Hungary, like much of central Europe has cold winters and warm summers as the climate is profoundly effected by the continental landmass. Although it was always among the most developed and affluent of the old soviet block it is still relatively under developed and agricultural practices have not yet been so intense as to ruin the land's potential for wildlife. The birds which were once familiar all over European farmland still thrive including Turtle Doves and Tree Sparrows, Corn Buntings and Red-backed Shrikes, White Storks and Hoopoes. A supporting cast of Golden Orioles, Bee-eaters and Serins are a delight to birders from the UK.
For a one-day trip the Kiskunsag area is the best. This is similar to Hortobagy, but smaller, there is puszta, fish-ponds, alcaline lakes, marshes, ect. It is close enough for an outing from Budapest, but you can find an interesting variety of birds including some of the 'specials' such as Great Bustard, Red-footed Falcon, Golden Oriol, European Bee-eater and Roller as well as a variety of herons, egrets, wildfowl, passerines, etc.
The most interesting areas, from the birders point of view, include the Puszta and the wooded Bukk Hills. The former is the remnant of the great grassy steppes formerly used to run cattle - notably Hungarian Grey Cattle. These grassy areas are still home to the highest densities of Red-footed Falcons and Eastern Imperial Eagle in Europe and high populations of Great Bustard and Aquatic Warblers. The most well known area being Hortobagy, although it is not the only area of Puszta left, and is also renowned for its Autumn accumulation of Common Cranes by the thousand. The Bukk Hills and surrounding copses, villages, farmlands are home to Wryneck and all but one of the species of European Woodpecker. The woodlands are alive in spring with Hawfinches and Collared Flycatchers and, if you are lucky you may spot a day-flying Ural Owl. Ponds, lakes, marshes and fishponds abound and are home to the three marsh terns, many wildfowl, and sought after passerines such as Bluethroats and Savi's Warbler, as well as other goodies such as Pygmy Cormorant, Night Heron and the like.
Also for a one-day trip the Buda hills, Börzsöny hills and their localeoffer some good birding. Woodpeckers [sometimes White-backed], passerines, including Hawfinches, raptors, ect. For the Cranes (in top years there can be more than 100.000 birds) autumn, and mainly the month of October is the best.
What is more Hungary remains a relatively cheap destination with low cost accommodation and restaurants and a pleasant landscape of neat villages and attractive farms, good wine and bird friendly people with no tradition of hunting of small birds. The woodpeckers alone are sufficient reason to take a trip.
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 424
As at July 2018
National Bird - Great Bustard Otis tarda
Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Finding Birds in Hungary
By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | DVD | Dec 2015 | 73 Minutes |
ISBN: 9781907316548Buy this book from NHBS.com
Finding Birds in Hungary
by Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2015 | Paperback | 36 Pages, Maps |
ISBN: 9781907316531Buy this book from NHBS.com
Magyarország Ragadozó Madarai (Birds of Prey of Hungary)
By Papp Gábor, Kovács András & Turny Zoltán | Magánkiadás | 2016 | Paperback | 200 pages, 300+ colour photos, b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps |
ISBN: 9789631234978Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Birds Of Hungary
By Gerard Gorman | Christopher Helm | 1996 | Hardback | 192 pages, 50 line drawings, 363 maps |
ISBN: 0713642351Buy this book from NHBS.com
The objective of birding.hu is to provide quick, helpful information to field-birders in Hungary. Our aim is to give quality information in hopes of improving field-birding, so anyone anywhere can get up-to-date news about interesting birds. Aside from anything in connection with birding (pictures, expositions of areas and groups, news, trip reports, links, classified ads etc) that can be presented on our site, we welcome suggestions…
Hungarian Ornithological & Nature Conservation Society
(MME) Kolto u. 21, 391, H-1536Budapest. + 36 1 275 6267 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hungary Rarities Committee
Comprehensive lists of Hungarian avifauna plus rarity submissions etc.
Animals present in the Aggtelek National Park included the fire salamander, hucul pony, common buzzard, eastern imperial eagle, European copper skink, white-throated dipper, red deer, Eurasian lynx, gray wolf, wild boar, crested tit, goldcrest, Eurasian bullfinch, hazel grouse, common kingfisher, red-backed shrike, old World swallowtail, scarce swallowtail and the saga pedo.
Mountainous and forested, Bükk is Hungary's largest national park and is situated in the northern mountains, between Szilvásvárad and Lillafüred.
