Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean covering an area of 9250 km2 and lies on one of the major bird migration routes across the Mediterranean. With Africa to the south, Turkey and central Europe to the north and Syria and the Middle East to the east, Cyprus is a major staging post used twice a year as birds move between Africa, Europe and Eurasia, with over 200 species occuring as regular passage migrants in varying numbers.
The birds that occur regularly on passage form a large percentage of the Cyprus list that totals nearly 400 species. Of these, only around 60 species are resident and around 30 are migrant breeders who regularly or occasionally breed in Cyprus. The number of birds stopping over during the spring and autumn migration is impressive as literally millions pass through the island.
Cyprus has two endemic species, the Cyprus WheatearOenanthe cypriaca and the Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax.
In addition to the two species, there are four endemic subspecies mostly confined to the forests of the Troodos range: Cyprus Scops OwlOtus scops cyprius, Coal TitParus ater cypriotes, Short-toed TreecreeperCerthia brachydactyla dorotheae and Cyprus JayGarrulus glandarius glaszneri.
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