Jewels in the Crown: Introducing the Endemic Birds of Arabia

Jewels in the Crown: Introducing the Endemic Birds of Arabia

While the Republic of Yemen, which includes the island archipelago of Socotra, dubbed the “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean”, boasts the highest number of endemic bird species of any country on the Arabian peninsula, Saudi Arabia now stands as the easiest and safest country in which to see many of these singular gems. Not to […]

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Haradh is Heating Up! Prime Fall Birding in Saudi’s Eastern Province

Haradh is Heating Up! Prime Fall Birding in Saudi’s Eastern Province

Yesterday Adam Harris and I made the two-hour run from Al Ahsa to one of the best areas in the Eastern Province for finding an interesting array of desert, grassland, and migratory birds. We arrived to Haradh just past seven and headed directly to the pivot field where last year we had seen our primary […]

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Scale of illegal bird killing in the Middle East revealed for first time

A study out today, for the first time, estimates the scale and extent of the illegal killing and taking of wild birds in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran. Using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge, we estimate that at least 1.7–4.6 million birds of at least 413 species may be […]

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Diederick Cuckoo in Alheefah Park – Tanoumah

On arrival at Alheefah Park I head a Diederik Cuckoo calling and after some searching, we saw the bird in the top of a tall tree. Unfortunately, it flew almost immediately but landed again in a better-positioned tree for photography. This is normally a very difficult species to get good photos off, so the ones […]

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Arabian Magpie – Billasimer

The Arabian Magpie is the only truly endemic species in Saudi Arabia, meaning it is found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and nowhere else in the world. It has a very restricted range (An Namas to Billasimer) and very low number of birds and should probably be classified as Critically Endangered on Red Data […]

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Whimbrel – Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area in early May I can across a Whimbrel. This is not a common species in Saudi Arabia and it occurred to me there could be a very slim chance it could be a Steppe Whimbrel alboaxillaris as one has been claimed in Bahrain in recent years. The timing was not […]

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Lesser Kestrels – Jebal Hamrah

Whilst driving to Judah and Jebal Hamrah we came across two Lesser Kestrels perched on fence wires in the very early morning. This was the first time I have seen the species in Jebal Hamrah. Lesser Kestrel is an uncommon passage migrant to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia that migrates in small flocks. They […]

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African Pipit – Tanoumah

Whilst birding Tanoumah in the southwestern mountains I found an African PipitAnthus cinnamomeus eximiuscarry food for it young. African Pipit is a little known bird in Saudi Arabia where the subspecies is endemic to the southwest part of Saudi Arabia and nearby Yemen. There are three specimens from Saudi Arabia at the Natural History Museum, […]

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