Some of Menorca’s most magnificent and imposing species are large birds of prey. Diligent bird watchers who come to the island at the right time may get the chance to spot one of these awe-inspiring species.
Also known by the colourful name of ‘pharaoh’s chicken’, the Egyptian vulture is easy to spot by its white and hackled neck plumage, yellow-orange face, and wedge-shaped tail. This vulture is exceptional in its use of tools – it has been known to toss pebbles onto the eggs of other birds to crack them so that they can eat them.
Smaller and stockier than the Egyptian vulture, the booted eagle gets its name from its heavily feathered legs. It is distinguishable by the bright white patches on its wings where they meet the body, which some bird enthusiasts have termed ‘headlights’. They have a diverse habitat, ranging from deciduous forests to deserts.
The red kite may be recognisable to some residents of the UK – it gets around, found everywhere from Portugal to Ukraine and Sweden to Italy. Its plumage is a blend of black, brown, grey, and red feathers, with large white patches on the underwings. Though it hunts small mammals such as mice and voles, the red kite is also a scavenger and feeds frequently on carrion.
This severe-looking species holds the record as the fastest member of the animal kingdom. Capable of reaching over 200 mph during its high-speed hunting dive, the peregrine is a formidable predator. It preys mainly on medium-sized feathered reptiles, such as pigeons, doves, and waterfowl.
Menorca has many popular sites for enthusiasts hoping for a glimpse of birds of prey. If you’re renting a villa with us in Cala Galdana, you’re perfectly located for a day trip to the Algendar Gorge – an absolute haven for bird watchers. Similarly, if you’re staying in Son Bou, the nearby marshes are always active with avian life. If your villa is in the northern region, the nature reserve at Es Grau is your best bet.