Birds of the United Arab Erimates

The UAE is home to some 433 species of which around 300 are migrants (mainly in the winter). In contrast just 130 species breed in the Emirates.

Ornithological Importance of UAE Site packed with infomation though a little difficult to navigate

At any one time during migration periods (July – November and April – May) probably in excess of 250,000 waders are present on intertidal areas of the country’s Gulf coast. Taking into account the likely turnover of shorebirds on this Eurasian/West Asian – Arabian Gulf – African flyway, the mudflats of the southern Gulf probably support several million individuals over the course of a year. The current UAE population of Socotra cormorants is around 200,000, which is about 15-33% of the estimated total world population. Individual sites are regionally important for wader species, namely Abu al Abyadh for its crab plover Dromas ardeola colony and migratory populations of lesser sand plover Charadrius mongolus, Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus and grey plover Pluvialis squatarola, Khor Dubai for its high densities of Kentish plover, greater sand plover Charadrius leschenaultii, lesser sand plover and broad-billed sandpiper Limicola falcinellus and Khor al Beidah for its large wintering population of crab plover and parties of up to 90 wintering great knot Calidris tenuirostris. The summer population of crab plover is estimated at over 1,200 shared between Abu al Abyadh and another colony on the island of Umm Amim, while the largest wintering population of over 500 birds is at Khor al Beidah.

See also

Books about the birds of UAE

Birds of the United Arab Emirates

Two reviews:

  • This book is a hybrid between an atlas and a minimal photo guide. All the birds of the United Arab Emirates are discussed here. The seasonal status and distribution of each bird is covered in 3 – 16 lines, depending on its frequency in the country. This is not an identification guide but a reference book describing the presence of the birds in the country. This is book is a good data reference for those people wishing to get an overview of the UAE’s birds, at least as of 1990 when this book was written.
  • This book does not fully explain the status of some birds in the UAE. Some species are commoner than they were in the 1980’s. I do advice a birdwatcher coming to the UAE to buy this book as he/she will not find it useful at all.

Shell Birdwatching Guide to the UAE

The majority of the guide is given over to a step-by-step description of a total of over 50 of the UAE’s main birdwatching sites, each with a simple map of the site and how to find it, along with details of what birds to expect there, and when. Of particular use to visitors will be the advice on where it is safe to drive, and where they run the risk of getting stuck in impassable terrain.

Illustrated with 16 colour pictures showing the variety of the UAE’s habitat, the book also includes the latest updated Checklist of UAE birds, as well as a handy “tick list.” All in all, the book serves as a quick ready reference on what birders need to know about the UAE. General information on the country is also included, useful to both residents and visitors alike.

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.