Environment

Native Bird Species Of France

Hundreds of bird species call France home. In this article, we take a look at just a few of these French avian species.

France is home to relatively untouched habitat which supports a large variety of wildlife, birds, and animals. The country consists of a large forested area where a large species of native animals such as Wild Boar and Red squirrel are common. France is also home to several introduced species from other parts of the world. The metropolitan France has more than 541 recorded species of birds while the entire country has over 800 birds’ species. The birds’ species in the country include the introduced species and the species that have migrated to the country from the neighboring European countries.

Native Bird Species Of France

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe is a small waterbird in the family Podicipedidae. The bird has a red-and-black alternate plumage. Horned Grebe has a relatively long neck and a flat forehead with a rear crown of a black feather. The beak is straight and pointed with a white tip. A mature grebe is 30 to 38 cm with a wingspan of 55 to 75 cm and weighs a maximum of 570 g. A young grebe begins calling in a shrill peeping voice similar to a domestic chick. Horned Grebe feeds on aquatic arthropods and fish with its large feet helping it to maneuver through the water. It feeds in a small group of a maximum of five birds. Horned Grebe is a monogamous bird with an elaborate mating routine.

Eurasian Wryneck

Eurasian Wryneck is a species in the family woodpecker. The bird is a migratory species that winters in Africa and Southern Asia. Eurasian Wryneck got its name from English name because of its ability to turn its head up to 180 degrees. An adult bird can grow to 16.5 cm in length with a short bill. The upper part is barred and molted in brownish to the blackish bar while the underpart is cream with few brown spots. The tail is rounded and gray sparkled with brown. Eurasian Wryneck feeds on ants, beetles, and spiders. Although it spends most of its time on tree branches, it forages on the ground. It builds its nest on tree trunks and crevices on walls.

Cormorant

Cormorant is a widespread family of seabirds that breeds much in the Old World and Cost of North America. It is a large black bird which weighs approximately 1.5kg. The male Cormorant is slightly bigger than the female. It has a long tail and a white-patched thigh and throat. Its bill is thick and lacks the crest. Cormorant is a silent bird but makes guttural noise in its breeding colony. It nests on the cliff or in trees. Cormorant feeds in shallow water by bringing its prey to the surface. It feeds mainly on fish.

Alpine Swift

Alpine Swift is a migratory bird that winters mostly in the Southern Africa. It has small legs which are only used for clinging to the vertical surface. It builds its nest in colonies on the cliff hole or caves. It can return to the same site year after year and rebuild its nest when necessary. A mature Alpine Swift measures 20 to 23 cm in length and weighs about 100 g. Alpine Swift spends most of its time on air and feeds on insects.

Threats To The Native Birds Of France

The majority of birds in France are listed as least concern by the IUCN because of their distribution and population. There is no significant threat to most of these birds. The migratory birds are the most affected during winter as most of them migrate as far as Africa and Asia with few returning to France during summer. An outbreak of a disease in an area may affect a large flock and spreads very quickly to other regions due to the movement of birds.

Native Birds of FranceScientific Name
Horned Grebe
Podiceps auritus
Eurasian Wryneck
Jynx torquilla
Cormorant
Phalacrocorax carbo
Alpine Swift
Apus melba
White Stork
Ciconia ciconia
Barn Owl
Tyto alba
Goosander
Mergus merganser
Turtledove
Streptopelia turtur
Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus
Lapwing
Vanellus vanellus

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