Migratory and breeding bird on the island, with several pairs on the Akamas peninsula. It arrives by the end of April and leaves between August to mid-September. It overwinters in sub-Saharan Africa and migrates to Europe (mainly western and SE – east), NW Africa and west – southwest Asia where it breeds.
Medium sized species, resembles a corvid in shape but with characteristic bright coloring (turquoise body – head with chestnut brown back). It’s one of the 5 most colorful birds of Cyprus and Europe. It’s seen mostly in open areas with sparse trees, in rocky areas with cliffs or boulders where it breeds in tree hollows or holes in rocks or sandy banks. It’s often also seen inside or at the edges of villages (especially abandoned ones), where it uses holes in stony walls or abandoned buildings.
It feeds mostly on large insects (mainly beetles, grasshoppers etc.), less so on lizards and other vertebrates. Call is a characteristic ‘rak-ak’, reminds the call of a corvid.