Lying at the marine junction of three continents, the island of Rhodes is an important gateway

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 butterflies 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 brief portrayals and some information about when and where particular species can be seen.

Most photographs of birds were taken two decades ago and many of them were published

at the time. One reason to present them here is the fact that the island populations of some resident and breeding migrant species have in the meantime suffered significant declines. Nevertheless, Rhodes has a lot to offer to bird watchers, particularly during migration, when it can spring many surprises, species rarely seen in most parts of Europe. For practical reasons, the four-gallery ‘Birds’ drop-down menu is organized in a rather unorthodox manner: ‘Raptors,’ ‘Waterbirds’ and ‘Songbirds’ are followed by a ‘More Birds’ page containing species that do not fit easily in the other three categories; there is also a small gallery on Kos Island with its avian highlights of wintering greater flamingos and breeding ruddy shelducks.

 

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 and Hesperiide.

Photographs taken recently (starting in June 2021) are shown on calendar-year pages and include images of non-flying wildlife.

 

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. 

 

Michael Domocos