List of birds of Egypt
This is a list of the species of birds found in Egypt, a country in north-east Africa. The avifauna of Egypt include a total of 498 species of birds, of which thirteen are classified as globally threatened and five have been identified as having been introduced to Egypt. None of the species are endemic to 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, 6th 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
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.
- Ostrich, Struthio camelus
Loons, known as divers in Europe, are a group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Europe. They are the size of a large duck or small goose, which they somewhat resemble when swimming, but to which they are completely unrelated.
- Red-throated loon, Gavia stellata
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
- Great crested grebe, Podiceps cristatus
- Eared grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
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.
- Shy albatross, Thalassarche cauta (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.
- Cory's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea
- Wedge-tailed shearwater, Puffinus pacificus (A)
- Sooty shearwater, Puffinus griseus
- Balearic shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus
- Yelkouan shearwater, Puffinus yelkouan
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.
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
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
Boobies and gannets
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.
- Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
- European shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis (A)
- Reed cormorant, Phalacrocorax africanus (A)
- Pygmy cormorant, Phalacrocorax pygmaeus (A)
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
Bitterns, herons and egrets
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.
- Grey heron, Ardea cinerea
- Black-headed heron, Ardea melanocephala (A)
- Goliath heron, Ardea goliath
- Purple heron, Ardea purpurea
- Great egret, Ardea alba
- Western reef-heron, Egretta gularis
- Little egret, Egretta garzetta
- Squacco heron, Ardeola ralloides
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Striated heron, Butorides striata
- Black-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
- Little bittern, Ixobrychus minutus
- Yellow bittern, Ixobrychus sinensis (A)
- Von Schrenck's bittern, Ixobrychus eurhythmus (A)
- Great bittern, Botaurus stellaris
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.
- Yellow-billed stork, Mycteria ibis
- Black stork, Ciconia nigra
- White stork, Ciconia ciconia
- African openbill, Anastomus lamelligerus (A)
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.
- Sacred ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus (Ex)
- Waldrapp, Geronticus eremita (Ex)
- Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
- Eurasian spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia
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.
Ducks, geese and swans
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.
- Mute swan, Cygnus olor
- Whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus (A)
- Bean goose, Anser fabalis (A)
- Greater white-fronted goose, Anser albifrons
- Lesser white-fronted goose, Anser erythropus (A)
- Greylag goose, Anser anser
- Brent goose, Branta bernicla (A)
- Barnacle goose, Branta leucopsis (A)
- Red-breasted goose, Branta ruficollis (A)
- Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus
- Ruddy shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea
- Common shelduck, Tadorna tadorna
- Spur-winged goose, Plectropterus gambensis
- Eurasian wigeon, Anas penelope
- Gadwall, Anas strepera
- Eurasian teal, Anas crecca
- Cape teal, Anas capensis
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta
- Garganey, Anas querquedula
- Blue-winged teal, Anas discors
- Northern shoveler, Anas clypeata
- Marbled teal, Marmaronetta angustirostris
- Red-crested pochard, Netta rufina
- Common pochard, Aythya ferina
- Ferruginous duck, Aythya nyroca
- Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
- Greater scaup, Aythya marila
- Velvet scoter, Melanitta fusca
- Smew, Mergellus albellus
- Red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator
- Common merganser, Mergus merganser
- White-headed duck, Oxyura leucocephala
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.
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Hawks, kites and eagles
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.
- European honey buzzard, Pernis apivorus
- Crested honey buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus (A)
- Black-winged kite, Elanus caeruleus
- Red kite, Milvus milvus
- Black kite, Milvus migrans; Ancient Egyptian: Dr/Dr.t (possibly) 'one who grasps/holds'
- African fish eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer (A)
- White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla
- Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus
- Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus; Ancient Egyptian: 3 (the hieroglyph) 'one who treads ?'
