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10 Birds To Spot In Iran

Bird Watching In Iran

Although unknown in the eye of the world, the natural wonders of Iran have proved to be the habitats to wonderful creatures no one expected to find in this country. The spectacular variety of landscapes in Iran has embraced more than 550 bird species. For its unique location on the map, Iran has been pinpointed by many remarkable migratory birds and has proved to be a kind, welcoming host.

Stretched over the surface of the earth for more than a million kilometers, Iran embodies a range of diverse ecosystems and climates. From north to south, you’ll find coasts, mountains, lagoons, lakes, forests, savannas, steppes, deserts, and wetlands that give you the opportunity to observe exceptional wildlife and significant birds.

The amazing diverse climate of Iran grants birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts the ability to travel to this country whenever they want. During each season of the year, you can take a different route on this vast country and observe different gorgeous species.

Visit Our Iran is one of the few tourism companies that promote sustainable and responsible travel among the wild frontiers of Iran. Their goal is to promote and raise awareness about the magnificent wildlife tours of Iran’s environment and the beautiful species that could be seen among these territories. You can visit the country of Iran and embark on a birding experience with Visit Our Iran and see many of these beautiful birds with your own eyes.

Here’s a list of the 10 most prominent birds you can find in Iran.

Pleske's Ground Jay

01

Pleske’s ground jay

Podoces pleskei

Also known as the Iranian ground jay, as the endemic bird of Iran, this sandy-buff coloured bird is probably the most interesting bird to seek in Iran.

This unique, shy, beautiful bird is usually found running so fast, singing on top of a shrub, or flying low on the steppes in vast open bushlands at the central desert areas of the country.

The beauty of their body’s color, along with their black throat-patch and black tail, makes this gorgeous bird more harmonious with the environment in which it lives.

The Iranian ground jays are usually solitary or in pairs outside the breeding season.

Basra Reed Warbler

02

Basra reed warbler

Acrocephalus griseldis

Although it has a distinctively longer and narrower bill, Basra Reed Warbler is usually mistaken for the Great Reed Warbler, which is also a bit bigger in size. This beautiful bird prefers to live among the marshlands and aquatic vegetation and is usually found in lush reed-beds of Bamdej and possibly Hoor-al-Azim marshes in Khuzestan. Due to habitat loss and destruction, Basra Reed Warbler is considered an endangered bird species. Observing the beauty and behavior of this bird worth your time and patience although it’s sometimes difficult to spot it.

Siberian Crane

03

Siberian crane

Leucogeranus leucogeranus

These elegant long-legged visitors are one of the rarest and most beautiful birds to observe in Iran during the winter. Migrating to this country to spend the cold season of the year, these stunning birds can be monitored over the shallow freshwater lakes or wetlands along the south of the Caspian Sea. Fereydunkenar Wetland is the perfect place to see Omid, the last Western Siberian Crane, while he’s searching for food with his bill inside the water. The love story of Omid, the last Western Siberian Crane in Iran, is a famous story among the people of Iran as well as travelers.

Sind Pied Woodpecker

04

Sind pied woodpecker

Dendrocopos assimilis

You might see the red-crowned Sind Woodpecker nesting in the tree-trunk wholes along the southern coastline of Iran. These lovely woodpeckers are usually mistaken for the Syrian Woodpecker, and it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish them; however, Sind Woodpecker is smaller in size. These gorgeous birds prefer to fly over the riverine forests and stand on groves of acacia or palms.

Goliath Heron

05

Goliath heron

Ardea goliath

This notably tall bird is a bit shy and avoids humans and their constructions, but its uniqueness takes birdwatchers to its home. This bird species is very rare in Asia, therefore it’s recognized as one of the protected ones in Iran, although it’s not considered endangered globally. Wetlands and the mangrove forests of Hormozgan coastal area are the home to these lonely birds. Floating as silently as possible on the surface of water, you might be able to see them walking in pairs in shallow waters, looking for prey.

Crab Plover

06

Crab plover

Dromas ardeola

The crab plover is probably one of Iran’s most beautiful and unique waders. These gregarious birds can often be found in noisy flocks all along the south coast of Iran. They prefer living in mudflats, sandy sea coasts, and estuaries, and they build their nests in burrows in the sandbanks. Their unique thick black bill gives them the privilege to hunt crabs. Despite being in simple black and white, they look incredibly adorable. The narrow dark streak around their eyes makes you think they are sleepy birds.

Caspian Snowcock

07

Caspian snowcock

Tetraogallus caspius

Caspian Snowcock can be found at an altitude of 1800-3000m in high ranges of the Alborz and Zagros Mountains. These intelligent, cautious birds have the ability to walk skillfully, run swiftly between the rocks, and escape the dangers and predators brilliantly. Considered as the largest Partridge in Iran, Caspian Snowcock has distinctive patterns of color on its face with grey nape and crown and broad white eye-stripe. They are not very gregarious and are mostly seen in small family groups singing on top of the mountains.

Brown Fish Owl

08

Brown fish owl

Ketupa zeylonensis

Seeing their bright yellow eyes, heavy brows, and horizontal ear tufts, you might think Brown Fish Owls are one of the grumpiest owls on earth. They are one of the rarest kinds of owls in Iran and therefore are listed in protected bird species of the country. This nocturnal bird nests in holes in trees or rock walls, often along shallow rivers. The heavenly village of Pamenar in Fars Province is one of the best spots to search for this beautiful Fish Owl.

Great Knot

09

Great knot

Calidris tenuirostris

Being the largest species of Calidris, they owe this part of their name to Aristotle, who used the Greek word ‘kalidris’ to refer to grey waterside birds. So, you can guess that Great Knots prefer sandy or muddy tidal flats and use their quite long narrow bill to find worms and mollusks hiding under their feet. In Iran, you can find this graceful bird among the coastal wetlands of Bushehr and Hormozgan. Although this bird has been seen in different parts of the world, it is globally considered an endangered species.

Macqueen's Bustard

10

Macqueen’s bustard

Chlamydotis macqueenii

Macqueen’s Bustard walks so elegantly among the sand dunes that you might think of it as the queen bird of desert! This elegant bird prefers living in arid steppes and open plains of the desert; therefore, it can be found around the central desert basins of Iran. Interestingly, these gregarious birds are winter visitors to the southern lowlands of Iran and can be observed in Khuzestan, Fars, and Hormozgan. Unfortunately, this species of Bustard is critically endangered due to habitat loss and human constructions.

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