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Republic of Turkey

Rüppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli ©Soner Bekir Website

Always wanted to see birds en mass but never have? Don't worry come to Turkey and we can satisfy all your birding needs!The country encompasses two main routes for birds migrating en mass. Twice a year, the land and water habitats of the country offers hospitality to migrating birds, some of which also breed here.

Turkey's vast land of over 800,000 square kilometers, surrounded on three sides by seas, serves as a bridge between three continents. A large variety of climatic zones co-exist due to its topography. The northern belt of humid forest, contrasting with the arid fame of the country, are home to rare White-backed Woodpecker, Greenish Warbler and Semi-collared Flycatcher. The Mediterranean coast harbours more than half of the world population of Rüppell’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, the near-endemic Krueper’s Nuthatch, Masked Shrike and Cretzschmar's Bunting,. The beautiful scenary of high mountains are accompanied with the presence of Caspian Snowcock, Alpine and Radde’s Accentor and Red-fronted Serin.

Although located in the Palearctic zone, especially in the Southeast and the East, the Influence of oriental and Ethiopic (African) elements are observable. The Hakkari-Van plateau exhibit the influence of asiatic flora and fauna, where one can find the rare Demoiselle Crane, Red-wattled Lapwing, Armenian Gull, Mongolian Finch & Grey-necked Bunting; the Hatay-Amanos bridge exhibits elements of Africa such as Cream-coloured Courser and Little Swift. With this extremely high diversity of habitats, Turkey is considered by many to be the best country for birds and birding in Europe. Turkey is considered by many to be the best country for birds and birding in Europe.

Gernant Magnin describes the opportunities which awaits the demanding birder thus: Try the eastern Black Sea mountains that offer days of hiking and camping in magnificent alpine landscapes, with thousands of migrating birds of prey, calling Caspian Snowcocks above 2,600 metres and, above all, breathtaking silence. For people who would rather visit flat wetlands and can do without all the climbing, try wetlands near Ankara, to see breeding Red-crested Pochards, Monatagu`s Harriers, and vast numbers of waterfowl can be seen in winter and spring; the surrounding steppe holds Black-headed Buntings, Short-toed, Lesser short-toed, Bimaculated, Calandra and Horned Larks.

The country even hosts some endangered species: The Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita has recently recovered and the captive bred population has started colonising other areas… If you choose to combine archeological interest with an ornithological one, try visiting the ancient city of Zeugma, then quickly on to the nearby site of Birecik to observe the breeding colony of this sacred bird. Happy birding.

Contributor

Kerem Ali Boyla

Birdwatch Turkey Tours

Istanbul

kerem@birdwatchturkey.com

http://www.birdwatchturkey.com

Dr.M.Serhan Oksay

Istanbul

serhano@serhanoksay.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 459

Checklist

Checklist

WebBirder Checklist

Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder

Useful Reading

A Birdwatchers Guide to Turkey

Ian Green & Nigel Moorhouse Prion Ltd. (1995)

ISBN: 187110405X

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Turkey (Species List in Red Data Book)

Ilhami Kiziroglu 49 pages 1883 ISBN 9757460400

Birds of Turkey, Volume 11: The Birds of Uludag

Walter Jetz Series: BIRDS OF TURKEY - Other volumes also available… 44 pages, figs, tabs. Max Kasperek Verlag 1995

ISBN: 51861

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Finding Birds in South-West Turkey DVD

by Dave Gosney | EasyBirder 2014 | All Region | 72 Minutes

ISBN: 9781907316470

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Turkey

(Helm Field Guides) (Hardcover) by Geoff Welch (Author), Barbaros Demirci (Author), Guy M. Kirwan (Author), Kerem Boyla (Author), Metehan Ozen (Author), Peter Castell (Author), Tim Marlow (Author), Hilary Welch (Author) 2008

