List of birds of Yemen
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Yemen. The avifauna of Yemen include a total of 432 species, of which thirteen are endemic, two have been introduced by humans and twenty-five are rare or accidental. Fourteen species are globally threatened.
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. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Yemen.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories, but not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Yemen
- (E) Endemic - a species endemic to Yemen
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Yemen as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
- (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Yemen although populations exist elsewhere
- (X) Extinct -a species or subspecies that no longer exists
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 2 species which occur in Yemen.
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.
- Jouanin's petrel, Bulweria fallax
- Flesh-footed shearwater, Ardenna carneipes
- Wedge-tailed shearwater, Ardenna pacificus
- Persian shearwater, Puffinus persicus
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 5 species which occur in Yemen.
- Wilson's storm petrel, Oceanites oceanicus
- White-faced storm petrel, Pelagodroma marina
- Black-bellied storm petrel, Fregetta tropica
- European storm petrel, Hydrobates pelagicus
- Swinhoe's storm petrel, Oceanodroma monorhis
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
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
- Socotra cormorant, Phalacrocorax nigrogularis (E)
- Long-tailed cormorant, Microcarbo africanus
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.
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
- Great bittern, Botaurus stellaris
The hammerkop is a medium-sized bird with a long shaggy crest. The shape of its head with a curved bill and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, hence its name. Its plumage is drab-brown all over.
- Hamerkop, Scopus umbretta
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
- Waldrapp, Geronticus eremita
- Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
- Eurasian spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia
- African spoonbill, Platalea alba (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.
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 Yemen.
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.
- Fulvous whistling duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
- Bean goose, Anser fabalis
- Ruddy shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea
- Common shelduck, Tadorna tadorna
- Eurasian wigeon, Anas penelope
- Gadwall, Anas strepera
- Eurasian teal, Anas crecca
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta
- Garganey, Anas querquedula
- Northern shoveler, Anas clypeata
- Common pochard, Aythya ferina
- Ferruginous pochard, Aythya nyroca
- Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
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
- Black-shouldered kite, Elanus caeruleus
- Scissor-tailed kite, Chelictinia riocourii
- Black kite, Milvus migrans
- Yellow-billed kite, Milvus aegyptius
- Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus
- Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus
- Rüppell's vulture, Gyps rueppelli
- Eurasian griffon, Gyps fulvus
- Cinereous vulture, Aegypius monachus
- Lappet-faced vulture, Torgos tracheliotos
- 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
- Dark chanting goshawk, Melierax metabates
- Gabar goshawk, Micronisus gabar
- Shikra, Accipiter badius
- Levant sparrowhawk, Accipiter brevipes
- Eurasian sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
- Northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis
- Common buzzard, Buteo buteo
- Socotra buzzard, Buteo socotraensis (E)
- 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
- Verreaux's eagle, Aquila verreauxii
- Bonelli's eagle, Aquila fasciata
- 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.
- Lesser kestrel, Falco naumanni
- Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
- Red-footed falcon, Falco vespertinus
- Amur falcon, Falco amurensis
- Sooty falcon, Falco concolor
- Merlin, Falco columbarius
- Eurasian hobby, Falco subbuteo
- Lanner falcon, Falco biarmicus
- Saker falcon, Falco cherrug
- Barbary falcon, Falco pelegrinoides
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
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.
- Chukar, Alectoris chukar
- Philby's partridge, Alectoris philbyi
- Arabian partridge, Alectoris melanocephala
- Sand partridge, Ammoperdix heyi
- Common quail, Coturnix coturnix
- Harlequin quail, Coturnix delegorguei (A)
Guineafowl are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Yemen.
- Helmeted guineafowl, Numida meleagris
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".
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
- White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus (A)
- Little crake, Porzana parva
- Baillon's crake, Porzana pusilla
- Spotted crake, Porzana porzana
- Allen's gallinule, Porphyrio alleni
- Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
- 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.
- Arabian bustard, Ardeotis arabs
- Houbara bustard, Chlamydotis undulata
- Macqueen's bustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii
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.
