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Russian Federation

Common Crane Grus grus ©Arto Juvonen Website

Birding the Russian Federation

Russia is the largest country in the world with its land covering 16,995,800 square kilometres and water covering an additional 79,400 square kilometres. The population in July 2005 was estimated at 143,420,309 persons. Russia consists of 89 separate administrative divisions.

The Climate ranges from dry steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; sub-arctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along the Arctic coast. The terrain consists of broad plains with low hills west of the Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along the southern border regions.

The country is contained entirely within the Palaearctic geographical region although Kamtschatka, in the extreme east, shows a close relationship with Northern Alaskan in its avifauna, the narrow Bering Sea hardly acting as an efficient barrier for bird movement.

The territory of Russia occupies a significant part of the Eurasian continents. A distinctive feature is the presence of many different natural habitats. It has extensive forests; mountains - Caucasus, Ural, Altai, Sayans; & tundra as well as swamps and lakes; rivers and seacoasts. The combination of different types of landscape and different combinations of habitat creates different fauna types, or faunal groups. These include European deciduous forest and semi-Mediterranean, Siberian taiga, Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian desert, Tibetan mountains and others.

However, despite its large territory the number of birdwatchers is small and they are concentrated around the Russian Bird Conservation Union and its regional branches. Professional ornithologists are concentrated in universities, reserves and research institutes.

There are a bewildring array of regions, districts, autonomous regions, city districts and opther political subdivisions in Russia. Rather than dedicate a birding page to each we have chosen to split the huge landmass into several super-regions which have similar climates, avifaunal habitats and so forth. Over the coming months information will appear for each region…

Contributor

Andrey N. Baykalov

Webmaster - Birds of Central Siberia

http://birds.sfu-kras.ru

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 780

(As at December 2018)

Endemics

Number of endemics: 1

Siberian Grouse Falcipennis falcipennis

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Russia and Adjacent Territories

(former USSR) | By VE Flint, RL Boehme, YV Kostin & AA Kutnetsov | Princeton University Press | 1989 | Paperback | 353 pages, 48 col plates, 71 line drawings, 303 maps |

ISBN: 9780691024301

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Europe, Russia, China, and Japan

(Non-Passerines, Loons to Woodpeckers) | by Norman Arlott | Princeton University Press | 2009 | Paperback | 240 pages, 80 plates with colour illustrations, 700 colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9780691136851

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Europe, Russia, China, and Japan

(Passerines, Tyrant Flycatchers to Buntings) | by Norman Arlott | Princeton University Press | 2007 | Paperback | 240 pages, 80 plates with colour illustrations; 706 colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9780691133720

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in Europe & Russia

By Nigel Wheatly | Christopher Helm | 2000 | Paperback | 416 pages, 50 illustrations, 100 maps |

ISBN: 9780713648706

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Organisations

RBCU - Russian Bird Conservation Union

Website

Shosse Entuziastoy 60, Building 1, Moscow 111123. + 7 095 1761063; rbcu@online.ru
RBCU) was established on7 February 1993. Russian Bird Conservation Union (RBCU) is a non-governmental public organization which activity is focused on informing, education and joining wide circles of people to the protection of Russian bird diversity…

RRRCN - Russian Raptor Research & Conservation Network

Website

Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network is a non-governmental association of ornithologists, birdwatchers, ornithological and environmental organizations, which in cooperation seek to learn the birds of prey and owls that live in the vast territory of Russia and neighboring countries and promote their conservation. Anybody, who is interesting to observe birds of prey, any organization, whose activities are connected with the study and conservation of raptors, may become a member of the Network…

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

Russian National Parks

Website

Linka and write-ups on a number of parks…

Wetlands

Webpage

The Russian Federation currently has 35 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 10,323,767 hectares.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Ecological Travel Centre

Tour Operator

Birdwatching Tours in various parts of European and Asia Russia and Siberia…

Rubythroat Birding Tours

Tour Operator

Rubythroat Birding Tours is a fully specialized all-inclusive tour company with ventures throughout Central Asia and Russia. Rubythroat Birding Tours Ltd., Aitykova 8, Ust-Kamenogorsk, BIN 130740019834 mailto:machiel@rubythroatbirdingtours.com

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

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.

2014 [09 September] - Vincent van der Spek - Lithuania & Kaliningrad

PDF Report

...The Curonian Spit, shared by Lithuania and the Russian enclave Kaliningrad, is a great destination for every one interested in visible migration. Every year millions of migrants pass this 97 km long spit, that is nowhere over 3,6 km wide. In September 2014 my Waternet colleague Luc Geelen and I attendend a Coastal and Marine (EUCC) conference at Klaipėda University, Lithuania....

2016 [06 June] - Lisle Gwynn - Russia's Ring of Fire

PDF Report

Russia is a land that is difficult to put into words. Almost every single stereotype you’ve ever heard about the place is true, and yet it is nothing like you may imagine. It blindsides you with constant surprises, and yet it is comfortingly homely, despite being undeniably unfamiliar. The people are incredibly friendly, more so than many other destinations around the globe, and even here in the far far far east where a culture of paranoia and suspicion is a way of life strangers are met not with caution and wariness as you might imagine, but with open arms, warm smiles and some of the most friendly greetings I have ever experienced.

2016 [07 July] - Janne Aalto

Report

It was already late spring and we had no real holiday plans with Hanna. Luckily I found out that my old friend Pierre-André Crochet was searching participants for their trip to Russia, Polar Ural. Immediately I sent a message to “PAC” and also to Eric Didner who was also going and after a week, we knew we were in! On the previous summer we had been in South and Central Ural on a trip that we had planned with Oleg Demyanenko from Ural Expeditions & Tours and he was our contact again. We had then also been planning a trip to Polar Ural but we had discussed that it would probably be after some years. Now it was going to happen much sooner!

2016 [07 July] - Machiel Valkenburg - Russia & Mongolia

PDF Report

The tour commenced in the Russian city of Barnaul in the lobby of the Barnaul Hotel at 7am on the 16th of June, where the participants met with their guides for this tour, Machiel, Lena and Bonny. The diverse group of birders from The Netherlands, Norway, England and the USA introduced each other. We immediately began the long drive towards the Seminskiy Pass in the Altai Mountains.

Museums

State Darwin Museum of Natural History - Moscow

http://www.museum.ru

The museum has an extensive bird collection.

The Russian State Museum of Arctic and Antarctic

http://www.polarmuseum.ru/

In November 1930 the museum was founded by the order of the Soviet Government as a Department of the Arctic Research Institute called the Arctic Museum, based on exhibits and material of Polar Exhibitions which were held in Leningrad, Moscow, Arkhangelsk during 1923.
Marata 24a, The Russian State museum of Arctic and Antarctic, St.Petersburg, Russia, 191040 Phone: +7 812 1131998. Fax: +7 812 1646818. E-mail: vicaar@mail.wplus.net Director: Dr. Victor I. Boyarsky

Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences

http://www.zin.ru/mus_e.htm

Zoological Museum includes collection of Russian birds…

Other Links

Bird Year Bird Chuvashia

Website

Birds and People

Website

Birding in Russia, birder's club [in Russian]…

Indian Birds Club

Website

The site of Indian Birds fans from Russia...

Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences - History of Ornithology

Website

The most important basis for the research done at the Department of Ornithology is its rich collection obtained due to hard effort of many generations of zoologists. These are bird skins, alcohol specimens, skeletal and paleontological materials. The richness, diversity and completeness of the Department’s collection is the highest in Russia and one of the highest in Europe.

Photographers & Artists

Library - Russian Wildlife Photograph Library

Gallery

Lots of excellent images…