The variety of bird life on the island, especially during the periods of migration, has made it one of the best bird watching locations to be found in Europe. You will often see groups of birdwatchers racing across the island after reports of a rare bird being sighted.
The varied eco-systems around the area of Kaloni which include wetlands, salt pans, reed thickets, olives groves and forests are home to many species and over 130 species have been recorded in the wetland area alone.
There are many bird watching facilities including specially built observation huts from which Flamingos, Storks, both black and white, Kingfisher, Spanish Sparrow and Nightingales with their seemingly never ending song can be observed along with many others.
Wetland species include Crakes, Little Bittern, Garganey and Purple Heron with Hirundines to be found roosting in the tall reeds. Kentish Plover, Great White Egrets and Stone Curlew are amongst the waders that can be seen on the beach or salt marshes and Great Creasted and Black Necked Grebes can be spotted over the sea. Flocks of Martins and Swallow swirl around and are a treat to behold and occassionally Long Eared and Scoop Owls can be spotted in the area.
Elswehere reed fringed lakes are excellent for spotting the more secretive varieties of bird and one the rarest Crakes, Baillon's Crake is found at such locations along with herons and warblers. The mountains are a good place to spot long-legged buzzard, short toed eagle and the occasional Eleanora's Falcon.
If everything around you suddenly takes flight check the skies, it could be an Osprey, large Eagle or a Pelican on the hunt for some lunch.
We will be expanding this page to provide more information on the bird species to be found on the island as well as the best places and times to spot them but for now here is a brief list of other birds you can find here.
Tringa Totanus, also known as the Common Redshank a nervous bird which flies off into the air at the slightest disturbance.
The Avocet which uses its upwardly curved bill to sweep though shallow water for insects and small water animals.
Grey, Purple, Squacco and Night Herons,
Wood & Curlew Sandpipers,
Little Ringed Plover,
Greater Flamingo - the largest of the flamingo species
Olivaceous and Great Reed,
Subalpine and Orphean Warblers and from late April the Olive Tree Warbler.
Yellow Wagtails which can often be seen in their hundreds,
Red-Throated Pipits and Black-eared Wheatears.
Black headed buntings and Bee-eaters can be found perching on fences and trees whilst the song of the Cirl Bunting can often be heard around the island.
The rockier areas are the favoured location of the rare yellow-headed Cinereous Bunting and Rock Sparrow whilst Rock Nuthatches bounce among the rocks and build funnel-shaped nests made of mud to keep their young safe from predators.
Shrikes are best spotted in fields and groves by rivers and include Woodchat, Red-backed, Masked and Lesser grey.
Krüper’s Nuthatch which is classified as near threatened although its population on the island is now considered stable, can be found in pinewoods bouncing from pine to pine.
Roller and Collared Flycatcher and another scarcity, the breeding Rüppell’s Warbler with its white moustaches and black hood.
Amongst others you can also expect to find Cretzschmar's Buntings, Golden Oriole, Crag Martin, Rufous Bush Chats, Great Reed Warbler, Isabelline
Yelkouan Shearwater and Scolpoli’s shearwater,
Audouin’s Gull a large and once one of the worlds rarest gulls with under a thousand pairs recorded, it has since recovered and there are now estimated to be approx 10,000 pairs worldwide.
Marsh terns such as the White-winged Black, Whiskered and Black Terns, sometimes in flocks numbering over 100 and Gull-billed Terns.
Swifts including the odd Pallid Swift with its white throat patch and the Alpine Swift
Red Footed Falcon,
Eagles such as the Short Toed Eagle,
Honey-Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk,
Long-legged Buzzard and
Long Eared Owl and
Other birds that can be found are
Blue Rock Thrush,
Middle Spotted Woodpecker,
Sombre Tit and Hoopoe - colourful and distinctive with its 'crown' of feathers
Breeding birds such as the
Blue Rock Thrush,
Orphean Warbler and
Black-headed and Cretzschmar’s Buntings