Danube-Drava National Park was founded in 1996 and is located in the south west of Hungary. The current area is 490 square kilometres and the majority of the national park sites are located within the Danube and Drava floodland areas, of which 190 km² are Ramsar wetlands.
The area gives home to various kinds of birds, like the great egret, purple heron, common spoonbill and greylag goose. During the migration season species of the family Scolopacidae appear. Rare birds include red-breasted goose, white-tailed eagle and hen harrier. The lake is inhabited by weatherfish, northern pike and ziege. On the meadows west from the lake vegetation of rare plants like the yellow lady's slipper, fly orchid, the Hungarian iris and Iris pumila and various butterfly species can be found, while the eastern puszta areas are covered by Puccinellia peisonis, Aster tripolium, A. pannonicum and Suaeda maritima.
The Hortobágy is Hungary's largest protected area, and the largest semi-natural grassland in Europe. It provides habitat for various species including 342 species of birds. The red-footed falcon, stone curlew, great bustard and aquatic warbler are represented by breeding populations. The area is an important stopover site for migrating common cranes, dotterels, and lesser white-fronted geese Hungarian website: http://www.hnp.hu/
The park was created in 1997 for the protection of birds. Körös-Maros National Park has a number of regions such as Kis-Sárrét swamp, Fáspuszta, Mágor-puszta or Kardoskúti Fehértó. It features a bustard reserve established in 1975. The major towns of the area are Szarvas and Dévaványa.
he park covers an area of 570 km2 and stretches across the Little Cumania (Kiskunság) region of the Great Hungarian Plain. The alkali lakes of the Little Cumania are found near Fülöpszállás and Szabadszállás. Their unique flora and fauna are of special value. Avocets, geese and black-winged stilts nest in the area. The lakes provide a temporary home for tens of thousands of migratory birds. This ornithologist paradise is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
NR Sas Hill
The Sas-hegy Nature Reserve belongs to the Danube-Ipoly National Park. The 30 acres (120,000 m2) area on the top of the hill was placed under protection in 1958. It was one of the first nature reserves of Hungary, protecting the limestone landscape and its special flora and fauna. Hungarian website here: http://www.dunaipoly.hu/hu/helyek/vedett-teruletek/adonyi-termeszetvedelmi-terulet/budai-sas-hegy-tt
Hungary currently has 29 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance
Forums & Mailing Lists
English version of latest sightings
Guides & Tour Operators
We have been organizing the birdwatching tours since 1991. We work for leading UK and world birding tour operators and various associations. We have three main criteria in designing the BW holidays: Professional competence and personality of expert group leaders and the local ornithologist Choice of the most interesting sites Smooth organization and a comfortable environment to ensure customer enjoyment and commercial success. E-mail us for a detailed itinerary and birdlists! email@example.com
Our company was formed with the intention of popularising Hungary as a perfect ecotouristic destination both for amateur naturalists and for those with a more academic interest in plant and animal species, habitats and geology…
Ecotours Wildlife Holidays
Ecotours Wildlife Holidays is the specialist of Eastern Europe, running regular birding tours in 15 countries of the region. We organise quality Birding, butterfly, moth and dragonfly and bird photography tours, we also offer bear watching and bat watching opportunities, besides running small mammal safaris and general wildlife holidays…
Green Eye Ecotours
Today we provide outdoor-oriented tours, adventures, expeditions…
Hungarian Bird Tours
Roy Adams is a retired police wildlife crime officer and served almost thirty two years with the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. He lives in a village close to Eger. Since his first visit to Hungary in 1995 he has built up a good knowledge of the birds in eastern Hungary and works closely with the Bukk National Park staff on conservation schemes.
Hungarianbirdwatching.com is an association of young, enthusiastic birders. We organise birding tours and birdwatching holidays in Hungary and in Budapest. Our birding tours are highly customised to your needs.
Our Birdwatching trips cover almost the whole year and we also organize special tours focusing on special occasions such as great bustards display or crane migration…
Hungary`s most experienced birding guides are available year-round to assist individuals, groups of friends, bird clubs & tour companies. From a few hours, one day, one week, to as long as you request. Save time & effort and let Birding Hungary guides show you the regulars, rarities and hard-to-find species. With 15 years of experience in Hungary our guiding skills and services are second to none!
Established in 1994 by Prof. J. Oláh and field ornithologists. Specialising in bird tours in The Carpathians, covering Hungary, Slovakia and Transylvania…
We visit the fabulous steppes, lakes, and marshes of the Hortobágy and the Hungarian forests at the peak of the breeding season. Join us for some of the best birdwatching in Europe!