ISBN: 140810475X

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Finding Birds in South-West Turkey (Booklet)

by Dave Gosney | EasyBirder 2014 | 40 Pages | Black * White Maps

ISBN: 9781907316463

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Finding Birds in North-West Turkey (Booklet)

by Dave Gosney | EastBirder 2014 | 40 Pages | Black & White Maps

Useful Information

BirdLife

Dogal Hayati Koruma Dernegi (DHKD) is the BirdLife Partner

Guides & Tour Operators

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

Indigo Tourism

Tour Operator

Our firm was established in 1995 and our aim has always been to positively promote Turkish tourism abroad, whilst maintaining a high service to international tour operators who are marketing Turkey overseas. Our executives have over 20 years experience in the travel business but, continue to feel motivated, creative and attempt to provide dynamic and exciting holidays and services to each and every client. Our firm has always believed the philosophy of quality rather than quantity and our ultimate belief is that We would prefer to lose money than lose the faith of our clients. Offering tailor made tours for induvidual and groups with turkish hospitality including birdwatching itineraries etc.

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Ali Safak

Guide

I am the guide here, who interested in these things can contact with me. I know Aladag's very well. If you contact with me I will help in all things…

Turkish Odyssey

http://www.turkishodyssey.com/

Travel guide…

Lirita Tours

Tour Operator

Turkey is a unique place for watching birds considering the diversity of both migratory and non-migratory bird species. There are two major reasons for this abundance. Turkey's range of different ecosystems and it's position on bird's migratory routes. Turkey has 7 geographical areas, each with it's own natural features, ecosystems, climate and wildlife. These include, arid steppe, deciduous and coniferous forests, mountains, coastal areas and more .So there are many opportunities for wild birds and other wildlife of all kinds….

Oriole Birding

Tour Operator

A UK-based company specialising in bird watching tours of Norfolk and Wales, and a wide range of other UK destinations, a comprehensive programme of tours worldwide. Neil Donaghy and Ashley Saunders have over nineteen years experience between them, running their own companies Celtic Bird Tours and Oriole Adventures, before merging the two to create this new venture which offers complete bird tour packages. Value for money, genuinely small groups and great birds.

Birdwatch Turkey Tours

Tour Operator

BirdWatch Turkey is a small venture lead by Kerem Ali Boyla and Soner Bekir since 2008. Kerem is one of the leading ornithologists of Turkey as well as a biologist and ecologist. He has worked with BirdLife International and is the manager of national bird database and the coauthor of "The Birds of Turkey". He speaks English, German and Spanish. Soner is the top bird lister in Turkey and a professional bird photographer with 388 species in Turkey, including the first Siberian Accentor and Lapland Bunting for the country. He has recently rediscovered Brown Fish Owl. He speaks English and Greek. Together we offer long birding tours all across Turkey, including airport transport, transportation, accommodation and food. Some of the tours have fixed dates and others are planned upon your request. Moreover we offer daily tours in Istanbul region. We can also incorporate cultural and archeological guiding to sites such as Ephesus, Cappadocia and Historical Istanbul. Please visit our website and contact us at info@birdwatchturkey.com.

Rockjumper Birding Tours

Tour Operator

Turkey is a spectacular avian and cultural crossroads, boasting an ancient history, some very impressive archaeological and cultural sites, and several seldom seen species. Our tour targets include Marbled Teal, Asiatic Velvet Scoter, Caucasian Grouse, Caspian Snowcock, White-winged Snowfinch, Asiatic Crimson-winged Finch and Grey-headed Bunting.

Sultan Birding

Tours

...You can watch over moustached warbler, bearded tit, reed bunting, pygmy cormorant, red necked grebe, black necked grebe, white-headed duck and many other waterfowl with boat tour. It is possible to see over 40 – 60 species. The boat tour approximately takes 2 - 3 hours...

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.

