Bosnia and Herzegovina

Crested Tit Parus cristatus ©Monique Bogaerts Website
Birding Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the smallest countries in southeast Europe. It is situated in the heart of the Balcan peninsula between Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro. Bosnia and Herzegovina is generally a mountaneous country with a massive mountain along its western border. The inner and northwest parts of the country are covered with forests. The southern part, twenty kilometers long, covers the Adriatic coast.

Ornithology in Bosnia and Herzegovina started to develop at the end of the 19th century thanks to Otmar Reiser, who was a curator of the National Museum at that time and one of the most respected European ornithologists of the 19th and 20th century. The second half of the 20th century has been marked with research, mainly in ecology, by Dr. Svjetoslav Obratil, the most well known ornithologist in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Up till now, there are altogether 321 species of birds registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, 218 species can be found nesting in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unfortunately, in the last 150 years, due to constant destruction of habitat, 16 species have been lost.

Thanks to the variety of nature in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is possible to find a great number of interesting locations for observation and study of birds, such as Hutovo blato, Bardaèa, Livanjsko polje, Sutjeska, Kozara, mountain Vran, Lake Boraèko, mountain Igman, and Bjelašnica etc. See below for details.

Top Sites
  • Mountain Vran and Dugo field

    Satellite View
    This region, geographically placed in the eastern part of the middle Dinarida, includes a chain of characteristic mountain tops of the mountain Vran, together with the broader area of the Blidinje Park and Lake Blidinje. In the aforementioned area, there are about 100 species of birds and nesting Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus been recorded.
  • IBA Bardaèa

    Satellite View
    Bardaèa is designated an IBA and consists of a fish pond complex near Srbac. This damp habitat of about 700ha has 185 recorded species of birds. The majority have been recorded during the period of the autumn migration. Furthermore, many endangered species nest in the fish ponds area (Ferruginous Duck Aynthya nyroca, White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia and Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo etc.)
  • Livanjsko polje

    Satellite View
    Livanjsko polje is one the biggest grassland areas in Krajina, situated in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina at an altitude of approximately 700m. Ornithological researches so far show that this location has 163 species of birds. In the last 15 years, among others, European Bee-eater Merops apiaster, Garganey Anas querquedula and Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus have been recorded nesting here.
  • NP Hutovo Blato

    Satellite View
    This natural park is a Mediterranean wetland situated near Èapljina (Herzegovina). It is an IBA (Important Bird Area) and there are 235 species officially listed. This area is considered very important for feeding and resting birds during their autumn migration to Africa. Hutovo Blato is also an important habitat for the nesting of some globally endangered species (Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmaeus, Ferruginous Duck Aynthya nyroca, & European Bee-eater Marops apiaster etc.), as well as for a number of species which spend the winter in wet locations.
  • NP Sutjeska

    Satellite View
    The Sutjeska National Park (eastern Bosnia) is a mountainous region situated near the Sutjeska River. This area, including the forest of Peruèica, has about 108 species of birds.The Tjentište area along the river Sutjeska is one of the most important areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, concerning for nesting Concrake Crex crex.
  • Dražen Kotrošan & Ida Telalbašiæ


Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 318

    As at July 2018
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Museums & Universities
  • National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The Department of Natural History represents the first scientific and cultural organizational unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of natural history…
  • Nase Ptice - Bosnia & Herzegovina Ornithology Society

    Ornithological Society “Naše ptice” is a nongovernmental, nonprofit, non-partisan, volunteer organization founded in 2003 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, involved in the field of ornithology, ecology, bird ringing and protection and monitoring of birds and birds’ habitats. The Society and is strongly involved in projects which aim at raising general public awareness about bird protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Kozara

    InformationSatellite View
    This is a place where you can breathe fully and do sports activities while enjoying beautiful landscapes.Kozara Mountain is located in the North West of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a low, “island” mountain, situated between the Pannonian Plain in the North and the Dinarics in the South, and bordered by the rivers Sava, Una, Vrbas and Sana.
  • NP Sutjeska

    InformationSatellite View
    NATIONAL PARK OF SUTJESKA is the oldest and largest national park in BiH, which is by its natural values and beauties the pearl of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It covers the area of Sutjeska with strict natural reserve Perućica, parts of the mountains Maglić (2386 m – the highest peak in BiH), Volujak, Vučeva and Zelengora. Thanks to the outstanding natural values and their preservation, since 2000, NP Sutjeska has been included in II category of IUCN (UN Department of Nature and Natural Resources).
  • NP Una

    InformationSatellite View
  • NR Hutovo Blato

    InformationSatellite View
    In the south of Herzegovina, in a typically karst environment, on the left bank of the Neretva river, lies the Hutovo Blato, a unique sub-Mediterranean wetland in Europe. It has been known of yore as a green oasis…
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Wild Herzegovina

    Tour Operator
    Birdwatching & Wildlife Holidays - Imagine birdwatching surrounded by breathtaking and diverse scenery that ranges from wetlands , alpine meadows, deep canyons and crystal clear rivers to an infinite variety of karst landscapes... and not another birdwatcher in sight!
Trip Reports
  • 2008 [05 May] - Mark Easterbrook

    This was a week long trip taking in parts of Bosnia, Montenegro and Croatia…
Other Links
  • List of birds of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    This is a list of the bird species recorded in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The avifauna of Bosnia-Herzegovina includes a total of 318 species, of which 1 is rare or accidental. 2 species listed are extirpated in Bosnia-Herzegovina and are not included in the species count…
  • Wayne Scott - Bosnia and Herzegovina Birding

    Welcome to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Birding Blog. I want to communicate what this beautiful country has to offer for birders by sharing my own birding experiences and to be a resource for others to share theirs. Topics include: highlights of what I see, favorite birding spots in BiH, other BiH related birding news.

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