We The Italians | Italian land and nature: Birdwatching in Sardinia

Italian land and nature: Birdwatching in Sardinia

Italian land and nature: Birdwatching in Sardinia

  • WTI Magazine #174 Apr 20, 2024
  • 915

Sardinia, beloved by tourists from around the world for its crystal blue, turquoise and aquamarine sea, is a wild and untamed landscape full of wonder and surprise, particularly due to its unique environmental characteristics that favor an immense variety of animal species, birds above all.

With approximately 330 bird species nesting on the island at any given time of year, many a spot on this beautiful island is recognized as an EU Site of Community Importance.Observing these animals in their natural environment is an amazing experience, so much so that it draws thousands of birdwatchers to Sardinia’s birdwatching hotspots every year. 

The Coast of Oristano

One of the most beloved areas by birdwatchers is the coastal strip of Oristano, populated as it is by beautiful pink flamingos and seemingly every type of osprey and marsh harrier. Herons along the coast are also many and diverse, and include such personages as the purple heron, grey parrot and the cattle egret.

The Cabras Lagoon

The Cabras Lagoon, rather, north of the Gulf of Oristano si estende lo stagno di Cabras, hosts thousands of birds all year-round, above all herons and numerous duck species: think the almost-extinct white-headed duck. Another regular among the migratory, nesting species here is the glossy ibis, recognizable by its long, semi-curved beak. 

Winter brings the lagoon thousands of aquatic birds seeking refuge, foremost among them the harlequin or tufted duck, and wild ducks. Cabras’s western edge is prime for the Eurasian dotterel – a bird very rarely seen in Italy – in the months of August and September.

Stintino and Platamona

The coastal ponds and lagoons of Stintino and Platamona are home to innumerable bird species. The Pilo Lagoon that faces the Gulf of Asinara calls itself home to flamingos, herons and Bee-Eaters. The Santo River, source of the lagoon, then, is the summertime nesting-place of Montagu’s Harriers.
And not far from the center of Stintino are the Casaraccio Lagoon and its lovely flamingos, cranes and black swans, in addition to several duck families. 

Finally, we can find species of heron, marsh harrier, swamphen and the friendly Red-Crested Pochard in Platamona.

San Pietro Island

This beautiful island in the archipelago of Sulcis Iglesiente is the location of the Carloforte LIPU WWF Oasis, refuge for an extraordinary quantity of bird species. Just think: approximately 100 couples of Eleonora Falcons – one of the most gorgeous, and rare, falcons ever sigted in the Mediterranean - arrive from Madagascar every year. 

The Falcons derive their name from Eleonora d'Arborea, who issued an edict promising capital punishment for those that hunted or killed the bird. Birdwatchers can spot not only these magnificent protected birds, but also buzzards and peregrine falcons in the Oasis. 


Finally, the Molentargius Saline Regional Park – protected by the Ramsar Treaty – spreads over part of the beautiful Province of Cagliari. Scientists have identified at least 350 botanical, and around 100 ornithological, species in the Park. Its interior boasts flamingos, wild ducks, cormorants, marsh harriers, several types of heron, and other rare birds.