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Verdon Natural regional Park wildlife

You will discover the many animal species in the Verdon Regional Natural Park, and may be able to have the chance to meet some, or photograph others!Be attentive and silent, nature does not like that disturbed. But so far, do not miss the opportunity to meet.
When hiking or white-water sports, it is possible to see some animals, such as beavers, traces of wild boars, or other senior birds perched.
This list is not exhaustive, it may be completed as the new data or meetings in the Park.


The most common bats are also the smallest: Pipistrelle. Nocturnal, these mammals often hunt around the lampposts that light attracts many midges and butterflies. They can devour in one evening almost 30% of their weight in insects. Scientists have calculated that a species cousin of pipistrelle, Daubenton murine, ate the equivalent of 60,000 mosquitoes from May to October! All bats are equipped with radar to echolocation system moving in the darkness.They emit ultrasound that are returned by the obstacles or prey (like an echo) indeed. Some impatient bats come out a little before dusk, but they hide typically the day in hollow trees, caves, attics... and behind shutters sometimes.


Lively gestures, body end and look slender, venison is significantly smaller than the deer. It is essentially solitary, he occasionally form small groups, especially in winter. Brocade (male deer) marks its territory by rubbing antlers against young trees (smear) or by scraping the ground with his hooves (grattis).
He loses every autumn Woods. They repel from the winter and are operational for the breeding (fight between males), in the summer season. The DOE is only his two little fawns, or deer fawns. When he is worried, deer emits a kind of bark that is reminiscent of the dog. The dusk and dawn are privileged moments to observe grazing forest: the rest of the day, he lives hidden in the woods or, increasingly, in the middle of fields.

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Wild boar

Wild boars inhabit a company headed by a dominant female. Older males, them, prefer solitude. Mainly vegetarian, although omnivorous, wild boar ploughs the Earth of his groin looking for acorns, roots, mushrooms... which are its food. The menu varies according to the seasons. Hungry, it can cause damage to crops. The laie (female wild boar) builds a nest to the world its marcassins: the Cauldron. It is a cluster of leaves and branches she piled up and dug. The marcassins stay there a few days. Later, and until the age of six months, the young boar is called "red beast", then a "pet peeve" year. Contrary to some beliefs, the wild boar is not large displacements: when they are liberated, young people generally settled within I0 kilometres from their company. One can easily spot the traces of his passage, including the Earth scraped around trees, or highly visible fingerprints on dirt roads.

Genet and mustelids

As elusive as agile, the Genet is called in some places "cat-Marten". This nickname comes from his look of cat and a Marten-like behaviour. It easily climbs trees and is there refuge in case of danger. Every day, the Genet is transformed into "Acrobat" to delimit his territory: it makes the poirier to leave fragrant traces!
This discreet cousin of the Mongoose has often Mania to leave its droppings at the same location (called Macias). In the Verdon, its presence is likely in the Haut-Var. The weasels are the elongated body of small carnivorous mammals. These animals have a reputation for being bloodthirsty, cruel and harmful, what is wrong. Natural predators of small rodents, they have their role in the natural balance. Marten and marten are very similar but, if the Marten is the host of forests (and declining), marten prefer cities and villages.

Lynx and Wolf

The lynx is a very discreet and fierce animal, but who does not fear the presence of the man. It is exceptional to observe it. Its hunting territory is very extensive, so that individuals are few: a couple to several thousand hectares. Observed several times in the mountainous and wooded park part, but it does not know its workforce and its hunting territories.
He has a German Shepherd but with a massive neck air and a more powerful look. Its traces are similar to those of a dog. The Wolf does not eat red chaperone... but instead of wild animals (deer including) and sometimes domestic. He lives in the great forests, in mountain areas, but also in the agricultural plains. Since ten years ago, some individuals, from Italy, settled in the Alps from the Mercantour. In the Verdon, the presence of the Wolf is attested in Canjuers sector as well as in the high Verdon, at the gates of the Park. What is not without problems pastoral activity.


Fox is an opportunistic predator who eats everything that falls it under the tooth: voles, birds, carrion, fruit, insects, etc. He sometimes even to the bins when he lives near homes. It is in the early morning or at dusk he goes marauding but can it surprise day when it raises its young or when it is snowing. Fox lodge in burrows that it hollow or abandoned cavities. You can recognize a burrow inhabited by a goupil to smell that comes out! Often victim of rabies, the species was long and needlessly persecuted. Today, cases of rabies are rare thanks to vaccination campaigns carried out since the 1980s.


