List of birds of Egypt
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2019 edition. All of the birds below are included in the total bird count for Egypt.
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 Egypt
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Egypt as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
- (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Egypt although populations exist elsewhere
- (X) Extinct - a species or subspecies that no longer exists.
The ostrich is a flightless bird native to Africa. It is the largest living species of bird. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at high speeds.
- Common ostrich, Struthio camelus
Ducks, geese, and waterfowl
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.
- Graylag goose, Anser anser
- Greater white-fronted goose, Anser albifrons
- Lesser white-fronted goose, Anser erythropus (A)
- Taiga bean-goose, Anser fabalis (A)
- Brant, Branta bernicla (A)
- Barnacle goose, Branta leucopsis (A)
- Red-breasted goose, Branta ruficollis (A)
- Mute swan, Cygnus olor
- Whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus (A)
- Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus
- Ruddy shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea
- Common shelduck, Tadorna tadorna
- Garganey, Spatula querquedula
- Blue-winged teal, Spatula discors (A)
- Northern shoveler, Spatula clypeata
- Gadwall, Mareca strepera
- Eurasian wigeon, Mareca penelope
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta
- Green-winged teal, Anas crecca
- Marbled teal, Marmaronetta angustirostris
- Red-crested pochard, Netta rufina
- Common pochard, Aythya ferina
- Ferruginous duck, Aythya nyroca
- Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
- Velvet scoter, Melanitta fusca (A)
- Smew, Mergellus albellus
- Red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator
- Ruddy duck, Oxyura jamaicensis (I)
- White-headed duck, Oxyura leucocephala
Pheasants, grouse, and allies
The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.
- Sand partridge, Ammoperdix heyi
- Common quail, Coturnix coturnix; Ancient Egyptian: pcr.t > Coptic: PERE (meaning unknown)
- Chukar, Alectoris chukar
- Barbary partridge, Alectoris barbara "aegypticus" (Siwa, Marsa Matruah)
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.
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.
- Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis
- Red-necked grebe, Podiceps grisegena (A)
- Great crested grebe, Podiceps cristatus
- Eared grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia; Ancient Egyptian sSmt(y) 'one of turquoise colour' (?)
- Stock dove, Columba oenas
- Common wood-pigeon, Columba palumbus (A)
- European turtle-dove, Streptopelia turtur; Ancient Egyptian: mnw.t (meaning unknown)
- Oriental turtle-dove, Streptopelia orientalis (A)
- Eurasian collared-dove, Streptopelia decaocto
- African collared-dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea
- Mourning collared-dove, Streptopelia decipiens (A)
- Laughing dove, Spilopelia senegalensis; Ancient Egyptian: cb3 'glittering, shining one'
- Namaqua dove, Oena capensis
- Bruce's green-pigeon, Treron waalia (A)
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.
- Pin-tailed sandgrouse, Pterocles alchata (A)
- Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, Pterocles exustus
- Spotted sandgrouse, Pterocles senegallus
- Black-bellied sandgrouse, Pterocles orientalis
- Crowned sandgrouse, Pterocles coronatus
- Lichtenstein's sandgrouse, Pterocles lichtensteinii
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.
- Great bustard, Otis tarda (A)
- Houbara bustard, Chlamydotis undulata
- Macqueen's bustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii
- Little bustard, Tetrax tetrax (Ex)
- Senegal coucal, Centropus senegalensis
- Great spotted cuckoo, Clamator glandarius
- Common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus
Nightjars and allies
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.
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.
- Alpine swift, Tachymarptis melba
- Common swift, Apus apus
- Pallid swift, Apus pallidus
- Little swift, Apus affinis
Rails, gallinules, and coots
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.
