Along the Etna woods or around rural
abandoned, it is possible to meet the
barn owl, or the
that comes from Africa in April and
it stays in the wood to nest, leaving it in September. Or even the
buzzard, very shy in spite of
its appearance, predator of small snakes, birds and young rabbits.
In open areas of poor vegetation at the edge of the woods
it is possible to meet the southern viper
"vipera aspis hugyi", which
is an endemic species, that lives in the vineyards and in the dry-stones
of the Etna; it is about seventy centimetres long, and it has a heart shape
In the insidious black lava, on its own or with an occasional hunter, it
is possible to
the great predatory of wild rabbits, the
"Cirneco of Etna", classified
as "primitive race" because of its standard .
In the woods, in the gardens and in the orchards lives
a rodent that in autumn after putting up lot of weight goes into hibernation;
it is the "dormouse". The
relationship between man and dormouse is very old. Before the Greeks, then
the Romans were very fond of the meat of this animal, that they use to breed
and to fatten inside special containers made of clay (glicari); during feast
use to predispose proper scales where the notaries recorded the weight
of the bigger ones, that after were roasted on the spit. Even during recent
days we could find the dormouse on the tables, it was during the Second World
War when it was the main course of the Etna peasants.
The dread of the insects, that hide themselves under the
trees' bark, is the "Green
Woodpecker", a real natural
In the park, the fauna consists of nocturnal animals.
We can find the "Wild cat" whose classic prey is
the rabbit. Very similar to a domestic cat, it is more rough and with shorter
legs. It has a grey thick fur with black stripes.
It is a solitary type, and it lives in the oak' woods and in the bush; active
during the night, it feeds on mice, hares, birds and reptiles.