2006 [09 September] - Steve Lister & John Jennings

Report

This was John’s first birding trip to Turkey but I had covered much of the same ground with Dave Gosney way back in August 1987. Our itinerary was based on my experience then, together with what we gleaned from the many trip reports on the internet…

2007 [08 August] - Sander Bot - Turkey & Syria

Report

…At 6AM I woke up, the bus being 115 km from Nigde. From the bus I saw 1 Peregrine, 1 Little Owl, 1 Long-legged Buzzard, Crested Larks and Red-Backed Shrikes. In Nigde we took a mini-bus to Demirkazik. During this ride we saw some Lesser grey Shrikes, a Hoopoe and a juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo…

2010 [03 March] - Julian Bell - Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean - the BSPC pipeline inspection

Report

The very first morning offshore, approximately halfway between Turkey and Russia, there were grounded migrants onboard the vessel. Following a pattern that was repeated over the next several days most stuff cleared off shortly after dawn leaving largely only the dead and dying behind. Dead birds were found on deck pretty much daily during this trip. The corpses of Skylarks, Black Redstarts, Robins and others were a reminder of the risks taken by migrating passerines…

2010 [06 June] - John Clark - Southern Turkey

Report

…We decided to spend 9 days after our stay in Istanbul birding in Southern Turkey – for which we hired a guide – Kerem Ali Boyla (Birdwatch Turkey Tours). It turned out to be a wonderful tour, which we hadn’t expected, because of the time of year and it isn’t widely seen as a prime area for birding. Thanks for this largely go to Kerem, who was just about the best guide we have experienced. He knew his birds brilliantly and where to find them, was very well-organized, had a great sense of humour and was a pleasure to travel with…

2010 [06 June] - Peter Lansdown

Report

…e were rewarded for an early start with two Black Francolins, two flashy White-throated Kingfishers and a Spanish Sparrow along an ordinary-looking approach road…

2010 [05 May] - Gareth Jones

Report

…The weather eased by afternoon, so we went for a walk around the resort, then on to the lagoon adding White Wagtail, House Sparrow, Collared Dove, Jays, Great Tit, Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird and a soaring Short Toed Eagle above the resort…

2010 [05 May] - Ray Thorneycroft

Report

…The first bird we saw was an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, which was a good start. The surrounding area of the plantation consists of rough grazing interspersed with rocks, bushes and trees….

2009 [10 October] - Gary Oliver - Olu Deniz

Report

…I was essentially on a family holiday, and the birds I saw were mainly seen within a 30 minute walk of the hotel; Krupers Nuthatch and Syrian Woodpecker were only seen near the entrance to the Seklikent Gorge, during an excursion…

2012 [05 May] - Julian Bell - Natural Born Birder

Report

…The job was an inshore survey of two lines crossing the Black Sea from near Samsun in Turkey over to Russia. We stayed in a hotel onshore in the city of Samsun. We worked days on small survey vessels; every day we drove from Samsun to the mouth of the Yeşilırmak river where we boarded the survey vessel and sailed east to the worksite…

2013 [05 May] - Mike P Frost

Report

…Camardi - Nigde D805 (described by some as the best birding road in the Western Palearctic) Rock sparrow, Cetti’s warbler, Lesser whitethroat, Grey wagtail, Golden oriole, Ortolan bunting, Jay, Wren, Great tit, Blackbird, Rock bunting, Chiffchaff, E. BE wheatear, *Persian ground squirrel, Chough, Linnet, Goldfinch, Mistle thrush, Black redstart, Rock thrush, N wheatear, Crimson-winged finch, Souslik, Isabelline wheatear, Alpine swift, Corn bunting, Chaffinch, Horned lark, Whinchat, Bimaculated lark, BH wagtail, Magpie, Lesser grey shrike, Short-toed eagle, Kestrel, Swallow, Short- toed lark, BH bunting, White-throated robin, Whitethroat, Crested lark, Crag martin….