- Rueppell's griffon, Gyps rueppellii
- Eurasian griffon, Gyps fulvus; Ancient Egyptian: nr(w) 'terrifying one'
- Cinereous vulture, Aegypius monachus
- Lappet-faced vulture, Torgos tracheliotus
- Short-toed snake eagle, Circaetus gallicus
- Bateleur, Terathopius ecaudatus
- Western marsh harrier, Circus aeruginosus
- Northern harrier, Circus cyaneus
- Pallid harrier, Circus macrourus
- Montagu's harrier, Circus pygargus
- Gabar goshawk, Micronisus gabar (A)
- Levant sparrowhawk, Accipiter brevipes
- Eurasian sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
- Northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis
- Eurasian buzzard, Buteo buteo; Ancient Egyptian: tyw 'shrieker' (like ti3w) or 'treader' (like tiw(?)
- Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus
- Lesser spotted eagle, Clanga pomarina
- Greater spotted eagle, Clanga clanga
- Tawny eagle, Aquila rapax
- Steppe eagle, Aquila nipalensis
- Imperial eagle, Aquila heliaca
- Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos
- Wahlberg's eagle, Aquila wahlbergi (A)
- Verreaux's eagle, Aquila verreauxii
- Bonelli's eagle, Aquila fasciatus
- Booted eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus
Caracaras and falcons
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)
- Barbary falcon, Falco pelegrinoides
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus; Ancient Egyptian: its hieroglyphic sign stands for the deity Hr Horus 'the One Far Up/High'
Pheasants and partridges
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.
- Green peafowl, Pavo muticus (small populations introduced in Western Desert Oases and Upper Egypt south of Aswan)
- Chukar, Alectoris chukar
- Rock partridge, Alectoris graeca
- Barbary partridge, Alectoris barbara "aegypticus" (Siwa, Marsa Matruah)
- Sand partridge, Ammoperdix heyi
- Common quail, Coturnix coturnix; Ancient Egyptian: pcr.t > Coptic: PERE (meaning unknown)
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'
Rails, crakes, 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
- Little crake, Porzana parva
- Baillon's crake, Porzana pusilla
- Spotted crake, Porzana porzana
- African swamphen, Porphyrio madagascariensis
- Allen's gallinule, Porphyrio alleni (A)
- Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus; Ancient Egyptian: sbH 'one who cries out, laments'
- Lesser moorhen, Gallinula angulata
- Eurasian coot, Fulica atra
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
- Houbara bustard, Chlamydotis undulata
- Macqueen's bustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii
- Little bustard, Tetrax tetrax
Painted-snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured.
- Greater painted-snipe, Rostratula benghalensis
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
- Eurasian oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus
Avocets and stilts
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.
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.
- Egyptian plover, Pluvianus aegyptius (Ex)
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-coloured courser, Cursorius cursor
- Collared pratincole, Glareola pratincola
- Oriental pratincole, Glareola maldivarum (A)
- Black-winged pratincole, Glareola nordmanni
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.
- 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
- Pacific golden plover, Pluvialis fulva
- European golden plover, Pluvialis apricaria
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- Common ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula
- Little ringed plover, Charadrius dubius
- Kittlitz's plover, Charadrius pecuarius
- Three-banded plover, Charadrius tricollaris (A)
- Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus
- Lesser sandplover, Charadrius mongolus
- Greater sandplover, Charadrius leschenaultii
- Caspian plover, Charadrius asiaticus
- Eurasian dotterel, Charadrius morinellus
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.
- Eurasian woodcock, Scolopax rusticola
- Jack snipe, Lymnocryptes minimus
- Great snipe, Gallinago media
- Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago
- Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa
- Bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Slender-billed curlew, Numenius tenuirostris
- Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata
- Spotted redshank, Tringa erythropus
- Common redshank, Tringa totanus
- Marsh sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis
- Common greenshank, Tringa nebularia
- Green sandpiper, Tringa ochropus
- Wood sandpiper, Tringa glareola
- Terek sandpiper, Xenus cinereus
- Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Red knot, Calidris canutus
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Little stint, Calidris minuta
- Temminck's stint, Calidris temminckii
- Long-toed stint, Calidris subminuta
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina
- Broad-billed sandpiper, Limicola falcinellus
- Ruff, Philomachus pugnax
- Red-necked phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus
- Red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius
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
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.
