UZBEKISTAN

Azerbaijan – Kyrgyzstan – Oman – Uzbekistan – South-West Russia – Syria – Yemen – JordanUnited Arab EmiratesEgypt IsraelSaudi ArabiaKuwait Kazakhstan

Turkestan Tit Parus bokharensis. Photo: Askar Isabekov

Capital: Tashkent
Area: 448,844 km2
BirdLife International partner: Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (UzSPB)
Total number of bird species: 467
Globally threatened bird species: 52 in the National Red Data book, 47 IUCN species (CR – 3, EN – 4, VU – 17, NT – 22, DD – 1)
Country endemics: 0
Important bird and biodiversity areas: 52 IBAs with a total area of 24,628 km2
Rare birds committee: There is currently no rare birds committee in Uzbekistan.

Specialities:

Lesser White-fronted Goose, Marbled Duck, Ferruginous Duck, White-headed Duck, Dalmatian Pelican, Sociable Lapwing, Lesser Kestrel, Saker Falcon, Pander’s Ground Jay, Turkestan Tit

Ornithological interest:

Uzbekistan is situated at the intersection of key migratory flyways from Western Siberia and Kazakhstan to Iranian-Caspian and Indian-Pakistani wintering grounds and the country is a migration corridor on the Central Asian Flyway. Desert, mountain, wetland and riparian forest ecosystems are essential for millions of migratory, breeding and wintering bird species, many of which are global­ly threatened.

Given the variety of habitats, Uzbekistan is an excellent country in which to see a number of regional specialties. The Kyzylkum Desert and Ustyurt Plateau are important for breed­ing Saker Falcons, Egyptian Vultures and Lesser Kestrels while mountain ranges are breeding sites for a range of birds of prey including Cinereous and Griffon Vultures, Lammergeiers, Saker Falcons and Golden Eagles. Other notable species include Himalayan Snowcock, Hume’s Short-toed Lark, Indian Paradise-flycatcher, White-winged Snowfinch and Red-mantled Rosefinch. The deserts and semi-arid areas are important for Macqueen’s Bustard, Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Egyptian Nightjar and Desert Lark while Asian Short-toed Lark, Pander’s Ground-jay and Saxaul Sparrow can also be found.

Sizeable concentrations of waterbirds can be found in Uzbekistan’s many large wetland areas which host a number of globally-threatened species such as Marbled, Ferruginous and White-headed Ducks, Common and Demoiselle Cranes and Dalmatian Pelican. Tugay or riparian forests are important as breeding areas for Shikra, seven local subspecies of Com­mon Pheasant, Pallid Scops Owl, White-winged Woodpecker and Turkestan Tit.

Best times to visit:

Visits should be planned according to the species being sought. Early April to May is best for spring migrants with the chance of encountering some late-staying wintering birds and early nesters. September and October are good for autumn migration. A visit between November and February can be excellent for wintering waterbirds as well as some of the mountain specialties which descend to lower altitudes in winter.

Essential reading:

Ayé R, Schweizer M & Roth T (2012) Birds of Central Asia, Christopher Helm.

Mitropolskiy O V, Bakaev S B, Kashkarov R D, Kashkarov O R (2013) Brief guide on Birds of Uzbekistan. UzSPB, Tashkent.

Kashkarov O R, Mitropolskiy O V (2020) Short guide to waterbirds and birds of open spaces of Uzbekistan in two posters. UzSPB, Tashkent.

The Uzbekistan Birdwatching Community website can be found here: https://uzbekistan.birds.watch/

Trip report links:

January and April 2000

6 June-3 July 2000 – Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

2-3 May 2015 – Tashkent Province

Compiler:
Oleg Kashkarov