Crete is on the crossroads of three continents, which means that thousands of migrating birds stop and rest in the wetlands of the island . However, there are birds living permanently on the land, most important of which are bird- predators living on the mountains and in the ravines and gorges of the island. In fact , it has been found that the area of the Asteroussia Mountains ( south-western Crete) is the one with the greatest number of predator-birds in all Europe (migratory or permanent residents), 412 of which have been observed. It is a fact that bird watching is a favourite pastime on the island. Here are the ones most often observed in the Gardens:
Its scientific name is “buteo buteo” –a predator with a body whose length ranges from 50 to 55 cm and its wings have a spread ranging from 118 to 140 cm .
There are great numbers of this species living in Crete as it is the most often observed predator all over Greece.
An omnivorous bird having adjusted to most kinds of habitats.
More rare than a crow, this bird lives on the mountains, in niches of cliffs and on trees , away from all human disturbance . It feeds literally on everything including carcasses. Its voice sounds like a loud, deep “crock” .
The ORIOLE or GREENFINCH
Not as beautiful as the goldfinch but an equally good singer.
The FINCH or LINNET
It is the size of the goldfinch and the oriole – also with pretty colours and a wonderful singer…
One of the most familiar birds on the island of Crete , but also on the Greek mainland. It is black all over except for its beak which is of a lively yellow, amber- like colour .
The “CHALKIAS” BIRD
A tiny yellow bird with grey wings and a black head, a very agile and nimble creature very often seen in olive groves, gardens and forests . It has often been observed hanging upside down while eating.
A migratory bird not living permanently in Crete but staying on the island during the warm summer months just like the swallows.
The REDBREAST ROBIN
As soon as the weather gets cold it can be seen in every park of the city.
Probably the most melodic bird on the island. You have all heard its singing if you enjoy walking along shady paths in the woods especially near rivers or streams. It is also called “river bird” since it enjoys living near rivers.