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2005 [04 April] - Fatbirder
Chasing woodpeckers with Gerard Gorman…
2008 [05 May] - Ken Musgrove & Wayne Geater
…We found the birding difficult and apart from a few Buzzards, one Golden Oriole, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Hawfinch, Chiffchaff, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, the odd Cockoo and numerous Red-backed Shrikes and Starlings, the morning was something of a disappointment…
2008 [07 July] - Kerry Gardner - Kiskunsag National Park
I was gong to be in Budapest for three days at the end of an organized tour and decided to try for the Great Bustard. I went online and booked a one-day birding trip to the Kiskunsag National Park area with Hungarian Birdwatching…
2009 [05 May] - Janos Olah
…We saw 15 ‘diamond’ species and recorded 16 species of raptors, 7 species of owls, 10 species of woodpeckers and 17 species of warblers. Trip highlights included superb ‘walk away’ views of Ural Owl and White-backed Woodpecker in the Zemplén Hills, Hazel Grouse and yet more White-backed Woodpeckers in Slovakia, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting around Torockó, stunning looks at both drumming male Three-toed and Black Woodpeckers plus Wallcreepers in Transylvania, a breeding plumaged Dalmatian Pelican, a family party of Sakers, displaying Great Bustards, secretive Little Crakes, Great Snipe and skulking Moustached and Aquatic Warblers in the Hortobágy…
2010 [11 November] - János Oláh
There are not many places in the World where you can see the endangered Red-breasted Goose and the vulnerable Lesser White-fronted Goose within a short bird watching break, but Hungary in November certainly offers this possibility…
2011 [09 September] - Roy Taylor
…In seven days we had seen 37 species of mammal (including 19 species of bat), over 120 species of bird and 44 species of butterfly – a fantastic wildlife haul…
2012 [05 May] - Music & Birds
…The idea had germinated 2 years earlier in Bulgaria, while Balazs was playing some Handel and Bach on his laptop one picnic lunch stop… 1st day: Great Bustards and Beethoven’s Eroica 2nd day birding began on a high note with an Icterine Warbler singing and ended with the Hungarian Dance Ensemble performing Eastern European Folk Dances….
2012 [05 May] - Sándor Borza
We recorded a total of 205 species in 10 days of birding while covering almost all major bird habitats of the Carpathian Basin. This tour also gives a superb insight of the fantastic sceneries in the countries visited: Hungary, Slovakia and Romania…
2012 [06 June] - Chris Durdin - Kiskunság National Park
"Lake Kondor … earlier when we’d stopped here there had been roller, bee-eaters, great white egret and lesser grey shrike, plus a marsh harrier being mobbed by a large group of lapwings. This time there were sounds of golden oriole, black woodpecker, cuckoo and turtle doves as we looked at some butterflies – short-tailed blue and Bath white – and flowers such as dragon’s teeth and downy woundwort."
2013 [05 May] - Sándor Borza - Hungary, Slovakia & Romania
…This year’s highlights were all the European breeding woodpeckers including superb views of the rare and declining White- backed Woodpecker and the enigmatic Three-toed Woodpecker; six species of owls including Ural and Eagle Owl; nineteen species of raptors including Booted, Short-toed and Imperial Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-footed Falcon and Saker; Great Bustard, Little Crake, Corncrake, Collared Pratincole, Wallcreeper, Red-breasted and Collared Flycatchers, Thrush Nightingale and a wide range of warblers including River Warbler…
2013 [06 June] - Paul Tout - Kiskunság National Park
…Underfoot it was very wet and unfortunately the path to the tower hide which overlooks an oxbow lake was flooded, but we did see yellow birthwort scrambling along the verges, a huge stag beetle on a tree trunk, a nuthatch, and in a clearing where there was a very fine carving of a bee-keeper, a black woodpecker flew over and was ‘called back’ using a recording. The birds have already finished breeding by early June but remain territorial…
2013 [09 September] - Nick Moss
Every morning I birded from first light (about 6am) until breakfast, and over three mornings here I had a few Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, a few Nutchatches, Short-toed Treecreeper, a pair of Black Redstarts, Ravens overhead, a pair of Hawfinches, Spotted Flycatcher, Siskins, Blackbirds, Song Thrush etc….