- Water rail, Rallus aquaticus
- Corn crake, Crex crex
- Spotted crake, Porzana porzana
- Eurasian moorhen, Gallinula chloropus; Ancient Egyptian: sbH 'one who cries out, laments'
- Lesser moorhen, Gallinula angulata
- Eurasian coot, Fulica atra
- Allen's gallinule, Porphyrio alleni (A)
- African swamphen, Porphyrio madagascariensis
- Little crake, Zapornia parva
- Baillon's crake, Zapornia pusilla
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".
- Demoiselle crane, Anthropoides virgo; Ancient Egyptian wDc 'splitter' (??)
- Common crane, Grus grus; Ancient Egyptian: D3.t 'the one stretching/reaching' or 'borer'
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.
The Egyptian plover is found across equatorial Africa and along the Nile River.
- Egyptian plover, Pluvianus aegyptius
Stilts and avocets
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.
- Eurasian oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus
Plovers and lapwings
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.
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- European golden-plover, Pluvialis apricaria
- Pacific golden-plover, Pluvialis fulva
- Northern lapwing, Vanellus vanellus; Ancient Egyptian: its hieroglyph mostly used to denote rxt 'common folk, subjects'; also once its head follows the word (i)3by.t 'dancer' (cfr. Eng.: lapwing = leap-wing
- Spur-winged plover, Vanellus spinosus
- Sociable lapwing, Vanellus gregarius
- White-tailed lapwing, Vanellus leucurus
- Lesser sand-plover, Charadrius mongolus
- Greater sand-plover, Charadrius leschenaultii
- Caspian plover, Charadrius asiaticus
- Kittlitz's plover, Charadrius pecuarius
- Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus
- Common ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula
- Little ringed plover, Charadrius dubius
- Three-banded plover, Charadrius tricollaris
- Eurasian dotterel, Charadrius morinellus
Painted-snipes are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured.
- Greater painted-snipe, Rostratula benghalensis
Sandpipers and allies
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.
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Slender-billed curlew, Numenius tenuirostris
- Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata
- Bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica
- Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Red knot, Calidris canutus
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax
- Broad-billed sandpiper, Calidris falcinellus
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
- Temminck's stint, Calidris temminckii
- Long-toed stint, Calidris subminuta
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina
- Little stint, Calidris minuta
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos (A)
- Jack snipe, Lymnocryptes minimus
- Eurasian woodcock, Scolopax rusticola
- Great snipe, Gallinago media
- Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago
- Terek sandpiper, Xenus cinereus
- Red-necked phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus
- Red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius
- Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
- Green sandpiper, Tringa ochropus
- Spotted redshank, Tringa erythropus
- Common greenshank, Tringa nebularia
- Marsh sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis
- Wood sandpiper, Tringa glareola
- Common redshank, Tringa totanus
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.
- Crab-plover, Dromas ardeola
Pratincoles and coursers
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.
- Cream-colored courser, Cursorius cursor
- Collared pratincole, Glareola pratincola
- Oriental pratincole, Glareola maldivarum (A)
- Black-winged pratincole, Glareola nordmanni
Skuas and jaegers
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.
- Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus
- Parasitic jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus
- Long-tailed jaeger, Stercorarius longicaudus
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. 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. 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.
- Black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla
- Slender-billed gull, Chroicocephalus genei
- Grey-hooded gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus (A)
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
- Little gull, Hydrocoloeus minutus
- Franklin's gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan (A)
- Mediterranean gull, Ichthyaetus melanocephalus
- White-eyed gull, Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus
- Sooty gull, Ichthyaetus hemprichii
- Pallas's gull, Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus
- Audouin's gull, Ichthyaetus audouinii
- Mew gull, Larus canus
- Yellow-legged gull, Larus michahellis
- Caspian gull, Larus cachinnans
- Armenian gull, Larus armenicus
- Lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus
- Little tern, Sternula albifrons
- Saunders's tern, Sternula saundersi (A)
- Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
- Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia
- Black tern, Chlidonias niger
- White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
- Whiskered tern, Chlidonias hybridus
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo
- White-cheeked tern, Sterna repressa
- Great crested tern, Thalasseus bergii
- Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis
- Lesser crested tern, Thalasseus bengalensis
- African skimmer, Rynchops flavirostris
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
- Red-billed tropicbird, Phaethon aethereus
The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds.