Badger, classified in the family Mustelidae, hasn't yet the aspect. Thanks to its powerful Forelegs, he digs Burrows where it remains throughout the day. You can easily recognize them: the entrances to galleries, at least 25 centimetres in diameter, are surmounted by a bunch of dredged material or grass litter; traces of pas are sometimes visible. Often, Burrows are grouped in one place called village because the Badger lives in clan, usually family. Its nocturnal habits make a discreet animal. His food is varied: worms, carrion, insects, rodents, fruits, etc. Systematic gassings practiced for many years (today forbidden by law) have been regressing populations of this mammal nice. Short-sighted, but with an unerring sense of smell, the Badger is difficult to detect. To observe it, place near its burrow before the end of the day, always into the wind, or better, perchez you in a tree. Unfortunately the Badgers are too often victims of collision on the roads.

Beaver and nutria

Both lumberman, Carpenter and Carpenter, the Beaver cuts trees and shrubs to feed on their bark, build a hut for nesting and sometimes even to build a dam. Most of the time, its nest is located in a single burrow. Index of his presence: the Beaver left behind pieces of trees which the ends are cut like a paper pencil. The beaver is present in the Durance river and the downstream of the Verdon.
Originally from South America, the nutria has been imported in France for its fur. After escaping from farms, it does not bothered to colonize most of our regions. No native predators was unable to stop it, it has proliferated. The myocastor (another name) creates damage in many banks by the dint of dig Burrows up to cause their collapse.

Norway rat and Vole

Grey rat or sewer rat are all names which designate the Norway rat (Ratite norvegicus). Originally from Asia, it spread in Europe from the 18th century, and prosperous now everywhere where lives human. More small cousin the Norway rat, roof rat (missed rattus) is also native to Asia, but implanted since the Crusades (11th - 12th century). Its coat contains a fatty substance that permeates everything it touches. He lives in the attic, while the Norway rat prefers the cellar. Harvest (Micromys minutiae) rat is climbing the tall grass specialist. It has a prehensile tail that wraps around the rods when it comes down from his perch.
There are many species of voles: russet, amphibious... All bore and are very fond of seeds, roots... and cereals grown by humans. Voles have the power to reproduce massively when food is abundant: outbreaks. This attracts without delay a procession of predators: foxes, weasels, hawks, owls...

Mice and voles

They look great. Mice, - prefer life alongside men while the mice are more forest. These small rodents are distinguished by their amazing reproductive capacity. Imagine that a gray mouse can reproduce up to 10 times in a year. Knowing that each litter has up to 8 small that, them too, can reproduce at the end of six weeks, do the math... and hide your supplies.

Loir and Dormouse

Burglar mask gives it a nice look but the nightlife of the Dormouse will rarely give you the opportunity to admire it. The loir, grey also nocturnal, is a famous climber. Formerly, the Romans raised it and fed it to eat... If the ants leave behind chemical molecules that allow their counterparts to follow them everywhere, the garden Dormouse is distinguished by any another method: it is coating the legs of a few drops of urine that will provide the fragrant traces.The Dormouse and the loir Hibernate in general from October to April-May. Sometimes they have the annoying habit to commit damage in housing insulation.


Each fall, the squirrel is, provisions that he buried here and there. But it will be well could not find the all: it contributes to the spread of the species. The animal makes nests in the hollow of the tree from twigs, MOSS and leaves branches shaped. Its food consists of dried fruits: pine cones, acorns, hazelnuts, etc. In winter, its pretty red coat easily note amidst the trees without leaves.


Marmots live in small family colonies and rarely their homes away. Their Burrow, usually located near a rock, can reach 3 m deep and 10 m long. Wary respect their natural predators, Groundhogs can however let themselves approach, especially in places where they are accustomed to the presence of men.There are a few small populations in the Verdon.

Hare and rabbit

The Hare, as large as the rabbit, hollow no terrier. He lightly scratching the ground and was hammered throughout the day. Pelage color of Earth provides excellent camouflage. Usually solitary, hares gather in the spring for the rut. Males become so often Boxer to attract the attention of females...
Sociable, rabbit lives in small groups in galleries that he digs himself. Its Burrows together form a garenne. Nearby, you will find without difficulty the pétouiller, collective crottoir of rabbits. The animal usually graze grass. But, when the winter is harsh and vegetation is scarce, he does not hesitate to eat the bark of young trees, causing damage in plantations. It can reproduce 4-6 times per year, with 3 to 8 young per litter you can observe it in day well make it more active night. Its populations can be locally decimated by two diseases: myxomatosis and VHD.

Hedgehog and water shrew

While the mammoth and sabre-toothed Tiger are long gone, the Hedgehog, which widely existed before them, went through millions of years that separate us from these ancient times. Its ruffled back nearly 5,000 Quills he facilitated the task. Today, the Hedgehog is confronted with much modern danger: the wheels of cars... The disappearance of Hedges and the massive use of insecticides him do not support either. He wanders the night looking for earthworms and insects. The proximity of dwellings does not scare him and he likes to hunt in the shaven lawns of the gardens. It hibernates from November to March.
The water shrew swims very well. She plunges and "short" on the bottom of the water looking for aquatic insect larvae. Her secret: she has a row with stiff hairs forming a train on the underside of the tail. This large and robust, protected by law, is especially active at dusk or night. It bores in the Bank with an opening under water.

