Bird watching in Karpathos

Karpathos, and particularly the northern part of the island, is an exceptional place for birdwatching. Other than the numerous migrating birds, there are many other types of endemic birds that flourish here, extending to the island of Saria and nearby rocky islets.

There is a small wetland in Tristomo – the only one in the area – which represents a refuge for waterfowl and wading birds such as the Plover (Charadrius dubius), Little Stint (Calidris minuta) and Wood Sandpipers (Tringa glareola).

Very noteworthy are the birds of prey such as Bonelli's Eagle (Iieraaetus fasciatus), Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), and Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) observed relatively easily throughout the year. You will also be fascinated by the beauty of the Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) and Island Partridge (Alectoris chukar), as well as the numerous Spanish sparrows (Passer hispaniolensis), elegant Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana), restless Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and chirpy Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (Hippolais pallida). Less frequent species that you might be lucky to spot include the Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina), Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus) and Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola).

Spring in Karpathos brings with it a panoply of colors and melodies, with migratory passerines that flood the small valley of Avlona and the surrounding area, including hoopoes, shrikes, wheatears, flycatchers, warblers, wagtails, orioles, and leaf warblers. Birdwatchers will revel in the flying flocks of swift, swallows, bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) and Spanish sparrow. Quite common is the presence of Katsoulieris (Galerida cristata), the Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) and Mafrolaimidon (Saxicola torquatus) observed throughout the year on the island.

Ιn the meantime, the sea around Karpathos and surrounding islets is surrounded by the European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) which lives in this environment all year round. Also present are Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), Mediterranean shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) and Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae) which are actually migrating birds.

The elegant Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii) can commonly be seen in the skies over Karpathos, particularly since it breeds in the greater region like the Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) and the Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta). If you visit in fall you're likely to see migrating birds of prey like the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) and others that fly on a migratory path from Karpathos to Africa.

Walking through the island's established hiking paths from Tristomo to Diafani and Papa Mina, as well as from Vroukounta to Avlona and on to Olymbos, visitors can admire numerous little birds and birds of prey, but should take care not to disturb them, particularly during breeding season. The same applies for birds on the island of Saria.

Environmental matters in the region of Northern Karpathos and Saria, which lies in a Natura 2000 zone, fall under the responsibility of the Management Agency of Karpathos and Saria Protected Area. There is an information office in the seaside village of Diafani along with an exhibition area about the fauna and flora, as well as ecological and eco-tourism related activities and initiatives. Printed material, books and hiking guides will help enlighten visitors who are interested in ecotourism.

For more information:

Management Agency of Karpathos and Saria Protected Area

Olympos, Karpathos 85700

www.fdkarpathos.gr

Τel. + 30 22450 51336 Fax: +30 22450 51396

Email: foreaska@gmail.com

Information center of the Management Agency

Diafani, Karpathos 85700

Tel: + 30 22450 51013 

TABLE OF BIRDS FOUND IN KARPATHOS:

 

OFFICIAL LATIN NAME
ENGLISH NAME
GREEK NAME
Alectoris chukar 
Chukar
Νησιώτικη Πέρδικα
Calonectris diomedea 
Cory’s shearwater
Αρτέμης 
Puffinus yelkouan
Mediterranean shearwater
Μύχος
Phalacrocorax carbo 
Great Cormorant
Κορμοράνος 
Phalacrocorax aristotelis 
European Shag
Θαλασσοκόρακας
Nycticorax nycticorax
Black-crowned Night-heron
Νυχτοκόρακας 
Ardeola ralloides 
Squacco Heron
Κρυπτοτσικνιάς 
Egretta garzetta 
Little Egret
Λευκοτσικνιάς 
Ardea cinerea 
Grey Heron
Σταχτοτσικνιάς 
Pernis apivorus
European Honey-buzzard
Σφηκιάρης
Milvus migrans 
Black Kite
Τσίφτης 
Circus aeruginosus
Western Marsh-harrier
Καλαμόκιρκος 
Circus cyaneus 
Northern Harrier
Χειμωνόκιρκος 
Accipiter nisus
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Ξεφτέρι
Accipiter brevipes
Levant Sparrowhawk
Σαΐνι
Buteo buteo 
Common Buzzard
Γερακίνα 
Buteo rufinus 
Long-legged Buzzard
Αετογερακίνα
Aquila pennata 
Booted Eagle
Γερακαετός 
Aquila fasciata
Bonelli's Eagle
Σπιζαετός
Falco tinnunculus 
Common Kestrel
Βραχοκιρκίνεζο 
 
Other Activities for Karpathos
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