- White-capped albatross, Thalassarche cauta (A)
The southern 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.
- Wilson's storm-petrel, Oceanites oceanicus
Though the members of this family are similar in many respects to the southern storm-petrels, including their general appearance and habits, there are enough genetic differences to warrant their placement in a separate family.
- Leach's storm-petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)
Shearwaters and petrels
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.
- Streaked shearwater, Streaked diomedea (A)
- Cory's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea
- Wedge-tailed shearwater, Ardenna pacifica (A)
- Sooty shearwater, Ardenna griseus
- Yelkouan shearwater, Puffinus yelkouan
- Balearic shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus (A)
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.
- African openbill, Anastomus lamelligerus (A)
- Black stork, Ciconia nigra
- White stork, Ciconia ciconia
- Marabou stork, Leptoptilos crumenifer (A)
- Yellow-billed stork, Mycteria ibis
Boobies and gannets
Anhingas or 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.
- African darter, Anhinga rufa
Cormorants and shags
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.
- Long-tailed cormorant, Microcarbo africanus (A)
- Pygmy cormorant, Microcarbo pygmeus (A)
- Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
- European shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis (A)
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.
- Great white pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus
- Pink-backed pelican, Pelecanus rufescens
- Dalmatian pelican, Pelecanus crispus
Herons, egrets, and bitterns
The family Ardeidae 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.
- Great bittern, Botaurus stellaris
- Yellow bittern, Ixobrychus sinensis (A)
- Little bittern, Ixobrychus minutus
- Schrenck's bittern, Ixobrychus eurhythmus (A)
- Gray heron, Ardea cinerea
- Black-headed heron, Ardea melanocephala (A)
- Goliath heron, Ardea goliath
- Purple heron, Ardea purpurea
- Great egret, Ardea alba
- Little egret, Egretta garzetta
- Western reef-heron, Egretta gularis
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Squacco heron, Ardeola ralloides
- Striated heron, Butorides striata
- Black-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
Ibises and spoonbills
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.
- Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
- Sacred ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus (Ex)
- Eurasian spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia
The family Pandionidae contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Hawks, eagles, and kites
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which 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.
- Black-winged kite, Elanus caeruleus
- Bearded vulture, Gypaetus barbatus
- Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus; Ancient Egyptian: 3 (the hieroglyph) 'one who treads ?
- European honey-buzzard, Pernis apivorus
- Oriental honey-buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus (A)
- Cinereous vulture, Aegypius monachus
- Lappet-faced vulture, Torgos tracheliotos
- White-backed vulture, Gyps africanus (A)
- Rüppell's vulture, Gyps rueppelli
- Eurasian griffon, Gyps fulvus; Ancient Egyptian: nr(w) 'terrifying one'
- Bateleur, Terathopius ecaudatus
- Short-toed snake-eagle, Circaetus gallicus
- Lesser spotted eagle, Clanga pomarina
- Greater spotted eagle, Clanga clanga
- Wahlberg's eagle, Hieraaetus wahlbergi (A)
- Booted eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus
- Tawny eagle, Aquila rapax (A)
- Steppe eagle, Aquila nipalensis
- Imperial eagle, Aquila heliaca
- Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos
- Verreaux's eagle, Aquila verreauxii
- Bonelli's eagle, Aquila fasciata
- Gabar goshawk, Micronisus gabar (A)
- Eurasian marsh-harrier, Circus aeruginosus
- Hen harrier, Circus cyaneus
- Pallid harrier, Circus macrourus
- Montagu's harrier, Circus pygargus
- Levant sparrowhawk, Accipiter brevipes
- Eurasian sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
- Northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis
- Red kite, Milvus milvus
- Black kite, Milvus migrans; Ancient Egyptian: Dr/Dr.t (possibly) 'one who grasps/holds'
- White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla
- African fish-eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer (A)
- Yellow-billed kite, Milvus aegyptius
- Common buzzard, Buteo buteo; Ancient Egyptian: tyw 'shrieker' (like ti3w) or 'treader' (like tiw(?)
- Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus
Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.
- Barn owl, Tyto alba; its hieroglyph stands for the consonant -m- probably derived from the owl's name (i)m(w) 'one who moans, laments'
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.
- Eurasian scops-owl, Otus scops
- Pallid scops-owl, Otus brucei (A)
- Eurasian eagle-owl, Bubo bubo
- Pharaoh eagle-owl, Bubo ascalaphus
- Little owl, Athene noctua
- Desert owl, Strix hadorami
- Long-eared owl, Asio otus
- Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus
Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head.
- Eurasian hoopoe, Upupa epops; Ancient Egyptian: hieroglyph of the bird almost always used as or in the word db 'sundried brick' (literal meaning: 'one that blocks up'); therefore one of the ancient names must have been Db(3)w/Db(3).t 'the one who blocks up (its nest hole)'; a later name would be q(w)q(w)p.t > Coptic KOUKOUPAT/KRAPEP e.a. comparable to biblical dukhiphat (literal meaning unknown)
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.
- Common kingfisher, Alcedo atthis; Ancient Egyptian: Hnty 'the one of the canal'
- White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis
- Collared kingfisher, Todirhamphus chloris
- Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis; Ancient Egyptian: cnHb.t < cn-nHb.t 'the one turning around the neck (when hovering above water spying fish)'
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.
- Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis; Ancient Egyptian: w3D3D 'totally green one'
- Blue-cheeked bee-eater, Merops persicus
- European bee-eater, Merops apiaster
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.
- European roller, Coracias garrulus; Ancient Egyptian swrrw (meaning unknown)
- Abyssinian roller, Coracias abyssinica (A)
- Cinnamon roller, Eurystomus glaucurus (A)
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.
Falcons and caracaras
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. In Ancient Egyptian only one species is depicted as breeding in the Delta and called HrT (meaning unknown).
- Lesser kestrel, Falco naumanni
- Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
- Red-footed falcon, Falco vespertinus
- Eleonora's falcon, Falco eleonorae
- Sooty falcon, Falco concolor
- Merlin, Falco columbarius
- Eurasian hobby, Falco subbuteo
- Lanner falcon, Falco biarmicus
- Saker falcon, Falco cherrug (A)
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus; Ancient Egyptian: its hieroglyphic sign stands for the deity Hr Horus 'the One Far Up/High'
- Barbary falcon, Falco peregrinus pelegrinoides
Old World parrots
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. In size they range from 8 cm (3.1 in) to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length. Old World parrots are found from Africa east across south and southeast Asia and Oceania to Australia and New Zealand.
- Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri (I)
Old World orioles
The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles.
- Eurasian golden oriole, Oriolus oriolus; Ancient Egyptian: gnw 'the one (with) carved (eye line)'
Bushshrikes and allies
Bushshrikes are similar in habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush. Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be either colourful species or largely black; some species are quite secretive.
- Rosy-patched bushshrike, Rhodophoneus cruentus
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.
- Red-backed shrike, Lanius collurio
- Red-tailed shrike, Lanius phoenicuroides
- Isabelline shrike, Lanius isabellinus (A)
- Great gray shrike, Lanius excubitor
- Lesser gray shrike, Lanius minor
- Masked shrike, Lanius nubicus
- Woodchat shrike, Lanius senator
Crows, jays, and magpies
The family Corvidae 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.
