List of birds of Pakistan

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This is a list of the bird species recorded in Pakistan. The avifauna of Pakistan include a total of 786 species, of which 39 are rare or accidental. One species listed is extirpated in Pakistan and is not included in the species count. The chukar (Alectoris chukar) is the official national bird of Pakistan, whilst the shaheen falcon is the symbolic icon of the Pakistan Air Force.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) generally follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species counts for Pakistan.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

  • (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Pakistan
  • (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Pakistan but exists in other places


Table of contents

See also        Notes        References

Loons[edit]

Great northern loon

Order: Gaviiformes Family: Gaviidae

Loons, The loons are the size of a large duck or small goose, which they somewhat resemble in shape when swimming. There are 5 species worldwide and 2 species are found in Pakistan.

Grebes[edit]

Great crested grebe

Order: Podicipediformes Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Pakistan.

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Wedge-tailed shearwater

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Pakistan.

Storm petrels[edit]

Oceanites oceanicusPCCA20070623-3634B.jpg

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Tropicbirds[edit]

Red-billed tropicbird
In flight

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are 3 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Pelicans[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Starr 080606-6808 Coronopus didymus.jpg

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Cormorants[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Pakistan.

Darters[edit]

Oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster) 21-Mar-2007 6-10-09 AM.JPG

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Anhingidae

Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are 4 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Western reef heron
Yellow bittern

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ardeidae

The Ardeidae family contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. There are 61 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Pakistan.

Storks[edit]

White storks winter in Pakistan

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Pakistan.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Loeffler.jpg

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Pakistan.

Flamingos[edit]

Flam.lesser.600pix (Pingstone).jpg

Order: Phoenicopteriformes Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and, uniquely, are used upside-down. There are 6 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Bar-headed goose winter in the wetlands of Pakistan
Pakistan has the largest concentration of wintering white-headed duck in South Asia[1]

Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae

Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 37 species which occur in Pakistan.

Osprey[edit]

OspreyNASA.jpg

Order: Falconiformes Family: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

Hawks, kites and eagles[edit]

The bearded vulture is found in the mountainous parts
Cinereous vulture

Order: Falconiformes Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 40 species which occur in Pakistan.

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are 62 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Pakistan. Most species have declined rapidly due to their demand for the falcon hunting trade.

Pheasants and partridges[edit]

Order: Galliformes Family: Phasianidae

The chakoor is officially recognized, as the national bird of Pakistan.
Himalayan snowcock
Grey francolin
The kalij pheasant is the provincial bird of Afghania.
The Indian peafowl is the provincial bird of Punjab.

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Pakistan. Of most species the numbers have declined considerably over the last decennia.

Buttonquails[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Turnicidae

The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young. There are 16 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan.

Cranes[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Gruidae

The Tibetan crane is the state bird of Kashmir.

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan i.e. Demoiselle and common cranes which are migratory and the sarus crane which is resident. In this country numbers have declined as they are sought after as pet birds and hunted in the North-West in particular. The sarus crane which is found in abuntant numbers in India has almost disappeared in Pakistan although a lone pair was sighted in 2011 in the tharparker area after 10 years. This decline is due to hunting.

Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Rallidae

Purple Swamphen I IMG 9278.jpg

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Pakistan.

Bustards[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Otididae

The houbara bustard is the provincial bird of Balochistan.

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays. There are 26 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Pakistan. Their numbers have declined considerably due to hunting, including by visitors from the Gulf States.

Jacanas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Jacanidae

Bronzewinged jacana.jpg

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Painted snipe[edit]

Greater painted-snipe

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Rostratulidae

Painted snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Crab plover[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Dromadidae

Crab-plover

The crab plover is related to the waders. It resembles a plover but with very long grey legs and a strong heavy black bill similar to a tern. It has black-and-white plumage, a long neck, partially webbed feet and a bill designed for eating crabs.

