The Cretan fauna. List of birds

Below you'll find a list of more than 300 birds to be found on Crete. Either as permanent residents or as migratory birds. Some are only rare visitors on the island and the list is not complete. However, it should cover more than 3/4 of all birds on Crete.
The list is organised alphabetically according to the scientific names of the orders, then the families and finally the species of birds. For each bird species the name is given in Latin and in English. Examples of English bird names is given for each order.



Order: Accipitriformes

Diurnal birds of prey: hawks, eagles, vultures, and many others, about 225 species in all.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Accipiter brevipes  Accipitridae  Levant Sparrowhawk
 Accipiter gentilis  Accipitridae  Goshawk
 Accipiter nisus  Accipitridae  Sparrowhawk 
 Aegypius monachus  Accipitridae  Black Vulture 
 Aquila chrysaetos  Accipitridae  Golden Eagle 
 Aquila clanga  Accipitridae  Spotted Eagle
 Aquila heliaca  Accipitridae  Imperial Eagle 
 Aquila nipalensis  Accipitridae  Steppe Eagle
 Aquila pomarina  Accipitridae  Lesser spotted Eagle
 Buteo buteo Accipitridae  Buzzard 
 Buteo lagopus  Accipitridae  Rough legged Buzzard
 Buteo rufinus  Accipitridae  Long legged Buzzard
 Circaetus gallicus  Accipitridae  Short toed Snake Eagle
 Circus aeruginosus  Accipitridae  Marsh Harrier 
 Circus cyaneus  Accipitridae  Hen Harrier 
 Circus macrourus  Accipitridae  Pallid Harrier
 Circus pygargus  Accipitridae  Montagu’s Harrier
 Elanus caeruleus  Accipitridae  Black shoulderd Kite
 Gypaetus barbatus  Accipitridae  Bearded Vulture 
 Gyps fulvus  Accipitridae  Griffon vulture
 Haliaeetus albicilla  Accipitridae  White tailed Eagle
 Hieraaetus fasciatus  Accipitridae  Bonelli’s Eagle 
 Hieraaetus pennatus  Accipitridae  Booted Eagle 
 Milvus migrans  Accipitridae  Black Kite
 Milvus milvus  Accipitridae  Red Kite
 Neophron percnopterus  Accipitridae  Egyptian Vulture
 Pernis apivorus  Accipitridae  Honey Buzzard
 Pandion haliaetus  Pandionidae  Osprey 


Order: Anseriformes

About 150 living species of birds in three families: the Anhimidae (the screamers), Anseranatidae (the Magpie Goose), and the Anatidae, which includes over 140 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Anas acuta  Anatidae  Pintail
 Anas clypeata  Anatidae  Shoveler 
 Anas crecca  Anatidae  Teal
 Anas penelope  Anatidae  Wigeon
 Anas platyrhynchos  Anatidae  Mallard 
 Anas querquedula  Anatidae  Garganey 
 Anas strepera  Anatidae  Gadwall
 Anser albifrons  Anatidae  White fronted Goose
 Anser anser Anatidae  Greylag Goose 
 Aythya ferina  Anatidae  Pochard 
 Aythya fuligula  Anatidae  Tufted Duck
 Aythya nyroca  Anatidae  Ferruginous Duck 
 Branta ruficollis  Anatidae  Red breasted Goose
 Cygnus cygnus  Anatidae  Whooper Swan
 Cygnus olor  Anatidae  Mute Swan
 Marmaronetta angustirostris  Anatidae  Marbled Duck 
 Mergus albellus  Anatidae  Smew
 Mergus serrator   Anatidae  Red breasted Merganser
 Netta rufina  Anatidae  Red crested pochard
 Tadorna tadorna  Anatidae  Shelduck


Order: Apodiformes

Apodiformes contains 450 species in two families: the swifts (Apodidae) and the tree swifts (Hemiprocnidae)

 Apus apus  Apodidae  Swift
 Apus melba  Apodidae  Alpine Swift 
 Apus pallidus  Apodidae  Pallid Swift