Ancient Egyptian names for crow or raven species include very possibly gbgb/gbg3; this bird is once called 3pd km or 'black bird', while its eggs could apparently be gathered according to a medical papyrus, and therefore points to a breeding bird of Egypt. In demotic an ʾbḳ-bird can be determined by help of the existence of Coptic abook 'Crow, raven'. But perhaps the latter is also a derivatiuon of the bird name kbk.
Late Egyptian, male personal names include a Gebgeb, possible 'the crow', perhaps because the baby had black hair or a dark complexion. (drs. Carles Wolterman, Amstelveen, Holland)
- House crow, Corvus splendens (I)
- Rook, Corvus frugilegus
- Carrion crow, Corvus corone
- Hooded crow, Corvus cornix
- Pied crow, Corvus albus (A)
- Brown-necked raven, Corvus ruficollis
- Fan-tailed raven, Corvus rhipidurus
- Common raven, Corvus corax
Tits, chickadees, and titmice
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.
- Great tit, Parus major
The penduline-tits are a group of small passerine birds related to the true tits. They are insectivores.
- Eurasian penduline-tit, Remiz pendulinus
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.
- Greater hoopoe-lark, Alaemon alaudipes
- Thick-billed lark, Ramphocoris clotbey
- Bar-tailed lark, Ammomanes cincturus
- Desert lark, Ammomanes deserti
- Black-crowned sparrow-lark, Eremopterix nigriceps
- Temminck's lark, Eremophila bilopha
- Greater short-toed lark, Calandrella brachydactyla
- Bimaculated lark, Melanocorypha bimaculata
- Calandra lark, Melanocorypha calandra
- Dupont's lark, Chersophilus duponti
- Lesser short-toed lark, Alaudala rufescens
- Wood lark, Lullula arborea
- Eurasian skylark, Alauda arvensis
- Oriental skylark, Alauda gulgula
- Thekla's lark, Galerida theklae (A)
- Crested lark, Galerida cristata
This species, the only one in its family, is found in reed beds throughout temperate Europe and Asia.
- Bearded reedling, Panurus biarmicus (A)
Cisticolas and allies
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.
Reed warblers and allies
The members of this family are usually rather large for "warblers". Most are rather plain olivaceous brown above with much yellow to beige below. They are usually found in open woodland, reedbeds, or tall grass. The family occurs mostly in southern to western Eurasia and surroundings, but it also ranges far into the Pacific, with some species in Africa.
- Thick-billed warbler, Arundinax aedon (A)
- Booted warbler, Iduna caligata
- Eastern olivaceous warbler, Iduna pallida
- Western olivaceous warbler, Iduna opaca (A)
- Upcher's warbler, Hippolais languida
- Olive-tree warbler, Hippolais olivetorum
- Icterine warbler, Hippolais icterina
- Aquatic warbler, Acrocephalus paludicola (A)
- Moustached warbler, Acrocephalus melanopogon
- Sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
- Blyth's reed warbler, Acrocephalus dumetorum
- Marsh warbler, Acrocephalus palustris
- Eurasian reed warbler, Acrocephalus scirpaceus
- Aquatic warbler, Acrocephalus paludicola
- Great reed warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus
- Clamorous reed warbler, Acrocephalus stentoreus
Grassbirds and allies
Locustellidae are a family of small insectivorous songbirds found mainly in Eurasia, Africa, and the Australian region. They are smallish birds with tails that are usually long and pointed, and tend to be drab brownish or buffy all over.
- Eurasian river warbler, Locustella fluviatilis
- Savi's warbler, Locustella luscinioides
- Common grasshopper warbler, Locustella naevia
The family Hirundinidae 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.
- Plain martin, Riparia paludicola (A)
- Bank swallow, Riparia riparia
- Banded martin, Riparia cincta (A)
- Eurasian crag-martin, Ptyonoprogne rupestris
- Rock martin, Ptyonoprogne fuligula
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica: Ancient Egyptian: mn.t (meaning uncertain)
- Ethiopian swallow, Hirundo aethiopica (A)
- Red-rumped swallow, Cecropis daurica
- Streak-throated swallow, Petrochelidon fluvicola (A)
- Common house-martin, Delichon urbicum
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.
