In the spring and autumn, Crete is a favorite resting place for a vast number of migratory birds.
Many observation huts and towers have been installed in wetlands where bird watchers can watch a great variety of birds. Apart from wetlands, watchtowers have been placed in several gorges and mountains that are home to a large number of birds of prey.
The largest natural lake in Crete is located at Kournas near Georgioupolis, where visitors can observe birds from the local watchtower. Small, but important, natural ponds with water all year round are also located at Tersanas by Chania, at Mohos and Thrapsano while seasonal ponds are met at Orne, Parakalouri, Ziros, Omalos by Viannos, Achendrias, Stroumboulas, various plateaus of north province Mirabello, Gergeri and in several more places. Artificial lakes where one can observe birds are located at Ayia by Chania, Votomos by Zaros, at the large dams of Bramiana, Aposelemis, Faneromeni, Potami, and the numerous small dams in the hinterland of Heraklion.
Rivers and wetlands that are home to large populations of wading birds are also found in numerous sites of the island. The most famous include the estuaries of the rivers Aposelemis, Anapodaris, Almiros by Gazi, Preveli, Platys, Almiros by Agios Nikolaos, Kyliaris and the four rivers of Georgioupolis. Other extremely important locations are the saltpans of Xerokambos, Gavdos, Chrissi and the marshes of Malia, Katalyki and Falassarna.