Birds of Central Asia

Birding in Central Asia

The Birds of Central Asia as a field guide to the birds of the OSME defined region of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) plus Afghanistan, covering all 635 species that have occurred in the region. It is a field guide in the proper sense, being similar in size to the Collins Guide and hence would be easily slipped into a large coat pocket or small backpack pouch.

The Birds

Birds of prey do well in Central Asia. They feed on rodents on other small mammals that thrive in the tussocky grass of the steppe. In Tashkent you can see magpies and swifts.

Demoiselle cranes are known as the lovely birds by the people of Mongolia. They are smaller than most crane species and are among the most widespread, nesting across a wide swath of the Eurasian steppe. 

Demoiselle cranes reach altitudes of 24,000 feet when they cross the Hindu Kush mountains during their fall and spring migrations between nesting grounds in Central Asia and warmer, wintering areas in India. Demoiselle cranes winter in western Rajasthan.

List of Birds in Central Asia

ANSERIFORMES: Anatidae 
White-headed DuckOxyura leucocephala
Mute SwanCygnus olor
Whooper SwanCygnus cygnus
Red-breasted GooseBranta ruficollis
Bar-headed GooseAnser indicus
Greylag GooseAnser anser
Swan GooseAnser cygnoid
Bean GooseAnser fabalis
Lesser White-fronted GooseAnser erythropus
Velvet ScoterMelanitta fusca
Common GoldeneyeBucephala clangula
SmewMergellus albellus
GoosanderMergus merganser
Red-breasted MerganserMergus serrator
Common ShelduckTadorna tadorna
Ruddy ShelduckTadorna ferruginea
Red-crested PochardNetta rufina
Common PochardAythya ferina
Ferruginous DuckAythya nyroca
Tufted DuckAythya fuligula
GarganeySpatula querquedula
Northern ShovelerSpatula clypeata
GadwallMareca strepera
Eurasian WigeonMareca penelope
MallardAnas platyrhynchos
Northern PintailAnas acuta
Common TealAnas crecca
  
GALLIFORMES: Phasianidae 
Common QuailCoturnix coturnix
Himalayan SnowcockTetraogallus himalayensis
Altai SnowcockTetraogallus altaicus
Chukar PartridgeAlectoris chukar
Common PheasantPhasianus colchicus
Northern Hazel GrouseTetrastes bonasia
Willow GrouseLagopus lagopus
Rock PtarmiganLagopus muta
Western CapercaillieTetrao urogallus
Eurasian Black GrouseLyrurus tetrix
Grey PartridgePerdix perdix
Daurian PartridgePerdix dauurica
  
PHOENICOPTERIFORMES: Podicipedidae 
Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis
Red-necked GrebePodiceps grisegena
Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatus
Slavonian GrebePodiceps auritus
Black-necked GrebePodiceps nigricollis
  
COLUMBIFORMES: Columbidae 
Rock DoveColumba livia
Hill PigeonColumba rupestris
Pale-backed PigeonColumba eversmanni
Wood PigeonColumba palumbus
European Turtle DoveStreptopelia turtur
Oriental Turtle DoveStreptopelia orientalis
Eurasian Collared DoveStreptopelia decaocto
Laughing DoveStreptopelia senegalensis
  
PTEROCLIFORMES: Pteroclidae 
Pallas’s SandgrouseSyrrhaptes paradoxus
Black-bellied SandgrousePterocles orientalis
  
CAPRIMULGIFORMES: Caprimulgidae 
European NightjarCaprimulgus europaeus
  
CAPRIMULGIFORMES: Apodidae 
Fork-tailed SwiftApus pacificus
Common SwiftApus apus
  
CUCULIFORMES: Cuculidae 
Common CuckooCuculus canorus
Oriental CuckooCuculus optatus
  
GRUIFORMES: Rallidae 
Western Water RailRallus aquaticus
CorncrakeCrex crex
Spotted CrakePorzana porzana
Little CrakeZapornia parva
Baillon’s CrakeZapornia pusilla
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
Common CootFulica atra
  
GRUIFORMES: Gruidae 
Demoiselle CraneGrus virgo
Common CraneGrus grus
  
OTIDIFORMES: Otididae 
Little BustardTetrax tetrax
Great BustardOtis tarda
Macqueen’s BustardChlamydotis macqueenii
  
GAVIIFORMES: Gaviidae 
Red-throated DiverGavia stellata
Black-throated DiverGavia arctica
  
PELECANIFORMES: Ciconiidae 
Black StorkCiconia nigra
  
PELECANIFORMES: Pelecanidae 
Great White PelicanPelecanus onocrotalus
Dalmatian PelicanPelecanus crispus
  
