تونس‎ | Tunisie | Tunisia

SUB-REGION
North Africa

SIZE
163,610 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity

Palaearctic avifauna
Approximately 380 recorded species

Tristram’s Warbler (Adam Riley)
Eurasian Jay (John Caddick)
Fulvous Babbler (Paul van Giersbergen)

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
North African Buzzard
Barbary Falcon
North African Blue Tit | Ultramarine Tit
Saharan Olivaceous Warbler (reiseri)
African (Barbary) Reed Warbler
Atlas Chaffinch (africana)
Tunisian Chaffinch (spodiogenys)
Atlas Crossbill | North African Crossbill

Other taxa of interest
Ruddy Shelduck
Marbled Duck | Marbled Teal
Red-crested Pochard
Ferruginous Duck | Ferruginous Pochard
White-headed Duck
Common Quail
Barbary Partridge
Red-necked Nightjar (desertorum)
European Nightjar | Eurasian Nightjar (meridionalis)
Alpine Swift (tuneti)
Common Swift
Pallid Swift (brehmorum)
Little Swift (galilejensis)
Common Cuckoo (bangsi)
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Spotted Sandgrouse
Crowned Sandgrouse
Common Wood Pigeon
European Turtle Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Laughing Dove (phoenicophila)
Water Rail
Western Swamphen
Common Crane
Greater Flamingo
Eurasian Stone-curlew (saharae)
Pied Avocet
Kentish Plover
Cream-colored Courser
Collared Pratincole
Slender-billed Gull
Audouin’s Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Sandwich Tern
Little Tern
Common Tern
European Storm Petrel
Scopoli’s Shearwater
Yelkouan Shearwater
Balearic Shearwater
European Shag (desmarestii)
Little Bittern (minutus)
Squacco Heron
White Stork
Egyptian Vulture
European Honey Buzzard
Short-toed Snake Eagle
Lesser Spotted Eagle
Booted Eagle
Golden Eagle
Bonelli’s Eagle
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (punicus)
Western Marsh Harrier (harterti)
Pallid Harrier
Montagu’s Harrier
Black Kite
Little Owl (glaux)
Eurasian Scops Owl (mallorcae)
Long-eared Owl
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl
Maghreb Owl
Eurasian Hoopoe
European Roller
Common Kingfisher
European Bee-eater
Eurasian Wryneck (mauretanica)
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (ledouci)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (numidus)
Levaillant’s Woodpecker | Maghreb Green Woodpecker
Lesser Kestrel
Eleonora’s Falcon
Eurasian Hobby
Lanner Falcon (erlangeri)
Black-crowned Tchagra (cucullatus)
Woodchat Shrike
Eurasian Golden Oriole
Eurasian Jay (cervicalis)
Maghreb Magpie
Brown-necked Raven
Northern Raven (tingitanus)
Coal Tit (ledouci)
Great Tit (excelsus)
Greater Hoopoe-Lark
Thick-billed Lark
Desert Lark
Bar-tailed Lark
Woodlark (pallida)
Eurasian Skylark (harterti)
Thekla’s Lark
Crested Lark
Temminck’s Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark (rubiginosa)
Calandra Lark
Dupont’s Lark (duponti/margaritae)
Mediterranean Short-toed Lark
Common Bulbul (barbatus)
Eurasian Crag Martin
Western 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 (pauluccii)
Western Orphean Warbler
African Desert Warbler
Tristram’s Warbler (deserticola)
Sardinian Warbler
Western Subalpine Warbler
Common Whitethroat
Spectacled Warbler
Dartford Warbler (toni)
Fulvous Babbler
Common Firecrest (balearicus)
Eurasian Wren (kabylorum)
Short-toed Treecreeper (mauritanica)
Spotless Starling
Mistle Thrush (deichleri)
Common Blackbird (mauritanicus)
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
Spotted Flycatcher
European Robin (witherbyi)
Common Nightingale
Atlas Pied Flycatcher | Atlas Flycatcher
Black Redstart (gibraltariensis)
Moussier’s Redstart
Blue Rock Thrush
European Stonechat
Atlas Wheatear
Desert Wheatear (homochroa)
Western Black-eared Wheatear
Red-rumped Wheatear
Black Wheatear (riggenbachi)
White-crowned Wheatear
Maghreb Wheatear
Rock Sparrow (barbara)
Spanish Sparrow
House Sparrow (tingitanus)
Desert Sparrow (saharae)
Western Yellow Wagtail (iberiae)
Grey Wagtail
Hawfinch (buvryi)
Trumpeter Finch (zedlitzi)
European Greenfinch (voousi)
Common Linnet (mediterranea)
European Goldfinch (parva)
European Serin
Corn Bunting
Rock Bunting
Cirl Bunting
House Bunting

