In it I have endeavoured to arrange the subject matter in such a manner that a tyro in ornithology may be enabled to identify a specimen with a certain amount of ease and accuracy. The plan and arrangement adopted is based upon that followed by Mr. Eugene Oates in the volumes on Birds in the Fauna of British India, viz., to give a full description, illustrated where necessary, of the characters which define the different genera, followed by a key to the species included in each. Under each species references are given to the author by whom it was first described, to the principal writers on South African ornithology by whom it is mentioned, to the volume of the Catalogue of Birds in the Collection of the British Museum in which it is described, and to Captain Shelley's Birds of Africa, as well as to a figure, when one exists. The majority of the descriptions have been taken from specimens in the collection of the South African Museum at Cape Town, the remainder from examples in the Albany Museum at Grahamstown, the Durban Museum, Natal, and my own collection. A few of the species described are not represented in South African collections, and in these cases I have either consulted the original descriptions or have examined the type specimens in the British or Berlin Museums.