Bird watching and photography
Bird watching in Jordan is a great experience. Jordan’s position is a hub for migratory bird species from Europe, Africa and Asia; species from all three regions can often be seen at the same time. There are two main areas for bird watching in Jordan, the Azraq Wetland Reserve in the Eastern desert home to cranes, hoopoe larks and desert wheatears, and the Dana Reserve which is a great place to spot eagles and the Syrian serin.
Jordan is an exceptional place for bird watching as its geographical position means that it is a hub for migratory species from Europe, Africa and Asia. The birdlife of all three continents passes through Jordan twice a year on their passage between seasonal habitats, and sometimes it is possible to see specimens from each at the same time. All of Jordan makes it good for bird watching, yet some sites in particular are treasure troves for twitchers.
Important Birding and Biodiversity Areas
Jordan is so important to bird species that almost 10 percent of its entire landmass has been designated an Important Birding Area (IBA), an international scheme to increase the protection for bird habitats. 17 sites in Jordan have been declared IBAs; In order to qualify for this title the area must provide an essential habitat for one or more species.
Birds in Azraq
The wetlands of Azraq, out in the Eastern Desert is a favoured stopping off point not just for waterbirds but many other species, including raptors attracted by the wealth of prey. Depending on when you visit, some of the bird species you might see in Azraq are Cranes, Desert Lark, Temmiink’s Horned Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Trumpeter Finch and Desert Wheatear.
Migratory birds come from Anatolia, Scandinavia, Siberia, and Africa, stopping in Azraq during the long journey. The partial restoration of the wetlands by RSCN have resulted in the return of several migratory species, such as the hoopoe lark, Cetti’s warbler, the desert finch, and the marsh harrier. Among the 280 recorded migratory species in Azraq are the ruff, avocet, little stint, and the little ringed plover. Additionally, several birds of prey stop in Azraq, such as the European honey buzzard and Montagu’s harrier.
The Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest in Jordan and includes a variety of terrain, from sandstone cliffs more than 1700m high near Dana to a low point of 50m below sea level in Wadi Araba. Sheltered within the red-rock escarpments are protected valleys that are home to a surprisingly diverse ecosystem. About 600 species of plant (ranging from citrus trees and junipers to desert acacias and date palms) thrive in the reserve, together with 180 species of bird.
Birds of prey are well represented in the Visit Dana Reserve too; there are many migratory species, as well as Bonelli’s Eagle, which breed there. Dana is also a good place to spot Syrian serin. At times, the skies of Jordan are full as the dramatic spectacle of thousands of black kites, steppe eagles and steppe buzzards soar overhead.
Birds in Petra
The Rose City is not all about antiquities, it is also an excellent place for birds, with at least two interesting species found here: Hume’s tawny owl and the pretty Sinai rosefinch.
A list of interesting number of bird species, which included Egyptian Vulture, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Buzzards (hundreds), Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock-Thrush, Palestine Sunbird, Woodchat Shrike, Spanish and Rock Sparrows, Fantailed Raven, Sinai Rosefinch and, above all, a Pale Rock Sparrow.
Bavaria Tours is a full-service tour management company in Jordan. With over 20 years of experience in the tourism field we give you a fantastic tour in the last wild and magical corner of Jordan.