2013 [09 September] - Vernon Lundy
Saker, Red-footed Falcon, White-tailed, Imperial, Golden, Short-toed and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged and Honey Buzzard, Marsh and Montagu’s Harrier (with luck Pallid and Hen Harrier), Goshawk, Ural and Eagle Owl may all be seen at this time of the year…
2014 [05 May] - Zoltán Baczó
...Finally we arrived to this grassland national park where we were soon watching various goodies like Purple Heron, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Marsh Sandpiper, Black Woodpecker and a fine singing breeding plumaged Barred Warbler...
2014 [10 October] - Joan & Paddy Heyland - Hortobagy & Bukk Hills
...Large flocks of Rook and Jackdaw were also evident. Raptors were mainly Common Buzzard and Kestrel, with occasional sightings of Marsh Harriers quartering the fields and grasslands....
2015 [04 April] - Damien Gailly & Noé Terorde - Zempléni Hills & Hortobàgy NP
...There we had our first frustration: the observation of a probable Lesser Spotted Eagle (Clanga pomarina), but too far to be identified with certainty. We also saw Black Storks (Ciconia nigra) and Northern Ravens (Corvus corax).
2015 [05 May] - Gábor Simay - Hungary, Slovakia & Transyvania
This year’s highlights were nine species of owls including Ural, Eagle, Scops and Tengmalm’s Owls, ten species of woodpeckers (all the European breeding species) including superb views of White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers; nineteen species of raptors including Short-toed and Eastern Imperial, Lesser and Greater Spotted Eagles, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-footed Falcon and Saker; Great Bustard, Little Crake, Corncrake, Collared Pratincole, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Great Snipe, Wallcreeper, Thrush Nightingale, Moustached and River Warblers; and even some local rarities were found by the group, namely Pectoral Sandpiper and Slender-billed Gull.
2015 [05 May] - Janos Olah - Hungary & Transylvania
We had several tour highlights on this recent tour but certainly the displaying Great Bustards, a majestic pair of Eastern Imperial Eagle, the mighty Saker, the handsome Red-footed Falcon, a hunting Peregrine, the shy Capercaillie, the elusive Little Crake and Corncrake, the enigmatic Ural Owl, the declining White-backed Woodpecker, the skulking River and Barred Warblers, a rare Sombre Tit, which was a write-in, the fluty Red-breasted and Collared Flycatchers and the stunning Wallcreeper will be long remembered.
2015 [11 November] - Janos Olah
...Red-breasted Goose is certainly one of the best-looking geese in the World and every birder should be able to see and admire its beauty one day! This species is classified as vulnerable and its numbers are highly fluctuating (or not properly surveyed). Also the species is undergoing a continuous change of wintering area...
2016 [06 June] - Barry Madden - Kiskunság National Park
By slowly driving along the sandy tracks we were able to get very close to a large colony of nesting bee-eaters. These birds were busy excavating their burrows, courting, mating and generally going about their business. The rainbow colours of these excellent birds were seen to stunning effect when sunlit against the backdrop of brooding storm clouds.
2016 [11 November] - Gerard Gorman
... Our first Black Woodpecker of the week was seen here, then a Green Woodpecker called and flew in, and then two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A Kingfisher, Mistle Thrush and Marsh Tits were also here, and we also heard a Water Rail. Before checking into our hotel, just a few miles away, we scanned the “Old Lake” at Tata, seeing lots of geese, mostly Greater White-fronts but also some Greylag and rafts of ducks, gulls and roosting cormorants. On an easy walk in the lakeside woods before dusk arrived, we found another Black Woodpecker and a Grey-headed Woodpecker....
2017 [05 May] - Janos Olah - Hungary & Transylvania
...the combination of Hungary and Transylvania seems to be a settled and well established one, and offers an amazing list of European birds...
2017 [05 May] - Simay Gábor - Hungary, Slovakia & Transylvania
...This tour cover s three Central European count r ies a nd most of their bird habitats from the Hungarian gra sslands to the Slovakian and Romanian spruce forests. This is an extremely productive tour in Europe and can be easily combined with the Romanian Danube Delta Tour for overseas travellers...
2017 [05 May] - Terry Stevenson & Lajos Nemeth-Boka - Hungary & Romania
As always, the birding included the specials of the region, with Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, Imperial Eagle, Great Bustard, Black Woodpecker and Wallcreeper being just a few from an impressive list. However, this year we also did absolutely exceptional for mammals, with European Mink being the rarest, but we also had Common 'Golden' Jackal, Wildcat, and no less than 8 Brown Bears.
