المغرب | ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ | Maroc | Morocco

North Africa

446,550 km² not including the exclaves of Ceuta and Mellila and the plazas de soberanía



Palaearctic avifauna in the north, more Afrotropical in the south
Approximately 470 recorded species

Northern Bald Ibis (Adam Riley)
Moussier’s Restart (Adam Riley)
Crowned Sandgrouse (Paul van Giersbergen)

Northern Bald Ibis
African Crimson-winged Finch

Birds best found in Morocco but occurring more widely (BT)
White-headed Duck
Barbary Partridge
Egyptian Nightjar (saharae)
Crowned Sandgrouse
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl | Desert Eagle-Owl
Maghreb Owl
Levaillant’s Woodpecker | Maghreb Green Woodpecker
Maghreb Magpie
Thick-billed Lark
Maghreb Lark | Long-billed Crested Lark
Temminck’s Lark
Dupont’s Lark (duponti)
African Desert Warbler
Tristram’s Warbler (maroccana)
Fulvous Babbler | Fulvous Chatterer (maroccanus)
Atlas Pied Flycatcher | Atlas Flycatcher
Moussier’s Redstart
Atlas Wheatear | Seeböhm’s Wheatear
Red-rumped Wheatear | Buff-rumped Wheatear
Black Wheatear (riggenbachi)
Maghreb Wheatear
Desert Sparrow (saharae)
House Bunting

Tristram’s Warbler (Adam Riley)
Fulvous Babbler (Paul van Giersbergen)

Birds best found in two territories of the ABC region but occurring in more (B2), including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Houbara Bustard
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Brown-necked Raven
African Blue Tit (ultramarinus)
Thekla’s Lark (ESS erlangeri)
White-crowned Wheatear

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Moroccan Cormorant (BT)
North African Buzzard
Barbary Falcon (BT)
Desert Grey Shrike (B2)
North African Blue Tit | Ultramarine Tit (BT)
Atlas Horned Lark (would-be endemic)
Saharan Scrub Warbler (BT)
Saharan Olivaceous Warbler (BT)
African (Barbary) Reed Warbler
Moroccan Wagtail (would-be endemic)
Atlas Chaffinch (BT)
Atlas Crossbill | North African Crossbill (BT)