- White-eyed gull, Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus
- Sooty gull, Ichthyaetus hemprichii
- Audouin's gull, Ichthyaetus audouinii
- Mediterranean gull, Ichthyaetus melanocephalus
- Pallas's gull, Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus
- Mew gull, Larus canus
- Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus
- Glaucous gull, Larus hyperboreus
- Lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus
- Yellow-legged gull, Larus michahellis
- Heuglin's gull, Larus heuglini
- Caspian gull, Larus cachinnans
- Armenian gull, Larus armenicus
- Grey-headed gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus (A)
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
- Slender-billed gull, Chroicocephalus genei
- Little gull, Hydrocoloeus minutus
- Sabine's gull, Xema sabini
- Black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla
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.
- Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
- Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia
- Lesser crested tern, Thalasseus bengalensis
- Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis
- Great crested tern, Thalasseus bergii
- Roseate tern, Sterna dougallii
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo
- White-cheeked tern, Sterna repressa
- Little tern, Sternula albifrons
- Saunders's tern, Sternula saundersi
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus
- Whiskered tern, Chlidonias hybridus
- White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
- Black tern, Chlidonias niger
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.
- African skimmer, Rynchops flavirostris
Auks, murres and puffins
Alcids are superficially similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits, however they are not related to the penguins and differ in being able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, only deliberately coming ashore to nest.
- Razorbill, Alca torda
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
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
- Eurasian collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto
- African collared dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea
- Mourning collared dove, Streptopelia decipiens (A)
- Laughing dove, Streptopelia senegalensis; Ancient Egyptian: cb3 'glittering, shining one'
- Namaqua dove, Oena capensis
- Bruce's green pigeon, Treron waalia (A)
Parrots, macaws and allies
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.
- Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri (I)
Cuckoos and anis
- Great spotted cuckoo, Clamator glandarius
- Common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus
- Senegal coucal, Centropus senegalensis
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.
- Pallid scops owl, Otus brucei
- European scops owl, Otus scops
- Pharaoh eagle-owl, Bubo ascalaphus
- Hume's owl, Strix butleri
- Little owl, Athene noctua
- Long-eared owl, Asio otus
- Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus
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.
- Eurasian nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus
- Egyptian nightjar, Caprimulgus aegyptius
- Nubian nightjar, Caprimulgus nubicus
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.
- African palm swift, Cypsiurus parvus (A)
- Alpine swift, Tachymarptis melba
- Common swift, Apus apus
- Pallid swift, Apus pallidus
- Little swift, Apus affinis
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)
Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head.
- 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)
Woodpeckers and allies
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.
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.
- Black-crowned sparrow-lark, Eremopterix nigriceps
- Bar-tailed lark, Ammomanes cincturus
- Desert lark, Ammomanes deserti
- Greater hoopoe-lark, Alaemon alaudipes
- Thick-billed lark, Ramphocoris clotbey
- Calandra lark, Melanocorypha calandra
- Bimaculated lark, Melanocorypha bimaculata
- Greater short-toed lark, Calandrella brachydactyla
- Lesser short-toed lark, Calandrella rufescens
- Dunn's lark, Eremalauda dunni
- Dupont's lark, Chersophilus duponti
- Crested lark, Galerida cristata
- Thekla lark, Galerida theklae
- Wood lark, Lullula arborea
- Eurasian skylark, Alauda arvensis
- Oriental skylark, Alauda gulgula
- Temminck's lark, Eremophila bilopha
Swallows and martins
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.
- Sand martin, Riparia riparia
- Banded martin, Riparia cincta (A)
- Brown-throated martin, Riparia paludicola (A)
- Eurasian crag martin, Ptyonoprogne rupestris
- Pale crag martin, Ptyonoprogne obsoleta
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica: Ancient Egyptian: mn.t (meaning uncertain)
- Red-rumped swallow, Cecropis daurica
- Common house martin, Delichon urbicum
- Streak-throated swallow, Petrochelidon fluvicola (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.
