People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti ©Bill Simpson
Birding Algeria

Algeria, officially the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country located in North Africa. It is the largest country of the Mediterranean sea, the second largest on the African continent and the eleventh-largest country in the world in terms of land area. It is bordered by Tunisia in the northeast, Libya in the east, Niger in the southeast, Mali and Mauritania in the southwest, a few kilometers of the Western Sahara in the west, Morocco in the northwest, and the Mediterranean Sea in the north. Its size is almost 2,400,000 km² with an estimated population near to 35,000,000. The capital is Algiers.

Most of the coastal area is hilly, sometimes even mountainous, and there are a few natural harbours. The area from the coast to the Tell Atlas is fertile. South of the Tell Atlas is a steppe landscape, which ends with the Saharan Atlas; further south, there is the Sahara desert. The Ahaggar Mountains, also known as the Hoggar, are a highland region in central Sahara, southern Algeria. They are located about 1,500 km (932 miles) south of the capital, Algiers and just west of Tamanghasset.Algiers, Oran, Constantine, and Annaba are Algeria’s main cities.

In this region even in winter, midday desert temperatures can be very hot. After sunset, however, the clear, dry air permits rapid loss of heat, and the nights are cool to chilly. Enormous daily ranges in temperature are recorded. The highest temperature recorded in Tiguentour is 145.4 °F (60.5 °C) and is probably the highest reliable temperature ever recorded in Algeria under standard conditions.

Rainfall is fairly abundant along the coastal part of the Tell Atlas, ranging from 400 to 670 mm annually, the amount of precipitation increasing from west to east. Precipitation is heaviest in the northern part of eastern Algeria, where it reaches as much as 1000 mm in some years. Farther inland, the rainfall is less plentiful. Prevailing winds that are easterly and north-easterly in summer change to westerly and northerly in winter and carry with them a general increase in precipitation from September through December, a decrease in the late winter and spring months, and a near absence of rainfall during the summer months. Algeria also has ergs, or sand dunes between mountains, which in the summer time when winds are heavy and gusty, temperatures can get up to 110 °F (43 °C).

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 416

    (As at September 2018)
  • Number of endemics: 1

    Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti
    The Algerian (formerly called Kabylian) nuthatch population is about 108. It was discovered in 1975, and it is confined to a forested island on one mountain top in Algeria. Goats and cattle prevent adequate regeneration of nearby vegetation. It is one of the 50 most endangered birds in the world.
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
  • iGoTerra Checklist - WP

    Algeria (WP)
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • Oiseaux d'Algerie - The Birds of Algeria

    By Aissa Moali & Paul Isenmann | Societé d'Etudes Ornithologiques de France | 2000 | Paperback | 336 pages, 115 colour photos, 210 maps | ISBN: 2950654886 Buy this book from
  • African Bird Club

    Algeria is the second largest country in Africa and much of the interior is unexplored ornithologically. With over 400 species recorded including the endemic Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti and some of the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean area, there is much to interest the visiting birder. Although Algeria's security situation is stabilising, there are still travel risks but French birdwatchers have been visiting the country again since 2002

Abbreviations Key

  • Important Bird Areas

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Algeria is important for raptors, waterbirds including migrant wintering species, and large steppe birds. It has one endemic species Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti which is a restricted range species, the distribution of which defines the North Algerian mountains secondary Endemic Bird Area. Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti is known from four sites all within 30 km of each other on forested slopes above 1,000 m in the Petite Kabylie mountain range in the Tell region
  • NP Djurdjuran

    InformationSatellite View
    he Djurdjura National Park is a refuge for a wide variety of fauna including hyena, wild boar, crested porcupine, hare, wild cat, jackal, mongoose, weasel, red fox and the Barbary Macaque, sometimes referred to as the Barbary Ape, although it is in fact not an ape, but a member of the Old World monkey species. Birding enthusiasts will appreciate the variety of birds in the park, which include a number of raptors such as the black vulture, booted eagle, long-legged buzzard, kestrel, golden eagle and peregrine falcon.
  • NP El Kala - Lac Oubeïra et Lac Tonga

