30 Days Wild – Italia: Giorno Due

Today we took to the water and found crabs, birds, lizards and butterflies without really leaving the tourist trail, (really, we found too much for just one blog post). If you let your eyes linger (and you have eagle eyed friends) you will almost certainly trip over some wild life before too long. So today, I offer up:

The common wall lizard: capable of ejecting the end of its tail as a decoy to a predator, a process known as autotony. The lizard can regrow it’s tail quite rapidly (apparently) so it seems plausible that this one pulled that stunt in the not too distant past. This one was sunning itself on the island of Torcello.

Barn swallows: This one seems to have bent it’s elegant tail feathers. This is unfortunate, not least because the female swallow will use this as a sign of fitness and select a mate at least in part based on these elegant features. It would seem though that the trait is not so closely related to gender selection as female swallows also exhibit these ornaments.

The humble sparrow: Actually not so humble, swooping in to our lunch table the very second that one of our party got up – clearly not adhering to the 3 second rule. Perching on the back of the chair it was easier to appreciate the colours in this oft-overlooked bird – he really is quite a handsome bird.



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