Birds in North Cyprus

Bird Chukar

Cyprus is important from an ornithological point of view because not only do nearly 200 species occur as regular passage migrants, but 90 species winter here as well. In addition there exits 2 species and 5 sub-species unique to the island and 73 species regularly breed here.

On the bird life of the Island one can say that Cyprus falls between two of the great bird migration routes, one from western Russia Southwards through Palestine to East Africa, and the other being the Balkan African route.

As a result of this position of the Island, many interesting birds are to be observed, especially during the times of Spring and Autumn passages. Of the indigenous species the largest are vultures and eagles. The Vulture, the most common scavenger, sails for hours on end in the air currents with scarely a movement of its large wing. It is by far the most common of its species.

The Black Vulture is present in relatively small numbers. Of the eagles, two species may be seen and are not uncommon. They are the large Imperial Eagle, which feeds on small mammals and carrion and the smaller Bonelli`s Eagle , which is a much fiercer bird than its larger cousin. Occasionally Spotted Eagles visit the Island. Birds
Cyprus Wheather The Grecian Rock Partrige is also common, while Francolin can also be seen in a few small colonies in the Karpaz region.

In the plains and open foothills larks, mainly the crested variety, are common. The small Black and White Cyprian Wheateater is conspicuous, especially in the foothill regions.Flocks of pigeons nesting in forests and cliffs are common throughout the Island.

Black Bellied Sand Grouse nest in small colonies in some of the more barren and stony parts of the Mesaoria Plain. Along the coasts of the Island, Shag and Cormorant are to be seen together with numerous species of gulls. At river mouths and long the more rocky coasts small Red and Green Kingfishers can sometimes be seen.

Song Thrush During Winter numerous wild fowl visit the Island; snipe, woodcock, quail, many varieties of duck and occasional bustard geese. Large number of finches and other small birds are also common Winter visitors.

Of the birds, notable for their song, the most outstanding are the Golden Oriole, Nightingale, Blue Rock Thrush and Black Headed Bunting; all to be heard early in Summer. The most spectacular and highly coloured birds commonly seen in the Island are the Golden Oriole, Bee Eater, Roller, Hoppoe, Kingfisher and Flamingo.