Lying at the marine junction of three continents, the island of Rhodes is an important passageway and haven for birds. Moreover, the proximity of the Anatolian coast has contributed significantly to the number of both bird and butterfly species on the island. The 281 bird species recorded on Rhodes (according to Avibase) represent 60% of Greece’s avian diversity, and almost one quarter of the country’s 236 butterflie species have been seen on the island.
With their ability to fly and other wondrous features of appearance and behaviour, birds and butterflies have inspired works of art and engineering endeavours as well as numberless myths. They have also inspired assiduous research by scientists, who have provided us with insights into the lives of their subjects that are often more amazing than the myths they invalidate. But above all, birds and butterflies are colourful, graceful and often charismatic creatures which people enjoy seeing, and it is this experience that this website attempts to celebrate.
RODOPTERA is far from being a complete record of the island’s avian residents, breeding and passage migrants and occasional vagrants, and at present covers only about two-thirds of its butterfly species; it features however some species which, because of their limited range in Europe, attract the interest of many foreign professional and hobby naturalists. Nor is it a field guide, although it does provide some information about when and where particular species can be seen.
The avian section contains images captured recently (since 2021) as well as photographs taken two decades ago, most of which were published at that time. For practical reasons, the seven-gallery drop-down menu is organized in a somewhat unorthodox manner: Waterbirds; Pigeons, doves et al.; Swifts, swallows & martins; Raptors; Bee-eaters et al.; Crows and jays; and Songbirds. (The Waterbirds gallery includes photographs taken at Tigaki lagoon on Kos Island). The most recent photographs are also shown in a separate gallery (2023).
With butterflies an attempt has been made to achieve some taxonomic discipline, the result being a menu with five galleries dedicated to Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae
Click/tap the gallery of your choice in the two drop-down menus, and click/tap any photo icon in the galleries to enlarge it and access provided information. Another easy way to navigate the website is from the lists of species at the top of drop-down menus.
It is my hope that the imagery and information provided here will be useful to you and will also encourage you to support bird and butterfly protection and the conservation of their habitats. Enjoy your visit and feel free to send any comments or questions using the message form or the email address on the Contact page.