Bird watching in Iran
Our vast country and its varied climatic and environmental zones happen to lie on the path of two major bird migratory routes. These bring some 370 species of birds to our land, complementing our own resident birds, making our lakes and wetlands important stopping stations. Spring and autumn migrations are seasons for birdwatching in Iran.
There are many permanent and seasonal lakes and wetlands dotted around the country offering bird watching opportunities. The island of Qeshm, Minkaleh peninsula, and the wetlands of Anzali and Mighan are amongst the best locations for ‘twitchers’.
Talab e Anzali: A lagoon of some 20,000 hectares with a depth varying between 1 to 9 meters Anzali is probably one of the many important eco-systems along the Caspian coast. It hosts very many of migratory birds and has its own residents including many species of water fowls, rarer gulls, black necked and greater grebe, little crake, herons and many more. In spring time, a blanket of beautiful wild water lilies covers the lagoon making for a unique visual experience.
Island of Qeshm:The Largest of Persian Gulf islands is a haven for stationary and migratory birds. With up-to 172 different species recoded to date it is probably one of the best places to watch birds. Rare birds such as green (striated) herons are resident and sooty falcons visit the island.
Talab e Mighan: A wetland and lake in a desert setting and at about 1700 meters above sea level, is heavily influenced by seasonal variations and yearly rain fall. Close to city of Arak in central Iran it is an unusual setting for birdwatching yet every year during the migration seasons flamingos, white storks and grey cranes visit its shores.
Minkaleh Peninsula: This peninsula is located at the most eastern corner of the Iranian Caspian shore. Recorded in UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve directory, it is an area of relatively limited development. It is a refuge and home to many birds and animals and remains one of Iran’s most important natural attractions. The resident birds such as pheasants and black francolins are visited by the migratory flamingos, Caspian terns and many other species of water fowls. It is also an important natural fish breeding location.