KUFPEC along with KPC are fully committed to preserving and protecting the environment, both internationally and at home, by abiding to all environmental standards, especially those set by host governments in areas where we operate. We at KUFPEC firmly endorse these aims and what better way to demonstrate this than by providing a complete guide to all the birds found in Kuwait and helping to ensure their survival for generations to come. It is with extreme honor and utter joy that KUFPEC has provided this priceless book to showcase the beauty and diversity of the birdlife that exists here in our beloved Kuwait. It is our responsibility to the community, and our personal duty to safeguard and conserve the fragile habitat that sustains both the resident and migratory birds. This book will be a valuable tool to raise public awareness of the need to protect the birds and their habitat so as to ensure they continue to visit and pass through Kuwait safely and unharmed each year en-route to their breeding grounds. Just as KUFPEC relies on many countries to fulfill its aims, so too the migrating birds are dependent on many countries they pass through for their safety and survival. Kuwait can provide a safe haven during their incredible journey. So it is with this I wish you all a very enjoyable read, and hope one may learn and use the information found in this wonderfully illustrated guide, to fully appreciate our birds of Kuwait.
Nizar M. Al-Adsani, Chairman and Managing Director of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company,
Address by Biodiversity East
Kuwait is a fascinating crossroads for birds that migrate through Asia, Europe and Africa. Yet until recently, very little was known about its birdlife. Some visitors have painted a bleak and uninspiring picture about the state’s natural environment, particularly after the 1990-91 War. This book is proof of both nature’s revival after a destructive war and this country’s outstanding wildlife riches. Moreover it demonstrates the power of volunteer naturalists to systematically record, document and help promote birdlife. The photography in this book was produced by amateur nature enthusiasts and naturalists – primarily by resident and visiting birders who know Kuwait’s nature and the wider region’s birds very well. Birders learn the language of nature – learn to identify birds by name, and learn which places are important for birds and biodiversity. Since birds are excellent indicators of the general health of landscapes, if we preserve their populations we will also be helping the environment as a whole.
Biodiversity East is an environmental non-governmental organization linking a network of naturalists who care about nature in the Middle East and beyond. It promotes conservation through research, education and ecotourism. Our members have been working for conservation in several Eastern Mediterranean countries and in Arabia for over two decades – working to study sea turtles, birds, fishes, protected areas, and providing policy-relevant consultation, conservation awareness, education, and training services and products. We strive to assist local initiatives to protect wildlife and natural places. This book combines an initiative taken by an industrial corporation that is supported by the volunteer efforts of many citizens and environmental organizations, Biodiversity East and the Kuwait Ornithological Rarities Committee. In a fast changing world, it is up to those of us who respect and enjoy wildlife to take an active role in its study and protection. It is our hope that through this book more people will become deeply interested in birds and biodiversity in Kuwait.
Nancy Papathanasopoulou, Stamatis Zogaris, Vassiliki Vlami, Aris Vidalis, Founding Members of Biodiversity East
This book illustrates all the known recorded species of birds that have ever visited Kuwait up until June 2012. It provides a unique compilation of photographs voluntarily contributed by amateur enthusiasts, many of whom regularly monitor and record birdlife in Kuwait. In addition to the hundreds of images of birds, the reader will also find comprehensive notes and descriptions of their habitats, migration patterns, and guidance on how to participate and enjoy the experience of observing wild birds in Kuwait.
Kuwaitis have long had a close relationship with wildlife – especially birds. Birds bring the deserts and seas to life. They have been both inspiration and sustenance for humans here for centuries. Recently, Kuwait has become an area of increasing interest in birdlife, especially by foreign visitors. This started through a systematic interest in natural history just a few decades ago. A number of expatriates and Kuwaitis that were working in the petroleum industry formed Kuwait’s first amateur wildlife club in 1970, it was known as the Ahmadi Natural History and Field Studies Group, and functioned until the mid 1980s. In 1987 this club transformed into the Kuwait Natural History Group and later, in 1994 developed a special focus on birds, becoming the Kuwait Ornithological Rarities Committee (KORC). Committees such as this focus primarily on organizing the country’s official list of recorded birds and systematically validating and confirming/rejecting bird sightings, specifically confirming records of rare birds. Other groups have also worked on birds in Kuwait and some of these are closely associated with governmental research and environmental bodies. Today KORC is a very small organization but with a very big task to scientifically organize bird reporting, validate rarity sightings and produce Kuwait’s Annual Bird Report. The numbers of bird species officially recorded in Kuwait has increased from 280 in the mid ‘90s to 390 in mid-2012. Since more and more people are involved in observing and photographing birds in Kuwait many rarities are being discovered and new information on the status and frequency of occurrence of birds is being compiled every year. This book is dedicated to the small cadre of amateur wildlife enthusiasts who have helped keep KORC alive – working closely together for the study and conservation of this country’s birds and their habitats.
Mike Pope, Chairman of the Kuwait Ornithological Rarities Committee