- White wagtail, Motacilla alba
- African pied wagtail, Motacilla aguimp
- Yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava; Ancient Egyptian (possibly): bnw (meaning unknown)
- Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea
- Richard's pipit, Anthus richardi
- Tawny pipit, Anthus campestris
- Long-billed pipit, Anthus similis
- Tree pipit, Anthus trivialis
- Meadow pipit, Anthus pratensis
- Red-throated pipit, Anthus cervinus
- Water pipit, Anthus spinoletta
- American pipit, Anthus rubescens
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.
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.
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.
- Hypocolius, Hypocolius ampelinus (A)
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.
- Eurasian wren, Troglodytes troglodytes
- Dunnock, Prunella modularis
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.
- Ring ouzel, Turdus torquatus
- Eurasian blackbird, Turdus merula
- Black-throated thrush, Turdus atrogularis (A)
- Fieldfare, Turdus pilaris
- Redwing, Turdus iliacus
- Song thrush, Turdus philomelos
- Mistle thrush, Turdus viscivorus
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.
Streaked scrub warbler
- Streaked scrub warbler, Scotocerca inquieta
- Cetti's warbler, Cettia cetti
- Common grasshopper warbler, Locustella naevia
- Eurasian river warbler, Locustella fluviatilis
- Savi's warbler, Locustella luscinioides
- Moustached warbler, Acrocephalus melanopogon
- Aquatic warbler, Acrocephalus paludicola
- Sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
- Eurasian reed warbler, Acrocephalus scirpaceus
- Blyth's reed-warbler, Acrocephalus dumetorum
- Marsh warbler, Acrocephalus palustris
- Great reed-warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus
- Clamorous reed warbler, Acrocephalus stentoreus
- Thick-billed warbler, Acrocephalus aedon
- 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
- Willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus
- Common chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita
- Western Bonelli's warbler, Phylloscopus bonelli
- Eastern Bonelli's warbler, Phylloscopus orientalis
- Wood warbler, Phylloscopus sibilatrix
- Dusky warbler, Phylloscopus fuscatus (A)
- Yellow-browed warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus
Old World warblers
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
- Greater whitethroat, Sylvia communis
- Lesser whitethroat, Sylvia curruca
- Asian desert warbler, Sylvia nana
- African desert warbler, Sylvia deserti
- Barred warbler, Sylvia nisoria
- Eastern Orphean warbler, Sylvia crassirostris
- Arabian warbler, Sylvia leucomelaena
- Rueppell's warbler, Sylvia rueppelli
- Subalpine warbler, Sylvia cantillans
- Sardinian warbler, Sylvia melanocephala
- Cyprus warbler, Sylvia melanothorax
- Menetries's warbler, Sylvia mystacea
- Spectacled warbler, Sylvia conspicillata
- Marmora's warbler, Sylvia sarda
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.
- Common rock thrush, Monticola saxatilis
- Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius
- Spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa striata
- European pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca
- Collared flycatcher, Ficedula albicollis
- Semicollared flycatcher, Ficedula semitorquata
- Red-breasted flycatcher, Ficedula parva
- European robin, Erithacus rubecula
- Thrush nightingale, Luscinia luscinia
- Common nightingale, Luscinia megarhynchos
- Siberian rubythroat, Luscinia calliope
- Bluethroat, Luscinia svecica
- Black scrub robin, Cercotrichas podobe (A)
- White-throated robin, Irania gutturalis
- Rufous-tailed scrub-robin, Cercotrichas galactotes
- Black redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros
- Common redstart, Phoenicurus phoenicurus
- Siberian stonechat, Saxicola maura (A)
- Whinchat, Saxicola rubetra
- European stonechat, Saxicola rubicola
- Pied bush chat, Saxicola caprata (A)
- White-tailed wheatear, Oenanthe leucopyga
- Hooded wheatear, Oenanthe monacha
- Black wheatear, Oenanthe leucura
- Northern wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe
- Mourning wheatear, Oenanthe lugens
- Finsch's wheatear, Oenanthe finschii
- Red-rumped wheatear, Oenanthe moesta
- Pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka
- Cyprus wheatear, Oenanthe cypriaca
- Black-eared wheatear, Oenanthe hispanica
- Red-tailed wheatear, Oenanthe xanthoprymna
- Desert wheatear, Oenanthe deserti
- Isabelline wheatear, Oenanthe isabellina
- Blackstart, Cercomela melanura
The laughingthrushes are somewhat diverse in size and colouration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage.