Order: Caprimulgiformes

Nightjars

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Caprimulgus europaeus  Caprimulgidae  Nightjar 


Order: Charadriiformes

Small to medium-large birds. Includes about 350 species. Most Charadriiformes live near water and eat invertebrates or other small animals; some are pelagic (sea birds), some live in deserts a few in forests.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Burhinus oedicnemus  Burhinidae  Stone Curlew
 Charadrius alexandrinus  Charadriidae  Kentish Plover
 Charadrius asiaticus  Charadriidae  Caspian Plover
 Charadrius dubius  Charadriidae  Little Ringed Plover 
 Charadrius hiaticula  Charadriidae  Ringed Plover
 Charadrius leschenaultii  Charadriidae  Greater Sand Plover
 Charadrius morinellus  Charadriidae  Dotterel
 Chettusia gregaria  Charadriidae  Sociable Plover
 Chettusia laucura  Charadriidae  White tailed Plover
 Hoplopterus spinosus  Charadriidae  Spur winged Plover
 Pluvialis apricaria  Charadriidae  Golden Plover
 Pluvialis fulva  Charadriidae  Pacific Golden Plover
 Pluvialis squatarola  Charadriidae  Grey Plover
 Vanellus vanellus  Charadriidae  Lapwing 
 Cursorius cursor  Glareolidae  Cream coloured Courser
 Glareola pratincola  Glareolidae  Collared Pratincole
 Haematopus ostralegus  Haematopodidae  Oystercatcher 
 Larus argentatus  Laridae  Herring Gull 
 Larus atricilla  Laridae  Laughing Gull
 Larus audouinii  Laridae  Audouin’s Gull
 Larus cacchinans  Laridae  Yellow legged Herring Gull
 Larus canus  Laridae  Common Gull 
 Larus fuscus  Laridae  Lesser Black backed Gull
 Larus fuscus heuglni  Laridae  Heuglin’s Gull
 Larus genei  Laridae  Slender billed Gull
 Larus icthyaetus  Laridae  Great Black headed Gull
 Larus melanocephalus  Laridae  Mediterranean Gull 
 Larus minutus  Laridae  Little Gull 
 Larus ridibundus  Laridae  Black headed Gull
 Rissa tridactyla  Laridae  Kittiwake
 Himantopus himantopus  Recurvirostridae  Black winged Stilt
 Recurvirostra avosetta  Recurvirostridae  Avocet 
 Actitis hypoleucos  Scolopacidae  Common Sandpiper 
 Arenaria interpres  Scolopacidae  Turnstone 
 Calidris alba  Scolopacidae  Sanderling
 Calidris alpina  Scolopacidae  Dunlin
 Calidris canutus  Scolopacidae  Knot
 Calidris ferruginea  Scolopacidae  Curlew Sandpiper
 Calidris fuscicollis  Scolopacidae  White rumped Sandpiper
 Calidris melanotos  Scolopacidae  Pectoral Sandpiper
 Calidris minutus  Scolopacidae  Little Stint
 Calidris subinuta  Scolopacidae  Long toed Stint
 Calidris temminckii  Scolopacidae  Temminck’s Stint
 Gallinago gallinago  Scolopacidae  Snipe
 Gallinago media  Scolopacidae  Great Snipe
 Limicola falcinellus  Scolopacidae  Broad billed Sandpiper
 Limosa lapponica  Scolopacidae  Bar tailed Godwit
 Limosa limosa  Scolopacidae  Black tailed Godwit
 Lymnocryptes minimus  Scolopacidae  Jack Snipe
 Numenius arquata  Scolopacidae  Curlew
 Numenius phaeopus  Scolopacidae  Whimbrel
 Phalaropus lobatus  Scolopacidae  Red necked Phalarope
 Philomachus pugnax  Scolopacidae  Ruff 
 Scolopax rusticola  Scolopacidae  Woodcock 
 Tringa erythropus  Scolopacidae  Spotted Redshank 
 Tringa glareola  Scolopacidae  Wood Sandpiper 
 Tringa nebularia  Scolopacidae  Greenshank 
 Tringa ochropus  Scolopacidae  Green Sandpiper 
 Tringa stagnatilis  Scolopacidae  Marsh Sandpiper  
 Tringa totanus   Scolopacidae  Redshank
 Stercorarius longicaudus  Stercorariidae  Long tailed Skua
 Stercorarius parasiticus  Stercorariidae  Arctic Skua
 Stercorarius skua  Stercorariidae  Great Skua
 Chlidonias hybridus  Sternidae  Whiskered Tern
 Chlidonias leucopterus  Sternidae  White winged Black Tern
 Chlidonias niger  Sternidae  Black Tern
 Gelochelidon nilotica  Sternidae  Gull billed Tern
 Sterna albifrons  Sternidae  Little Tern
 Sterna caspia  Sternidae  Caspian Tern
 Sterna hirundo  Sternidae  Common Tern
 Sterna sandvicensis  Sternidae  Sandwich Tern