Leaf warblers are a family of small insectivorous birds found mostly in Eurasia and ranging into Wallacea and Africa. The species are of various sizes, often green-plumaged above and yellow below, or more subdued with greyish-green to greyish-brown colours.
- Wood warbler, Phylloscopus sibilatrix
- Western Bonelli's warbler, Phylloscopus bonelli
- Eastern Bonelli's warbler, Phylloscopus orientalis
- Yellow-browed warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus
- Dusky warbler, Phylloscopus fuscatus (A)
- Willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus
- Common chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita
- Greenish warbler, Phylloscopus trochiloides
Bush warblers and allies
The members of this family are found throughout Africa, Asia, and Polynesia. Their taxonomy is in flux, and some authorities place genus Erythrocerus in another family.
Sylviid warblers, parrotbills, and allies
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.
- Eurasian blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla
- Garden warbler, Sylvia borin
- Asian desert warbler, Sylvia nana
- Barred warbler, Sylvia nisoria
- Lesser whitethroat, Sylvia curruca
- Arabian warbler, Sylvia leucomelaena
- Eastern Orphean warbler, Sylvia crassirostris
- Cyprus warbler, Sylvia melanothorax
- Menetries's warbler, Sylvia mystacea
- Rüppell's warbler, Sylvia ruppeli
- Subalpine warbler, Sylvia cantillans
- Moltoni's warbler, Sylvia subalpina
- Sardinian warbler, Sylvia melanocephala
- Greater whitethroat, Sylvia communis
- Spectacled warbler, Sylvia conspicillata
- Marmora's warbler, Sylvia sarda
Laughingthrushes and allies
The laughingthrushes are somewhat diverse in size and colouration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage.
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.
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.
- European starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Rosy starling, Pastor roseus
- Common myna, Acridotheres tristis (I)
- Tristram's starling, Onychognathus tristramii
Thrushes and allies
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.
- Mistle thrush, Turdus viscivorus
- Song thrush, Turdus philomelos
- Redwing, Turdus iliacus
- Eurasian blackbird, Turdus merula
- Fieldfare, Turdus pilaris
- Ring ouzel, Turdus torquatus
- Black-throated thrush, Turdus atrogularis (A)
Old World flycatchers
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.
- Spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa striata
- Black scrub-robin, Cercotrichas podobe (A)
- Rufous-tailed scrub-robin, Cercotrichas galactotes
- European robin, Erithacus rubecula
- White-throated robin, Irania gutturalis
- Thrush nightingale, Luscinia luscinia
- Common nightingale, Luscinia megarhynchos
- Bluethroat, Luscinia svecica
- Red-breasted flycatcher, Ficedula parva
- Semicollared flycatcher, Ficedula semitorquata
- European pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca
- Collared flycatcher, Ficedula albicollis
- Common redstart, Phoenicurus phoenicurus
- Black redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros
- Rufous-tailed rock-thrush, Monticola saxatilis
- Blue rock-thrush, Monticola solitarius
- Whinchat, Saxicola rubetra
- European stonechat, Saxicola rubicola
- Siberian rubythroat, Calliope calliope
- Siberian stonechat, Saxicola maurus (A)
- Pied bushchat, Saxicola caprata (A)
- Blackstart, Cercomela melanura
- White-crowned wheatear, Oenanthe leucopyga
- Hooded wheatear, Oenanthe monacha
- Northern wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe
- Mourning wheatear, Oenanthe lugens
- Finsch's wheatear, Oenanthe finschii
- Red-rumped wheatear, Oenanthe moesta
- Pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka (A)
- Cyprus wheatear, Oenanthe cypriaca
- Black-eared wheatear, Oenanthe hispanica
- Kurdish wheatear, Oenanthe xanthoprymna
- Desert wheatear, Oenanthe deserti
- Isabelline wheatear, Oenanthe isabellina
The 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.
