Home to the endemic Cyprus Warbler and the Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Cyprus is in the middle of north-south migration routes making it an important stopover for millions of birds every year.
With more than 350 species of birds, there is much to the delight birdwatchers. Besides the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Pied Wheatear, there are four endemic subspecies – the Cyprus Scops owl, the coal tit, the short-toed tree creeper and jay.
There are close to 50 species of resident birds including the griffon vulture, the wren and the chaffinch. Close to 30 migratory species breed regularly on the island.
Adding to the wealth of the island’s feathered kingdom are the 200 or so species of spring and autumn visitors that transit in Cyprus.
Particularly popular winter visitors are the flamingos that grace the salt lakes between October and March where they rest and feed. Ducks also visit the Larnaka and Akrotiri salt lakes in winter. Among the island’s summer visitors are the colourful bee-eaters and the golden oriole. One of the first migrant breeders to arrive in summer is the great spotted cuckoo that lays its eggs in the nests of local magpies and hooded crows.
Another visitor, the Eleonora’s falcon, lays its eggs late in the summer. Hatching coincides with the autumn migration of small birds such as swallows that provide food for the young birds.
Cypriots are keen hunters. Game birds include the francolin. On the coast, visitors can spot gulls and cormorants. The forests are home to Bonelli’s eagle, goshawk and long legged buzzard among others.