Egypt's Native Bird Species

Three adult Egyptian geese in a zoo in Switzerland.
Three adult Egyptian geese in a zoo in Switzerland.

The country of Egypt is located in Northeastern Africa, acting as the link between Africa and the Middle East, as well as between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Egypt is best known for being the birthplace of one of the world's oldest civilizations, as well as for its ancient monuments. This article will discuss a few of the native bird species in Egypt in detail in terms of their physical characteristics, habitat and range and their current conservation status.

The Native Birds Of Egypt

Brown Booby

The Brown Booby, scientific name Sula leucogaster, is a species of seabird that is a member of the Sulidae family of gannets and boobies. The species grows to about 29 to 31 inches (75 to 80 centimeters) in length, with a wingspan of about 4.6 to 4.9 feet (140 to 150 centimeters) and weighs around 2.2 to 2.9 pounds (1,000 to 1,300 grams). The head and back of these birds are either black or dark brown color, while the belly is white. This species' habitat is strictly in marine areas and it feeds usually in inshore waters. The species keeps almost always has its nests on coral atolls or rocky islands surrounded by vegetation and near the inshore waters. This species is found throughout the tropical ocean parts of the world like the Caribbean, the Atlantic coastlines of Africa and South America, the islands off of Madagascar, the Red Sea between Africa and the Middle East, the northern coast of Australia and in islands in the Pacific as well as the coastline of Mexico and Peru. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Brown Booby has been list as a species of least concern since 2004, however, its population is currently declining. Despite the species currently not facing any major threats, its population is believed to be on the decline because of disturbance of its habitat and the unsustainable levels to which the species is being exploited.

Egyptian Goose

The Egyptian Goose, scientific name Alopochen aegyptiacus, is a species of bird that is a member of the Anatidae family that is made up of ducks, geese, and swans. This species grows to be around 25 to 29 inches (63 to 73 centimeters) in length. This species can be gray to brown in the color with large parts of its wings being white, although this is mostly hidden by the wing coverts. This species habitat encompasses a large range of freshwater wetlands that are found in open country, like dams, ponds, rivers, lakes, marshes, estuaries and also offshore islands. The species usually prefers bodies of water that have open shorelines and lots of plant growth that are close to grazing areas like grasslands or meadows. This species is native to or has been introduced to most of Africa. The species has also been introduced to or is vagrant in a number of European countries, as well as Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and China. According to the IUCN Red List, the Egyptian Goose has been list as a species of least concern since 2004, however, its population is currently declining. The major threats that this species faces is that it is killed via shooting or poisoning in certain countries since it is seen as a pest to agriculture and it is also hunted for sport in small numbers. The species has also gone extinct in Israel.

Short-Eared Owl

The Short-Eared Owl, scientific name Asio flammeus, is a species of owl that is a member of the Strigidae family of true owls. This species grow to be around 13 to 17 inches (34 to 43 centimeters) in length and usually weighs between 7.3 to 16.8 ounces (206 to 475 grams). The species is a brown to mottled tawny color with large yellow-orange colored eyes, a big hard and has broad wings. This species habitat and nests are located on the ground in low vegetation in a variety of places like prairie, meadows, tundra or savanna. They also are one of the most widely distributed birds on Earth, being found on every continent except for Australia and Antarctica. According to the IUCN Red List, the Short-Eared Owl has been list as a species of least concern since 2004, however, its population is currently decreasing. Some of the major threats that this species faces are from habitat loss due to agriculture or various human development and reforestation. They are also threatened by urbanization, rodent poisoning, being hit by cars and being killed by cats and dogs.

The Importance Of Birds In Egypt's History

Since the ancient pharaoh kingdoms of Egypt, birds have had an important cultural and ecological impact on the country. The Egyptian geese was a bird that was considered to be sacred by the Egyptians of ancient times and was heavily represented in Egyptian art and architecture. This species was also first domesticated by the ancient Egyptians before it spread to the rest of Africa and beyond. Birds are also related to the old gods of ancient Egypt as the god Horus has the head of a falcon and the god Thoth has the head of an ibis bird.

Egypt's Native Bird Species

Native Birds Of Egypt Scientific Name
Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
Short-Eared Owl Asio flammeus
Eurasian Thick-Knee Burhinus oedicnemus
European Robin Erithacus rubecula
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Gull-Billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
European Bee-Eater Merops apiaster
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis
Ostrich Struthio camelus
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula

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