Oystercatchers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Ibisbill[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Ibidorhynchidae

Ibisbill.jpg

The ibisbill is related to the waders, but is sufficiently distinctive to be a family unto itself. The adult is grey with a white belly, red legs, a long down curved bill, and a black face and breast band.

Avocets and stilts[edit]

Pied avocet

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Thick-knees[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Burhinidae

Indian Stone Curlew.jpg

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Pratincoles and coursers[edit]

Oriental Pratincole.jpg
Small pratincole is a resident breeder in Pakistan

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Pakistan.

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Red-wattled lapwing

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 66 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Pakistan.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Temminck's stint
Ruddy turnstone

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 89 species worldwide and 30 species which occur in Pakistan.

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Stercorariidae

Stercorarius pomarinusPCCA20070623-3985B.jpg

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Gulls[edit]

Slender-billed gull breeds on the Pakistan coast

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Pakistan.

Terns[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Sternidae

Sterna-caspia-010.jpg

Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Pakistan.

Skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Rynchopidae

Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Sandgrouse[edit]

Painted sandgrouse

Order: Pterocliformes Family: Pteroclidae

Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes. There are 16 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Pakistan.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Emerald dove

Order: Columbiformes Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Pakistan.

Parrots, macaws and allies[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittacidae

The rose-ringed parakeet is the territorial bird of Islamabad.

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two to the back. There are 335 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Pakistan.

Cuckoos and anis[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Pakistan.

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes Family: Tytonidae

Adult Tyto alba

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae

Bubo bubo winter 1.jpg

The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and 19 species which occur in Pakistan.

Nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Pakistan.

Swifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes Family: Apodidae

Alpine swift

Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Pakistan.

Kingfishers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Pakistan.

Bee-eaters[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Meropidae

European bee eater.jpg

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Pakistan.

Typical rollers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Coraciidae

Indian roller

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Hoopoes[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Upupidae

Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Hornbills[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Bucerotidae

Indian Grey Hornbill I IMG 4051.jpg

Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly coloured. There are 57 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Barbets[edit]

Order: Piciformes Family: Capitonidae

Coppersmith barbet.jpg

The barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured. There are 84 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan.

Honeyguides[edit]

Order: Piciformes Family: Indicatoridae

Honeyguides are among the few birds that feed on wax. They are named for the greater honeyguide which leads traditional honey-hunters to bees' nests and, after the hunters have harvested the honey, feeds on the remaining contents of the hive. There are 17 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Woodpeckers and allies[edit]

Order: Piciformes Family: Picidae

Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 218 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Pakistan.

Pittas[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Pittidae

Pitta brachyura.jpg

Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards and are stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails and stout bills. Many are brightly coloured. They spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects and similar invertebrates. There are 32 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Larks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Alaudidae

Steinlerche.jpg

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Pakistan.

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Hirundinidae

Riparia paludicola 1.jpg

The Hirundinidae family is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Pakistan.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Motacillidae

Yellow wagtail

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide and 19 species which occur in Pakistan.

Cuckoo-shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Campephagidae

White bellied minivet.jpg

The cuckoo-shrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured. There are 82 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Pakistan.

Bulbuls[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Pycnonotidae

Himalayan Bulbul I2 IMG 3990.jpg

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests. There are 130 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Pakistan.

Kinglets[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Regulidae

Goldcrest

The kinglets, also called crests, are a small group of birds often included in the Old World warblers, but frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. There are 7 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Ioras[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Aegithinidae

The ioras are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, ioras are sexually dimorphic, with the males being brightly plumaged in yellows and greens. There are 4 species worldwide and 1 species which does occur in Pakistan.

Waxwings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Bombycillidae

Bohemian Wax Wing.jpg

The waxwings are a group of birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Grey hypocolius[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Hypocoliidae

Hypocolius-Arpit.jpg

The grey hypocolius is a small Middle Eastern bird with the shape and soft plumage of a waxwing. They are mainly a uniform grey colour except the males have a black triangular mask around their eyes.