PELECANIFORMES: Ardeidae 
Eurasian BitternBotaurus stellaris
Little BitternIxobrychus minutus
Grey HeronArdea cinerea
Great EgretArdea alba
  
PELECANIFORMES: Threskiornithidae 
Eurasian SpoonbillPlatalea leucorodia
Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellus
  
PELECANIFORMES: Phalacrocoracidae 
Great CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo
  
CHARADRIIFORMES: Burhinidae 
Eurasian Thick-kneeBurhinus oedicnemus
  
CHARADRIIFORMES: Haematopodidae 
Eurasian OystercatcherHaematopus ostralegus
IbisbillIbidorhyncha struthersii
  
CHARADRIIFORMES: Recurvirostridae 
Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosetta
Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopus
  
CHARADRIIFORMES: Charadriidae 
Pacific Golden PloverPluvialis fulva
Eurasian DotterelEudromias morinellus
Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticula
Little Ringed PloverCharadrius dubius
Kentish PloverCharadrius alexandrinus
Greater Sand PloverCharadrius leschenaultii
Caspian PloverCharadrius asiaticus
Northern LapwingVanellus vanellus
Sociable LapwingVanellus gregarius
  
CHARADRIIFORMES: Scolopacidae 
Eurasian CurlewNumenius arquata
Black-tailed GodwitLimosa limosa
RuffCalidris pugnax
Little StintCalidris minuta
Asian DowitcherLimnodromus semipalmatus
Eurasian WoodcockScolopax rusticola
Solitary SnipeGallinago solitaria
Swinhoe’s SnipeGallinago megala
Great SnipeGallinago media
Common SnipeGallinago gallinago
Terek SandpiperXenus cinereus
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
Green SandpiperTringa ochropus
Spotted RedshankTringa erythropus
Common RedshankTringa totanus
Wood SandpiperTringa glareola
Marsh SandpiperTringa stagnatilis
  
CHARADRIIFORMES: Glareolidae 
Collared PratincoleGlareola pratincola
Black-winged PratincoleGlareola nordmanni
  
CHARADRIIFORMES: Laridae 
Black-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus
Little GullHydrocoloeus minutus
Relict GullIchthyaetus relictus
Pallas’s GullIchthyaetus ichthyaetus
Mew GullLarus canus
Lesser Black-backed GullLarus fuscus
Caspian GullLarus cachinnans
Little TernSternula albifrons
Gull-billed TernGelochelidon nilotica
Caspian TernHydroprogne caspia
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybrida
White-winged TernChlidonias leucopterus
Black TernChlidonias niger
Common TernSterna hirundo
  
ACCIPITRIFORMES: Pandionidae 
OspreyPandion haliaetus
  
ACCIPITRIFORMES: Accipitridae 
European Honey BuzzardPernis apivorus
Oriental Honey BuzzardPernis ptilorhynchus
Bearded VultureGypaetus barbatus
Egyptian VultureNeophron percnopterus
Short-toed EagleCircaetus gallicus
Himalayan VultureGyps himalayensis
Griffon VultureGyps fulvus
Cinereous VultureAegypius monachus
Greater Spotted EagleClanga clanga
Steppe EagleAquila nipalensis
Eastern Imperial EagleAquila heliaca
Golden EagleAquila chrysaetos
Booted EagleHieraaetus pennatus
Western Marsh HarrierCircus aeruginosus
Hen HarrierCircus cyaneus
Pallid HarrierCircus macrourus
Montagu’s HarrierCircus pygargus
ShikraAccipiter badius
Eurasian SparrowhawkAccipiter nisus
Pallas’s Fish EagleHaliaeetus leucoryphus
White-tailed Sea EagleHaliaeetus albicilla
Black KiteMilvus migrans
Rough-legged BuzzardButeo lagopus
Eurasian BuzzardButeo buteo
Long-legged BuzzardButeo rufinus
Upland BuzzardButeo hemilasius
  
STRIGIFORMES: Strigidae 
Hawk OwlSurnia ulula
Eurasian Pygmy OwlGlaucidium passerinum
Little OwlAthene noctua
Tengmalm’s OwlAegolius funereus
Eurasian Scops OwlOtus scops
Northern Long-eared OwlAsio otus
Short-eared OwlAsio flammeus
Ural OwlStrix uralensis
Great Grey OwlStrix nebulosa
Snowy OwlBubo scandiacus
Eurasian Eagle OwlBubo bubo
  
BUCEROTIFORMES: Upupidae 
Common HoopoeUpupa epops
  
PICIFORMES: Picidae 
Northern WryneckJynx torquilla
Grey-headed WoodpeckerPicus canus
Black WoodpeckerDryocopus martius
Lesser Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos minor
White-backed WoodpeckerDendrocopos leucotos
White-winged WoodpeckerDendrocopos leucopterus
Great Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos major
Eurasian Three-toed WoodpeckerPicoides tridactylus
  
