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In Photos, Rare Birds live in southern Saudi Arabia

By : Marwa Mahmoud

A community of rare and endangered bird species has emerged in the city of Asir, southwestern Saudi Arabia, where the essence of the geographical region and its unusual biological diversity has been identified. Around the last few years, amateurs and photographers have been able to document it through light images.

The photographer who loved to document wildlife in Asir from 2008, Awad Al-Shehri mentioned in his conversation with “Al Arabiya.net”, that Asir region includes rare types of birds, foremost among which is Asiri Magpie , whose numbers have receded during the past years to less than 100 pairs only.

 It is one of the birds that does not live anywhere else in the world except in the Asir region, and has recently become threatened with extinction, so many local and international bodies are seeking to protect and save it.

He also added: “The presence of the olive pigeon has been monitored in a small number, and it lives with caution in specific places in the region, which is one of the rarest types of pigeons, which have not been seen for a long time in the Asir region.”

Al-Shehri indicated that there are migratory birds and other endemic birds, in addition to the endangered Asiatic magpies, other birds such as the Arab woodpecker, as well as the Arab beak waxy, the olive bath, the paradise bird, the Arabian partridge, the Philippine partridge and the Yemeni obesity, as these birds live within the geographical and environmental diversity of Azeri region.

He stressed that the decline in some numbers of these birds is a result of some factors, the most important of which are hunting and the decline of natural habitats for them, which were caused by humans as a result of urban expansion and some wrong practices such as cutting trees and throwing waste.

Al-Shehri stressed that following up on the behaviors of these birds and their ways of coexistence with their surroundings gives great information of its deposited skills to adapt to that environment.

He added, “The white belly starlings do not waste their time building their nests, but rather benefit from the nests of the woodpecker that they patiently and carefully built through digging in the trunks of trees, where those birds exploit those nests, especially the old ones, in the breeding seasons to lay eggs in it.”

And about his life as a photographer,  he wakes up as early as the birds around him, and begins his usual daily tour according to a specific plan in which he moves from place to place, and he may be forced to camp and stay for days in some locations

 Sometimes it could be an evening photography trip to monitor some aurora and night birds such as the slave bird and owls, which are not active either in the evening.