Birdwatching on Lesbos

For keen birdwatchers, birdwatching on Lesbos offers a chance to see over 300 species in diverse habitats on a key migratory route between Europe and Africa.

A Golden EagleA Golden Eagle

Birdwatching on the Greek island of Lesbos is a wonderful experience for nature enthusiasts and ornithologists alike. Situated in the northeastern Aegean Sea, Lesbos is one of the top birdwatching destinations in Europe, particularly renowned for its impressive diversity of species and its strategic location along migratory routes. With over 325 recorded species, the island is a prime destination for birdwatching.

Birdwatching on Lesbos

Google map showing location of Lesbos in GreeceMap (c) Google Maps

Why Go Birdwatching on Lesbos

Lesbos' geographical position plays a key role in its rich birdlife. Located on the migration route between Europe and Africa, the island witnesses spectacular seasonal displays. Spring (March-May) sees a surge in bird activity as birds like storks, raptors, and warblers embark on their northward journey. Autumn (September-November) offers another opportunity to witness the southbound migration. 

Where to Go Birdwatching on Lesbos

An AvocetAn Avocet

One of the prime spots for birdwatching on Lesbos is the Kalloni Salt Pans. This area is easily accessible and offers a chance to see a variety of waders, terns, and other waterfowl, flamingos, black-winged stilts, avocets, and several species of ducks and egrets.

The nearby Kalloni Gulf is also a hotspot, especially during the spring and autumn migrations. Birdwatchers can expect to see flamingos, avocets, and ruddy shelducks, among others.

Another significant area is the Napi Valley, which is particularly lush and green, attracting a different set of species including orioles, warblers, and the elusive Krüper's Nuthatch, which is endemic to the region.

The Ipsilou monastery, located in the western part of Lesbos on the road to Sigri, is another excellent location for observing raptors. Positioned on a hill, it offers panoramic views and is a perfect vantage point for spotting eagles, buzzards, and falcons as they soar overhead.

Petrified Forest of Sigri: This unique geological wonder, with its petrified trees, also provides refuge for birds of prey in particular. Keep an eye out for golden eagles, the agile black kite, and peregrine falcons.

Western Volcanic Hillsides: Arid and rocky, this area is a hotspot for some rare residents. Here, you might encounter the elusive cinereous bunting, a critically endangered songbird, and other unusual birds like Cretzschmar's bunting, the Rock sparrow, and the Isabelline Wheatear.

Mountaineous Interior: Lush forests and rolling hills characterize the central region. This is prime territory for spotting resident birds like the Western Rock Nuthatch, Sombre Tit, Blue Rock Thrush, and the majestic Long-legged Buzzard.

Beyond the Big Names: While the above locations cater to specific species, don't forget to explore other regions of Lesbos. The charming village of Agiasos is known for its resident birdlife, including the melodious European nightingale. The western coast, with its long beaches, attracts gulls and terns, while the north offers excellent opportunities to see shorebirds like sandpipers and plovers. 

When to Go Birdwatching on Lesbos

Spring (April to June) is generally considered the best time to visit Lesbos for birdwatching, as the migration peaks and the weather is pleasant. However, autumn also sees a significant passage of birds, particularly raptors. Even outside these peak times, Lesbos's resident bird species and winter visitors make it a year-round destination for bird enthusiasts.

Don't miss our page on the Best Time to Visit Lesbos.

How to Go Birdwatching on Lesbos

For those new to birdwatching or seeking to enhance their experience, local guides and birdwatching tours are available. These experts can provide valuable insights into finding and identifying the various species, as well as understanding their behaviors and habitats. 

Overall, Lesbos is a must-visit for birdwatchers looking to add significant ticks to their life lists while enjoying the natural beauty and cultural richness of one of Greece's largest islands.

Our Pick of Greek Islands Guides

Rough-Guide-Greek-Islands-2022.png

Other Lesbos Pages

  • Greece Travel Secrets suggests ten reasons to visit Lesbos in the North-East Aegean in Greece, including its cuisine, birdwatching and its beaches.

    Ten Reasons to Visit Lesbos

    Greece Travel Secrets suggests ten reasons to visit Lesbos in the North-East Aegean in Greece, including its cuisine, birdwatching and its beaches.

  • Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Lesbos, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices and special events to help plan a visit.

    Best Time to Visit Lesbos

    Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Lesbos, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices and special events to help plan a visit.

  • The island of Lesbos or Lesvos is in the North East Aegean Islands in Greece, and on this page you can see information including flights and ferries.

    Lesbos or Lesvos in the North East Aegean Islands of Greece

    The island of Lesbos or Lesvos is in the North East Aegean Islands in Greece, and on this page you can see information including flights and ferries.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. The Parthenon of the Peloponnese: The Temple of Apollo at Bassae

    One of the best-preserved monuments from Classical antiquity, the Temple of Apollo at Bassae is a hidden gem in the mountains of Arcadia.

    Read More

  2. This Greek Island is Europe’s Sunniest Place in May

    Britain’s Express newspaper encourages its readers to experience the beauty and warmth of the Greek island of Kos, the sunniest place in Europe in May.

    Read More

  3. 5+1 Reasons for a Spring Day Trip to Aegina

    Wildflowers, ancient olive trees, nature, and delicious pistachio treats. In the spring, Aegina provides everything you need for the perfect day trip.

    Read More

  4. Santorini Voted Best Island in Europe at US Awards

    Greece wins top honors at this year's American Leisure Lifestyle Awards, with Santorini ranked the "Best Island in Europe" for the 11th consecutive year.

    Read More

  5. Take a drive down California’s Pacific Coast Highway One

    Stretching 656 miles and connecting the coastal redwoods of Northern California to the sandy beaches of Southern California, is SR 1, otherwise known as the California Pacific Coast Highway, the PCH…

    Read More

  6. Highway 1 to Big Sur Has Reopened — What to Know About Visiting from the Bay Area

    If you’ve been eagerly awaiting this Highway 1 reopening and want to plan a long-delayed trip to Big Sur this summer, there are several things that prospective visitors to the region should know. Keep…

    Read More

  7. Matala Beach Festival Revives Hippie Era on Crete

    The international Matala Beach Festival on Crete will transport attendees back to the famous hippie era with live music events, sports, and art activities for children. From July 5 to 7, people of all…

    Read More

  8. Birdwatching on Lesbos

    golden-eagle-pixabay.jpg
    For keen birdwatchers, birdwatching on Lesbos offers a chance to see over 300 species in diverse habitats on a key migratory route between Europe and Africa.

    Read More

  9. Survey: Athens a Bargain Destination for UK Travelers this Year

    British travelers seeking value for money in Europe this year will find it in Athens, according to the annual Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer. The Greek capital is once again among the T…

    Read More

  10. Athens City Festival this Week Features Music Events, Treasure Hunts, Museum Visits

    The Greek capital continues to celebrate spring with the 3rd This is Athens – City Festival, presenting a diverse program of events and activities, all with free admission. Throughout the weekend, the…

    Read More