Other taxa of interest, including ESS
Ruddy Shelduck
Marbled Duck | Marbled Teal
Red-crested Pochard
Common Pochard
Ferruginous Duck | Ferruginous Pochard
Common Quail
Double-spurred Spurfowl (ESS ayesha)
Red-necked Nightjar (ruficollis/desertorum)
European Nightjar | Eurasian Nightjar (meridionalis)
Alpine Swift (melba/tuneti)
Common Swift
Plain Swift
Pallid Swift (brehmorum)
Little Swift (galilejensis)
White-rumped Swift
Great Bustard
Little Bustard
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Common Cuckoo (bangsi)
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (caudacutus)
Spotted Sandgrouse
Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (targius)
Stock Dove
Common Wood Pigeon
European Turtle Dove (arenicola)
Eurasian Collared Dove
Laughing Dove (phoenicophila)
Water Rail
Red-knobbed Coot
Western Swamphen
Common Crane
Great Crested Grebe
Black-necked Grebe
Greater Flamingo
Common Buttonquail | Small Buttonquail (sylvaticus)
Eurasian Stone-curlew | Eurasian Thick-knee (saharae)
Northern Lapwing
Little Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Cream-colored Courser
Collared Pratincole
Black Stork
White Stork
European Shag (ESS riggenbachi)
Glossy Ibis
Eurasian Spoonbill (leucorodia)
Little Bittern (minutus)
Squacco Heron
Black-winged Kite
Bearded Vulture
Egyptian Vulture
European Honey Buzzard
Griffon Vulture | Eurasian Griffon
Short-toed Snake Eagle
Booted Eagle
Tawny Eagle
Spanish Imperial Eagle | Spanish Eagle
Golden Eagle (homeyeri)
Bonelli’s Eagle
Dark Chanting Goshawk (ESS theresae)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (punicus)
Eurasian Goshawk | Northern Goshawk
Western Marsh Harrier | Eurasian Marsh Harrier (harterti)
Pallid Harrier
Montagu’s Harrier
Red Kite
Black Kite
Little Owl (glaux)
Eurasian Scops Owl (mallorcae)
Long-eared Owl
Marsh Owl (ESS tingitanus)
Eurasian Hoopoe
European Roller
Common Kingfisher
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (chrysocercus)
European Bee-eater
Great Spotted Woodpecker (ESS mauritanus)
Lesser Kestrel
Eleonora’s Falcon
Eurasian Hobby
Lanner Falcon (erlangeri)
Black-crowned Tchagra (cucullatus)
Woodchat Shrike
Eurasian Golden Oriole
Eurasian Jay (whitakeri + minor)
Red-billed Chough (barbarus)
Alpine Chough | Yellow-billed Chough
Western Jackdaw (spermologus)
Northern Raven | Common Raven (tingitanus)
Coal Tit (ESS atlas)
Great Tit (excelsus)
Greater Hoopoe-Lark
Desert Lark (payni)
Bar-tailed Lark (arenicolor)
Woodlark (pallida)
Eurasian Skylark (harterti)
Crested Lark (ESS kleinschmidti + riggenbachi)
Greater Short-toed Lark (rubiginosa)
Calandra Lark
Mediterranean Short-toed Lark (minor)
Common Bulbul (barbatus)
Brown-throated Martin (ESS mauritanica)
Eurasian Crag Martin
Pale Crag Martin (presaharica)
Western House Martin | Common House Martin (meridionale)
Red-rumped Swallow (rufula)
Cetti’s Warbler
Western Bonelli’s Warbler
Iberian Chiffchaff
Great Reed Warbler
Moustached Warbler
Western Olivaceous Warbler
Melodious Warbler
Savi’s Warbler
Zitting Cisticola (cisticola)
Eurasian Blackcap (heineken)
Western Orphean Warbler
Sardinian Warbler (melanocephala/valverdei)
Western Subalpine Warbler
Common Whitethroat
Spectacled Warbler
Dartford Warbler (toni)
Common Firecrest (balearicus)
Eurasian Wren (kabylorum)
Eurasian Nuthatch (hispaniensis)
Short-toed Treecreeper (mauritanica)
Spotless Starling
Mistle Thrush (deichleri)
Common Blackbird | Eurasian Blackbird (mauritanicus)
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
Spotted Flycatcher
European Robin (rubecula)
Common Nightingale
Black Redstart (gibraltariensis)
Common Redstart
Blue Rock Thrush
European Stonechat
Desert Wheatear (homochroa)
Western Black-eared Wheatear
White-throated Dipper (minor)
Rock Sparrow (barbara)
Spanish Sparrow
House Sparrow (tingitanus)
Alpine Accentor (collaris)
Western Yellow Wagtail (iberiae)
Grey Wagtail
Tawny Pipit
Hawfinch (buvryi)
Trumpeter Finch (zedlitzi)
European Greenfinch (vanmarli/voousi)
Common Linnet | Eurasian Linnet (mediterranea)
European Goldfinch (parva)
European Serin
Corn Bunting
Rock Bunting
Cirl Bunting
Common Reed Bunting (witherbyi)

Arid scrubland, desert, temperate forest, moorland

45 Important Bird Areas

Oukaïmeden for montane species
Ifrane National Park (NP) for temperate forest species
Merzouga and Tagdilt Track for desert species
Tamri and Souss-Massa NP for Northern Bald Ibis
Jbel Moussa for soaring bird migration
Sea off Agadir and Banc du Tangier for seabirds, including Common Scoter, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Black Tern, Great Skua, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Long-tailed Skua, Razorbill, Atlantic Puffin, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, White-faced Storm Petrel, European Storm Petrel, Leach’s Storm Petrel, Scopoli’s Shearwater, Cory’s Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Yelkouan Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Barolo Shearwater and Northern Gannet

TIMING (Feb–Apr)
Best after the rains, in spring and when most birds breed (Feb–May)
Passage migrants are present mostly Sep–Oct and Feb–Apr
Over-wintering migrants are present Oct–Mar
Avoid the hot, dry season (Jun–Sep)

Collins Bird Guide

Field guides
Collins Bird Guide by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström (2022)
Les Oiseaux du Maroc: Guide d’Identification by Groupe d’Ornithologie du Maroc & Holcim Maroc (2010)
Birds of Europe with North Africa and the Middle East by Lars Jonsson (2005)

