Bird Watching is a popular hobby all over the world with millions of fans. Bird watching in Chania can lead to exiting pursuits in areas of unique beauty where the visitors can combine knowledge with fun with a magical mixture of color and sounds.
Hundreds of bird species have been recorded in the area. Many of them reproduce here and others spend the winter in Chania or periodically use Chania as part of their migration journey.
Crete is important for birds due to its diverse landscape, its climate and its strategic geographic location that facilitated the birds' migration journey.
The best season for a bird watcher to visit Chania is in Spring and early Summer. July and August are "quieter" months but there is some "traffic" during this time as well because many species pass through the area on their journey to Africa. Visitors that are interested in bird migration should visit the area of Chrysoskalitissa and Elafonissos, the western coast and the three capes of the prefecture.
The best areas for wader (shorebird) bird watching are Georgioupoli, Kournas Lake, Souda Bay (mainly at the estuary of the Moronis River), Agia Lake and the western coast of Chania until after Kasteli at the estuary of the rivers in Falassarna. There are many areas that flood and hold water until May (depending to the weather conditions) that also attract birds.
There are small wetlands at the southern part of the island in Paleochora and Frangokastelo. In mountainous areas like the cape of Spatha and Gramvoussa one can observe vultures and other predators of the island.
During the Spring and Autumn migration the migrating predators that fly through western Crete generally prefer the western part of Chania Prefecture. The best places for observation are the summit of Agios Dikeos over the village Elos and the high points at the capes of Spatha and Gramvoussa.
Generally the area offers many options and opportunities to bird watchers with the great variety of landscapes and habitats. With binoculars, a map and patience, within a week, one can make several significant observations and enjoy unique experiences.