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The Middle East

Scops Owl Otus scops ©Mike Pope Website

The Middle-east is not a continent in the recognised sense of the term but more or less an area which seems not to be fully part of Europe, Asia or Africa. Moreover, no-one seems to agree on which nations make up the grouping. Some think Turkey and Cyprus are part of it whilst others place these countries in Europe. Some count Egypt in although it is clearly part of Africa… we do npt pronounce an opinion just cover all the area I have seen refered to as the middle east and duplicate some entries which I cover in other continents.

The governments of some middle-eastern countries are at the forefront of good conservation and have put much effort in to preserving bird life in their countries despite the lack of interest of many local people. Some of those nations could afford to create very interesting web-sites. Few do.

However, search the web and one is likely to come across many references to Falconry which has many devotees in the Middle East. It is sad that this drives a trade in illegally taken birds rather than those bred in captivity and, in some places, is also responsible for the endangerment of other bird species such as bustards etc. Nevertheless, there is hope as more and more countries recognise the need to consere wildlife and their wild places.

Useful Reading

Birds of Europe with North Africa and the Middle East

Lars Jonsson | Christopher Helm | 2005 | Paperback | 559 pages, 140 col plates, col distribution maps |

ISBN: 0713676000

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East

(A Photographic Guide) by Frédéric Jiguet & Aurélien Audevard | Princeton University Press | 2017 | Paperback | 447 pages, 2200 colour photos, colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9780691172439

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Middle East

By Richard Porter, Simon Aspinall, A Birch, John Gale, Mike Langman, Brian E Small | Christopher Helm | 2010 | 384 pages, 176 colour plates, 636 colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9780713676020

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Flight Identification of Raptors of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East

By Dick Forsman | Bloomsbury | 2016 | Hardback | 544 pages, 1095 colour photos, 7 colour & b/w illustrations, 1 colour table |

ISBN: 9781472913616

Buy this book from NHBS.com




BirdLife International seeks to conserve all birds species on earth and their habitats and, through this, it works for the world`s biological diversity. It recognizes that the problems affecting birds, their habitat and our global environment are linked inseparably with social, economic and cultural factors and that these can only be resolved if human societies function in an ecologically sustainable manner and if the needs, welfare and aspirations of people form a part of all conservation action.

Ornithological Society of the Middle East


The Ornithological Society of the Middle East was formed in April 1978 as a successor to the Ornithological Society of Turkey. Its aims are as follows: To collect, collate and publish ornithological data on birds of the Middle East. To encourage an interest in and conservation of birds of the Middle East. To assist environmental and conservation organisations and natural history societies in and concerned with ornithological studies and activities in the Middle East.


Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

Abbreviations used on Reserves section of Country pages

BR Biosphere Reserve
IBA Important Bird Area
NP National Park
NR Nature Reserve
PA Protected Area (Hima)
RCS RAMSAR Convention Site

Trip Reports

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Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2004 [04 April] - Christoph Haag & Cathy Liautard


Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey…

Other Links

Birding in the Middle East


A site dedicated to birdwatching, bird trip reports and related in the Middle East…