- Small buttonquail, Turnix sylvatica (A)
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 1 species which occurs in Yemen.
- Pheasant-tailed jacana, Hydrophasianus chirurgus
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 Yemen.
- Greater painted-snipe, Rostratula benghalensis (A)
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. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Yemen.
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 Yemen.
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. There are 17 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Yemen.
- Cream-coloured courser, Cursorius cursor
- Bronze-winged courser, Rhinoptilus chalcopterus
- Collared pratincole, Glareola pratincola
- Black-winged pratincole, Glareola nordmanni
- Small pratincole, Glareola lactea
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. There are 66 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Yemen.
- 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
- Snowy 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. There are 31 species which have been recorded in Yemen.
- Jack snipe, Lymnocryptes minimus
- Pintail snipe, Gallinago stenura (A)
- Great snipe, Gallinago media
- Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago
- Asian dowitcher, Limnodromus semipalmatus (A)
- 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
- Sharp-tailed sandpiper, Calidris acuminata (A)
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina
- Broad-billed sandpiper, Calidris falcinellus
- Ruff, Calidris 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. There are 7 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Yemen.
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.
- White-eyed gull, Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus
- Sooty gull, Ichthyaetus hemprichii
- Pallas's gull, Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
- Slender-billed gull, Chroicocephalus genei
- Common gull, Larus canus (A)
- Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus
- Herring gull, Larus argentatus
- Lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus
- Heuglin's gull, Larus heuglini
- Caspian gull, Larus cachinnans
- Armenian gull, Larus armenicus
- 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
- Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscatus
- Whiskered tern, Chlidonias hybrida
- White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
- Black tern, Chlidonias niger
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
- African skimmer, Rynchops flavirostris
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 4 species which occur in Yemen.
- Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, Pterocles exustus
- Spotted sandgrouse, Pterocles senegallus
- Crowned sandgrouse, Pterocles coronatus
- Lichtenstein's sandgrouse, Pterocles lichtensteinii
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia
- Rameron pigeon, Columba arquatrix
- European turtle dove, Streptopelia turtur
- Dusky turtle dove, Streptopelia lugens
- African collared dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea
- Red-eyed dove, Streptopelia semitorquata
- Laughing dove, Spilopelia senegalensis
- Black-billed wood-dove, Turtur abyssinicus (A)
- Namaqua dove, Oena capensis
- Bruce's green pigeon, Treron waalia
Old World parrots
Cuckoos and anis
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 6 species which occur in Yemen.
- Pied cuckoo, Clamator jacobinus
- Great spotted cuckoo, Clamator glandarius
- Common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus
- Klaas's cuckoo, Chrysococcyx klaas
- Dideric cuckoo, Chrysococcyx caprius
- White-browed coucal, Centropus superciliosus
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 Yemen.
- Barn owl, Tyto alba
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
- Arabian scops owl, Otus pamelae
- European scops owl, Otus scops
- Oriental scops owl, Otus sunia
- Socotra scops owl, Otus socotranus (E)
- Spotted eagle-owl, Bubo africanus
- Desert owl, Strix hadorami
- Little owl, Athene noctua
- 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. There are 86 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Yemen.
- Red-necked nightjar, Caprimulgus ruficollis
- Eurasian nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus
- Egyptian nightjar, Caprimulgus aegyptius
- Nubian nightjar, Caprimulgus nubicus
- Abyssinian nightjar, Caprimulgus poliocephalus
- Plain nightjar, Caprimulgus inornatus
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 6 species which occur in Yemen.
- African palm-swift, Cypsiurus parvus
- Alpine swift, Tachymarptis melba
- Common swift, Apus apus
- Forbes-Watson's swift, Apus berliozi
- Little swift, Apus affinis
- White-rumped swift, Apus caffer (A)
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Yemen.
- Common kingfisher, Alcedo atthis (A)
- Malachite kingfisher, Alcedo cristata (A)
- Grey-headed kingfisher, Halcyon leucocephala
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 5 species which occur in Yemen.
