Bird Watching

Cyprus is a Great Destination for Bird Watching

Cyprus is a great destination for bird watching, with its diverse habitats and location on the migration route for many bird species. Cyprus is a major staging post used twice a year as birds move between Africa, Europe and Eurasia. During the migration time over 200 different bird species occurring as regular passage migrants in varying numbers. The number of birds stopping over during the spring and autumn migration is impressive as literally millions pass through the island.

Cyprus Endemic Birds

Endemic Bird to Cyprus

Cyprus warbler

Endemic Bird to Cyprus

Cyprus Wheatear

Cyprus Scops Owl

Cyprus is home to several endemic bird species, meaning they are found only on the island and nowhere else in the world. The Cyprus endemic bird area is designated by BirdLife International and includes the following endemic species:

Cyprus warbler (Sylvia melanothorax) – This small bird is found in the marquis and other scrubby habitats across the island, and is known for its melodious song.

Cyprus wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) – This striking bird is found in open, rocky areas and is known for its distinctive white rump and tail.

Cyprus scoops owl (Otus scops cyprius) – This small owl is found in woodland and scrub habitats, and is known for its distinctive call. These endemic species are important for the conservation of Cyprus’ biodiversity and are a key focus for conservation efforts on the island. Protecting their habitats and ensuring their survival is crucial for maintaining the unique natural heritage of Cyprus.

A Group of Birdwatchers

Spring Migration

Spring migration in Cyprus offers a unique and memorable experience for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts, showcasing the beauty and importance of the island’s role in the global bird migration network.

Spring migration in Cyprus is a spectacular natural event, as the island is a crucial stopover point for millions of migratory birds travelling between Africa and Europe. The spring migration typically starts as early as February to May, with the peak period being in April.

More Birdwatchers

Birdwatchers From Around the World

During this time, birdwatchers from around the world flock to Cyprus to witness the incredible sight of birds such as swallows, warblers, raptors, and many other species making their way across the island. The diverse habitats of Cyprus, including wetlands, forests, and coastal areas, provide essential resting and refuelling points for the migrating birds.

Spring migration in Cyprus is not only a significant natural phenomenon but also a vital conservation issue, as the island faces challenges such as illegal bird trapping and habitat destruction. Efforts to protect and preserve the migratory bird populations in Cyprus are ongoing, with organizations and authorities working to raise awareness and enforce conservation measures.

Popular Birdwatching Sites

Flamingos at the Salt Lake in Larnaca

The Akrotiri Salt Lake, Oroklini Lake, Larnaca Salt Lake, Troodos and Cape Greco are some of the popular bird watching sites. Enthusiasts can observe and enjoy thousands of bird species during the spring migration. The Cyprus Bird Watching Tours and the BirdLife Cyprus organization also offer guided tours and events during this time, providing an opportunity for visitors to learn about the different bird species and their migration patterns.

Autumn Migration

Autumn migration starts in early August with the arrival of the Shrikes. Autumn migration in Cyprus is a natural phenomenon that occurs as birds travel from their breeding grounds in Europe and Asia to their wintering grounds in Africa. Cyprus is an important stopover point for many bird species, and thousands of birds pass through the island during the autumn migration.

Some of the most common birds that can be seen during the autumn migration in Cyprus include raptors such as honey buzzards, marsh harriers, and ospreys, as well as smaller birds such as warblers, flycatchers, and wheatears. The island’s strategic location at the crossroads of three continents makes it a crucial resting point for these migratory birds.

Organized Bird Watching Tours and Events

Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts flock to Cyprus during the autumn migration to witness this spectacle of nature. Many bird watching tours and events are organized to help people observe and learn about the different bird species passing through the island.

Conservation efforts are also in place to protect the habitats and resting areas of these migratory birds, as they are essential for their survival during their long journey. Overall, the autumn migration in Cyprus is a unique and important natural event that contributes to the island’s rich biodiversity.

By Charlie

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