Barbary Partridge (Paul van Giersbergen)

MAIN HABITATS
Desert, wetlands, mountains

BIRD AREAS
46 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Cap Bon Promontory for soaring bird migration
Ichkeul National Park (NP) for waterfowl
Bou-Hedma NP for montane species
Jbil NP for desert species

TIMING (Feb–Apr)
Best after rain and once it warms up (Feb–May)
Raptor passage is best Mar–Apr
Many Afro-Palearctic migrants present Nov–Feb
Avoid the hot, dry season (Jul–Sep)

RESOURCES
Apps
Collins Bird Guide

Field guides
Collins Bird Guide by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström (2022)

Sounds
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
Birding Tunisia – Off the Beaten Track by Mark Cocker (2005)
Tunisia in The Good Bird Guide: a Species-by-Species Guide to Finding Europe’s Best Birds by Keith Marsh (2005)

Further reading
Oiseaux de Tunisie/Birds of Tunisia by Paul Isenmann, Thierry Gaultier, Ali El Hali, Hichem Azafzaf, Habib Dlensi & Michael Smart (2005)
Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East: an Annotated Checklist by Dominic Mitchell (2017)
Tunisia by Mourad Amari & Hichem Azafzaf in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Les Dénombrements Internationaux d’Oiseaux d’Eau: Tunisie 2009-2018 by Hichem Azafzaf, Samar Kilani & Claudia Feltrup- Azafzaf (2021)
Waterbirds in the Gulf of Gabès and other Wetlands in Tunisia, Autumn 1999 by J F F P Bos, G M van der Geest, N L M Gilissen, R Pahlplatz, I Essetti & F Ayache (2001)
Waterbirds in Kneiss, Tunisia, February-March 1994 by T M van der Have, N Baccetti, G O Keijl & M Zenatello (1997)
Waterbirds in the Kneiss Area and other Wetlands, Tunisia, Spring 1990 edited by H W Spiekman, G O Keijl & P S Ruiters (1993)
Wader Ringing in Tunisia 1962-1986 by H Spiekman (1992)
Wintering Waders and Waterfowl in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, January-March 1984 by A J van Dijk, K van Dijk, L Dijksen, T van Spanje & E Wymenga (1986)
The Birds of Tunisia: an Annotated Checklist and a Field Guide to Birdwatching by Peter Thomsen & Peder Jacobsen (1979)
Articles in Alauda, Bull. ABC, etc.

Websites
Birds in Tunisia – MaghrebOrnitho has everything about birds and birding in Tunisia
Birdwatching Tunisia
Ichkeul National Park – UNESCO World Heritage List

Blogs
Tunisia – North African Birds/Oiseaux d’Afrique du Nord

Facebook groups
Birds of Tunisia – Oiseaux de Tunisie – طيور تونسية

ORGANISATIONS

The BirdLife Partner in Tunisia is Association Les Amis des Oiseaux (AAO)

AAO has a scientific branch called Groupe Tunisien d’Ornithologie (GTO) and regional branches in Bizerte, Cap Bon, Gabes, Gafsa, Kairouan, Sfax and Sousse

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Tunisia include –
Association Nationale du Développement Durable et de la Conservation de la Vie Sauvage (ANDDCVS)
Association Tunisienne pour la Protection de la Nature et de l’Environnement (ATPNE)
Association Tunisienne de Taxonomie (ATUTAX)
Exploralis
Tunisia Wildlife Conservation Society (TWCS)
Tour du Valat

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