- White-throated bee-eater, Merops albicollis
- Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis
- Blue-cheeked bee-eater, Merops persicus
- Madagascar bee-eater, Merops superciliosus
- 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. There are 12 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Yemen.
- European roller, Coracias garrulus
- Abyssinian roller, Coracias abyssinica
- Lilac-breasted roller, Coracias caudata (A)
- Rufous-crowned roller, Coracias naevia (A)
- Indian roller, Coracias benghalensis
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 Yemen.
- Hoopoe, Upupa epops
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 Yemen.
- African grey hornbill, Tockus nasutus
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. There are 91 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Yemen.
- Singing bushlark, Mirafra cantillans
- 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
- Bimaculated lark, Melanocorypha bimaculata
- Greater short-toed lark, Calandrella brachydactyla
- Blanford's lark, Calandrella blanfordi
- Dunn's lark, Eremalauda dunni
- Crested lark, Galerida cristata
- Eurasian skylark, Alauda arvensis
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. There are 75 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Yemen.
- Sand martin, Riparia riparia
- Banded martin, Riparia cincta (A)
- Eurasian crag martin, Ptyonoprogne rupestris
- Pale crag martin, Ptyonoprogne obsoleta
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
- Red-rumped swallow, Cecropis daurica
- Common house martin, Delichon urbicum
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. There are 54 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Yemen.
- White wagtail, Motacilla alba
- Citrine wagtail, Motacilla citreola
- Yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava
- Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea
- Richard's pipit, Anthus richardi
- African pipit, Anthus cinnamomeus
- Tawny pipit, Anthus campestris
- Long-billed pipit, Anthus similis
- Tree pipit, Anthus trivialis
- Meadow pipit, Anthus pratensis
- Red-throated pipit, Anthus cervinus
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 1 species which occurs in Yemen.
- White-spectacled bulbul, Pycnonotus xanthopygos
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 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 2 species which occur in Yemen.
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.
- Yemen thrush, Turdus menachensis (E)
- Dark-throated thrush, Turdus ruficollis
- Song thrush, Turdus philomelos
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.
- Zitting cisticola, Cisticola juncidis
- Socotra cisticola, Cisticola haesitatus (E)
- Socotra warbler, Incana incanus (E)
- Graceful prinia, Prinia gracilis
Streaked scrub warbler
- Streaked scrub warbler, Scotocerca inquieta
- Common grasshopper warbler, Locustella naevia (A)
- Eurasian river warbler, Locustella fluviatilis
- Savi's warbler, Locustella luscinioides
- Sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
- Eurasian reed warbler, Acrocephalus scirpaceus
- African reed warbler, Acrocephalus baeticatus
- Marsh warbler, Acrocephalus palustris
- Great reed warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus
- Clamorous reed warbler, Acrocephalus stentoreus
- Sykes's warbler, Iduna rama
- Eastern olivaceous warbler, Iduna pallida
- Upcher's warbler, Hippolais languida
- Olive-tree warbler, Hippolais olivetorum
- Icterine warbler, Hippolais icterina
- Brown woodland warbler, Phylloscopus umbrovirens
- Willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus
- Common chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita
- Plain leaf warbler, Phylloscopus neglectus
- Western Bonelli's warbler, Phylloscopus bonelli
- Wood warbler, Phylloscopus sibilatrix
- Dusky warbler, Phylloscopus fuscatus
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.
