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Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo ©Sue Tranter

Ukraine is among the largest countries in Europe and it is a territory where it is possible to see 400 bird species, among which 154 belong to the SPEC categories. Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Ukraine support the existence of such SPEC 1 bird species as Pelecanus crispus, Anser erythropus, Brantha ruficollis, Aythya nyroca, Aquila clanga, Aquila heliaca, Falco naumanni, Crex crex, Otis tarda, Numenius tenuirostris, Acrocephalus paludicola, Oxyura leucocephala and such SPEC 2 ones as Phalacrocorax pygmeus, Tetrax tetrax, Gallinago media, Platalea leucorodia, Accipiter brevipes, Limosa limosa, Tringa tetanus, Sterna sandvicensis, Otus scops, Caprimulgus europaeus, Coracias garrulus, Picus viridis, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Lanius minor, Emberiza hortulana and Emberiza melanocephala. To name only a few.

In accordance with the data of the Ministry Of the Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine 15 areas are designated as Natural Heritage sites. The area of all reserves and protected areas is nearly 4% of the whole of the Ukraine. There are currently 30 natural and biosphere reserves and nature parks in Ukraine.

It is possible to determine four main areas, which are of most interest for birders. They are the area comprising the Ukrainian Carpathians, the Upper part of the Dnister river, and the Volyn region in the west; Polys'kyi Nature Reserve in the north; the Dnipro River in the east; and the area made up of the Crimea peninsula, the deltas of The Dnister and Dnipro rivers, numerous lymans and bays of the Azov and the Black Sea in the south.

The West:
The Carpathians is an area where it is possible to watch various Woodpeckers, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Golden Eagle, Eagle Owl, Ring Ouzel, Woodlark, Wagtails, Kingfisher, Corncrake, Goldeneye, Ferruginous Duck, Bean Goose, and Quail. The upper part the Dnister river creates wet meadows and marshes, which support Montagu's Harrier, Short-Earred Owl and various Warblers, the river is a good place for wintering Goldeneye. The Volyn region is famous for its Shatsky Lakes National Nature Park, which is included in the Natural Heritage list. The area is a kingdom of Woodpeckers and Owls and is extremely interesting during migration periods. During those times it is possible to watch thousands of aquatic bird species such as Geese, Ducks (mainly Pochard) and Cranes. Black Stork, White-Tailed Eagle, Ferruginous Duck, Little Crake, and Aquatic Warbler breed there. Quite close to the park is a habitat where Great Snipe, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, and various Terns and Warblers breed.

The North:
In the territory of Polys'kyi Nature Reserve, which consists of forests, marshes, small rivers and bushes, it is possible to see 180 bird species, 47 of which are in the Red book of Ukraine. In this area you can watch Capercaillie, and a variety of Owls. It is the only place in Ukraine, where there are Bearded Owl, and if you are lucky you will see Imperial and Short-toed Eagles. Wolves and lynx live in this area too.

The East:
The Dnipro River is the largest river in Ukraine, 23 areas along the river have special status. The most interesting of these are Kahovske Reservoir and Kozak Islands. This is a habitat where a lot of aquatic bird species breed. Among them are Red-breasted Goose, Greylag Goose, White-tailed Eagle, Crane, Little Bittern and Bee-Eater. The area is very attractive during periods of migration. Geese, Cranes, Ducks [Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, & Pintail], Coot, and Red-footed Falcon cross the territory during these times.

The South:
Lymans and bays of the Black and Azov seas, the Dnipro and Dnister deltas, and the Crimea peninsula are very attractive for birders both in times of migration and during nesting and breeding seasons. During migration Syvash (Crimea) together with Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats' bays are the place for thousands of Cormorants, Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Swans, Geese, Shelducks, Great Bustards, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Collared Pranticoles, Plovers, Sandpipers, Godwits, Turnstones, Little Gulls and Terns to rest up. The total number of nesting birds in Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka bays (The Black Sea) exceeds 70,000 pairs. Also very attractive during the breeding season are Obytichna peninsula and Molochnyj lyman (the Azov Sea). The Dnipro and Dnister deltas are very important for breeding Cormorants, Purple, Grey, Squacco and Night Herons, Great White Egrets, and Glossy Ibises. Special mention should be made of the Danube River and surrounding areas, it is a country of Pelicans, Terns, Geese, Ducks, Gulls, Swans and Pochard. A few hundred pairs of Pygmy Cormorants breed there as do Lesser Great Grey Shrikes.