CORACIIFORMES: Meropidae 
Blue-cheeked Bee-eaterMerops persicus
European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster
  
CORACIIFORMES: Coraciidae 
European RollerCoracias garrulus
  
CORACIIFORMES: Alcedinidae 
Common KingfisherAlcedo atthis
  
FALCONIFORMES: Falconidae 
Lesser KestrelFalco naumanni
Common KestrelFalco tinnunculus
Red-footed FalconFalco vespertinus
MerlinFalco columbarius
Eurasian HobbyFalco subbuteo
Saker FalconFalco cherrug
Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Oriolidae 
Eurasian Golden OrioleOriolus oriolus
Indian Golden OrioleOriolus kundoo
  
PASSERIFORMES: Laniidae 
Brown ShrikeLanius cristatus
Red-backed ShrikeLanius collurio
Turkestan ShrikeLanius phoenicuroides
Isabelline ShrikeLanius isabellinus
Lesser Grey ShrikeLanius minor
Great Grey ShrikeLanius excubitor
Northern ShrikeLanius borealis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Corvidae 
Red-billed ChoughPyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Alpine ChoughPyrrhocorax graculus
Siberian JayPerisoreus infaustus
Eurasian JayGarrulus glandarius
Eurasian MagpiePica pica
Eurasian NutcrackerNucifraga caryocatactes
Eurasian JackdawCorvus monedula
RookCorvus frugilegus
Common RavenCorvus corax
Carrion CrowCorvus corone
  
PASSERIFORMES: Prunellidae 
Altai AccentorPrunella himalayana
Alpine AccentorPrunella collaris
Brown AccentorPrunella fulvescens
Black-throated AccentorPrunella atrogularis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Passeridae 
Saxaul SparrowPasser ammodendri
House SparrowPasser domesticus
Spanish SparrowPasser hispaniolensis
Eurasian Tree SparrowPasser montanus
Eurasian Rock SparrowPetronia petronia
White-winged SnowfinchMontifringilla nivalis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Motacillidae 
Tree PipitAnthus trivialis
Water PipitAnthus spinoletta
Richard’s PipitAnthus richardi
Tawny PipitAnthus campestris
Grey WagtailMotacilla cinerea
Citrine WagtailMotacilla citreola
White WagtailMotacilla alba
  
PASSERIFORMES: Fringillidae 
Common ChaffinchFringilla coelebs
BramblingFringilla montifringilla
White-winged GrosbeakMycerobas carnipes
HawfinchCoccothraustes coccothraustes
Common RosefinchErythrina erythrina
Great RosefinchCarpodacus rubicilla
Long-tailed RosefinchCarpodacus sibiricus
Pallas’s RosefinchCarpodacus roseus
Red-mantled RosefinchCarpodacus rhodochlamys
Pine GrosbeakPinicola enucleator
Eurasian BullfinchPyrrhula pyrrhula
Mongolian FinchEremopsaltria mongolica
Plain Mountain FinchLeucosticte nemoricola
Brandt’s Mountain FinchLeucosticte brandti
Asian Rosy FinchLeucosticte arctoa
Desert FinchRhodospiza obsoleta
TwiteLinaria flavirostris
Common LinnetLinaria cannabina
Common RedpollAcanthis flammea
Red CrossbillLoxia curvirostra
European GoldfinchCarduelis carduelis
Red-fronted SerinSerinus pusillus
Eurasian SiskinSpinus spinus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Calcariidae 
Lapland LongspurCalcarius lapponicus
Snow BuntingPlectrophenax nivalis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Emberizidae 
Red-headed BuntingGranativora bruniceps
Corn BuntingEmberiza calandra
Meadow BuntingEmberiza cioides
Godlewski’s BuntingEmberiza godlewskii
Rock BuntingEmberiza cia
Grey-necked BuntingEmberiza buchanani
Ortolan BuntingEmberiza hortulana
YellowhammerEmberiza citrinella
Pine BuntingEmberiza leucocephalos
Pallas’s Reed BuntingSchoeniclus pallasi
Eurasian Reed BuntingSchoeniclus schoeniclus
Rustic BuntingSchoeniclus rusticus
Yellow-breasted BuntingSchoeniclus aureolus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Paridae 
Coal TitPeriparus ater
Willow TitPoecile montanus
Siberian TitPoecile cinctus
Azure TitCyanistes cyanus
Great TitParus major
Turkestan TitParus bokharensis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Remizidae 
European Penduline TitRemiz pendulinus
Black-headed Penduline TitRemiz macronyx
Eastern Penduline TitRemiz consobrinus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Alaudidae 
Lesser Short-toed LarkAlaudala rufescens
Bimaculated LarkMelanocorypha bimaculata
Calandra LarkMelanocorypha calandra
Black LarkMelanocorypha yeltoniensis
Greater Short-toed LarkCalandrella brachydactyla
Horned LarkEremophila alpestris
White-winged LarkAlauda leucoptera
Eurasian Sky LarkAlauda arvensis
Oriental Sky LarkAlauda gulgula
Crested LarkGalerida cristata
  