- Yemen warbler, Sylvia buryi (E)
- Eurasian blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla
- Garden warbler, Sylvia borin (A)
- Greater whitethroat, Sylvia communis
- Lesser whitethroat, Sylvia curruca
- African desert warbler, Sylvia deserti
- Barred warbler, Sylvia nisoria
- Eastern Orphean warbler, Sylvia crassirostris
- Arabian warbler, Sylvia leucomelaena
- Subalpine warbler, Sylvia cantillans
- Menetries's warbler, Sylvia mystacea
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
- Little rock thrush, Monticola rufocinereus
- Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius
- Spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa striata
- Gambaga flycatcher, Muscicapa gambagae
- Collared flycatcher, Ficedula albicollis
- European robin, Erithacus rubecula (A)
- Thrush nightingale, Luscinia luscinia
- Common nightingale, Luscinia megarhynchos
- Bluethroat, Luscinia svecica
- White-throated robin, Irania gutturalis
- Rufous-tailed scrub-robin, Cercotrichas galactotes
- Black scrub-robin, Cercotrichas podobe
- Black redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros
- Common redstart, Phoenicurus phoenicurus
- Siberian stonechat, Saxicola maurus
- Whinchat, Saxicola rubetra
- European stonechat, Saxicola rubicola
- White-tailed wheatear, Oenanthe leucopyga (A)
- Hooded wheatear, Oenanthe monacha
- Northern wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe
- Mourning wheatear, Oenanthe lugens
- Pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka
- Black-eared wheatear, Oenanthe hispanica
- Red-tailed wheatear, Oenanthe xanthoprymna
- Desert wheatear, Oenanthe deserti
- Isabelline wheatear, Oenanthe isabellina
- Red-breasted wheatear, Oenanthe bottae
- Heuglin's wheatear, Oenanthe heuglini
- Familiar chat, Cercomela familiaris (A)
- Blackstart, Cercomela melanura
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 Yemen.
- African paradise-flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis
- Arabian babbler, Turdoides squamiceps
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. There are 131 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Yemen.
- Nile Valley sunbird, Hedydipna metallica
- Socotra sunbird, Chalcomitra balfouri (E)
- Palestine sunbird, Cinnyris oseus
- Shining sunbird, Cinnyris habessinicus
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 Yemen.
- White-breasted white-eye, Zosterops abyssinicus
Old World orioles
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 Yemen.
- Eurasian golden oriole, Oriolus oriolus
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
- Isabelline shrike, Lanius isabellinus
- Red-tailed shrike, Lanius phoenicuroides
- 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. There are 46 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Yemen.
- Black-crowned tchagra, Tchagra senegala
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 1 species which occurs in Yemen.
- Fork-tailed drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis (A)
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. There are 120 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Yemen.
- Eurasian magpie, Pica pica
- House crow, Corvus splendens
- Pied crow, Corvus albus
- Brown-necked raven, Corvus ruficollis
- Fan-tailed raven, Corvus rhipidurus
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.
- Daurian starling, Agropsar sturninus
- Rosy starling, Pastor roseus
- European starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Wattled starling, Creatophora cinerea (A)
- Violet-backed starling, Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
- Somali starling, Onychognathus blythii
- Socotra starling, Onychognathus frater (E)
- 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. There are 116 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Yemen.
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. There are 141 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Yemen.
- Green-winged pytilia, Pytilia melba
- Arabian waxbill, Estrilda rufibarba
- Zebra waxbill, Sporaeginthus subflavus
- African silverbill, Euodice cantans
- Black-and-white mannikin, Spermestes bicolor
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.
- Cinereous bunting, Emberiza cineracea
- Ortolan bunting, Emberiza hortulana
- Cretzschmar's bunting, Emberiza caesia
- Striolated bunting, Emberiza striolata
- Cinnamon-breasted bunting, Emberiza tahapisi
- Socotra bunting, Emberiza socotrana (E)
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.
- Arabian golden-winged grosbeak, Rhynchostruthus percivali
- Socotra golden-winged grosbeak, Rhynchostruthus socotranus (E)
- Yemen linnet, Linaria yemenensis (E)
- Arabian serin, Crithagra rothschildi
- Yemen serin, Crithagra menachensis (E)
- Trumpeter finch, Bucanetes githaginea
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 6 species which occur in Yemen.
- House sparrow, Passer domesticus
- Socotra sparrow, Passer insularis (E)
- Abd al-Kuri sparrow, Passer hemileucus (E)
- Arabian golden sparrow, Passer euchlorus
- Bush petronia, Petronia dentata
- Pale rockfinch, Carpospiza brachydactyla