Wading birds

Herons and Grebes

Herons (protected since 1976) feed on fish they catch on the lookout. The grey heron is common in France. At the speed of lightning, his neck relaxes and the spout in the form of dagger pierces the victim. The little egret proceeded Similarly, with a few capers approach and more. Very discreet Heron, Heron moves especially the night. As the White Stork, there remained less than 20 pairs in France in the mid-1970s.
Most often represented on the ponds by great crested grebe and little grebe, grebes demands admiration by their elegance and their great adaptation to the aquatic environment. As of submarines, they have pockets in the plumage that they use as ballast. Their tabs at the rear of the body, the role of propeller-powered: the grebe can reach the speed of 2 meters per second under water!

Great Cormorant

Specialist underwater hunting, the great Cormorant dives and swims perfectly to capture his favourite food: fish. Paradox of nature, its plumage is not waterproof like most water birds! You will no doubt have the opportunity to observe it in a funny position: perched on a branch or a post, still spread wings, looks the cormorant expects that its feathers dry...

Rails and shorebirds

The rails are a family that includes very common species like the coot and the pool water, and other more rare as the water rail or the soras, or endangered such as the corncrake frankly. The coot and the water hen are accustomed to public parks ponds. Watch them, you will find fun details about these birds strangely adapted to aquatic life! Known loons, huge paws... Peering into the vegetation with your binoculars, you may observe the chicks by the pool of water at the skull of an intense red. This brightly colored encourages parents to feed them and will disappear as young people find themselves foraging.
Of a small to medium sized shorebirds are equipped to live and feed on waterlogged soils: marshes, estuaries... The length of their legs allows them to progress in the mud and shallow water without difficulty. Most excavate mud of their long beaks to feed. Beaches, estuaries, large tracts of land made naked by the tide are places privileged to observe. Don't forget the ponds, whose water level has dropped, and which reveal large beaches of vase: the mudflats.Often difficult to differentiate, many species breed in Northern Europe and are passing that in our country.

Black-headed Gull and yellow-legged Gull

Finally a bird whose populations are doing well. The Black-headed Gull has indeed taken advantage of human activity. It winters on ponds, sometimes inland, and does not hesitate to move away from the water. The gulls have a huge appetite: they can swallow up their own weight of food per day.
Bold and skillful sailboat, the yellow-legged Gull is also a profiteer. He seizes a mollusk and drop it to break its shell or that he took advantage of the open-air dumps, the gull will always surprise you by its adaptability. It is called gabian in Provence.

Ducks and waterfowl

Some species nest here. But it is when a wave of winter cold is rife in the North of Europe that many water birds descended in our regions, where water bodies are not yet frozen. It is the cold... The time is ideal for the observation of the Anatidae (ducks family) on the ponds. Shoveler, Pintail, teal, milouins, redheads... are often composed of different species groups. Diving ducks and dabbling ducks rub shoulders in the middle of coots and grebes. At your binoculars!


The burrowing owl, the symbol of Athena, is one of the few owls that can be observed in daylight. It feeds on insects and worms in addition to rodents, which constitute the ordinary of the Raptors. The OWL tawny has a somewhat more diverse than its cousins diet: it adds such as many passerines.OWL barn, or White Lady, worked the imagination of men. His raucous grunts, in the attics and steeples, are causing many stories of ghosts...
Rare and localized, the OWL is also the largest nocturnal raptors in Europe. Once widespread throughout the territory, there are more than in remote locations. During the day, the long-eared OWL stands on a branch or plate against the trunk to hide alert. He thus betrays its presence: a cluster of balls of rejection accumulates at the foot of the tree! Among the nocturnal birds of prey, OWL scops owl is the only real migratory. Barely bigger than your fist, it eats mostly insects. It is also and especially the typically Mediterranean night Raptor. His song repeated tirelessly, noted 'joic-k', characterises the Provençal nights... The Park is home to three species of OWL. Present from April to August.

Buzzards and Harriers

Clear plumage, dark, intermediate... buzzard is aptly named. Common, you will see it often perched on poles or stakes. It hunts on the prowl primarily voles but she does not disdain the insects, snakes, and carrion. Its large wings allow him to hover in drawing large circles in the sky. Buzzard nests on top of tall trees.
The Harriers and Harriers garganeys, threatened, raptors nest on the ground. The fields of wheat, barley or oats have replaced the environments that they once frequented: swamps, moors, Great Plains... The female incubates while the male hunts. You might have the chance to attend this typical scene: the male, a rodent in greenhouses, approaching the nest to refuel the female. It rises into the air and catches up in mid-flight prey dropped by his companion.Unfortunately, the brood are frequently victims of the early portion of combine harvesters.