    InformationSatellite View
    Le caractère exceptionnel d'El Kala réside dans sa réserve naturelle théoriquement protégée qui laisse le visiteur de cette région admiratif et contemplateur. Crée en 1983, Le Parc National s'étend sur une superficie de 76438 ha. Situé au nord-est de l'Algérie, il est limité à l'est par la frontière algéro-tunisienne, au nord par la mer, à l'ouest par le Cap Rosa, au sud par les contreforts du djebel El Ghorra. Le Parc est composé d'une mosaïque d'écosystèmes forestiers, lacustres, dunaires et marins, lui conférant une haute valeur biologique et écologique dans le bassin méditerranéen. Sa flore, sa faune et son patrimoine culturel lui ont valu son inscription en tant que réserve de la Biosphère par l'UNESCO en 1990.
  • NR Djebel Babor

    InformationSatellite View
    This beautiful nature reserve is found in northern Algeria on the slopes of Djebel Babor Mountains. The reserve is particularly a protected forest reserve of Mediterranean conifer and mixed forest. This part of Algeria shares an eco-system or bio-sphere with characteristics similar to those seen in southern Spain and in the High Atlas Mountain ranges that cover most of the other part of North Africa’s coast to the Mediterranean Sea.
Trip Reports
  • 2018 [06 June] - Diedert Koppenol & ​ Lonnie Bregman - Algerian Nuthatch

    Ever since we saw the page of the Algerian Nuthatch in our bird guide we cherished theambition to search for it. The problem was that Algeria had become dangerous after a civilwar started in 1991. The war ended in 2002, but still it was generally not considered safeenough to go. However, in June 2017 Peter Kaestner posted a ​photo​ of the bird on eBird, incombination with the words “Easy twitch from Constantine”. Being stunned by the apparentease with which Peter had visited the place, we immediately e-mailed him to get moreinformation. He told us that it was indeed an easy twitch and that he was surprised that notmore WP birders went there. He also provided us with the e-mail address of Karim Haddad,a local birder who took him to the bird (karim241267[at] We e-mailed Karim andhe told us we were welcome and that is was safe to go.
  • 2018 [09 September] - Karim Haddad

    PDF Report
    The Algerian Nuthatch is the only species endemic of Algeria. It was only observed in four localities isolated from one another. The first discovery was on Mount Babor in 1975.
  • 2018 [10 October] - David Karr - Constantine and Djimla Forest

    PDF Report
    Inspired by the flood of recent reports from birders visiting Algeria for its one endemic, the Algerian Nuthatch, Sitta ledanti, I contacted the resident expert, Karim Haddad, and hopped on a plane with the hope of joining the growing number of fellow enthusiasts to see this enigmatic little bird.
  • 2019 [03 March] - Bob Swann

    PDF Report
    Initially we started planning this trip in November 2018 with a view to visit both the north and south of the country. It was already established that visiting the Algerian Nuthatch site in the north was relatively straightforward.
  • 2019 [05 May] - Max Berlijn - Twitching the Algerian Nuthatch

    PDF Report
    The list order is conformed the WP checklist with the recent changes on the splitting and lumping issue mainly based on publications in the “important magazines”. Subspecies is only mentioned when thought to be important and really visible in the field.
  • 2019 [06 June] - Bert de Bruin - Northern Algeria

    PDF Report
    We made a short trip to Algeria with a stopover with a morning birding at Istanbul. In Istanbul, we were guided by Timur Caglar and in Algeria by Karim Haddad We spent five days in Algeria.
  • 2019 [06 June] - Bill Simpson

    PDF Report
    TOUR Run by Karim Haddad and included 2 nights in the El Khayem Hotel in Constantine, all transport, all food and drinks and guiding along with his brother.
  • 2019 [06 June] - Dick Meijer - Twitching the Algerian Nuthatch

    PDF Report
    Travelling to Algeria to twitch the endemic and highly range-restricted Algerian Nuthatch is difficult to explain to non-birders. Most ambitious birders will understand though why one would invest so much effort, time and money to see this mythical, that was discovered in 1975, species...
Other Links
  • Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti

    The Algerian Nuthatch twitch: easier than you think
  • Les oiseaux d'Algerie

    Annotated list [in french]
  • Ornithologie en Alg

    archived discussion of important birds in the country
  • North Africa Birds


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