مصر | Egypt | Égypte

SUB-REGION
North Africa

SIZE
1,001,450 km² (12th largest country in Africa)

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity
Mostly Palaearctic avifauna, with a strong migratory component
Approximately 470 recorded species, mostly non-breeding migrants

Birds best found in Egypt but occurring more widely (BT)
White-eyed Gull
Mourning Wheatear

Birds best found in two territories of the ABC region but occurring in more (B2)
African Green Bee-eater (cleopatra)
White-crowned Wheatear

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Cyrenaic Partridge (barbata)
North African Buzzard (cirtensis)
Barbary Falcon (pelegrinoides)
Desert Grey Shrike (elegans)
Levant Scrub Warbler (inquieta)
Mangrove Reed Warbler (avicenniae)

Nile Valley Sunbird (Adam Riley)
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl (Samuel Ehrenbold)
Dupont’s Lark (Tim Wacher)

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Egyptian Goose
Ferruginous Duck
Sand Partridge (ESS nicolli/cholmleyi)
European Nightjar (meridionalis)
Egyptian Nightjar (saharae)
Nubian Nightjar
Alpine Swift (tuneti)
Common Swift
Pallid Swift (brehmorum)
Little Swift (galilejensis)
Senegal Coucal (ESS aegyptius)
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Spotted Sandgrouse
Crowned Sandgrouse
Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse
European Turtle Dove (rufescens)
Eurasian Collared Dove
African Collared Dove
Laughing Dove (ESS aegyptiaca)
African Swamphen
Greater Flamingo
Eurasian Stone-curlew (saharae)
Senegal Thick-knee
Spur-winged Lapwing
Three-banded Plover
Kentish Plover
Kittlitz’s Plover
Greater Painted-snipe
Crab-plover
Cream-colored Courser
Collared Pratincole
African Skimmer
Slender-billed Gull
Sooty Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Great Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern
Little Tern
Saunders’s Tern
Bridled Tern
White-cheeked Tern
Yellow-billed Stork
Black Stork
White Stork
Brown Booby
Eurasian Spoonbill (archeri)
Little Bittern (minutus)
Striated Heron
Squacco Heron
Goliath Heron
Western Reef Heron (schistacea)
Great White Pelican
Pink-backed Pelican
Black-winged Kite
Egyptian Vulture
European Honey Buzzard
Lappet-faced Vulture
Short-toed Snake Eagle
Lesser Spotted Eagle
Booted Eagle
Steppe Eagle
Eastern Imperial Eagle
Verreaux’s Eagle
Levant Sparrowhawk
Pallid Harrier
Black Kite
Yellow-billed Kite (aegyptius)
Common Buzzard (vulpinus)
Little Owl (lilith/glaux/saharae)
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl | Desert Eagle-Owl
Desert Owl
Eurasian Hoopoe (ESS major)
White-throated Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (persicus)
Common Kestrel (rupicolaeformis)
Sooty Falcon
Lanner Falcon (tanypterus)
Rosy-patched Bushshrike
Hooded Crow (pallescens)
Brown-necked Raven
Northern Raven (tingitanus)
Greater Hoopoe-Lark (alaudipes)
Desert Lark (deserti/isabellina)
Bar-tailed Lark (arenicolor)
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (albifrons)
Thekla’s Lark (carolinae)
Crested Lark (ESS nigricans + maculata)
Temminck’s Lark
Dupont’s Lark (margaritae)
Mediterranean Short-toed Lark (minor)
Common Bulbul (arsinoe)
Sand Martin | Bank Swallow (ESS shelleyi)
Pale Crag Martin (obsoleta)
Barn Swallow (ESS savignii)
Clamorous Reed Warbler (ESS stentoreus)
Common Reed Warbler (ammon)
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (ESS pallida)
Zitting Cisticola (juncidis)
Graceful Prinia (ESS natronensis)
Arabian Warbler (blanfordi)
Sardinian Warbler (momus)
Spectacled Warbler (conspicillata)
Fulvous Babbler (acaciae)
Arabian Babbler (squamiceps)
Common Blackbird (syriacus)
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
Hooded Wheatear
Desert Wheatear
Red-rumped Wheatear
Blackstart
Maghreb Wheatear
Nile Valley Sunbird
Palestine Sunbird
Shining Sunbird
House Sparrow (ESS niloticus)
Sudan Golden Sparrow
Western Yellow Wagtail (ESS pygmaea)
African Pied Wagtail
Trumpeter Finch (githagineus)
European Greenfinch (chlorotica)
Striolated Bunting

