Iran's two known endemic birds are the Caspian Tit and the Iranian Ground Jay. Another bird native to Iran is the Saxaul Sparrow which is a passerine desert bird that forages trees. These bird species have found a home in the wilderness of Iran and have adapted to the environment. The Saxaul Sparrow, for example, can fly several times in a day over long distances looking for water. On the other hand, birds such as the Ground Jay have long strong legs adapted with a tremendous agility to running, leaping, and bounding onto boulders, rocks, or perch on trees and bushes.
The Native Birds Of Iran
Saxaul Sparrow (Passer ammodendri)
This Passerine bird Passer ammodendri, commonly known as the Saxaul Sparrow, is a bird native to Iran. It is around 14 to 16 centimeters in length, with males being larger than females. They have a short tail and the pale to pinkish brown legs. The bill is long, being light gray in juveniles, a pale yellow with a black tip in breeding females, and black on breeding males. The bird has distinctive markings on the head.
Caspian Tit (Poecile Hyrcana)
The Passerine bird species Poecile Hyrcana, commonly known as the Caspian tit, is native to Iran. The bird is typically found breeding in the deciduous mountain forests of northern Iran and Azerbaijan. The bird has a brown cap and bib, brown upper parts and the underparts are a pinkish buff when younger, becoming paler and grayer as the bird ages. The Caspian bird expresses sexual dimorphism, but juveniles are somehow duller than adults.
Iranian Ground Jay (Podoces pleskei)
The Iranian ground jay (Podoces pleskei) is a bird species in the Corvidae Family endemic to Iran. Its distribution ranges in deserts of eastern Iran to Dusht-e-Lut of Khorasan and the Kerman. The Iranian ground jay is around 24 centimeters in length and weighs 85 to 90 grams. It has bold boldly patterned small corvid and a slightly curved slim bill adapted for digging and probing and relatively short, glossy black upper tail coverts. The bird is omnivorous although seasonal but mostly insectivorous during the spring and feeding on seeds during the fall.
Persian Shearwater (Puffinus persicus)
Puffinus persicus, commonly known as the Persian Shearwater, is a seabird species in the Procellariidae Family. It has a wide distribution range from the Southern Red Sea, along with the Gulf of Aden and the coast of Somali across the southern parts of Arabian Peninsula to the Gulf of Oman, western India, and Pakistan. The species has two subspecies.
Threats to Iran's Birds
With their wide distribution and adaptation to the desert life of Iran, many of these birds are considered of Least Concern to the IUCN in terms of threats of extinction. However, deforestation, overgrazing, and inefficient yet extensive agricultural practices are causing habitat loss, and soon these birds may reach vulnerability thresholds. However, so far, these birds have stable populations, and the deserts of Iran provide the ideal conditions necessary for their survival.