Saturday, June 22, 2013

Birdwatching in Crete: some unique sparrows!

The island of Crete is unique in many ways. One of these, is the avifauna as its breeding birds behave quite differently than in the rest of Greece. For example, Wood Pigeons are found in very arid areas with just a few scattered trees, Blackcaps have replaced Nightingales in the ravines and streams and Ortolan Buntings are found in very low altitudes. Therefore, it is no surprise that even the Cretan Sparrows are different!

They belong to to the 'Italian" race of House Sparrows that has brown crown instead of grey. Some, however, argue that this is a distinct race, pointing out some differences of the Cretan birds in plumage and behaviour. Either way, Crete is a very special place to visit, whether you're a birder or not!

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