المغرب | ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ | Maroc | Morocco

SUB-REGION
North-West Africa

SIZE
446,550 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity

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

Northern Bald Ibis (Adam Riley)
Desert Sparrow (Paul van Giersbergen)
Crowned Sandgrouse (Paul van Giersbergen)

Near-endemics
Northern Bald Ibis
African Crimson-winged Finch

Birds best found in Morocco but occurring more widely (BT)
White-headed Duck
Barbary Partridge
Egyptian Nightjar
Crowned Sandgrouse
Maghreb Owl
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl | Desert Eagle-Owl
Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker
Peregrine Falcon (pelegrinoides)
Maghreb Magpie
Thick-billed Lark
Maghreb Lark
Temminck’s Lark
Dupont’s Lark
Streaked Scrub Warbler
Fulvous Babbler
African Desert Warbler
Tristram’s Warbler
Atlas Flycatcher
Moussier’s Redstart
Red-rumped Wheatear
Atlas Wheatear | Seeböhm’s Wheatear
Maghreb Wheatear
Black Wheatear (riggenbachi)
Desert Sparrow
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)
Houbara Bustard
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Brown-necked Raven
African Blue Tit
Thekla Lark
Mourning Wheatear
White-crowned Wheatear

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Desert Grey Shrike (B2)
North African Blue Tit (BT)
Saharan Scrub Warbler (BT)
Moroccan Wagtail (would-be endemic)
African Chaffinch (BT)

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Ferruginous Duck | Ferruginous Pochard
Double-spurred Spurfowl (ESS ayesha)
European Shag (ESS riggenbachi)
Spanish Imperial Eagle
Bonelli’s Eagle
Dark Chanting Goshawk (ESS theresae)
Western Marsh Harrier (harterti)
Cream-coloured Courser
Audouin’s Gull
Spotted Sandgrouse
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Common Wood Pigeon (excelsa)
Little Owl
Marsh Owl (ESS tingitanus)
Red-necked Nightjar (desertorum)
Pallid Swift
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (chrysocercus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (ESS mauritanus)
Eleonora’s Falcon
Black-crowned Tchagra (cucullatus)
Eurasian Jay (whitakeri, minor)
Red-billed Chough (barbarus)
Northern Raven | Common Raven (tingitanus)
Coal Tit (ESS atlas)
Great Tit (excelsus)
Bar-tailed Lark
Eurasian Skylark (harterti)
Horned Lark (ESS atlas)
Common Bulbul (barbatus)
Brown-throated Martin (ESS mauritanica)
Sardinian Warbler (valverdei)
Short-toed Treecreeper (mauritanica)
Spotless Starling
Common Blackbird | Eurasian Blackbird (mauritanicus)
White-throated Dipper (minor)
House Sparrow (tingitanus)
Rock Sparrow (barbara)
Hawfinch (buvryi)
European Greenfinch (voousi)

MAIN HABITATS
Arid scrubland, desert, temperate forest, moorland

BIRD AREAS
49 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Oukaïmeden for montane species
Parc Naturel d’Ifrane for temperate forest species
Merzouga and Tagdilt Track for desert species
Tamri for Northern Bald Ibis

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)

RESOURCES
Apps
Collins Bird Guide

Field guides
Collins Bird Guide by Lars Svensson (2010)
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)

Sounds
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)
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)
The Special Birds of Morocco by Richard Price (2010)
The Birds of Morocco: an Annotated Checklist by Michel Thévenot, Rae Vernon & Patrick Bergier (2003)
Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East: an Annotated Checklist by Dominic Mitchell (2017)
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)
Birds of Morocco by Ignacio Yúfera (2015)
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.

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

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

Facebook groups
Moroccan Birds
Oiseaux du Maroc

ORGANISATIONS

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)
La Société Protectrice des Animaux et de la Nature (SPANA)
Association Marocaine pour la Fauconnerie et la Conservation des Rapaces (AMFCP)
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 Méditerranée pour le Développement et la Protection de l’Environnement (AMED)
Réseau 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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