Morocco: Sharing the Birds – a Sound Approach Guide to Birds of the Maghreb by Arnoud B van den Berg & The Sound Approach
The Bird Songs of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by Andreas Schulze & Karl-Heinz Dingler
Bird Sounds of Europe & North-west Africa by Jean C Roché & Jérôme Chevereau
Birds of North-west Africa/Oiseaux du Maghreb by Jean C Roché & Jérôme Chevereau
African Bird Sounds/Oiseaux d’Afrique Vol 1: North-west Africa, Canaria and Cap-Verde Islands/Sahara, Maghreb, Madère, Canaries & Iles du Cap-Vert by Claude Chappuis

Site guides
Where to Watch Birds in Morocco by Patrick Bergier & Fédora Bergier (2017)
Finding Birds in Morocco: Coast and Mountains by Dave Gosney (2017)
Finding Birds in Morocco: the Deserts by Dave Gosney (2018)
Crossbill Guide: Southern Morocco by Martin Pitt (2023)
Morocco in The Good Bird Guide: a Species-by-Species Guide to Finding Europe’s Best Birds by Keith Marsh (2005)
A Birdwatching Guide to Morocco by Pete Combridge & Alan Snook (1997)
The Tagdilt Track, Morocco: a Site Guide for the Visitor by Gary A Allport (1995)

Further reading
Birds of Morocco/Oiseaux du Maroc by Patrick Bergier, Michel Thévenot, Abdeljebbar Qninba & Jean-Roch Houllier (2022)
Birds of Morocco by Ignacio Yúfera (2015)
The Special Birds of Morocco by Richard Price (2010)
The Birds of Morocco: an Annotated Checklist by Michel Thévenot, Rae Vernon & Patrick Bergier (2003)
Morocco by Chris Magin (editor) in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Les Rapaces Diurnes du Maroc: Statut, Repartition et Ecologie by Patrick Bergier (1987)
Les Dénombrements Internationaux d’Oiseaux d’Eau: Maroc 2009-2018 by Mohamed Dakki, Asmaâ Ouassou, Mohammed-Aziz El Agbani, Abdeljebbar Qninba, R’himou El Hamoumi & Zouhair Amhaouch (2021)
Waders and Waterbirds Along Part of the Atlantic Coast of Morocco, Autumn 1991-Spring 1992 edited by N M Groen & P J Zomerdijk (1994)
Wader Migration Along the Atlantic Coast of Morocco, March 1981 by M Kersten, T Piersma, C Smit & P Zegers (1983)
Articles in Go-South Bulletin (GREPOM), Porphyrio (GOMAC), Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique (Rabat), Alauda, Bull. ABC, etc.

Birds in Morocco – MaghrebOrnitho has everything about birds and birding in Morocco

Morocco – North African Birds/Oiseaux d’Afrique du Nord
Moroccan Birds
Zones Humides du Maroc/Moroccan Wetlands

Facebook groups
Moroccan Birds
Oiseaux du Maroc

YouTube videos
Imad Cherkaoui’s Wild Morocco channel is a modest contribution to improve knowledge about birds and nature in the Maghreb region and promote ecotourism and nature conservation


The BirdLife Partner in Morocco is GREPOM (Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc)/BirdLife Maroc

The Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (MRBC)/Commission d’Homologation Marocaine (CHM) was established in 1995 for the purpose of gathering data on rare or little known birds in Morocco and thus increase the current knowledge of the Moroccan avifauna

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Morocco include –
Groupe d’Ornithologie du Maroc (GOMAC)
Association Marocaine de Protection des Oiseaux et de la Vie Sauvage (AMPOVIS)
Société Protectrice des Animaux et de la Nature (SPANA)
Association Marocaine pour la Protection des Rapaces (AMPR)
Association Marocaine pour l’Ecotourisme et la Protection de la Nature (AMEPN)
Association Nature & Patrimoine (ANAP)
Nature Solutions
Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation (ECWP)
Association Marocaine pour la Protection de l’Environnement et le Climat (ASMAPEC)
Association Khnifiss
Réseau des Associations de la Réserve de Biosphère Arganeraie (RARBA-Tiznit)
Observatoire pour la Protection de l’Environnement et des Monuments Historiques de Tanger (OPEMH-Tanger)
Tour du Valat

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