vultures are occasionally seen in the east of the park.
The number of large birds stalking around the plains can strike visitors as unusual: invariably during the day you will see groups of ostriches or pairs of secretary birds. Equally, it is easy to drive within metres of many kori bustards and black korhaans, which will just sit by the roadside and watch the vehicles pass.
Blue cranes, both beautiful and endangered, are common here in the wet season. Etosha is worth visiting in January and February for them alone. Other specialities of the park include violet woodhoopoe, white-tailed shrike, bare-cheeked and black-faced babblers, short-toed rock thrush, and a pale race of the pink-bellied lark.