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
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
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)'
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 (A)
- Isabelline shrike, Lanius isabellinus
- Southern grey shrike, Lanius meridionalis
- Lesser grey shrike, Lanius minor
- Masked shrike, Lanius nubicus
- Woodchat shrike, Lanius senator
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
Crows, jays, ravens 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 at least gbgb > gbg3/g3bgw/qbq (this bird is once called 'black', its eggs could apparently be gathered according to a medical papyrus, and therefore points to a breeding bird of Egypt). In demotic an cbq-bird can be determined by help of the existence of Coptic ABOOK 'Crow, raven'
- Eurasian jackdaw, Corvus monedula
- House crow, Corvus splendens
- Rook, Corvus frugilegus
- Carrion crow, Corvus corone
- Brown-necked raven, Corvus ruficollis
- Fan-tailed raven, Corvus rhipidurus
- Common raven, Corvus corax
- Hooded crow, Corvus cornix
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.
- Common myna, Acridotheres tristis (I)
- Rosy starling, Pastor roseus
- European starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Tristram's starling, Onychognathus tristramii
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.
- Red avadavat, Amandava amandava (I)
- African silverbill, Lonchura cantans
- Indian silverbill, Lonchura malabarica (I)
Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies
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.
- Yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella
- Cirl bunting, Emberiza cirlus (A)
- Cinereous bunting, Emberiza cineracea
- Ortolan bunting, Emberiza hortulana
- Cretzschmar's bunting, Emberiza caesia
- House bunting, Emberiza striolata
- Cinnamon-breasted bunting, Emberiza tahapisi (A)
- Little bunting, Emberiza pusilla
- Rustic bunting, Emberiza rustica
- Yellow-breasted bunting, Emberiza aureola
- Black-headed bunting, Emberiza melanocephala
- Reed bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus (A)
- Corn bunting, Emberiza calandra
- Striolated bunting, Emberiza striolata
Siskins, crossbills 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
- Common rosefinch, Carpodacus erythrinus
- Pale rosefinch, Carpodacus synoicus
- European greenfinch, Chloris chloris
- European goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis
- Eurasian linnet, Carduelis cannabina
- Eurasian siskin, Spinus spinus
- Fire-fronted serin, Serinus pusillus
- European serin, Serinus serinus
- Syrian serin, Serinus syriacus
- Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes
- Mongolian finch, Rhodopechys mongolica
- Trumpeter finch, Bucanetes githaginea
- Desert finch, Rhodospiza obsoleta (A)
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.
- 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)
- Sudan golden sparrow, Passer luteus (A)
- Pale rockfinch, Carpospiza brachydactyla
- White-winged snowfinch, Montifringilla nivalis (A)
- Yellow-throated sparrow, Petronia xanthocollis (A)
- "The CIA World Factbook 2007". Retrieved 17 November 2007.
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Egypt". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
- "Birds of Egypt, the complete checklist". WICE (World Institute for Conservation and Environment). Retrieved 17 November 2007.
- Clements, James F. (2007). Birds of the World: a Checklist, 6th edition. Cornell University Press.
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Egypt". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
- "Birds of Egypt, the complete checklist". WICE (World Institute for Conservation and Environment). Retrieved 17 November 2007.
- 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