Italy is home to a range of geographical features and climates. In Italy, you will find an alpine environment in the north, a Mediterranean climate along the sea, and dozens of microclimates in between.
Because of this vast and varied terrain, Italy hosts many different kinds of wildlife, including birds. Below are 21 Italian birds, both common and rare.
1. European Robin
European Robins have a distinctive orange face and chest with a stout, tiny body. They are commonly found throughout Europe and in some areas in northern Africa.
2. Eurasian Oystercatcher
Eurasian Oystercatchers are common birds seen along Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East coasts. They are tall, loud, and have bright orange beaks that they use to catch and open shellfish.
3. Black-Headed Bunting
Black-Headed Buntings are large, stocky, yellow birds found along the southern tip of Europe and the Middle East. They are closely related to the Red-Headed Bunting, though their geographic ranges do not overlap.
Hawfinches are beautiful birds with four distinctive colors- blue, brown, tan, and white. They are small and often shy, making them hard to spot, even though they are widespread across Europe and parts of Asia.
Bramblings are gorgeous songbirds spotted with black, orange, and white. They can be found all over Europe and in parts of Asia and North America. They are famous for flying in large groups, making stunning patterns against the sky.
6. Eurasian Nuthatch
Eurasian Nuthatches are small songbirds found all over Europe and Middle Asia. These little birds hop up and down large tree trunks head-first in search of seeds.
7. Tawny Owl
Tawny Owls are large birds of prey commonly found all over Europe. Like most owls, Tawny Owls are nocturnal and have a diet primarily consisting of small rodents like mice.
8. Great Tit
Great Tits are common across all of Europe and parts of Asia. These birds are not hard to spot because they are loud, feisty, and bold in color. Juvenile Great Tits can be identified by the yellow hue in their faces, while adult Great Tits have black and white faces.
9. Eurasian Jay
The Eurasian Jay is a member of the Corvid family of birds, a family that contains Ravens, Crows, and Magpies. Both male and female Eurasian Jays have an iconic tuft of checker-patterned blue, white, and black feathers on their wings. Eurasian Jays live all over Europe and parts of Asia.
10. Green-Winged Teal
Green-Winged Teals are small ducks with petite bills that are easy to spot across North America, Asia, and Europe. Males have a black-and-white speckled body, a brown head, and a green stripe on their head. Females are mostly brown.
11. Spotted Crake
The Spotted Crake is a medium-sized bird identified by its signature speckled body. These birds are usually found in freshwater marshes and wetlands, though they are difficult to spot.
12. Gull-Billed Tern
Gull-Billed Terns live on every continent except Antarctica. They are large gulls with snow-white bodies and sleek black beaks and faces.
13. White-Throated Dipper
The White-Throated Dipper is a plump gray and brown bird with a white chest. They have a range that extends from the United Kingdom to Mongolia.
14. European Storm Petrel
The European Storm Petrel is a small black seabird seen along the western coasts of Europe. It feeds at sea, and people rarely see them offshore.
15. Water Pipit
Water Pipits are light tan birds with dark beaks. They are most commonly seen along coastlines or in rocky planes.
16. Western Orphean Warbler
The Waster Orphean Warbler is a larger warbler with a dark head and white throat. These birds are not widespread and are only in Spain, Italy, southern France, and along northern African coasts.
17. Common Raven
You can find ravens all over the Northern Hemisphere. They have an astonishing range from Scandinavia to northern regions of Africa and Alaska to Mexico.
18. Greater Flamingo
Many people consider Flamingos as African birds, but the Greater Flamingo has a range from Southern Africa to Spain. If you’re lucky enough to see a Greater Flamingo in Italy, it will likely be along the Tyrrhenian Sea or Sardinia.
19. Eurasian Kestrel
Eurasian Kestrels (also called Common Kestrels, European Kestrels, or Old World Kestrels) are small, brown falcons that have a range extending from Iceland to Japan.
Merlins are small, feisty falcons. Like other species of falcon, they mostly eat other, smaller birds that they catch in the air. Merlins are found all over North America, Europe, and some parts of Asia.
21. Common Nightingale
Common Nightingales live all over Europe, parts of middle Asia, and south of the Saharan Desert. They are loud, boisterous birds that often keep people up at night.
Italy is home to many birds, both easy to find and difficult to spot. If you’re visiting, keep your eyes peeled and look along the trees and waterways- you never know what you’ll find.