2013 [05 May] - Henk Hendriks

Report

…So we had a very enjoyable trip and besides our targets we observed species like See- Partridge, Black Francolin, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Pallid Scops Owl, Black-winged Pratincole, Little Swift, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Lesser Short- toed Lark, Bimaculated Lark, Citrine Wagtail, Radde’s Accentor, White-throated Robin, an unexpected Pied Wheatear, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Ménétries’s Warbler, Graceful Prinia, Moustached Warbler, Caspian Reed Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Sombre Tit, Krüper’s Nuthatch, Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Dead Sea Sparrow, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, Pale Rock Sparrow, Red-fronted Serin, Asian Crimson-winged Finch, Desert Finch, Black- headed Bunting and Cinereous Bunting….

2013 [05 May] - Stefan Schlick

Report

…A Lesser Spotted Eagle went across the valley. I then was very surprised to hear a Gray-headed Woodpecker calling down below. This was near the creek crossing 0.5km past the Olive-tree Warblers. The bird was calling hard, so I went down and was finally able to track it down….

2012 [08 August] - Ian Broadbent

Report PDF

This is a brief trip report of a family holiday based near Serik, between Antalya and Side on the southern coast of Turkey….

2015 [04 April] - Stephen Burch - Antalya

Report

...Heading to the east and away from the road, I spent a bit of time wandering around the bushy, dry terrain seeing only several Lesser Whitethroats, but things improved when I moved towards some goat herders' shelters on a flattish, greener area (see above coordinates) when I first heard and then saw one superb singing White-throated Robin. There was also a Ruppell's Warbler in the same area, although it wasn't obliging for photos. Also a Hoopoe...

2016 [07 July] - Duncan Orr-Ewing - Kalkan area

PDF Report

...The yellow-vented bulbul can be seen easily around the town, with the area behind the Yali supermarket, pretty good. For this species look for areas with palms. In all visits, I have seen Audouin’s and yellow-legged gulls in Kalkan harbour and rock nuthatch and blue rock thrush on the crags above the public beach. Chukar, Ruppells warbler, eastern bonelli’s warbler, Syrian woodpecker, sombre tit, woodchat and masked shrikes are also straightforward here, particularly in the aforementioned scrub and rocky area below the Elmali road....

Places to Stay

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

Özsafak Pansiyon

Accommodation

Our pension is at the junction of the road to Cukurbag ob the road from Nigde to Camardi. Buses are avaliable 25 times from Nigde each day. There are also taxis. I and My family are mountain guides and can arrange donkeys/mules and trekking equipments. My area is very nice for birdwatching trekking climbing.For example you can see in here Snowcock.

Hotel Poem - Sultanahmet Istanbul

Accommodation

I am very much interested to accomodate bird watchers in our hotel - says Adnan Mordeniz - Managing Partner

Girdev Camp

Accommodation

We offer accommodation to birders and photographers in untouched natural beauty. We are situated between Fethiye and Antalya, 1800metres above sea level on the edge of Girdev Lake. With over 30 years experience in tourism you are guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome and professional staff.We offer accommodation on a full board basis with all meals being traditional Turkish home cooking unlike anything you can find in tourist restaurants or hotels. All of food is home grown in natural ways and all of our water comes from a natural spring which has been tested and has a perfect Ph balance…

Sultan Pansion

Accommodation

Accommodation for birders right by the marshes...

Organisations

Metu [Middle East Technical University] Birdwatching Club

Website

In 1990 the birdwatchers among METU students were active under BIYOT. With the need of an independent club we established METU-BC in 1995. We have been studying birds of our University Campus (METU-Campus) throughout the year. And we performed many exhibition & slide show presentations for giving interesting information about bird in our environment…

Hacettepe University Birding Club

Website

Intercontinental Migratory Bird Monitoring Association

Website

A new organization working specifically on bird migration…

Doga Dernegi (Nature Society)

Hürriyet Caddesi, 43/12i Dikmen, Ankara. +90 (312) 4812545, doga@dogadernegi.org Founded in 2002 by a group of young conservationists working on birds in other NGOs of Turkey. It has over 500 members and is a BirdLife International partner. It organises local bird watching groups for field survey and manages an interent based birding database. It has been working actively for the conservation of Gediz Delta near İzmir and has conservation projects for the Bald Ibis.