Order: Ciconiiformes

Large, long-legged wading birds with large bills: storks, herons, egrets, ibises, spoonbills, and several others.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Ciconia ciconia  Ciconiidae  White Stork
 Ciconia nigra  Ciconiidae  Black Stork


Order: Columbiformes

313 species, doves and pigeons.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Columba livia  Columbidae  Rock Dove
 Columba oenas  Columbidae  Stock Dove
 Columba palumbus  Columbidae  Woodpigeon 
 Streptopelia decaocto  Columbidae  Collared Dove
 Streptopelia orientalis  Columbidae  Rufous Turtle Dove
 Streptopelia senegalensis  Columbidae  Laughing Dove
 Streptopelia turtur  Columbidae  Turtle Dove


Order: Coraciiformes

Colourful near passerine birds including the kingfishers, the Hoopoe, the bee-eaters, the rollers, and the hornbills.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Alcedo atthis  Alcedinidae  Kingfisher 
 Ceryle rudis  Cerylidae  Pied Kingfisher 
 Coracias garrulus  Coraciidae  Roller
 Halcyon smyrnensis  Halcyonidae  White breasted Kingfisher
 Merops apiaster  Meropidae  Bee eater
 Merops supercilious/persicus  Meropidae  Blue cheeked Bee eater
 Upupa epops  Upupidae  Hoopoe 


Order: Cuculiformes

Cuckoos, Coucals and Anis.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Clamator glandarius  Cuculidae  Great Spotted Cuckoo
 Cuculus canorus  Cuculidae  Cuckoo


Order: Falconiformes

290 species of birds that comprises the diurnal birds of prey.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Falco biarmicus  Falconidae  Lanner Falcon
 Falco cherrug  Falconidae  Saker 
 Falco columbarius  Falconidae  Merlin 
 Falco eleonorae  Falconidae  Eleonora’s Falcon 
 Falco naumanni  Falconidae  Lesser Kestrel
 Falco peregrinus  Falconidae  Peregrine Falcon
 Falco subbuteo  Falconidae  Hobby 
 Falco tinnunculus  Falconidae  Kestrel 
 Falco vespertinus  Falconidae  Red footed Falcon


Order: Galliformes

"Wildfowl". Heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game bird, containing turkey, grouse, chicken.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Alectoris chukar  Phasianidae  Chuker 
 Coturnix coturnix  Phasianidae  Quail
 Phasianus colchicus  Phasianidae  Pheasant 


Order: Gaviiformes

The loons or divers.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Gavia stellata  Gaviidae  Red throated Diver 


Order: Gruiformes

14 species of large cranes, about 145 species of smaller crakes and rails, as well as a variety of families comprising one to three species, such as the Heliornithidae, the limpkin, or the trumpeters.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Grus grus  Gruidae  Crane
 Crex crex  Rallidae  Corncrake
 Fulica atra  Rallidae  Coot 
 Gallinula chloropus  Rallidae  Moorhen 
 Porzana parva  Rallidae  Little Crake
 Porzana porzana  Rallidae  Spotted Crake 
 Porzana pusilla  Rallidae  Baillon’s Crake 
 Rallus aquaticus  Rallidae  Water Rail 


