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Slovak Republic

Eurasian Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum ©Fero Bednar Website

Slovakia is essentially a land of mountains; high, snow-capped, rugged, often wild mountains. Birding here often involves some walking, if not trekking, and the mountains and forests do not always give up their delights easily. But delights there are: Eagle, Ural, Pygmy and Tengmalm's Owls, Three-toed, White-backed, Middle Spotted, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers, Black Stork, Booted, Lesser-spotted, Imperial and Golden Eagles, Black Grouse, Hazel Grouse, Ring Ouzel, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Nutcracker, Common Rosefinch, Alpine Accentor and the enticing Wallcreeper to mention just a few. Though one invariably needs local expertise, incredible luck, or a combination of the two to see them, there are also Brown Bear, Lynx and Wolf in many of Slovakias forested mountain ranges. At the highest elevations, often accessible by cable-car or ski-lift, Chamoix and Marmots are often quite easy to see.

The Pieniny, Mala (Little) Fatra, Nizke (Low) Tatry and the rugged High Tatras are all typical ranges with dense broad-leaved forests at lower levels, mixed beech-conifer higher up, then spruce and alpine zones of dwarf pine and boulder-country around their peaks. But one must be prepared for sudden changes in weather and carry the right equipment, supplies and clothing when birding these mountains. In the very east of the country the Slanske Hills and Vihorlat Range are particularly good woodland birding areas which are not as rugged as the higher ranges and include some old virgin beech-spruce forests particularly good for White-backed Woodpecker. Here in the east, too, there are stable, if not increasing, populations of Saker and Imperial Eagle and in the very northeast the ranges of Thrush Nightingale and Common Nightingale meet.

Another fine area is the Slovensky Kras, a scenic karst, hilly region of gorges, broadleaved woods, scrub and meadows bordering Hungary, with Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, a good selection of raptors and most of the woodpeckers. Besides mountains and forests Slovakia also boasts some fine lowland habitats, mainly along the Danube flood-plain bordering Hungary. The last Great Bustards in Slovakia hang on here: birds such as White Stork, Syrian Woodpecker, Short-toed Treecreeper, Red-backed Shrike, Golden Oriole, Serin and Icterine, River and Barred Warblers are fairly common in suitable habitat. In the southeast corner of the country the Senne fish-ponds and surrounding agricultural land and grasslands have a bird life more akin to the Hungarian Plain to the south - such as Little Egret, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Spoonbill, Whiskered Tern, Red-footed Falcon, Bee-eater and Lesser Grey Shrike; and it has a reputation for turning up rarities.

Slovakia is a long narrow country, which stretches from its capital Bratislava in the very southwest, up against the Austrian border, to the Ukraine in the far east. To the north there is Poland, to the south Hungary and, to the immediate west, the Czech Republic. There is an airport at Bratislava but few international carriers land there. A better flight option is nearby Vienna or Budapest in neighbouring Hungary. A very organised outdoor, and in particular winter, sport based tourist industry means that almost wherever one finds oneself in Slovakia there is no shortage of accommodation, invariably inexpensive, ranging from hotels proper, newly established bed & breakfasts, zimmer-frei, camp-sites at lower elevations, mountain chalets and basic but well-placed cabins. Indeed, besides boasting some of Europes best mountain scenery Slovakia also remains one of Europes most affordable countries to visit.

Contributor

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 344

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

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

Useful Reading

Birds Distribution in Slovakia

S Danko et al 688 pages, illus. Arbora Publishers 2002

ISBN: 8022407143

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

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

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Carpathian Wildlife Society

Tour Operator

The CWS strongly believes that eco-tourism has a vital role to play in changing local attitudes and long-held beliefs about wildlife in Slovakia…

E-Tours

Tour Operator

We have been organizing the birdwatching tours since 1991. We work for leading UK and world`s 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! info@etours.cz

Ecotours

Tour Operator

Our company was formed with the intention of popularising birding trips in Hungary, birdwatching, butterfly, wildlife and nature tours in Eastern Europe The natural Choice in Eastern Europe and worldwide

Probirder

Tour Operator

Slovakia is essentially a mountainous country with the impressive High and Low (don`t be misled by the term low) Tatras arguably the most well known outside the country. Each range has it`s own character but overall they are typically rugged, forested and some often snow capped.

