Birds of Palestine

Birds of Palestine

The number of bird species found in Palestine today amounts to about 470. This is a very large and varied numbers compared with other countries, and especially so in view of the limited total land area of Palestine. There are three main reasons for the high number of bird species: a) Palestine is located on the main migration route to and from Africa of the birds of Europe and western Asia; b) Palestine has an abundant variety of environments, providing a range of habitats; c) Palestine stands at the crossroads of three continents and various climatic zones, and is the scene of interaction between three biogeographical regions.

Around 2.0 billion birds migrate annually between Africa, Europe and Asia (Cherrington, 2000). These birds use three major routes to make this passage. The Western path crosses the Mediterranean over Morocco into Spain and is used by some 300 million birds. The Central path over Tunisia into Sicily and is used by some 200 million birds. The Eastern path over Sinai Peninsula, used by what some ornithologists estimate to be1500 million birds, divides in the northeast of Egypt and forms two separate paths which enter Palestine by way of two passage points. One path crosses the Red Sea over Southern Sinai and the flow of migrating birds is then channeled through the Aqaba-Eilat gulf area (a unique place to see them before they relatively disperse) into the Naqab desert entering the West Bank from the South. The other path passes over northern Sinai entering the Gaza Strip across its’ southern border. Visit

Birding pals in Palestine

Books about Palestian birds

A Photographic Guide to Birds of Israel & the Middle East This photo guide, like its many sister photo guides, is best used as a practice tool in conjunction with a complete field guide.

Birds of the Middle East (Helm Field Guides) The standard field guide

This is the first comprehensive field guide dealing exclusively with the birds of this region. It covers all the species, including vagrants, found in the Arabian peninsula (including Socotra), Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Cyprus. Over 700 species are described in concise text with full details of pulmage and voice. Distribution maps appear opposite the plates and are annotated with each species’ status and preferred habitat. This authoritative book will not only be an indispensable guide to the visiting birder, but also a vital tool for those engaged in work to conserve and study the avifauna of this region, which is of such importance to both the indigenous species and those which pass through on migration.