Order: Passeriformes

Includes more than half of all bird species. Perching birds or songbirds, passerines. Over 5,000 identified species.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Acrocephalus arundinaceus  Acrocephalidae  Great Reed Warbler 
 Acrocephalus melanopogon  Acrocephalidae  Moustached Warbler 
 Acrocephalus paludicola  Acrocephalidae  Aquatic warbler 
 Acrocephalus palustris  Acrocephalidae  Marsh Warbler 
 Acrocephalus schoenobaenus  Acrocephalidae  Sedge Warbler 
 Acrocephalus scirpaceus  Acrocephalidae  Reed Warbler 
 Hippolais calijata  Acrocephalidae  Booted Warbler
 Hippolais icterina  Acrocephalidae  Icterine Warbler 
 Hippolais olivetorum  Acrocephalidae  Olive tree Warbler
 Hippolais pallida  Acrocephalidae  Olivaceous Warbler
 Alauda arvensis  Alaudidae  Skylark
 Calandrella brachydactyla  Alaudidae  Short toed Lark
 Chersophilus duponti  Alaudidae  Dupont’s Lark
 Galerida cristata  Alaudidae  Crested Lark
 Lullula arborea  Alaudidae  Woodlark
 Melanocorypha calandra  Alaudidae  Calandra Lark
 Bombycilla garrulus  Bombycillidae  Waxwing
 Certhia brachydactyla  Certhiidae  Short toed treecreeper
 Cettia cetti  Cettiidae  Cetti’s Warbler
 Cisticola juncidis  Cisticolidae  Fan tailed Warbler
 Corvus corax  Corvidae  Raven 
 Corvus corone  Corvidae  Hooded Crow 
 Corvus frugilegus  Corvidae  Rook 
 Corvus monedula  Corvidae  Jackdaw
 Garrulus glandarius  Corvidae  Jay 
 Pyrrhocorax graculus  Corvidae  Alpine Chough
 Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax  Corvidae  Chough
 Emberiza caesia  Emberizidae  Cretzschmar’s Bunting 
 Emberiza cia  Emberizidae  Rock Bunting
 Emberiza cirlus  Emberizidae  Cirl Bunting
 Emberiza citrinella  Emberizidae  Yellowhammer
 Emberiza hortulana  Emberizidae  Ortolan Bunting
 Emberiza melanocephala  Emberizidae  Black headed Bunting
 Emberiza schoeniclus  Emberizidae  Reed Bunting
 Miliaria calandra  Emberizidae  Corn Bunting
 Carduelis cannabina  Fringillidae  Linnet 
 Carduelis carduelis  Fringillidae  Goldfinch 
 Carduelis chloris  Fringillidae  Greenfinch 
 Carduelis spinus  Fringillidae  Siskin
 Carpodacus erythrinus  Fringillidae  Common Rosefinch
 Coccothraustes coccothraustes  Fringillidae  Hawfinch
 Fringilla coelebs  Fringillidae  Chaffinch 
 Loxia curvirostra  Fringillidae  Common Crossbill 
 Serinus serinus  Fringillidae  Serin 
 Delichon urbica  Hirundinidae  House Martin
 Riparia riparia  Hirundinidae  Sand Martin
 Hirundo daurica  Hirundininae  Red rumped Swallow
 Hirundo rupestris  Hirundininae  Crag martin 
 Hirundo rustica  Hirundininae  Swallow 
 Lanius collurio  Laniidae  Red backed Shrike
 Lanius excubitor  Laniidae  Great Grey Shrike 
 Lanius minor  Laniidae  Lesser Grey Shrike
 Lanius nubicus  Laniidae  Masked Shrike
 Lanius senator   Laniidae  Woodchat Shrike 
 Locustella luscinioides  Locustellidae  Savi’s Warbler
 Locustella naevia  Locustellidae  Grasshopper Warbler
 Anthus campestris  Motacillidae  Tawny Pipit
 Anthus cervinus  Motacillidae  Red throated Pipit
 Anthus novaeseelandiae  Motacillidae  Richard’s Pipit
 Anthus petrosus  Motacillidae  Rock Pipit
 Anthus pratensis  Motacillidae  Meadow Pipit 
