8 Desert Birds Of Morocco

My country Morocco contains a variety of birds around 543 species including common birds and rare birds, desert birds, and city birds which makes it one of the best destinations for birdwatchers to explore the avian world of Morocco.

These birds are separated in many spots including the High-atlas Mountains, the Anti-Atlas Mountains, the desert of Merzouga, the Atlantic coast in Agadir, and many other places over Morocco.

Desert Birds Of Morocco

In this article, I will tell you about the best 10 desert birds of Morocco you should know and about their specific places, So If you’re planning for a Morocco birding tour you will be already have an Idea about what waiting for you here in Morocco to explore.

1. Desert Sparrow

Morocco birding desert sparrow

Desert Sparrow is a small and rare sparrow classed in the Passeridae family with a size of 13·5–15 cm and a weight of 18–21 g, he is a gray underparts bird with black lines separated in his body and black beak.

this bird can be found in the southeast of Morocco, exactly in the Merzouga desert, they live behind the dunes near Algeria borders near the tourist camps and rarely you can find them in the holes of the walls but they don’t prefer to live in places where there is human because and another note they don’t stay where other species are especially cities birds.

Their diet consists of insects and some grains, I know how it is difficult for them to get food in the harsh areas where they live as they get water in the most times from the herbal pulp if there is no lake near them.

2. White-Crowned Wheatear

White-Crowned Wheatear

White-crowned wheatear is one the small common birds and the most loved bird by Moroccans as we consider it a sign of good things when we see it.

this bird is classed in the Muscicapidae family, Oenanthe genus but they were classed previously in the thrush family.

this bird is small to medium with a size of 17–18 cm with a black color of all his body excluding the crown on his head and under tail are white colored.

You can find them in over Morocco but they prefer also to live in stony deserts including the Merzouga desert, Guelmim, and Boumalne. these birds are social so they can live near humans in the holes of houses. I see them more than 10 times a day near my house or above the walls in trees.

their favorite diet is insects as they stay in the most times jumping from one rock to another.

3. Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar is a medium to small bird found in North Africa and southwest Asia. He is a migratory bird as they change their habitat due to the climate and food availability.

This bird’s behavior is hunting at night and looking for insects but he still all the day sleeping in one place without any movement until you think it’s a rock. This bird in my village Merzouga is called “Mgniits” which means a sleepy bird.

These birds are sand-colored because as we already mentioned this color helps them to disguise themselves as rock and this can protect them from humans and wild animals or predatory birds.

You can find Egyptian Nightjar in one area in Morocco, around Douar Derkaoua 32.4 km from Merzouga village, but you will need a Merzouga local birding guide to take you there because this bird doesn’t stay every day in one place. most times, the local guide calls one of the people who are living in Douar Derkaoua to tell him the place of the Egyptian Nightjar as he wakes up in the early morning to locate its place by hearing the sound before it takes its place to stay sleep all the day.

4. Pharaoh Eagle Owl

Pharaoh Eagle Owl

Pharaoh Eagle owl (Bubo Ascalaphus) is a large bird in the Strigidae family with brown-colored plumage and large yellow eyes and has black streaks in its underparts and head. his length is 46–50 cm which makes it to be large.

This bird is a mix of an eagle and an owl in the body characteristics as he has an eagle body including wings and claws that allow it to hunt easily and fast and his head is like an owl which can turn it 270 degrees and can see clearly and hunt at night.

His diet consists of birds, snakes, small mammals, lizards, scorpions, and beetles, in most times can be found in rocky areas where it’s easy to find its prey, especially house sparrows and snakes.

In Morocco, you can find the Pharaoh Eagle Owl in Tagdilt Track or near Rissani city in a small mountain, exactly in a hole in that mountain, but the problem I find with birdwatchers in my birding tours is their immigration because the Pharaoh Eagle Owl is a migratory bird so their presence in any region is only seasonal.

5. Greater hoopoe-lark

Greater hoopoe-lark

Greater Hoopoe-lark or Alaemon Alaudipes is a small and skinny bird with long legs, a down-curved bill, and a black line around its eyes, in addition to its sandy color that gives it the ability to harmony with sand color and this protects it from predatory birds and wild animals.

Its diet consists of invertebrates, insects, small lizards, and seeds and they get water in the harsh environments where they live from desert grass pulp.

This bird can be found in Morocco exactly in the Merzouga Desert behind the dunes 100km around Erg-Chebbi Sahara and some other countries in North Africa Such as Syria, the Arabian peninsula, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Mauritania.

6. Tristram’s Warbler

Tristram's Warbler

Tristram’s warbler is a small bird with a long tail, their beak is shaped and orange, and they have a dull plumage with olive-brown tones in his body.

Tristram’s Warbler (Curruca deserticola) from the Sylviidae family can be found in most North African countries including the desert of Morocco exactly in Merzouga but also rarely be found in some other cities that are not desert.

Their diet consists of insects and seeds because only this food is available in these deserts and they get water from water near palms or grass pulp.

this bird is called Tristam because the first one to find it who called Henry Baker Tristram.

7. Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear is one of the birds I love so much because they always sing in the desert which gives the desert a good vibe and my heart is happy when see it.

This bird is a medium-sized bird that can be found in central Asia and North Africa in Morocco. their size is 14 cm in length and 20-25 grams in weight.

Desert Wheatear is generally considered one of the rarest birds because nature and people didn’t give them a chance to stay with us my friend because they prefer to live in arid areas and it’s hard for them to get food and add the human activities that affect them negatively.

you can find this bird in Morocco in the Merzouga desert and Guelmim desert, Zaida, and rarely you can find it in Boumalne Dades.

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