Guide to Birds of UAE

Hi readers,

I have been very busy lately to prepare our home to welcome a new member 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 favorite post with you all. I have been collecting data about this topic since a very long time including taking 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 more 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.)

I have classified all these birds into 3 main categories 1. Native Birds, endangered birds come under same category. 2. Migratory birds and 3. Newly introduced species.

Migratory Birds

While talking about migratory birds, we all need to keep in mind the very central location of UAE on the world map. 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 the 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 numerous 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. Plus abundantly available food supply for these birds here fish and bio diverse species in mangroves is the reason why this region is popular among migratory birds. We get to see migratory birds mainly in marshes, mangroves, sea shores and sometimes in parks.


Slender-billed Gull


Lesser Crested Tern
Common Sandpiper
Grey Heron

Native Birds

There are some UAE’s native birds too, who are thriving in this very hot and humid condition since ages. We get to see these birds all over near the coast and also in desert.

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 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.
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 centers. 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 program 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 settled here permanently. These comparatively 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 sprinklers used for landscaping and same landscape (trees, flora, fauna and dates) provide them food in summer. These birds are found in all sort of residential areas and parks in UAE.

Little Green Bee-Eater

Indian Roller

Greater Flamingo

House Sparrow

                      Alexandrine or Large Indian Parakeet
Laughing /Palm Dove
Eurasian Collared/Ring Dove
Indian Roller, Indian Crow
                 Red-wattled Lapwing
Southern Grey Shrike
Red-wattled Lapwing                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Common Myna






Pigeons                                                                                                                             Hoopoe


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

 Click to read list of Khors, Marshes & Mangroves in UAE

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

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

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

Man-made Environments
a. Parks
b. Sewage Treatment Plants like 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!

Note:  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.

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Hi, I am Amruta, Thank you for visiting my blog!

I am a Sustainability Professional. I have worked on many green building projects in the


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