The standard field guide, A Field Guide to the Birds of Armenia, lists 346 species of bird as having been recorded in Armenia up to 1997. However, as there are only a few observers many vagrants and casuals must go unrecorded. Armenia is at the boundary of two faunal zones and the north sees northern species at the southern limit of their range while the south sees southern species and those from the eastern Mediterranean at their northern limit. Raptors are surprisingly common and easy to see. Five species of eagle breed in Armenia: lesser spotted, golden, booted, steppe, and short-toed snake-eagle.
This is in addition to osprey, four vultures, two harriers and a good selection of buzzards and falcons. Other large and conspicuous birds include white and black storks, the former mainly in the Arax Valley where their nests are conspicuous in some places on top of electricity poles. The Dalmatian pelican breeds in the country andgreat white pelicans are year-round visitors. Specialities of the Caucasus include Caucasian grouse and Caspian snowcock, both of which are endangered and difficult to see without a knowledgeable local guide in their subalpine and alpine meadows. Smaller birds of note include both eastern and western rock nuthatches, white-tailed lapwing, Persian wheatear, Armenian gull, white-throated robin and Finsch's wheatear. Raptor migration in autumn is very rewarding as Armenia is on a major flightway between the Black and Caspian seas with the most numerous species being steppe buzzard, steppe and lesser spotted eagles, and Montagu's and pallid harriers, honey buzzard, Levant sparrowhawk, lesser kestrel and black kite. September sees migrating demoiselle cranes at Lake Sevan with daily totals of up to 4,500 being recorded.
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