Blogs about Saudi Birding
Saudi Birding—My Facebook page featuring trip reports, hotspot details, species profiles, and general avian news from the Kingdom. Eventually all the long-form posts featured on the Facebook blog will be rehomed here at SaudiBirding.com!
Birds of Saudi Arabia—Jem Babbington’s critical contribution to Saudi birding, where you can find posts about his recent sightings, Arabian endemics, birding locations, banding adventures, as well as his brilliant bird photography
Robert Tovey’s birding legacy lives on through his blog and his many eBird reports
Birding for a Lark—A blog by the late Robert Tovey who, from September 2011 until July 2014, managed to track down 332 species in the Kingdom and leave behind an inspiring legacy for those also in love with exploring some of the least birded countries in the world
KAUST Birding—Birding dispatches from the Red Sea coast, specifically the properties of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Mecca Province, by Brian James, who, according to eBird, currently holds the record for the most species seen in Saudi—362!
Discovering Birds—A blog by Mario Mantzourogiannis, also at KAUST, featuring his bird photography from Saudi and exotic locales further afield
Irish Birder Abroad—A blog by Bernard Bracken featuring posts and photography from his time in Saudi
The personal blog of Dr. Duha Al Hashimi, who created the Facebook forum “Birds of Saudi Arabia and its Neighbors”
Birds in My Garden (طيور حديقتي)—A blog in Arabic by Dr. Duha Al Hashimi, a bird lover from Jeddah, featuring wonderful photographs of many of the bird species that have appeared in her garden
Birds and Turtles—The eco adventures of Sammy, a young American birder in the Eastern Province
An incredible compendium of multimedia of over 10,000 species from around the world
Cornell’s Birds of the World—Taking over for the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) and the Internet Bird Collection (IBC), Cornell’s vast database features information, videos, photos, and audio of Saudi birds, including many of the Arabian endemics
Xeno-Canto—Features downloadable vocalizations of Saudi birds, including many of the Arabian endemics, thanks in part to yours truly!
A very active forum for birders and bird photographers from the Kingdom and other MENA countries
Birds of Saudi Arabia and its Neighbors (طيور المملكة العربية السعودية)—An FB forum for sharing photos and videos of birds with contributors—amateur and expert alike—from around the Middle East and North Africa
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird
Zoom in to see birding hotspots around the Kingdom. Most, of course, are clustered around Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Abha.
Saudi Arabia—Country profile for Saudi featuring the most recent sightings and links to species profiles, top hotspots, and top eBirders
Saudi Hotspots—A list with all the hotspots in the country with details about species totals; there is also the hotspot map to pinpoint the best birding spots near to where you’ll be
Among other features, the app will show the likely species in the area from which you’re reporting, which is a boon to novice birders.
Top eBirders in Saudi Arabia—A list of the top contributors to eBird for the country with links to their individual eBird profiles
Asir Magpie (Species Profile)—Features recent reports, photos, audio, frequency charts and range maps for nearly every species to be encountered in Saudi
Cloudbirders—There’s a limited but growing collection of trip reports for the Kingdom
Surfbirds—Currently there are only two trip reports for the country at this site
Essential Field Guides (App Versions)
Birds of the Middle East (Apple and Google Play)—While the illustrations in this field guide are wanting (IMO), the information and distribution maps are sufficient for understanding the field marks, vocalizations, habitat requirements, and distribution of the 500 plus species that have been recorded in the Kingdom; includes audio for many species.
Screen view of the Arabic version of the Birds of the Middle East
Birds of the Middle East, Arabic Version, دليل الطيور في الشرق الأوسط (Apple and Google Play)—Even if you can’t speak Arabic, the easy-to-use layout, more extensive audio, and the opportunities for knowledge-sharing with Saudis and other Arabic speakers (perhaps local police wondering what you’re up to!) make this an app worth having in the field
Collins Bird Guide (Apple and Google Play)—This excellent app covers the birds of Europe, North Africa, and the Levantine region of the Middle East; the detailed, high-quality illustrations and thorough description of field marks have made it invaluable in the field, especially for identifying or distinguishing some of the trickier Eurasian species, such as large white-head gulls (larus sp.) or acrocephalus warblers
Other Web Resources
Avibase—View up-to-date checklists of the species recorded in Saudi based on the taxonomy of your choice
Fatbirder—There’s a great synopsis of all that Saudi birding offers with links to even more online resources
BirdingPal—Connect with local and expat birders in Saudi, including yours truly 🙂
Where Do You Want to Go Birding Today?—Links to articles and trip reports as well as lists of the endemic and specialty species