Al Ain Zoo … a warm welcome for migratory birds
Various birds freely migrate all over the world in their flocks, crossing various bodies of water, covering long distances and flying over rugged terrain, with their routes forming beautiful artistic paintings, in search for a new shelter with the aim of stability, building nests and breeding. These birds have chosen our Zoo as one of their resting stations. Over the years, large numbers of migratory birds have been monitored in various sites in the Zoo, such as the African Safari and the UAE World Desert displays, utilizing the natural habitats.
Birds find warmth and comfort in our Zoo at different times of the year according to the migration patterns of each species, but the majority and most important ones are present during the winter season. Others are found during spring and autumn, with only a small percentage in the summer season. The migration path of some of the birds is usually limited from parts of Europe to the northern Himalayan region of Asia. Other birds migrate from North Africa to South and Southeast Asia.
Types of migratory birds settling in the Zoo
Our Zoo contains many elements that attract various birds such as the Socotra cormorant, the sooty gull, the white-cheeked tern, the crowned sandgrouse, the black-crowned sparrow-lark, and the yellow-throated sparrow, as well as waders and predatory birds such the osprey and peregrine falcon. Other species include types of Ciconiiformes such as the bittern and the greater flamingo. This is due to the presence of safe reserves, an abundance of shaded places, natural habitat and the presence of clean water pools.
The study of the movement of migratory birds
Al Ain Zoo is keen to study the movements of migratory birds, and takes monthly notes on their numbers, types, and length of stay, comparing the results with other studies in the field of bird migration. The most important finding is a large number of migratory birds present between March and September each year. The most prominent of these types are the Blue-cheeked bee-eater, the sandpiper, and the great reed warbler. Most of them come from their homelands in Africa, head towards Russia in the summer, and then depart from Russia to fly home to Africa via the Emirates. The Zoo has succeeded in observing 7 types of rare birds.
Total birds recorded in 2019
Our Zoo registered a report showing that the bird species recorded in Al Ain Zoo in 2019 numbered about 98 bird species, 25% are resident, 39% are Passage Migrants and 32% winter visitors.