Eurasia, the largest continent on earth, boasts a diverse range of avian life, with over 2000 species of birds. The continent includes an array of environments and habitats, from the Arctic tundra in the north to the tropical forests in the south.
The diversity of birdlife in Eurasia is due in part to the diverse landscapes and geographic features of the region, as well as the profound influence of the human cultures that have influenced the natural environment over thousands of years.
This article will explore the rich history and diverse habitats of Eurasia and how they have contributed to the unique birdlife of the region.
1. Red-crested pochard
The Red-crested Pochard is a beautiful diving duck, easily recognizable by its golden-red head and neck.
Found in southern Europe and Central Asia to Mongolia, this large bird also spends winter months along the Indian subcontinent and Africa.
They inhabit lowland marshes and lakes where they feed on aquatic plants as well as small fish or insects that they dive for.
In flight, their wings make a loud whistling sound due to their size which gives away their presence even when far off.
These birds are social creatures often found swimming in flocks of several dozens making them an impressive sight indeed.Scientific classification:
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2. Red-footed falcon
The Red-footed Falcon is a majestic bird of prey belonging to the Falconidae family. Found mainly in eastern Europe and Asia, numbers are unfortunately dwindling due to habitat loss and hunting.
This species migrates south for winter, with many birds making their way as far west as western Europe. In August 2004 one was even spotted in Britain; quite an impressive feat.
They have a striking plumage consisting of rich chestnut red legs contrasting against its grey wings and white underbelly - lending itself well to identification from afar.
The diet of this raptor mostly consists of small mammals such as mice or voles but it has also been known to feed on insects too.
A threatened species, conservation efforts must be made if we wish for generations after us to appreciate these beautiful falcons that soar across our skies.Scientific classification:
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3. Eurasian collared dove
The Eurasian collared dove is a species of bird native to Europe and Asia, with its range expanding through introduction in Japan, North America, and islands in the Caribbean.
It has become so widespread that it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. The scientific name for this bird was proposed by Hungarian naturalist Imre Frivaldsz - Columba decaocto.
This beautiful creature typically measures between 33-37 cm from tip to tail feathers, displaying an overall greyish brown plumage; they also have distinctive black half collar around their neck which gives them their common name.
These birds are mainly found inhabiting open woodlands or agricultural lands near human settlements where there's plenty of food available such as grain fields or gardens where fruits can be eaten off trees.
With a vast global population trend increasing steadily each year these birds make great additions to many backyards throughout the world.Scientific classification:
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4. Old World orioles
Old World orioles are a family of passerine birds found in the Old World. It comprises four genera: piopios, figbirds, pitohuis and the original genus Oriolus.
The African black-headed species have sometimes been removed from this latter group due to their distinct characteristics as well as other proposed splits for Oriolus.
These colorful birds can be identified by their bright yellow or orange plumage that often features darker markings on wings and head areas, although some species may also display a blue hue or stripes across the body feathers.
They typically feed on insects such as caterpillars and grasshoppers but will supplement with small fruits when available too - making them beneficial additions to gardens.Scientific classification:
|Family||Oriolidae Vigors, 1825|
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5. Great crested grebe
The great crested grebe is a beautiful water bird belonging to the grebe family. It is easily identified by its striking head crest, which it displays during mating rituals.
Originally classified in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus as Colymbus cristatus, this species has since become the type example for all other members of its genus Podiceps.
Great crested grebes are known for their intricate courtship behavior such as synchronized swimming and "head-shaking" motions used to attract mates.
They also possess unique features like red eyes and lobed feet that help them swim efficiently underwater when hunting for food.
The great crested grebe can be found throughout much of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia where they inhabit freshwater wetlands or shallow lakeshores with plenty of vegetation nearby to hide from predators while nestingScientific classification:
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6. Eurasian hoopoe
The Eurasian hoopoe is a unique and stunning bird. Its cinnamon-coloured body contrasts sharply with its black-and-white wings, while the tall erectile crest gives it an even more distinctive appearance.
It also has a broad white band across its black tail and a long narrow downcurved beak. When you hear this species of birds call, it's typically "oop-oop-oop", very soft yet unmistakable in tone.
This beautiful creature can be found throughout Europe, Asia and northern Africa where they mainly migrate for cooler climates during winter months.
The Eurasian hoopoe is truly one of nature’s most majestic creations – from their vibrant plumage to their mellow calls - making them unforgettable creatures that will never cease to amaze us all.Scientific classification:
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7. Eurasian jay
The Eurasian jay is a beautiful passerine bird of the crow family, Corvidae. It has bright pinkish brown plumage with white throat and two black stripes on each side.
The upper wings have an eye-catching blue panel while its tail is all black in color. This species mainly resides in woodlands, spanning over vast regions from western Europe to India and even north-west Africa.
Its diet consists of small invertebrates like insects as well as fruits, seeds and nuts making it quite adaptable when it comes to food sources.
With its loud calls echoing through the forests they inhabit, this amazing creature will definitely make your day brighter if you ever get the chance to spot one.Scientific classification:
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8. Eurasian hobby
The Eurasian hobby, or simply Hobby, is a small and slim falcon belonging to the Hypotriorchis subgenus. The species was first formally described by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 as Falco subbuteo.