The black kite

The black kite flies often over water looking for dead or sick fish. Its diet is mainly composed of carrion. He does not hesitate to closer cities to enjoy outdoor restaurants: dumps! The milan is sometimes converted to hijacker to delight a prey to other birds (small raptors, herons...). Present from March to September.

Griffon vulture and Egyptian vulture

Long persecuted through ignorance, the Griffon Vulture is now protected. It has been reintroduced successfully in the Causses, then in several other regions.Its diet earned him this funny morphology: its head and neck are equipped with small feathers fluffy and razed. Ideal to find his meal in the bowels of carrion...The Griffon Vulture is a "tall". The first hot hours of the morning, it takes off and spends the greater part of the day to hover by searching for remains corpses of sheep and other animals. You will rarely see beating their wings (except near the cliffs where they nest in colonies). Again accepted (and appreciated) in our mountains, the Griffon Vulture sees its workforce substantially. Its reintroduction in the Verdon, from 1999, is now followed by the vulture monk, a close relative.
The Egypt Vulture is the smallest vulture in Europe. His image is abundantly represented on the monuments of ancient Egypt (where its name). Scavenger, he does not hesitate to vary its menus by feeding with the excreta of various animals (all tastes are in nature)! The Egyptian vulture commonly visit garbage dumps in the company of the kites, looking for some filth. It usually nests in high rock walls. Its populations are declining. Yet recently breeding in the Verdon Park, the reintroduction of the Griffon Vulture appears to favour his return.

Royal Eagle

The Golden Eagle has long been persecuted by men before being protected. Its populations are now rising slightly. Large predator, the Eagle feeds sometimes carrion but most often of animals that it captures: marmot, Hare, Ptarmigan, even young chamois! It hunts by shaving off the slopes of the mountains to better catch prey. The courtship in the late fall is spectacular: the mile pretends to address the female then both drop in a spin.


The short-toed eagle with his name to the pallor of his plumage. It specialized in hunting reptiles... it is casts until it locates its prey. In winter, the absence of its main power source drives him to migrate. It occurs from March to October.


"Recordbird" of speed in spades, Peregrine builds on its prey at a dizzying speed of 270 km / h. boom from the top of the cliff, it is watching... A bird appears ill and the Pilgrim takes altitude for better stitching. Often, the violence of the shock is enough to kill the prey. Rare and threatened, he very nearly disappear, particularly because of pesticides such as DDT (now banned), which caused sterility. The very common kestrel benchmark to its flight on-site, said "Holy Spirit", when he defeated vigorously wings to stabilize above a rodent, before stitching it.
Its fast and unpredictable flight Hawk EBP hedges looking for his favorite prey: birds. It sometimes behaves in true kamikaze when he dives at breakneck speed into thorny bushes to capture a passerine. No doubt carried away by its momentum, it happens that it gut on a branch. The females of the Hawk are much larger than males. Pairs nest in large trees and sometimes build their area (bird nest) on the foundations of an old nest of Jay.

Northern goshawk

Long tail, which acts as a valuable rudder, and its short wings allow for the goshawk "slaloming" skillfully between the trees of the forest. This is a Hunter of birds Jays, crows, pigeons, Blackbirds and thrushes are enrolled in its menu. It affords sometimes exceptions by capturing the rabbits. Its diet earned him long persecution by hunters. Do not confuse the goshawk with the Hawk.

Cuckoo and Nightjar

The cuckoo owes its name to its well-known song. In flight, its silhouette reminiscent of a small Hawk. Do not seek its nest, it does not: it is a "parasite" bird.At the lookout under the foliage, the female cuckoo finds the nest of small songbirds (warblers, Reed warblers, wrens, Robins...). At the proper time, she lays an egg among those of the lawful owner. The young cuckoo comes out of its shell before the others and begins to work: he throws the eggs outside the nest! Despite its disproportionate size, the impostor will be feed by adopting parents! Last strangeness: the young cuckoo is only the road to Africa during its migration.
Rare and localized species, the common Nighthawk is difficult to surprise. Its plumage very skillfully reproduced the bark of the trees on which it arises usually. He passes the day based in vegetation, perched in the direction of the dead branch that supports or lurking on the ground. At night, the Nightjar feeds flying insects that it pursues. Her singing, surprising, evokes the sound of a small engine. In the Verdon, the encroachment of grasslands and the gradual closure of the Moors following the judgment of the pasture it is unfavorable. Present from May to September.