Dippers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cinclidae

White-throated dipper

Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe and Asia. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements. There are 5 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Wrens[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Troglodytidae

The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 80 species worldwide (of which all but one are New World species) and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Accentors[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Prunellidae

Alpine accentor

The accentors are in the only bird family, Prunellidae, which is completely endemic to the Palearctic. They are small, fairly drab species superficially similar to sparrows. There are 13 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Pakistan.

Thrushes and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae

Blue-capped rock thrush

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 19 species which occur in Pakistan.

Cisticolas and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cisticolidae

Plain prinia

The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. There are 111 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Pakistan.

Old World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sylviidae

Syke's warbler
Yellow-browed warbler

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. They mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 291 species worldwide and 43 species which occur in Pakistan.

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Muscicapidae

Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos)-2.jpg

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide and 47 species which occur in Pakistan.

Fantails[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Rhipiduridae

White-browed fantail

The fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders. There are 44 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan.

Monarch flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Monarchidae

Asian flycatcher

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching. There are 99 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Timaliidae

Common Babbler (Turdoides caudatus) in Hodal, Haryana W2 IMG 6245.jpg
Large grey babbler

The babblers, or timaliids, are somewhat diverse in size and colouration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. There are 270 species worldwide and 19 species which occur in Pakistan.

Parrotbills[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Paradoxornithidae

The parrotbills are a group of birds native to East and Southeast Asia, though feral populations exist elsewhere. They are generally small, long-tailed birds which inhabit reed beds and similar habitats. There are 20 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Long-tailed tits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Aegithalidae

Black-throated tit

Long-tailed tits are a group of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet which includes insects. There are 9 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan.

Chickadees and titmice[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Paridae

Azure tit

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are 59 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Pakistan.

Nuthatches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sittidae

Kashmir nuthatch

Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. There are 24 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Pakistan.

Wallcreeper[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Tichodromidae

The wallcreeper is a small bird related to the nuthatch family, which has stunning crimson, grey and black plumage.

Treecreepers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There are 6 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Penduline tits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Remizidae

The penduline tits are a group of small passerine birds related to the true tits. They are insectivores. There are 13 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Pakistan.

Sunbirds and spiderhunters[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Nectariniidae

Purple sunbird

The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. There are 131 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan.

Flowerpeckers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Dicaeidae

The flowerpeckers are very small, stout, often brightly coloured birds, with short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues. There are 44 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

White-eyes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small and mostly undistinguished, their plumage above being generally some dull colour like greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye. There are 96 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Old World orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Oriolidae

Black-hooded oriole

The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Laniidae

Brown shrike

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 31 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Pakistan.

Helmetshrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Prionopidae

The helmetshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes, but tend to be colourful species with distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name. There are 12 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Pakistan.

Drongos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Dicruridae

Black drongo

The drongos are mostly black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright when perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. There are 24 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Crows, jays, ravens and magpies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Corvidae

Eurasian jay
Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax -standing-8.jpg

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. There are 120 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Pakistan.

Starlings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sturnidae

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) on Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) in Kolkata W IMG 4297.jpg
Sturnus vulgaris -England -standing-8.jpg

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Pakistan.

Weavers and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Ploceidae

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season. There are 116 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Pakistan.

Waxbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Estrildidae

Red avadavat

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns. There are 141 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Pakistan.

Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Emberizidae

GreyNeckedBunting PrasadBR.jpg

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are 275 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Pakistan.

Siskins, crossbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Fringillidae

Fringilla coelebs chaffinch male edit2.jpg
Pyrrhula nipalensis.jpg

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide and 31 species which occur in Pakistan.

Sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Passeridae

House Sparrow, England - May 09.jpg
The Sind sparrow is the provincial bird of Sindh.

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Pakistan.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ IUCN (2008) Cited in Birdlife International Website

References[edit]