It has long pointed wings and tail that allow it to perform acrobatic maneuvers when hunting for prey such as dragonflies, swallows and swifts in flight.
Its habitat includes open woodland areas with tall trees suitable for nesting where it can be seen gliding gracefully on its silent wings during the summer months of northern Europe.
This shy bird of prey is an amazing sight due to its agility and speed; a true symbol of majesty in nature.Scientific classification:
9. Eurasian wren
The Eurasian Wren is a small, insectivorous bird that can be found throughout Europe and Africa.
It has russet-brown upperparts with paler buff-brown underparts and its most notable feature is its short tail which it holds upright in flight or when perched.
Its neck is also quite short while the bill tends to be long and thin.
The species prefers dense vegetation like hedgerows, woodland edges and parks as well as coastal areas where there are plenty of insects for them to feed on such as spiders, beetles, caterpillars etc..
Their song consists mainly of high notes that vary between regions but usually ends with four or five repeated trills - making them an easily identifiable addition to any garden.Scientific classification:
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10. Hooded crow
The Hooded Crow is a large bird native to Northern, Eastern and Southeastern Europe as well as parts of the Middle East. Its feathers are an ash grey colour with black head, throat, wings, tail and thigh feathers.
It has a black bill, eyes and feet like other corvids in its genus. This species can adapt to multiple habitats from forests to agricultural land which makes them quite successful at finding food sources - whether it be plants or animals.
They are omnivorous birds so they will eat insects such as beetles along with small mammals like mice too.
Despite their fierce appearance due to their dark plumage these crows have been known for being rather timid around humans but still make great pets if given enough time by owners who understand their behaviour patterns properlyScientific classification:
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The Garganey is a small dabbling duck that breeds in much of Europe and across the Palearctic. During winter, it migrates to southern Africa, India (Santragachi), Bangladesh (in Sylhet district) and Australasia where large flocks can be seen.
It has an unmistakable appearance with its brownish head and grey body covered by white patches on both sides along with blue speculum feathers at the back of wings.
Its diet mostly consists of aquatic vegetation such as grasses, sedges or pondweeds which are usually collected from shallow waters like marshes or ponds while swimming.
The species is vulnerable due to loss of wetland habitats caused by drainage for agriculture purposes or urban development making them increasingly rarer throughout their range.Scientific classification:
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12. Pied wheatear
The Pied Wheatear is a small migratory bird found in Central Asia and parts of Europe, the Middle East, India and China.
It is an insectivore with its diet consisting mainly of insects such as flies, beetles and moths.
Its plumage consists mostly of black feathers on its wings and tail along white-grayish spots which gives it a distinct ‘pied’ effect that makes it quite easy to spot among other birds.
During migration season they tend to fly high up in the sky forming large flocks which can be seen from great distances away.
As far as conservation status goes this species isn't considered threatened but due to habitat destruction their numbers are declining gradually over time making them vulnerable for potential future extinctions if not properly taken care off soon enough.Scientific classification:
13. Grey wagtail
The Grey Wagtail is a beautiful bird species, belonging to the Motacillidae family. It measures 18-19 cm in length and has distinctive black throat markings for breeding males.
Their yellow colouring on their underside extends from the throat to the vent area only. This species can be found across Europe and Siberia during its breeding season before migrating further south towards tropical areas of Asia or Africa.
Its diet consists mainly of insects which it catches with quick movements as it usually hops or flutters around watercourses such as streams, rivers or lakesides - although they are also seen near roads too.
The grey wagtail makes an attractive addition to any garden so why not give them a chance by providing food sources like peanuts and sunflower hearts?Scientific classification:
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The Merlin is a small species of falcon found in the Northern Hemisphere. It has many subspecies across North America and Eurasia, and was once known as a Pigeon Hawk in North America.
Merlins breed mainly during summer months but some migrate to subtropical or northern tropical regions for winter season.
Males have wingspans ranging between 53-58 centimeters while females have slightly larger wingspan of 60-65 centimeters.
These birds are powerful fliers with fast aerial pursuits that can reach up to 50 mph.
Their diet consists mainly of insects, small mammals and other small birds which they hunt using their keen vision from high altitudes followed by swift dives down towards its prey at incredible speeds.
The Merlin continues to be an iconic symbol amongst bird enthusiasts due to its majestic beauty despite facing habitat loss around the world due to human activities such as deforestation and urbanization.Scientific classification:
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15. Eurasian tree sparrow
The Eurasian tree sparrow is a passerine bird in the sparrow family, easily recognizable by its chestnut crown and nape as well as black cheek patches.
Both males and females have similar plumage, while young birds appear duller than adults.
This species has an extensive range covering most of temperate Eurasia and Southeast Asia where it goes by the name 'tree sparrow'.
It has also been introduced to other countries outside these regions. The bird feeds on grains, fruits and insects with preference for open areas near human settlements such as farmland or villages.
They are social creatures that can be found in small flocks all year round but do not migrate long distances like some species of their kind.Scientific classification:
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16. Typical Magpies
The typical magpie is a medium-sized bird with an unmistakable black and white plumage.
