It is possible to watch 347 different species of bird in Cyprus. However, only 46 of these are native of Cyprus, and 7 of these are the endemic sub-species (that is only found in Cyprus). 119 out of the 347 birds that can be observed on the island are of winter-migrant breeder type, and 90 of these migrate to Cyprus regularly every winter-time. 29 of these winter-migrants migrate to the island less regularly than others. Together with the native Cypriot birds 27 of them migrate to Cyprus for breeding purposes.
Apart from these, there are 220 other species of birds that use Cyprus as transit while migrating to other lands. 200 of these 220 species regularly pass as transit from Cyprus during their migration season. These are mostly the birds breeding in Europe, and migrating to Middle East and Africa. There are also birds that occasionally come to Cyprus by mistake, when they lose their groups, or their ways. There have so far 51 of this latter type recorded.
Cyprus is on a north-south migration route and there are many birds in transit, some in vast flocks, some in small clusters. These migrating birds may only rest for a few days to a week. March to May is the period of north-ward migration and August to October the southward.
Griffon Vulture Kizil Akbaba (T); Gyps fulvus (L)
Status Winter visitor; resident breeder.
Hirundelle Kir Kirlangici (T); Hirundo rustica (L)
Status Migrant breeder.
Golden Oriole Sari Asma / Incir Kusu (T); Oriolus oriolus (L)
Status Winter visitor, passage migrant.
Pochard Elmabas Ordek / Bozdalagan (T); Aythya ferina (L)
Status Migrant breeder.
Cyprus Pied Wheatear Kibris Kuyrukkakani (T)
Status Migrant breeder (Endemic); the most distinctive and interesting species of all the endemic birds in Cyprus
First institutionalised attempts at the protection of the birds in Northern Cyprus started in 1989, with the foundation of the North Cyprus Society for the Protection of Birds, NCSPB (or KUSKOR). The association works in close co-operation with other environmentalist association, especially the local North Cyprus- Greenpeace Movement for the protection of the natural beauties, the wild animals, and the endemic birds of Cyprus.
NCSPB stages public educational programmes throughout the year in village coffee shops, hunting clubs, sports clubs, and schools. These programmes, consisting mainly of introduction of birds and their environment, last year (1994) alone presented to more than 800 people in over 40 villages, which pleased both the people who listened to the casual chats and the NCSPB. The results achieved out of these programmes were important because most of the listeners were hunters.