- Hypocolius, Hypocolius ampelinus (A)
Sunbirds and spiderhunters
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.
- Nile Valley sunbird, Hedydipna metallica
- Palestine sunbird, Cinnyris oseus
- Shining sunbird, Cinnyris habessinicus (A)
Weavers and allies
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.
Waxbills and allies
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.
- Dunnock, Prunella modularis
Old World sparrows
Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Old World sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.
- House sparrow, Passer domesticus
- Spanish sparrow, Passer hispaniolensis
- Dead Sea sparrow, Passer moabiticus (A)
- Desert sparrow, Passer simplex (A)
- Eurasian tree sparrow, Passer montanus (A)
- Chestnut-shouldered petronia, Gymnornis xanthocollis (A)
- Pale rockfinch, Carpospiza brachydactyla
- White-winged snowfinch, Montifringilla nivalis (A)
Wagtails and pipits
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.
- Gray wagtail, Motacilla cinerea
- Western yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava; Ancient Egyptian (possibly): bnw (meaning unknown)
- Citrine wagtail, Motacilla citreola (A)
- African pied wagtail, Motacilla aguimp
- White wagtail, Motacilla alba
- Richard's pipit, Anthus richardi
- African pipit, Anthus cinnamomeus
- Long-billed pipit, Anthus similis
- Tawny pipit, Anthus campestris
- Meadow pipit, Anthus pratensis
- Tree pipit, Anthus trivialis
- Red-throated pipit, Anthus cervinus
- Water pipit, Anthus spinoletta
- American pipit, Anthus rubescens (A)
Finches, euphonias, and allies
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.
- Common chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs
- Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla
- Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes
- Common rosefinch, Carpodacus erythrinus
- Sinai rosefinch, Carpodacus synoicus
- Trumpeter finch, Bucanetes githaginea
- Mongolian finch, Rhodopechys mongolica
- European greenfinch, Chloris chloris
- Eurasian linnet, Linaria cannabina
- European goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis
- European serin, Serinus serinus
- Fire-fronted serin, Serinus pusillus (A)
- Syrian serin, Serinus syriacus
- Eurasian siskin, Spinus spinus
Old World buntings
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. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.
- Black-headed bunting, Emberiza melanocephala
- Red-headed bunting, Emberiza bruniceps (A)
- Corn bunting, Emberiza calandra
- Cirl bunting, Emberiza cirlus (A)
- Gray-necked bunting, Emberiza buchanani (A)
- Cinereous bunting, Emberiza cineracea (A)
- Ortolan bunting, Emberiza hortulana
- Cretzschmar's bunting, Emberiza caesia
- Striolated bunting, Emberiza striolata
- Reed bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus (A)
- Yellow-breasted bunting, Emberiza aureola (A)
- Little bunting, Emberiza pusilla (A)
- Rustic bunting, Emberiza rustica (A)
- "The CIA World Factbook 2007". Retrieved 17 November 2007.
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Egypt". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- "Birds of Egypt, the complete checklist". WICE (World Institute for Conservation and Environment). Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- Clements, James F. (2007). Birds of the World: a Checklist (6th ed.). Cornell University Press.
- Gill, F. and D. Donsker (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird List (v 7.3). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.7.3. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/ retrieved 21 August 2017
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Egypt". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
- "Birds of Egypt, the complete checklist". WICE (World Institute for Conservation and Environment). Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
- Clements, James F. (2000). Birds of the World: a Checklist. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-934797-16-1.
- Shelley, George Ernest (1872). A Handbook to the Birds of Egypt. J. Van Voorst.
- Meininger, Peter L.; Wim C. Mullié (1981). Preliminary List of the Birds of Egypt. The Holy Land Conservation Fund.
- Birds of Egypt - World Institute for Conservation and Environment