National bird
Steppe Eagle | عقاب البادية (EN)

White-throated Kingfisher (John Caddick)
Egyptian Nightjar (Nik Borrow)
Mourning Wheatear (Tadeusz Rosiński)
Common Kestrel (Tadeusz Rosiński)
Sand Partridge (Phil Hyde)

MAIN HABITATS
Desert, riverine habitats of the Nile Valley

BIRD AREAS
34 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Ain Sokhna and Galala Observatory for soaring bird migration
Hurghada for coastal species
Wadi el Gamal National Park for desert species
Sinai Peninsula for Chukar Partridge (sinaica), Great Tit (terraesanctae), White-spectacled Bulbul, Tristram’s Starling and Sinai Rosefinch

TIMING (Oct, Mar–Apr)
Best in spring, after the rains and when most birds breed (Mar–May)
Passage migrants are numerous Oct and Mar, the latter especially good for raptors
Avoid the hottest time of the year (May–Aug)

RESOURCES
Apps
Collins Bird Guide

Field guides
Collins Bird Guide by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström (2022)
The Birds of Egypt and the Middle East by Richard Hoath (2021)
Birds of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East: a Photographic Guide by Frédéric Jiguet & Aurélien Audevard (2017)
A Photographic Guide to Birds of Egypt and the Middle East by David M Cottridge & Richard Porter (2001)

Sounds
The Bird Songs of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by Andreas Schulze & Karl-Heinz Dingler

Site guides
Finding Birds in Egypt by Dave Gosney (2011)
Where to Watch Birds in Wadi el-Gemal National Park and Neighboring Areas by Sherif Baha el Din (2009)
Egypt in The Good Bird Guide: a Species-by-Species Guide to Finding Europe’s Best Birds by Keith Marsh (2005)
Where to Watch Birds in World Cities by Paul Milne (2006) covers sites in and around Cairo
Birding in Egypt by Peter L Meininger & Wim C Mullié (1981)

Further reading
Checklist of the Birds of Egypt by the Egyptian Ornithological Rarities Committee (2019)
Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East: an Annotated Checklist by Dominic Mitchell (2017)
The Birds of Egypt edited by Steven M Goodman & Peter L Meininger (1989)
Egypt by Sherif M Baha el Din in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
International Waterbird Census: Egypt 2009-2018 by Wed Abdou Latif Ibrahim (2021)
The Breeding Birds of the Northern Red Sea Islands, Egypt by Andrew Grieve & Linda Millington (1999)
Pharaohs’ Birds: a Guide to Ancient and Present-Day Birds in Egypt by John Miles (1998)
Common Birds of Egypt by Bertel Bruun & Sherif Baha el Din (1994)
Ornithological Studies in Egyptian Wetlands 1989/90 edited by P L Meininger & G A M Atta (1994)
Bottleneck Areas for Migratory Birds in the Mediterranean Region: an Assessment of the Problems and Recommendations for Action by Rob G Bijlsma (1987)
Survey of Waterbirds on Egyptian Wetlands, Autumn 1981 by C A Bennet, R G Bijlsma & R Stouthamer (1982)
Articles in Sandgrouse, Bull. ABC, Courser (Ornithological Society of Egypt), etc.

Blogs
Birding in Egypt
The Lady Birder of Egypt
Wadi Al-Hitan/Whale Valley – UNESCO World Heritage List

Facebook groups
Birding Egypt is the place to share your birding photos, news and experiences across Egypt and to participate in building awareness and promoting conservation of Egypt’s avian heritage
Egypt Wildlife Conservation (EWC) is a group aiming to protect and conserve wildlife of Egypt and discuss the ideas of research in the field of wildlife conservation and all events in this field

ORGANISATIONS

Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE) is the BirdLife Partner in Egypt

The Egyptian Ornithological Rarities Committee adjudicates rare bird records in Egypt

The BirdLife International UNDP/GEF Migratory Soaring Birds Project works in Egypt

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Egypt include –
Wild Phoenix
Lake Qarun Site Support Group
HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association)
Giza Zoo
Arab Federation for Wildlife Protection (AFWP)
Tour du Valat

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