Sakertour

Tour Operator

Established in 1994 by Prof. J. Oláh and field ornithologists. Specialising in bird tours in The Carpathians, covering Hungary, Slovakia and Transylvania…

Sunbird

Tour Operator

…Wallcreeper, Nutcracker, and Alpine Accentor. The Slovakian karst could add Pygmy and Tengmalm`s Owls, Three-toed Woodpecker, Rock Thrush, and Rock Bunting…

Trip Reports

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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.

2006 [05 May] - Richard Dunn

Report

…Up very early unable to sleep very well because of the Nightingale singing just outside in the wood across the road, which we saw well when it got light enough to see. Before breakfast we went birding around what appeared to be the local allotments. Many good birds here the highlights being plenty of Golden Oriole a couple of which showed well, a shabby looking white-headed race Long-tailed Tit and territorial Hoopoe’s in the village…

2012 [05 May] - Sándor Borza

Report PDF

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…

2013 [05 May] - Sándor Borza - Hungary, Slovakia & Romania

PDF Report

…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…

2014 [05 May] - Zoltán Baczó

Report

...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...

2015 [05 May] - Janos Olah - Hungary & Transylvania

Report PDF

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.

Organisations

Carpathian Wildlife Society

Website

The Carpathian Wildlife Society (CWS) is a Slovakian non-profit-making organisation (NGO) bringing together people with a shared interest in the research and conservation of large mammal and bird species in the Western Carpathian mountains. Established in 1994, the CWS is a young and dynamic organisation working to raise national, and international, awareness and increase understanding of the rich and varied wildlife of the Western Carpathians, with particular emphasis on endangered or threatened species. The CWS aims to find real-world answers to conflicts between wildlife and local people.

Slovak Wildlife Society

Website

Helping to conserve Slovakia's endangered wildlife - The Slovak Wildlife Society is a not-for-profit organisation established in the UK in 1998. Our goal is to help ensure the long-term survival of endangered species in Slovakia through an integrated approach to solutions for sustainable co-existence with people…

Vitajte na stránke SOS/BirdLife Slovensko

Website

P0 Box 71, SK-093 01 Vranov nad Topl`ou. +421 931 4461120 sovs@changenet.sk

Reserves

Czech Biosphere Reserves Network

Information

Czechoslovak National MAB Committee…

Nízke Tatry National Park

Website

Satellite View

Nesting birds, such as Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus; Golden Eagles Aquilla chrysaetos; irregularly migrating Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus; Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix; Pygmy Owls Glaucidium passerinum; owls Aegolius funereus; northern three-toed woodpeckers Pycoides tridoctylus; and Wall Creepers Trichodroma uraria; also live here.

Slovenský Raj

Website

Satellite View

The National Park Slovak Paradise is situated in the eastern part of Slovakia. In 1964 it was proclaimed the Protected Landscape Area and in 1988 recategorised by the government imposition to be the National Park. The park covers the area of 19,763ha (197,63km2) and the protected zone 13,011ha (130,11km2).

Wetlands

Website

The convention entered into force in Slovakia on 1 January 1993. Slovakia currently has 14 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 40,697 hectares.

Other Links

Birding Slovakia

Website

Bird sightings…

Tatry

Website

Complete information on Tatry regional park…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Fero Bednar

Gallery

My name is Fero Bednar. I am a freelance photographer born in Ruzomberok, Central Slovakia in 1973. My main subject of photography is nature, but as an amateur ornithologist I am specialized primarily in avian subjects and their biology. I am a Canon EOS system user. I hope you like my photos…