 Anthus spinoletta  Motacillidae  Water Pipit 
 Anthus trivialis  Motacillidae  Tree Pipit 
 Motacilla alba  Motacillidae  White Wagtail 
 Motacilla cinerea  Motacillidae  Grey Wagtail 
 Motacilla flava  Motacillidae  Yellow Wagtail 
 Cercotrichas galactotes  Muscicapidae  Rufous Bush Chat
 Erithacus rubecula  Muscicapidae  Robin 
 Ficedula albicollis  Muscicapidae  Collared Flycatcher
 Ficedula hypoleuca  Muscicapidae  Pied Flycatcher
 Ficedula parva  Muscicapidae  Red breasted Flycatcher
 Ficedula semitorquata  Muscicapidae  Semi collared Flycatcher
 Luscinia luscinia  Muscicapidae  Thrush Nightingale
 Luscinia megarhynchos  Muscicapidae  Nightingale 
 Luscinia svecica  Muscicapidae  Bluethroat
 Monticola saxatilis  Muscicapidae  Rock Thrush
 Monticola solitarius  Muscicapidae  Blue Rock Thrush 
 Muscicapa striata  Muscicapidae  Spotted Flycatcher
 Oenanthe deserti  Muscicapidae  Desert Wheatear 
 Oenanthe hispanica  Muscicapidae  Black eared Wheatear
 Oenanthe isabellina  Muscicapidae  Isabelline Wheatear
 Oenanthe leucopyga  Muscicapidae  White crowned Black Wheatear
 Oenanthe oenanthe  Muscicapidae  Wheatear
 Oenanthe pleschanka  Muscicapidae  Pied Wheatear
 Phoenicurus ochruros  Muscicapidae  Black Redstart 
 Phoenicurus phoenicurus  Muscicapidae  Redstart
 Saxicola rubetra  Muscicapidae  Whinchat
 Saxicola torquata  Muscicapidae  Stonechat 
 Oriolus oriolus  Oriolidae  Golden Oriole 
 Panurus biarmicus  Paridae  Bearded Tit
 Parus ater  Paridae  Coal Tit 
 Parus caeruleus  Paridae  Blue Tit 
 Parus major  Paridae  Great Tit 
 Passer domesticus  Passeridae  House Sparrow 
 Passer hispaniolensis  Passeridae  Spanish Sparrow 
 Passer montanus  Passeridae  Tree Sparrow
 Petronia petronia  Passeridae  Rock Sparrow
 Phylloscopus bonelli  Phylloscopidae  Bonelli’s Warbler
 Phylloscopus collybita  Phylloscopidae  Chiffchaff 
 Phylloscopus sibilatrix  Phylloscopidae  Wood Warbler 
 Phylloscopus trochilus  Phylloscopidae  Willow Warbler
 Phylloscopus inonatus  Phylloscopidae Phylloscopidae  Yellow browed Warbler
 Prunella collaris  Prunellidae  Alpine Accentor
 Prunella modularis  Prunellidae  Dunnock 
 Regulus ignicapillus  Regulidae  Firecrest  
 Regulus regulus  Regulidae  Goldcrest
 Remiz pendulinus  Remizidae  Penduline Tit
 Sitta neumayer  Sittidae  Rock Nuthatch
 Sturnus unicolor  Sturnidae  Spotless Starling
 Sturnus vulgaris  Sturnidae  Starling 
 Sylvia atricapilla  Sylviidae  Blackcap
 Sylvia borin  Sylviidae  Garden warbler
 Sylvia cantillans  Sylviidae  Subalpine Warbler
 Sylvia communis  Sylviidae  Whitethroat
 Sylvia conpicillata  Sylviidae  Spectacled Warbler
 Sylvia curruca  Sylviidae  Lesser Whitethroat
 Sylvia hortensis  Sylviidae  Orphean Warbler
 Sylvia melanocephala  Sylviidae  Sardinian Warbler 
 Sylvia nisoria  Sylviidae  Barred warbler
 Sylvia rueppelli  Sylviidae  Ruppell’s Warbler
 Sylvia sarda  Sylviidae  Marmora’s Warbler
 Troglodytes troglodytes  Troglodytidae  Wren 
 Turdus merula  Turdidae  Blackbird 
 Turdus philomelos  Turdidae  Song Thrush 
 Turdus pilaris  Turdidae  Fieldfare 
 Turdus torquatus  Turdidae  Ring Ouzel
 Turdus viscivorus  Turdidae  Mistle Thrush 