Black grouse

In breeding season, in April-May, males of the small cock, or black grouse, gather at dawn in an area cleared for parade collectively by spreading their amazing tail. These places are called "tournament fields": disputes, intimidation, fights are at the rendezvous. Males are polygamous and the challenge of these surprising scenes involving the hens is other than mating. Attention, the slightest disturbance at these times is enough to greatly disrupt the reproduction.Located, the black grouse, like most gallinaceous birds, is in the process of regression: hunting, disturbance, destruction of the environment are all factors that weaken its populations. The Park of the Verdon has a few small populations.

Partridge, red grouse and rock Partridge, alouettes

By carefully scrutinizing the ploughing, you may detect a Partridge company (10 individuals). These birds often go unnoticed because of their dull plumage. In case of danger, the Red-legged Partridge prefers to flee into fields rather that soar. Similarly, the Partridge was reluctant to take flight but practice race with agility. You'll have more chances to hear than to see. "Rock Partridge" is a Provençal word that could be translated by "talkative woman"... This Partridge breeds and feeds on the ground. The bulk of its diet consists of seeds, berries and young shoots.
A song sounds high in the sky, powerful, endless... This small black point way up there is other than the Skylark, which almost all season nice, singing without ever tiring. Yet, the Lark breeds, sleeps and hunting ground. Its food consists of insects and seeds it finds trotting in the fields. Do not confuse it with the Woodlark, melancholy vocals, preferring areas dotted with trees. The regional natural park of Verdon is home to a small population of alouette grille, very rare.

Crested Lark

No need to search the habitat type of the Lark for it detects. It adapts very well industrial zones, road edges, old train stations and even supermarket carparks! He is a cousin of the Lark. Like her, the Lark nests in the soil and feeds on insects and seeds. In the 19th century, he used to search the horse dung to retrieve the seeds undigested, but today horses have given way to cars... and the species is in clear regression.


Thanks to their powerful beaks, woodpeckers dig deep cavities in the trunks and then dislodged larvae using their long tongue. All batter the trees in the spring to mark their territory. In winter, the great spotted Woodpecker chooses forges, kinds of workshops where it jammed apples pine to extract the seeds. The green woodpecker does not hesitate to disembowel ant while the great black Woodpecker axe menu the stumps or trunks fallen to the ground.The wavy flight of the peaks is easily recognizable.
Short-toed treecreeper gardens
You will recognize the Creeper in its typical behavior. It climbs along the trees from their bottom and turning around the trunk. In doing so, it search bark to find some invertebrates themselves in the spout. Its air of small peak, plumage color trunk, fine and curved beak able to dislodge the smaller insect, all these 'equipment' the Creeper make a bird perfectly adapted to arboreal lifestyle.


The beautiful hoopoe probe and pick me ground of its beak to catch larvae, worms, and insects that are hiding. Plumage Motley, visible when she strongly spread her wings, allows him to stump of potential predators (Hawks). Presents from March to September. In the Hollows of trees.


Pickets of fences, barbed wire, poles and telephone wires... as many places to be inspected in the first place if you want to admire the Shrikes. All these perches suit them perfectly for a lookout position. They hunt many insects and do not hesitate to capture young voles. If the prey are abundant, Shrikes are a stock of food, impaling victims on thorns or barbed wire... where the nickname of one of the two cousins Soulflayer. So "hooked" insects are eaten later.Present from April to September.

European Bee-eater

Trills sound. Look in the sky to locate the little bee-eaters band, which is hunt. The Bee-eater is a migratory bird that sometimes comes to reproduce in our regions. He lives in colony and niche in burrows dug in movable walls. To avoid the nest to become unbearable, parents swallow chicks droppings... Its name comes from its diet, composed of large insects: dragonflies, beetles and, of course, wasps that he can enter without being stung with its long beak. As agile that colorful, it crushes its victims against its perch, thus ejecting the poisonous sting, before offering them to her young. Present from May to September.


Its allure of tropical Bird won the male several nicknames, including that of Robin gold. However, the oriole let rarely admire: he lives quietly at the top of tall trees, hidden in the thick foliage. You don't will find it that through his whistle flute and harmonious. The oriole feeds cherries and all kinds of other berries.Invertebrates are also on its menu. Present from May to September.


Its very famous song that you can hear from April to June, has made the Nightingale a star of literature. It must be said that his compositions, day and night, are virtuosic without equal in the world of birds. You need patience to watch it because it spends most of its time hidden in the bushes. Present from April to September.


Thrushes are difficult to differentiate between them, less than to focus on a few details. They all have a diet consisting of invertebrates and fruit. Their cup-shaped nest is usually built in base of twigs, MOSS and mud, several metres from the ground. The thrushes, fieldfares and Abhishek gather to spend the winter in our regions. The others are breeding. The Song thrush, which will ever meet in band, even in winter, makes a forge for himself to break the shells of snails. Thrush drains, bigger, love the berries of mistletoe to the point that it is the main disseminating agent, through its droppings, which contain undigested seeds.