Ukraine has about 14,000 birdwatchers and ornithologists. Each area has local branches of the Ukrainian Society for Bird Conservation, which is a Birdlife International partner. The Ukrainian Rarities Committee, Ukrainian Ornithological Society, Union of Young Ornithologists, Ukrainian Society of Teriologists, Raptors Fund, Ukrainian Birdwatching Center other conservation societies are trying to raise the profile of nature protection to new levels.


Oleksandr Ruchko

Ukrainian Birdwatching Centre



Number of Species

Number of bird species: 406


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iGoTerra Checklist

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Useful Information


Ukrainske Tovaristvo Okhoroni Ptakhiv (UTOP) is the BirdLife Partner Designate…


Ukrainian Union for Bird Conservation


P0 Box 33, Kiev-01103. + 380 44 2947131 utop@iptelecOm.Oet.ua
Welcome to the website of the UKRAINIAN UNION FOR BIRD CONSERVATION (UTOP), a nature conservation organization, and BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL Partner in Ukraine. The Union, which is in its 10th year, unites more than 2000 members, volunteers, birdwatchers, professional ornithologists and others interested in birds and in nature conservation.


Abbreviations Key

Bieszczady National Park


Satellite View

Bieszczady National Park is the third largest national park in Poland. It is located in the far south-east, in Podkarpackie Voivodeship, at the borders with the Slovak Republic and Ukraine…

Nature Reserves (Zapovidnyky) in Ukraine


Polis'kyi Reserve is located in Zhytomyr region of Ukraine on the border with Byelorussia…

Reserves and National Nature Parks of Ukraine


Annotated list…



Ukraine presently has 22 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 716,250 hectares…

Guides & Tour Operators

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

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Ukrainian Birdwatching Centre


…some rare birds in Ukraine are common in the world and some common ones in Ukraine are rare outside it, but all of them are sure to be worth watching…

Trip Reports


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.

Places to Stay

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

Apartment - Feodosia, Crimea


Are you considering travelling to the Ukrainian Black sea coast? Why not stay in your own fully self contained apartment? Beautiful Feodosia is situated on the historical Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea cost of Ukrania. Feodosia is a small city with a rich history going back to the first century A.D. Today's Feodosia is the part of Crimean Autonomous Republic, the greatest administrative, economic, scientific, cultural and historical centre of South-Eastern Crimea, important Black Sea harbour of Ukraine and transport junction and health resort…


Western-Ukrainian Ornithological Station

Observatory Information

Part of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (Zoological Museum) this observatory has a new website [February 2009] soon to be in English too…


Birdwatching in Ukraine


Personal blog about birdwatching in Ukraine with photo gallery…

Other Links

Birds of Ukraine


All about birds in Ukraine…

Important Bird Areas


The loss of biodiversity is one of the real European environmental problems, which affect every citizen. Thus, the well-being of our Common European House depends on how we can solve this problem…

The Raptorial Birds of Ukraine


Description of all raptorial birds of Ukraine. The web site is written in Ukrainian…

Ukrainian Journal of Ornithology


Ukrainian journal of ornithology BERKUT (GOLDEN EAGLE) is published since 1992. It is the first ornithological periodical in Ukraine and one of the most known journals of ornithology in the former USSR. BERKUT has 4 working languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English and German. All communications have English summaries. All the information in tables and figures is duplicated in English. Publications cover the large region from Bulgaria, Poland and Baltic to the Far East of Russia. The journal is published twice-yearly.