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A Kingdom of Birds: Birding in Saudi Arabia

This is a video recording of an online talk I gave to the Fort Worth Audubon Society in Fort Worth, Texas about birding in Saudi Arabia. In the talk, I focus on what makes Saudi Arabia such an interesting place for birds, the endemic and near-endemic species found in the country, where best to find birds in the Kingdom and when to visit, and why I've come to love Saudi birding so much. I hope you enjoy!

Summary: Situated where three biogeographical realms meet and transected by three major flyways, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia boasts a rich avian diversity that belies its popular image as a vast, empty desert. With over 500 species recorded to date, almost two dozen of which are endemic or near-endemic to the Arabian Peninsula, the once-famously closed kingdom is now the best destination to experience such iconic Arabian birds as Philby’s Partridge, Arabian Woodpecker, Asir Magpie, Yemen Thrush, and Yemen Linnet. Yet, no matter where you find yourself in Saudi, great birding abounds. Join Gregory Askew as he throws open the doors on a kingdom of birds.

Bio: Originally from the northeast, Gregory Askew has been living and working in the Middle East since 2010. While now essentially rootless expats, he and his family do have a foothold back home in Fort Worth, Texas. He has been interested in birds and birdwatching for nearly thirty years, more avidly so since 2005. Besides birding, Greg also loves learning foreign languages and has been teaching himself Arabic since he arrived in the Middle East. He currently works as an English Instructor at Aramco’s Industrial Training Center in Al Ahsa, where he lives with his wife, Michelle, a visual artist.


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