Subasi Birdwatching Club

A small group of very active birders from Antakya, the most southern province of Turkey. The group has added Buff-bellied Pipit to Turkish list.

Hacettepe University Birding Club

Website

A small but old group formed by the ornithologist Ilhami Kiziroglu at Hacettepe University.

Istanbul Kus Gozlem Toplulugu (Istanbul Birdwatching Club)

Website

The most active group with over 70 members, regular meetings, regular field trips and an annual bird report for Istanbul…

KuzeyDoga Society

Website

Northeastern Turkey environmental organization conducing community-based conservation, environmental education, bird research, bird ringing, habitat restoration, and birdwatching tourism to benefit local villages. KuzeyDoga has documented 313 bird species in the Kars region and has ringed over half of them. Accepts volunteers for bird ringing and bird monitoring…

Museums

Ege University

http://www.ege.edu.tr/

Birdwatching Group

Reserves

Wetlands

Website

The convention entered into force in Turkey on 13 November 1994. Turkey currently has 14 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 184,487 hectares.

National Parks, Wild Life, Wetlands of Turkey

Website

Brief descriptions of National Parks…

Dogu Karadeniz Daglari

Information

The site includes a major bottleneck of migratory birds of prey (the Coruh valley and many other valleys that raptors use to cross the mountain range); as well as three major mountain ranges (Soganli, Kaçkar, and Karçal) noted for their extensive forests and extensive alpine habitats (representing a fine example of Eurasian high mountain habitat). A number of newly discovered sites that would have qualified as IBAs in their own right have been included within this IBA, emphasizing the fact that the area is of uniform character and that conservation of the area requires a large scale approach…

Esmekaya Sazligi

Webpage

Satellite View

The site consists of an open permanent freshwater lake (Esmekaya lake which is groundwater fed); large expanses of marsh and rush pastures on both sides of the main Konya-Aksaray road which bisects the site, two salt lakes (Akgöl lake and Bezirci, or Günesli, lake) and a number of small satellite wetlands east of the main lake (Turna lake, Sülüklü lake and Tepeköy marshlands). The site also includes Esmekaya village for its breeding population of Lesser Kestrel. Juncus covers most of the dry and salty soils, especially in the southern part of the IBA. Typha and Cladium mariscus, are common to the north with Phragmites being the dominant species around the freshwater lake…

Göksu Delta

Webpage

Satellite View

The majority of the delta is used intensively by man and comprises agricultural land, settlements, wetlands, sand-dunes and beaches. Akglake is a permanent nutrient-rich freshwater lake supporting rich marsh vegetation (including extensive Potamogeton, Scirpus, Typha and Phragmites beds). Saltmarsh surrounds the major lakes; the dunes are of particular conservation interest due to their intact and dynamic nature.

Gediz Delta

Webpage

Satellite View

An extensive coastal wetland situated 25 km north-west of Ýzmir. Shoals and islands separate four saline lagoons (totalling 3,450 ha) from the sea. The site also includes 5,000 ha of saltmarsh and 650 ha of freshwater marsh. Dry grassland and arable land occur north of the commercial saltpans. A fishing cooperative operates in the çilazmak lagoon; the IBA is a popular weekend destination from Ýzmir….