European Starling

Common European Starling nests often near homes, in cavities, under eaves, under the tiles, etc. It is an excellent imitator: perched on a branch, it reproduces the sounds of its environment. Some naturalists have already heard it imitate the Green Frog! In winter, starlings gather by the thousands (often more) to join their community dormitory: an electric pylon, the plane of an avenue in downtown, etc. Against predators such as hawks, they have copied (who knows how...) on the huge shoals of fish to defend themselves. They then form a compact wave of thousands of individuals: something dark in the sky that changes shape constantly guaranteed show!

Rock thrush, Blackbird, and ring ouzel

The rock, or rock thrush, thrush is a fierce bird. It iterates through the stony slopes skipping part and others to capture insects (locusts, flies...). At the slightest alert, it disappears as if by magic the vivid colours of the male did not prevent him to go unnoticed in the landscape. The female also very discreet, usually builds the nest in crevices of rock. Present from March to October.
The Blackbird does not hesitate to approach homes. It feeds on ground in hopping and rummaging through the leaves. When it scrapes the litter with his legs, he made a surprising commotion for a bird of this size. Despite his penchant for worms and insects, the Blackbird also eats fruit: apples, pears fallen to the ground, etc. It is an excellent singer.
As his black cousin, breasted Blackbird feeds mainly on the ground even if he likes to roost in the tops of tall trees. He likes indeed shaded or moist land dotted with trees and coniferous forests. The bird is present in France from March to October from 1000 m altitude and up to more than 2,000 m. far from March to October.


Excellent swimmer, Dipper spent his life on the edge of stream water fast (and clear). It feeds on various insects and aquatic larvae that it finds in the current.Water Robin (another name) can even walk to the bottom of water, Backwashing, pecking the larvae which lie on or under stones. You will see it no doubt resting on a rock in the middle of the river. The degradation of the quality of the water, his medium of choice, is a threat on the Dipper. It is well represented in the Verdon.

Marsh birds

These small birds are fond of dense thickets and reedbeds. The presence of the bouscarles and the cisticolas in a region is fluctuating, a harsh winter that can decimate a population... Boy is a Provençal name which means 'bird of the bushes'. Reed Warbler manufactures its nest in reedbeds in "braiding" twigs between stems of reeds and rushes. Each material used is first thoroughly soaked in water. This little trick allows the Reed to loosen the blade of grass and shape it in its own way. Its two cousins, the Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Reed Warbler, him look great.

Kinglets and willow Warblers

Take a coin in your hand, and you'll have an idea of the weight of the wrens. Weighing between 4.5 and 6 grams, they are the lighter birds of Europe. These small balls of feathers may be approaching a few metres if they feel safe in the middle of bushes. Do not hesitate to inspect "plant concrete" formed by Cedar hedges, the Wren is commonly walk (it is one of the rare birds to enjoy the Cedar).
The Willow Warblers are small insectivorous Brown-green, easier to recognize the vocals to the plumage. The chiffchaff is sometimes called ECU counter because his monotonous singing, often in two notes, evokes the sound of the pieces expected. His ball-shaped nest is located low in the bushes. Willow Warbler, like the whistling Warbler and the Western Bonelli's Warbler has a smoother vocals and frequent especially forests. What are discrete very often heard but seen more difficult. Present from March to October.


The dunnock is a fairly common, sometimes mistaken for a Warbler or a Sparrow bird. Discreet, he sneaks to the deepest bushes. On the ground, among the dozens of sparrows, it will soon make its appearance. There is a specific mountain accentor species: the Alpine accentor. He moves between 1500 and 3000 m, and the winter sometimes descends to the coast. Insectivorous, and demonstrates his nose, he sometimes just berries and seeds winter.

The Alps Snowfinch

Often lying on the ground, the snowfinch Pecks here and there a few seeds. You will usually see it in a small group in the middle of the Rocky lawns of high altitude. A.., this Sparrow of the mountains, little fierce, approached willingly chalets and ski area in winter. As early as February, the male finds a cavity to accommodate the nest and then he settled there and starts to sing. The female will follow if the hole suits him!

Citril Finch

The citril Finch, familiar with alternating meadows, coniferous forests is a close cousin of the nitwit cini. He lives in the family, between 1 000 and 2 000 m altitude, usually near the Alpine dwellings. It feeds mainly on the ground, seeds, buds and insects, but often arises at the top of the trees.


Pipits are adopting a novel flight technique to mark their territory... After a bit of altitude, the pipit drops, then while singing, he opens his wings and twirls like a parachute to the ground. Spioncelle pipit is a typical bird of the mountain, which moves the wet meadows in winter and the coastline.