Order: Pelecaniformes

Medium-sized and large waterbirds 50–60 living species.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Ardea cinerea  Ardeidae  Grey Heron 
 Ardea purpurea  Ardeidae  Purple Heron
 Ardeola ralloides  Ardeidae  Squacco Heron 
 Botaurus stellaris  Ardeidae  Bittern
 Bubulcus ibis  Ardeidae  Cattle Egret
 Egretta alba  Ardeidae  Great White Egret
 Egretta garzetta  Ardeidae  Little Egret 
 Ixobrychus minutus  Ardeidae  Little Bittern 
 Nycticorax nycticorax  Ardeidae  Night Heron 
 Pelecanus crispus  Pelecanidae  Dalmatian Pelican
 Pelecanus onocrotalus  Pelecanidae  White Pelican
 Phalacrocorax aristotelis  Phalacrocoracidae  Shag 
 Phalacrocorax carbo  Phalacrocoracidae  Cormorant 
 Phalacrocorax pygmaeus  Phalacrocoracidae  Pygmy Cormorant
 Platalea leucorodia  Threskiornithidae  Spoonbill
 Plegadis falcinellus  Threskiornithidae  Glossy Ibis


Order: Phalacrocoraciformes

Gannets, Boobies, Frigatebirds.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Morus bassanus  Sulidae  Northern Gannet 


Order: Phoenicopteriformes

Four flamingo species in the Americas and two species in Europe and Asia.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Phoenicopterus ruber  Phoenicopteridae  Greater Flamingo


Order: Piciformes

Largely arboreal birds, the best-known of them being the woodpeckers. Contains little over 400 species, of which the Picidae (woodpeckers and relatives) make up about half.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Jynx torquilla  Picidae  Wryneck


Order: Podicipediformes

A widely distributed order of freshwater diving birds. Contains only a single family, the Podicipedidae, containing 22 species.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Podiceps cristatus  Podicipedidae  Great Crested Grebe 
 Podiceps nigricollis  Podicipedidae  Black necked Grebe
 Tachybaptus ruficollis  Podicipedidae  Little Grebe 


Order: Procellariiformes

Seabirds. Four families: the albatrosses, procellariids, storm petrels and diving petrels.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Hydrobates pelagicus  Hydrobatidae  Storm Petrel 
 Calonectris diomedea  Procellariidae  Cory’s Shearwater 
 Puffinus yelkouan  Procellariidae  Mediterranean Shearwater 


Order: Psittaciformes

Parrots. Roughly 372 species. Found in most tropical and subtropical regions. Three families: the Psittacidae ('true' parrots), the Cacatuidae (cockatoos) and the Strigopidae (New Zealand parrots).

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Psittacula krameri  Psittacidae  Rose ringed Parakeet


Order: Strigiformes

Owls. Divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae.

SPECIES FAMILY ENGLISH NAME
 Asio flammeus  Strigidae  Short eared Owl
 Asio otus  Strigidae  Long eared Owl
 Athene noctua  Strigidae  Little Owl
 Bubo bubo  Strigidae  Eagle Owl
 Otus scops  Strigidae  Scops Owl
 Strix aluco  Strigidae  Tawny Owl
 Tyto alba  Tytonidae  Barn Owl