Kuyucuk Lake Wildlife Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Situated in Kars, near Armenia, this is Turkey's latest Ramsar wetland and the only Ramsar site in eastern Turkey. Home to at least 207 bird species, including over 10,000 ruddy shelduck, white-headed duck, and rarities such as red-breasted goose, white-tailed lapwing, and greater sandplover. Chosen as Turkey's 2009 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN), Lake Kuyucuk is home to a bird ringing station, a comfortable guesthouse, and Turkey's first island constructed for breeding birds and other wildlife…

Forums & Mailing Lists

TRAKUS – The Birding and Bird Photography Forum of Turkey

Forum

Lark

Mailing List

The LARK is the english speaking sister of TOYGAR. The LARK aims to serve as a link between the Turkish birding community and English-speaking birders. Among the latter, there are resident foreigners in Turkey, visiting birders, those who like to speak English – or, simply, anyone who likes an exchange information about BIRDING in TURKEY in ENGLISH.

Gedizkuslar (the birds of Gediz Delta in Turkish)

Mailing List

Mailing list for Izmir area bird watchers…

Sarıasma (Golden Oriole in Turkish)

Mailing List

Mailing list for Ankara area bird watchers…

Yelkovan

Mailing List

Mailing list for Ankara area bird watchers…

Karatoygar (Black Lark in Turkish)

Mailing List

Mailing list for listers and twitchers, in other words the Turkish Club 350!

Toygar (lark in Turkish)

Mailing List

Turkish bird watchers mailing group

Other Links

Recent Bird News from Turkey

Website

For more than one year we (Turkish birders) have been steadily catching up, and now there are more than ten birding groups in 10 different regions of the country. I hope we will keep this going well and will be able to achieve a proper coverage of the country as soon as possible. We have regular meetings, counts and communications. I`ll be sending information about not only rare birds in my country but also interesting records according to the time or location…

Birdwatching

Website

When we consider the diversity of bird species in Turkey, both migratory and non-migratory, we can see that Turkey is a unique place for watching birds…

Ornithology in Turkey

Website

Ornithology, is becoming huge in the country of Turkey in recent years. One of the country's fastest growing activities, bird observation groups have been established in almost all of Turkey's major cities, sharing resources and registries as well as information about where to find the best birds…

Kusbank

Webpage

KusBank is an Internet-based spatial database about birds, their science and their distribution, that allows users from anywhere in the world to input and query Turkish bird data.The system provides the facility to download data into Excel and analyse them for personal requirements. A project supported by RSPB, BirdLife International and Doga dernegi…

A Birders Guide to Turkey

Website

Also at: http://www.stanford.edu/%7Ecagan/2007%20Winging%20It%20Turkey.pdf …a detailed overview of best birding opportunities and avian specialties of Turkey…

Moda'nin Kuslari

Website

Bird Photography from Moda [Istanbul]

Dalyan Birding

Website

A site to help you find the birds you want whilst enjoying a holiday too! Some great photos too!

Nikfer Wildlife

Website

Wildlife Photos and Info for the town of Denizli Nikfer …

Bosphorus Bird Migration

Website

This site focus on the bird migration that occurs over the Bosphorus. The one of our aims is collecting observations that are recorded at Kusbank (Worldbirds), eBird, Dogalhayat and TRAKUS and then tracking them on a map. We will do this for not only observations from Istanbul but also observations from whole Turkey...

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Serhan Oksay

Gallery

A birding photograph album (from a Turkish birdman) with some excellent photographs. However, it is not only an art site but also includes a good deal of info on bird watching, bird photography techniques and bird sketching..

Photographer - Mehmet Cetinkoc, Istanbul

Gallery

Very talented photographer capturing finest moments, expert in Bee-eaters. Stunning pictures of migrant raptors…

Photographer - Melih Ozbek, Ankara

Gallery

Great photographer, expert of Lake Mogan.

Photographer – Ozkan Uner, Istanbul

Gallery

Professional photographer from Istanbul.

Photographer – Suleyman Ucar, Istanbul

Gallery

Professional photographer from Istanbul. His site is in Turkish. Click ‘Fotografları’ and then ‘KUSLAR’ to ge to birds.

Photographer - Serkan Mutan

Wildlife Photography

I'm a bird photographer in Turkey…