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Western Siberia

Peregrine Falco peregrinus ©Sue Tranter

Western Siberia consists of the 'Oblasts' of Yamalia, Khantia-Mansia, Tyumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo and Tomsk.

Western Siberia is the largest plain in the world that slopes to the north. It has a lot of slow-flowing rivers with meandering river-channels. Most of West Siberian is low lying wetland.

The Central and northern part of the plain is about 100m above sea level. Taiga forests occupied the sides of river valleys. They consist of mostly pine in the western part of the region and cedar-pine together with larch dominates in the eastern part. The largest rivers, such as Ob, Irtysh, Tobol, hardly flood in spring. This combination of river valleys, bogs and other wetlands give shelter to many breeding and migrating birds, especially a lot of Duck’s, Sandpiper species, and also Swans ad Eagles can be found in the region.

In the south of Western Siberia there is a forest-steppe zone. Large feather-grass plains and other grasslands, together with small birch-aspen forests and big lakes determine the unique look of the territory. Here it is possible to find such interesting birds as Black Stork, Corncrake and many others.

Top Sites

Kondinskie Lakes


This site is a complex of lakes, which are situated along the left bank of the Konda River. The largest lakes are Aranthur and Range-Thur. Sand banks of Aranthur are mostly by pine forests. There are also a lot of wetlands around Range Thur. More than 170 species have been found here, many of them are waterfowl and water loving birds. Such species as Bean Goose, Black-throated Diver, Red-throated Diver, Whooper Swan and many others breed near the lakes. It’s also possible to find Eagle Owl, Honey Buzzard, Hen-harrier, Osprey, Golden Eagle and Peregrine. The banks of the lakes will give you a comfortable observation point.

Middle Chulym River Valley

Satellite View

This site includes part of a river channel and surrounding floodplain. There are meadows, small plots of trees and bushes, lakes, and former river-beds. It’s possible to find here nesting of Black Stork, White-tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle and Osprey. A lot of waders also live here. It is also an important migration stopover for many Ducks and Geese. Moreover, the floodplain landscapes, as usual, are full of small birds, such as Wagtails, Buntings, Thrushes, and Warblers. The best time here is May.

Yugansky Reserve


Satellite View

This site represents typical West Siberian taiga. You can find spruce, cedar & pine woods, including different age forests recovering from fires, pine-forests and bogs. The avifauna of this territory is rich and is home to all of the characteristic species of the region. These are Galliformes, such as Hazel Hen, Black Grouse, Capercaille & Willow Grouse and waterfowl, including Bean Goose, Whooper Swan, Smew, Tufted Duck and Common Pochard. During migration season these species are supplemented with Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter, Common Scoter, Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser, White-fronted Goose, and also Lesser White-fronted Goose & Red-breasted Goose. A lot of waders, such as Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Whimbrel that breed on the territory of the eserve. Birds of prey are also numerous here, and you can easily find White-tailed Eagle, Osprey, Honey Buzzard, Eagle Owl, Ural Owl, Great Gray Owl, Tengmalm’s Owl & Hawk Owl. More than 90 passerine species have been recorded in the territory, among them such sought-after birds as Siberian Ruby-throat & Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler.


Olga Batova


Ecological Travel Center - Moscow



Useful Reading

A Field Guide to Birds of Russia and Adjacent Territories

V. Flint, R. Boehme, Y. Kostin, A. Kuznetsov Paperback - 440 pages (December 1983) Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691024308

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in Europe & Russia

Nigel Wheatly Paperback - 416 pages (28 April, 2000) Christopher Helm

ISBN: 0713648708

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

Gydansky Reserve


Satellite View

Gydansky Reserve is located on adjacent for Central Siberia territory. Is located in Tazovsky district Yamalo-Nenetsky autonomous okrug, on Yavay, Mamonta, Oleny peninsulas and islands Karskoe Sea - Oleny, Shokalsky, Proklyatye, Pestsovye, Rovny. Is created in 1996. The area is 878,200 hectares. Species include Red-breasted Goose, Bewick`s Swan, White-billed Diver, Gyrfalcon, Peregrine. Gyda village, Yamalo-Nenetsky AO, Russia.

Kuznetsky Alatau Reserve


Satellite View

(Adjacent to Central Siberia) The reserve is located in the Tisulsky and Novokuznetsky disricts of the Kemerovo Region and was established in 1989. The area consists of 412,900 hectares.
Schakhterov 33-1, Mezhdurechensk, Kemerovskaya oblast, Russia, 652870 Phone: +7 38475 31623; Fax: +7 38475 32728 alatau@rikt.ru

Verkhne-Tazovsky Reserve


Satellite View

Verkhne-Tazovsky Reserve (Adjacent to Central Siberia) is located in Yamalo-Nenetsky autonomous okrug and was established in 1986. Its area of 631,300 hectares is located on Verkhnetazovskaya Upland, in the watershed of the river Taz tributaries - Pokolka and Ratta. There are a number of rare and endangered birds such as Siberian White Crane, Golden Eagle, Bewick's Swan, Red-breasted Goose, Osprey, and White-tailed Eagle. Stroiteley 18, Krasnoselkup village, Yamalo-Nenetsky AO, Russia, 626740

Guides & Tour Operators

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Ecological Travel Centre

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Birds of southern Siberia and Baikal Lake…

Trip Reports

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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.

2009 [06 June] - Machiel Valkenburg

This is a trip report of a birding trip to Southern Siberia and Western Mongolia in June 2009. ‘Southern Siberia’ and ‘Western Mongolia’ are indicative. Given the vastness of the area, and the infrastructural difficulties of travelling in this region, only relatively small parts of this larger area were visited…

Other Links

Birds of Central Siberia


Generally, about 400 species of birds stay here in different times. Some of them already are not to be found any more or are extremely rare. Others appeared here as distant visitors. We have compiled here the most complete list of bird species of this territory. It is made on the base of the literature analysis. Moreover you can find here other information, concerned birds, which can be interesting and useful.