Photo Gallery of the Breeding Birds of Naxos

The photos on this page were taken by my father Winfried Scharlau, who was a dedicated bird watcher all his live and who loved Greece and visited it countless times. Over many years he studied especially the birds of the Greek islands. In 1990 we mapped the breeding birds of Naxos. Since then the avifauna of the island has changed a litte; a few bird species showed up on the island that had not been recorded before; others declined.

On this page I put together the best of my father’s photos of the birds breeding on Naxos. Four species had to be left out: the Lanner falcon, the Barn Owl, the European Nightjar and the Orphean Warbler, because my father did not manage to take (good) pictures of them.

Grebes, Ducks and Geese

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), very rare, lagoons and estuaries  Ferrugineous Duck (Aythya nyroca), very rare, lagoon by the airport, does not breed every year  Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), very rare, lagoon by the airport, does not breed every year

Cormorants, Rails

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), regularly along the coast  Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), very rare, lagoons and estuaries  Coot (Fulica atra), very rare, lagoons and estuaries  Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus), very rare, lagoons and estuaries

Gulls, Shearwaters

Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis), common, nests on uninhabited islands  Audouin's Gull (Larus auduonii), very rare, nests on outlying rocky islets in small numbers  Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan), rather common, nests on uninhabited islands  Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), rather common, nests on uninhabited islands


Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), very rare, lagoon by the airport, does not breed every year  Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), very rare, lagoons and estuaries, does not breed every year  Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), rare, lagoons and sandy beaches  Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), very rare, lagoons


Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), small breeding population on Naxos and Herakleia  Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), very rare, mountains  Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), common  Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), very rare, declines

Kestrel (Falco tunninculus), common  Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), can be seen regularly, nests on uninhabited islands  Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), very rare  Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), very rare, does not breed every year, common in winter


Little Owl (Athene noctua), regularly, cultivated areas with trees  Scops Owl (Otus scops), rather common  Long-eared Owl (Asio otus), very rare, open landscape with old trees

Partridges and Doves

Chukar (Alectoris chukar), not very abundant, macchia and garrigue  Rock Dove (Columba livia), in small numbers in coastal cliffs  Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), common in villages and farmland  Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur), rather rare, macchia and cultivated groves

Swifts and Bee-eater

Swift (Apus apus), regularly in cliffs (coast and mountains)  Alpine Swift (Apus melba), regularly in cliffs (coast and mountains)  Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus), very rare, probably does not bread every year  Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), very rare, probably does not bread every year, common during migration

Larks and Wagtails

Crested Lark (Galerida christata), very common, open cultivated country  Woodlark (Lullula arborea), rather rare, only on the high slopes of mount Koronos  Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba), rather common on the coast and in the plains


Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), rather rare, plains and villages  Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica), very rare, nests under bridges  Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris), very rare, in mountain cliffs

Wren, Thrushes, Flycatchers

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), rather rare, mountains  Blackbird (Turdus merula), rather common in wooded areas  Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius), rather common, rocky slopes, also villages  Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos), rather rare, wooded areas

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata), regularly in open country with shrubs  Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica), common, open cultivated country and shrubland  Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), very rare, only on highest mountains  Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), very rare, wooded valleys


Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), very common, most common bird on the island  Rüppel's Warbler (Sylvia cantillans), infrequent, macchia and groves  Olivaceous Warbler (Hippolais pallida), rare, open woodland and groves

Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti), regularly in wooded valleys and along rivers  European Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), very rare, lagoons and estuaries with reeds  Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), very rare, lagoons and estuaries with reeds

Shrikes and Crows

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator), regularly, mainly lower areas of the island  Hooded Crow (Corvus corone), very common  Raven (Corvus corax), common, but smaller numbers, mountains

Tits and Sparrows

Great Tit (Parus major), very common, areas with trees  House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), very common, villages and cultivated areas  Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus), very rare, small colonie near Galini


Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), common, mainly cultivated areas with trees  Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), very common  Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), very common  Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), common, mainly in wooded areas, mountains


Corn bunting (Miliaria calandra), regularly in fields and dry plains near the coast  Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus), common especially in cultivated land,  Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), regularly in groves and orchards  Cretzschmar's Bunting (Emberiza caesia), regularly on slopes with low shrubs

see also:

The photographer Winfried Scharlau