The observation of the Warblers is not easy: their plumage is dull and they spend their lives hidden in the heart of the leafy bushes. Pitchou, Sardinian Warblers and glasses are typically Mediterranean representatives. These birds are discreet to the point that they could live in the thicket of your garden without any hint of your part... If it wasn't their song, sound and characteristic.


Easily recognizable to her round figure and its small erect tail, the tiny Wren weighs only 9 grams. It sneaks around, inspecting every corner to find his sustenance: Spider, insect, woodlouse... Watch the slipping into piles of wood and deep thickets: a real mouse as Wren does not hesitate to move houses.You can surprise it inspecting your windowsills.
Sparrows have always taken advantage of human activities. In the cities or in the fields, the food coming to the House Sparrow as for the Eurasian Tree Sparrow. They feed mainly on seeds and other vegetable matter. But happens to capture large beetles and even wall lizards! They are opportunistic: a crack in a wall cavity in a building them are enough to build a nest. Sometimes, they go so far as to expel a swallow's nest to settle...

Swallows and Swifts

Whence their name? The window swallow nests often against houses, roofs and windows. It forages in the sky. The barn swallow nests on beams, inside buildings, but only to the campaign. With its scalloped tail, this is the most typical swallow: it feeds on nearby soil insects. Its population is declining due to insecticides. The Bank swallow nests in the often formed furniture walls of sand near the banks. Rocks swallow nests close to the cliffs and rocky escarpments. When it is wet but also cold weather, insects are near the ground... and swallows. Where popular belief: "When the swallows fly low, it will rain"
The swift is an extraordinary bird and still full of mysteries. The sky is his Kingdom: it arises almost never, if to breed. It has the ability to sleep in flight more than 1,500 metres above sea level! Hunter of insects, it carries out thousand acrobatics, continuing invisible to our eye gnats. Unlike the swallow, it will never perches on wires. His Alpine cousin, or swift white-bellied, passes him the night in groups in cracks of rocks or under roofs. It is a very aerial bird anyway since it can fly from 600 to 1000 km per day to hunt insects!


The fringilles are small granivorous passerine (seed eaters). They are sociable, often live band, and are widespread. The male is usually more colorful than the female. As with all fringilles, female Greenfinch builds a nest Cup with various materials: dried herbs, twigs, feathers... Cousin of the famous Canary and yet little known of the ordinary mortals, serin cini does not hesitate to live near homes. The goldfinch retrieves the Teasel, grand Thistle seeds. Defiance of the law, the goldfinch is appreciated by some enthusiasts without scruples of cage birds. The Red crossbill is specialized in decortication of the cones of spruce and FIR. Its funny beak allows it to cut each scale into two to cleverly retrieve the hidden seed behind. The male of the Linnet built several nests, and the female chooses one. Where the expression, unjustified, "head of Linnet": he would forget its nests. The chaffinch is very common. His singing, that it can repeat several hundred times per hour, was born "gay as a lark" expression. Finally the aptly-named grosbeak crushed between its powerful mandibles cherry pits to eat almonds they contain. It also feeds many other seeds.


In winter, chickadees come together and move together, sometimes joined by a short or a Nuthatch: tits round is a show that you not tire during your winter walks. Acrobats, they can hang from the branches to dislodge insects inaccessible to other birds. The caterpillars are the most popular prey. Families, often more than 10 small, are common. The flight of youth, parents are tipped force both the comings and goings to feed all this small world have been incessant since the outbreak.


The crow family is amazing by its adaptability. Omnivores, Corvids as well eat seeds than insects, eggs that they looted in the nests. It is in the towers of the castles, large buildings, cathedrals and churches that nests the jackdaw. The male and the female of the Carrion Crow are United for life. The nickname of the thieving magpie comes from Mania to garnish its nest of shiny objects: packaging of chewing gum, piece of glass... His raucous squawks on all occasions, gave rise to the expression "talkative like a pie". By his loud cry of alarm, Jay plays the role of AWD for the rest of the inhabitants of the forest. Finally Raven, more great corvid in the world, performs impressive aerial acrobatics: tendrils, stitched, loopings... it can even fly on the back.


Green and yellow snake
It is also called "scathing" or "whip" because when it is disturbed, this snake fled quickly whisking his tail herbs. Do not attempt to catch it: on the one hand it is prohibited by law (it is fully protected) and, on the other hand, it bites you with resentment! Although it is harmless, its bite is painful... This snake is often overlooked, hidden in the vegetation. You can more easily seen in the months of April-May, when its first outings of the year. It overwinters underground in a hole, an old stock, and sometimes with others of his ilk.

