Saturday, December 1, 2012

Birds In UAE

Hi Friends,

I have been very busy lately and it is becoming hard to write regular posts on the blog. It will be even more challenging when a new member will arrive in our family within next few months. But as of now I am enjoying amazing weather in UAE and can't wait to share my most favourite post with you all. I have been collecting data about this topic since long time and was waiting long to take photos of these beautiful birds found in such a small desert country.

It is definitely a great co-incidence to publish Birds In UAE before UAE's National Day! It's my personal tribute to natural beauty of UAE; my second home.

There are scientific and statistical data available on internet for Birds in UAE, if anybody is interested. (Also see at the end of article my note about where to find more about birds in UAE.)
Migratory Birds:
Firstly we all need to keep in mind the very central location of UAE. When winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere, many migratory birds from Europe and North Asia take their stop in UAE while migrating to Africa and southern parts. Why they choose UAE? Answer to that is, while they pass the region, it's winter in UAE so weather is pleasant for them. UAE is blessed with numerouse marshes and mangroves; to name few Ras Al Khor, Eastern Mangrove in Abu Dhabi, Khor Al Kalba etc. Very convenient location of this tip of arabian peninsula and abundantly available food supply for these birds here (fish and biodiverse species in mangroves) is the reason why this region is popular amongst migratory birds. We get to see migratory birds mainly in marshes, mangroves, sea shores and sometimes in parks.
Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern
Common Sandpiper
Grey Heron

Native Birds:
Apart from these migratory birds there are local birds, who are thriving in this very hot and humid condition since ages. We get to see these birds all over near the cost and also in dessert.

Kalbanese Kingfisher:
The Kalba Collared Kingfisher, also called the Kalbaensis, the UAE’s only kingfisher, is found in Khor Kalba. It is a blue green and white bird is considered one of the rarest in the world and has lived in isolation from other kingfisher species found in South and East Asia. It often picks up crabs from ground.
Grey Frankolin or Grey Partridge:
Grey Frankolin or Grey Partridge
Grey Frankolin or Grey Partridge

Endangered Birds:
Houbara/MacQueen Bustard:

This used to be very popular bird in Arabia where it used to be hunted with the help of trained Falcons till 1990s. The trend has stopped now because this species has become extinct in UAE nature. Houbara Bustard is endangered in UAE.
It is light sandy brown and white bird with large-body, long legs and a slender neck. There is bib-like tuft of feathers over the breast. When performing spectacular breeding dance in front of female, male fluffs the feathers in such a way to make feather basket around his face.

In 1995 late HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan set up Emirates Center for Wild life propogation in Morrocco to protect and conserve Houbara Bustard in North Africa.
In 2006 International Fund for Houbara Conservation is set up in Western Region of Abu Dhabi. Under this conservation program, the centers are established for captive breeding of the birds in UAE, Morocco, Kazakistan and China. In 2011 alone IFHC bred 20,475 Asian and North African houbara in its centres. Out of which in UAE, there were 2,727 Asian houbara chicks born in captivity with an encouraging 53 per cent survival rate.
In the same time, the number of houbara released into the wild was a record 13,400, reaching the milestone figure of 50,000 since the houbara release programme began in 1998 with just two birds released in North Africa. Some 1,350 of them were released in 10 different locations across the UAE.

Newly Introduced Resident Birds:

Some birds came from somewhere else and setteled here permanently. These campartively newly settled birds in this region are multiplying quickly as they live in newly created landscaped habitat in UAE, where they get enough food and water supply even in summer. I have seen many birds drinking water from water sprinkleres used for landscaping and same landscape (trees, flora, fauna) provide them food. These birds are found in all sort of residential areas and parks in UAE.

Little Green Bee-Eater
Little Green Bee-Eater

Indian Roller

Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo
Alexandrine or Large Indian Parakeet

 House Sparrow

Laughing /Palm Dove
Laughing /Palm and Eurasian Collared Doves
Eurasian Collared/Ring Dove
Indian Roller, Indian Crow
Southern Grey Shrike
Red-wattled Lapwing
Red-wattled Lapwing
Common Maina

UAE's best places for Bird watching (Bird habitats)

Khors, Marshes & Mangroves
Ras Al Khor wild life sanctury
Khor Kalba
Sadiyat Island Mangroves
Estern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi
Khor Mamzer
Um Al Quain

Sea Shore & Creeks
Dubai Creek
Ras Al Khaimah Corniche
Abu Dhabi Corniche
Buhaira Corniche Sharjah
Beaches in Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Khorfakan

Dessert & Dunes
Almost 75-80% of land in UAE is covered by dessert and dunes.

Montains &Wadies
Hajar Mountain Range, Hatta
Wadies in Fujairah
Mountain roads joining Masafi, Fujairah, Khorfakan

Manmade Environments
a. Parks
b. Sewage Treatment Plants- International City
c. Golf courses, Hotel Premises
d. Landscaped Residential Communities

Next time you go outdoors, you would see some of these beautiful birds in UAE. Enjoy bird watching and Happy National Day to all UAE people!
To find more about birds in UAE checkout below links
I would also recommend a very informative and beatiful book published by Dubai Municipality "Birds of Dubai A pictorial Guide"

Disclaimer for Photos:
Photos in this post are author's property, to use these photos you can contact author and link the photos back to this blog.