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Home » The Po Delta » Biodiversity » Fauna

Birds

The birds, with over 370 species of nesting, migratory, and wintering birds, are the most interesting part of the fauna in the Po Delta.
We will present them according to the environments where it is easier to find them.

Along the River

You can observe here the slow flight of the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea).
There are several Great Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus) and Cormorants (Phalacrocoras carbo). The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), the Night Heron(Nycticorax nycticorax), the Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides), and the Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) belong to the Ardeidae family.

Channels, River Flood Plains, Basins

Given the variety of situations characterizing them, they are the richest environments in species. Among the canebrakes, species like the Purple Heron and the Marsh Harrier (Circus aeroginosus) can be found, together with some Passeriformes like the Bearded Tit (Panurus biarmicus), the Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), the Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), and the Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cettii).
In some areas, the Black Tern and the very rare Whiskered Tern build their nest on the stele of the water lilies.

Lagoons, Tidal Flats, and Hillocks

Among the nesting birds there are the Little Tern (Sterna albifrons), the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo), the Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), the Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis), the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), the Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus), the Common Redshank, the Black-winged Stilt, and the Avocet. Moreover, there are the Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea), the Spoonbill (Platalea leucoridia), the Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), and the Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna).
The Delta represents a wintering area and a shelter for migratory birds, like the Goldeneye (Buccephala clangula).
During the migrations and in winter, these large stretches of water fill up with Coots (Fulica atra) and various species of ducks: diving ducks like the Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and the Pochard (Aythya ferina); dabbling ducks, like the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the Pintail (Anas acuta), the Garganey, the Shoveler (Anas clypeata), and the Wigeon (Anas penelope).

Brackish Inlets and Shoals

The shallow seabed houses mud-dwelling species like the Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and, in winter, the Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), and the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa).

Beaches and Sandbars

The Oystercatcher still nests here (Haematopus ostralegus), while it has disappeared from the rest of Italy.

Mallard
Mallard
(photo by: Gastone Dissette)
Little Egret
Little Egret
(photo by: Gastone Dissette)
Titmouse
Titmouse
(photo by: Gastone Dissette)
Hoopoe
Hoopoe
(photo by: Gastone Dissette)
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
(photo by: Gastone Dissette)
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via G. Marconi, 6 - 45012 Ariano Polesine (RO)
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