Its long tail gives it an elongated silhouette, while its bold markings of black patches on the wings, back and head make it easily recognizable by even novice birdwatchers.
It usually lives in pairs or small groups and can be seen foraging through gardens searching for food such as insects, berries, fruits and nuts.
Magpies are very vocal birds that produce a variety of calls including harsh chattering noises which they use to communicate between each other within their group.
They inhabit many different habitats from deserts to forests across Europe, Asia, North America and Africa where they play an important role as scavengers cleaning up dead animals that may otherwise spread disease or rot away uneaten.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Pica Brisson, 1760|
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17. Little grebe
The little grebe, also known as dabchick, belongs to the grebe family and is a small water bird. It gets its genus name from the Ancient Greek words for 'fast' and 'to sink under'.
The specific name ruficollis means 'red-necked' in Latin. With a length of 23 to 29 centimetres, it is the smallest member of the grebe family.Scientific classification:
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18. Eurasian magpie
The Eurasian magpie, also known as the common magpie, is a bird found in the northern part of the Eurasian continent. It belongs to the corvids family and is part of the "monochrome" magpies.
The bird is a resident breeder that is always available in Europe. The only other magpie found in Europe is the Iberian magpie.
The magpie is often used as a synonym for the Eurasian magpie by English speakers.
The bird has a distinct black and white appearance and is known for its intelligent behavior. It can imitate sounds heard in its environment and also demonstrates self-awareness.
The Eurasian magpie is omnivorous and feeds on insects, small mammals, and fruits.
It forms monogamous pairs that last for a lifetime and builds nests in trees or bushes. The bird is not endangered and is often regarded as a nuisance due to its habit of raiding gardens for food.Scientific classification:
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19. Pallid harrier
The Pallid harrier, also known as Circus macrourus, is a migratory bird of prey that belongs to the harrier subfamily.
Its name is derived from the Ancient Greek words kirkos and makros- referring to its circling flight and long-tailed structure, respectively.
This species breeds in the southern regions of eastern Europe and is known for its impressive aerial displays during courtship.
The Pallid harrier is also remarkable for its unique foraging behavior, as it typically preys on small mammals, insects, and birds while in flight.
Unfortunately, like many bird species, the Pallid harrier is under threat due to habitat loss and changes in land use practices.
Conservation efforts are underway to protect this stunning bird of prey and preserve its natural habitat for future generations to come.Scientific classification:
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20. Eurasian wigeon
The Eurasian wigeon, also known as the widgeon, is a dabbling duck found throughout its Palearctic range. This species belongs to the genus Mareca and is one of three species of wigeons.
Carl Linnaeus described the Eurasian wigeon in 1758 under the binomial name Anas penelope. This bird is common and widespread across its range.
The Eurasian wigeon is a beautiful bird with a distinctive yellow forecrown, pink breast, and gray-blue beak, and is known for its whistling call.
They are often found in wetlands, where they feed on aquatic plants and invertebrates. The male has a striking breeding plumage, with a chestnut head and neck, gray body, and black-and-white wings.
The female is less colorful, with a brown head and a mottled brown body. This bird is important for both its ecological and cultural value.Scientific classification:
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21. Meadow pipit
The Meadow pipit is a small bird that is found in the Palearctic region. It breeds in various parts of the region, including southeastern Greenland, Iceland, and central France.
The bird also inhabits areas east of the Ural Mountains, and a small isolated population can be found in the Caucasus Mountains. The Meadow pipit is a migratory bird and travels extensively during this time.
It winters in different parts of southern Europe, North Africa, and southwest Asia. Due to its size and active behavior, it is known to be a difficult bird to locate in open grasslands and meadows.
The Meadow pipit feeds on insects and other small invertebrates and has a melodious song.
Although the bird is widespread, its populations have been affected by changes in agricultural practices, and urbanization.Scientific classification:
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22. Pied avocet
The pied avocet is a distinctive wader bird, easily recognized by its black and white plumage and upturned bill.
Found in temperate Europe and the Palearctic region, these birds migrate to Africa or southern Asia for the winter.
However, some of them can stay in the southern part of their breeding range. These birds are known for their distinctive feeding behavior, where they sweep their bills side to side through shallow water to locate prey.
They mainly feed on aquatic invertebrates, such as insects and crustaceans.
The pied avocet can be found in a range of wetland habitats, including coastal lagoons, estuaries, and shallow lakes.
They breed in colonies and make nests on the ground, which are often located on islands or raised mounds.
These birds are considered to be of least concern for conservation, although habitat loss and disturbance can pose a threat to their populations.Scientific classification:
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Mareca is a type of duck that belongs to the family Anatidae. It includes various species of wigeons that were formerly placed under the genus Anas. However, recent research reveals that Anas, as previously defined, was not monophyletic.
Thus, based on phylogenetic studies, Anas was separated into four clades, one of which is now referred to as Mareca. This genus or subgenus of ducks has unique characteristics that distinguish them from other waterfowl. Mareca is a fascinating bird that is widely appreciated for its beauty and ecological importance.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Mareca Stephens, 1824|