PASSERIFORMES: Panuridae 
Bearded ReedlingPanurus biarmicus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Locustellidae 
Rusty-rumped WarblerLocustella certhiola
Lanceolated WarblerLocustella lanceolata
Savi’s WarblerLocustella luscinioides
River WarblerLocustella fluviatilis
Grasshopper WarblerLocustella naevia
  
PASSERIFORMES: Acrocephalidae 
Booted WarblerIduna caligata
Sykes’s WarblerIduna rama
Icterine WarblerHippolais icterina
Sedge WarblerAcrocephalus schoenobaenus
Blyth’s Reed WarblerAcrocephalus dumetorum
Common Reed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus
Paddyfield WarblerAcrocephalus agricola
Great Reed WarblerAcrocephalus arundinaceus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Hirundinidae 
Northern House MartinDelichon urbicum
Red-rumped SwallowCecropis daurica
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
Eurasian Crag MartinPtyonoprogne rupestris
Sand MartinRiparia riparia
Pale MartinRiparia diluta
  
PASSERIFORMES: Phylloscopidae 
Wood WarblerRhadina sibilatrix
Yellow-browed WarblerAbrornis inornatus
Hume’s Leaf WarblerAbrornis humei
Dusky WarblerPhylloscopus fuscatus
Willow WarblerPhylloscopus trochilus
Common ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita
Mountain ChiffchaffPhylloscopus lorenzii
Sulphur-bellied WarblerPhylloscopus griseolus
Radde’s WarblerPhylloscopus schwarzi
Greenish Leaf WarblerSeicercus trochiloides
Arctic WarblerSeicercus borealis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Scotocercidae 
Cetti’s WarblerCettia cetti
  
PASSERIFORMES: Aegithalidae 
White-browed Tit WarblerLeptopoecile sophiae
Long-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Sylviidae 
Eurasian BlackcapSylvia atricapilla
Garden WarblerSylvia borin
Asian Desert WarblerCurruca nana
Barred WarblerCurruca nisoria
Eastern Orphean WarblerCurruca crassirostris
Lesser WhitethroatCurruca curruca
Common WhitethroatCurruca communis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Regulidae 
GoldcrestRegulus regulus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Bombycillidae 
Bohemian WaxwingBombycilla garrulus
  
PASSERIFORMES: Certhiidae 
Eurasian TreecreeperCerthia familiaris
  
PASSERIFORMES: Sittidae 
Eurasian NuthatchSitta europaea
WallcreeperTichodroma muraria
  
PASSERIFORMES: Troglodytidae 
Eurasian WrenTroglodytes troglodytes
  
PASSERIFORMES: Sturnidae 
Common StarlingSturnus vulgaris
Rosy StarlingPastor roseus
Common MynaAcridotheres tristis
  
PASSERIFORMES: Cinclidae 
White-throated DipperCinclus cinclus
Brown DipperCinclus pallasii
  
PASSERIFORMES: Muscicapidae 
Spotted FlycatcherMuscicapa striata
Siberian Blue RobinLarvivora cyane
Thrush NightingaleLuscinia luscinia
Common NightingaleLuscinia megarhynchos
BluethroatLuscinia svecica
White-tailed RubythroatCalliope pectoralis
Siberian RubythroatCalliope calliope
Red-flanked BluetailTarsiger cyanurus
Taiga FlycatcherFicedula albicilla
European Pied FlycatcherFicedula hypoleuca
Blue-capped RedstartAdelura coeruleocephala
Eversmann’s RedstartAdelura erythronota
Common RedstartPhoenicurus phoenicurus
Black RedstartPhoenicurus ochruros
Güldenstädt’s RedstartPhoenicurus erythrogastrus
Common Rock ThrushMonticola saxatilis
WhinchatSaxicola rubetra
Eastern StonechatSaxicola maurus
Northern WheatearOenanthe oenanthe
Isabelline WheatearOenanthe isabellina
Desert WheatearOenanthe deserti
Pied WheatearOenanthe pleschanka
  
PASSERIFORMES: Turdidae 
White’s ThrushZoothera aurea
Mistle ThrushTurdus viscivorus
Song ThrushTurdus philomelos
RedwingTurdus iliacus
Eurasian BlackbirdTurdus merula
FieldfareTurdus pilaris
Black-throated ThrushTurdus atrogularis
Red-throated ThrushTurdus ruficollis
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