2017 [06 June] - Andy Harding - Butterflies
We stopped after about 100 kilometres at a service area which offered many more opportunities for wildlife watching than those in the UK. Crested Lark gave excellent views, as did Queen of Spain Fritillary and Essex S kipper butterflies.
2017 [09 September] - Balázs Szigeti - Hungary & Czech Republic
The birding was superb, and th e opportunity to spend time in the great cities of Budapest and Prague offered fascinating cultural highlights.
2017 [10 October] - József Kecskés - Hortobágy
In the last few years a few migration times has changed . Notable the Cranes usually arrive in large numbers by late September and the Scandinavian Lesser White - fronted Geese only stay for a few days in the Hortobágy.
2017 [10 October] - Kevin Elsby
hen, suddenly, we spotted a Rough - legged Buzzard, which was characteristically hovering over the arable fields. In the same area, a Great Grey Shrike was spotted on some electricity cables. On the other side of the road, we found a Merlin perched...
2017 [11 November] - Simay Gábor
On our third Red - breasted Goose S pecial T our we recorded 113 species, among them ei ght species of geese. Hortobágy National Park has always been well - known for its amazing number of wild geese and our tour is focusing on this spectacle!
Places to Stay
Fábián Panzió (Fabian Hotel)
The Fábián Panzió (Fabian Hotel) is in Kapolna Street, Kecskemet. …a British Birder says: the hotel is superb, Mrs Fabian and her daughter speak fluent English, and Mrs F is an accomplished birder…
Farm Lator is specialist and host in the mountains, wetlands and plains of NE Hungary. With two restored, idyllically situated farmhouses and a natural campsite in the Bükk Mountains as a base, we travel with our guests through the region and show the best of nature and culture. We compose personalised trips, but there is also an excursion program. Yearly events are the spring and autumn birdtours, and summer butterflytours. The programs of the tours are either readymade or tailored to the exact wants of clubs, companies and societies…
Hotel Villa Volgy
With a brand new building, an elegant and friendly atmosphere this hotel guarantees relaxation in a natural environment. The hotel is made up of 37 rooms, a restaurant with a balcony, an exclusive wine cellar and a conference room with a capacity to hold up to 60 persons. The restaurant with its Hungarian gastronomical specialties, great tasting traditional dishes and remarkable wines is capable of catering to 70 hungry guests with appetites of all sizes. The terrace is ideal for grill parties and barbecues on hot summer days. It is also customary to taste the wines of the region, and lest we forget goulash…
We offer an unique place as a base to stay to discover the special butterflies, dragonflies, birds, mammals, botanical and other natural values of the Great Hungarian Plain, the so called "Puszta"…
Traditional Lodge with great Hungarian food - often used by birders in the Bukk Hills… Fatbirder Recommended
Hungarian Bird Ringing Centre
1121 Budapest, Költ ő u. 21. Tel.: (+36-1) 391-1772 ▪ Fax: (+36-1) 275-6267 ▪ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Soproni Jani - Photoblog
Birding & nature photography in NW Hungary
Why go birding in Hungary? Well, good reasons include Saker Falcon, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Pygmy Cormorant, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Great Bustard, Corncrake, Ural Owl, Aquatic Warbler and nine speciesof woodpecker. With such birds, plus much unspoiled habitat and a good and value-for-money tourist infrastructure, Hungary is now firmly established as one of Europe's very best birding destinations. And another good reason is that WE are here to help you find and see these birds…
Birds of Hungary
Birds of Hungary by Thomas Miko, of Pasadena…
Hungarian Birds, nature photography, digiscoping
Birding BLOG and photos from an Hungarian birder…
Hungarian Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
…describes the 43 Hungarian Important Bird Areas (IBAs)…
Photographers & Artists
Site showcasing a number of Hungarian photographers of birds…
Photographer - Csaba Lóki - Naturephoto Gallery
Hungarian photographers excellent gallery of bird pictures…
Photographer - Eduardo Balogh - Birdwatcher
Excellent photographs from this Hungarian birder…
Photographer - Farkas Balázs
Bird photos from Farkas Balázs
Photographer - Lantai-Csont Gergely
Lantai-Csont Gergely's online photo galery - This website is about publishing wonderful photos about nature, mammals, birds …
Photographer - Miklos Onodi
Photographer from Pecs where he also leads birding tours…
Photographer - Old Shutter Hand
Bird photos of the birds of Hungary etc…