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A Kingdom of Birds: Birding in Saudi Arabia

with Gregory Askew


السلام عليكم!

As-salaam 'alaikum!


"The Desert is Not Deserted"


The Saudi I Know and Love


At the Crossroads of Three Biogeographical Realms and Three Major Flyways

  • Palearctic residents in the north with migrants throughout on passage

  • Afrotropical residents and summer breeders in the southwest

  • Indomalayan residents, winter visitors, and vagrants in the east

  • Three major flyways pass through Saudi: Black Sea-Mediterranean flyway, Asian-East African flyway, Central Asian flyway

  • Over 500 species recorded to date


The Endemics and Near-endemics of the Arabian Peninsula

14 species endemic to the Arabian Peninsula

  • Asir Magpie, an endangered corvid found only in Saudi Arabia

Easiest place for near-endemics and regional specialties

  • Hypocolius, Arabian Dunn's Lark, Rufous-capped Lark, and Arabian Golden Sparrow

Regionally endemic seabirds

  • White-eyed Gull and Socotra Cormorant


Birding Hotspots in Saudi Arabia


Why I Love Saudi Birding

1. Saudi birds are cool!

2. Saudi's one of the most under-birded countries on the planet!

  • 4,556 completed eBird checklists to Tarrant County's 69,100

  • 283 eBirders to Tarrant's 4,417

3. Contributing to knowledge about Saudi birdlife

4. Sharing my love with others

5. Learning Saudi Arabic





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