Snake necklace, snakes of Montpellier and Thistle snake

Its name comes from the necklace that adorns her neck. Of large scales on the top of the head, a body slender and of course her Necklace: you cannot be confused with a Viper! To protect themselves, the snake has more than one trick in his bag. If you catch it, it simulates death unless she lets out a foul-smelling liquid that you will regret to have met her... Excellent swimmer, it feeds on amphibians, small fish and voles. It winters from November to April.
Typical Mediterranean reptile, the Montpellier snake is also the longest snake in Europe. When she is concerned, she is dreige as a cobra by blowing loudly.Unlike its cousins, the Montpellier snake has two hooks venomous but not dangerous for humans.
Is a common snake in along streams and rivers. Primarily aquatic, it feeds on fish, tadpoles, newts... When it feels threatened, it small his head give a triangle shaped making it resemble that of a Viper, from where its name. But, don't worry, is harmless.

Smooth snake

The smooth snake is a snake more rare and more discreet. You can meet her on Brushy slopes well sunny, especially early in the morning. While the Snake is specialized in hunting for frogs, the snake prefer lizards and even other snakes. Such a boa, she chokes larger prey in its rings before swallowing quietly.Although it is harmless, it is often confused with a Viper.


The slow worm is a lizard without legs. It has the power to auto-amputer to escape a danger: it loses its tail very easily. Its latin name comes from this fragility. Another nickname was given to him for the same reason: Snake of glass. You can often find under stones, or early in the morning, in the grass of a sunny edge. Its very smooth appearance to not to be confused with a snake.

European pond terrapin in Europe

The European pond terrapin is a rare small turtle especially active in the spring. It is the Sunrise you'll most likely to see it. Before to start hunting, it must increase its body temperature by exposing himself at length in the Sun, on a stone or a branch. At the slightest noise, she takes refuge in the water. The European pond terrapin eats primarily aquatic insects and tadpoles, accompanied by a few dead animals... Do not confuse it with the turtle from Florida (coming from America and sold in pet stores), too often released in nature and which causes the disappearance of the fragile European pond terrapin. The poor already has to do with the destruction and pollution of its biotopes.

Green Lizard, Ocellated lizard and lizard

Her green dress to go unnoticed in the grass and leaves. You can admire it without having it move a millimeter. In case of aggression this lizard will not hesitate to bite you pressing so hard its jaws it can remain hanging from your finger a good time... Don't worry, its bite is not dangerous. This reptile is present everywhere, especially near wetlands.
The Ocellated lizard, with its 60 cm long, more suggests a disturbing monitor as a harmless lizard - the largest in Europe. It easily climbs along trunks of tree and on the rocks. In case of danger, he fled noisily in a burrow or under a strain.
The lizard is present until the heart of major cities but the walls coated with plaster, cats and even the sparrows have more reason to him! He is very fond of flies and other flying insects. He sometimes listed bees to its menu as it is immune to their venom.


The salamander is almost exclusively terrestrial females is risk in water to release their larvae out of the winter. They need a rate significant moisture: they leave only during the night, or after good showers anytime soon. People said once that the salamander was capable of crossing the fire without any burn...! It was the emblem of François 1er. The species is common but localized (forests, wet wood...)

Southern frog, frog, common toad and common midwife Toad

•    Despite their small size, the Southern frogs can be heard, from May to July, more than a kilometre to the round. They stand on leaves of reeds or branches, remaining almost invisible during the day. Their population is in net decline, threatened by the destruction of their habitat, particularly in tourist areas.
•    Redheads frogs are nocturnal animals. As early as February, they begin to emerge from their winter sleep to go to reproduce. Thousands of frogs while in water, often return 6-9 cm temporary puddles, to mate and lay their eggs. The night, a discreet concert sounds: Deaf hum of males are intended to attract females. After three weeks, all will return to their earthly life in the forests, hedgerows and gardens, until next spring.
•    From March, the common toad migrates to its remote breeding (mares, etc) grounds sometimes several kilometres. He often must cross a ruthless barrier: roads. Almost 90% of a population can be eradicated by cars! Unaware of this danger, the males, very excited, cling to anything that moves...The end of one of your boots can undergo the assault of a male eager to mate 1 outside the breeding season, the common toad lives on Earth everywhere and released that night.
•    The common is a tiny Toad rare and localized, very amazing morals. The male attracts the female by emitting a pleasant Reedy note. Very attentive, it supports the eggs immediately after mating - where his nickname - and carries on its hind legs for several weeks before joining a water point to release the tadpoles. After a few months, they can reach 7 to 8 centimeters while adults do not exceed 5 cm. The common leads a life almost exclusively terrestrial.

White feet crayfish

Cancer is mainly active at night. It is present in well-oxygenated streams. Stumps, roots, stones him serve as a hiding place. It moves on the background or swimming backwards and eats mainly plant debris and dead animals. Poaching and the recent arrival of American crayfish cause regression of this species.

hiking - Verdon Gorge
hiking- Castellane
hiking - Verdon gorge
hiking - Roc Castellane

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