Federal Republic of Germany

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos ©Tony Hisgett
Birding Germany

Germany is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres (137,988 sq mi),[4] and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying entirely in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a very decentralized country. Its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country’s busiest airport. Germany’s largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Dortmund and Essen. The country’s other major cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Dresden, Bremen, Hannover, and Nuremberg.Elevation ranges from the mountains of the Alps (highest point: the Zugspitze at 2,962 metres or 9,718 feet) in the south to the shores of the North Sea (Nordsee) in the northwest and the Baltic Sea (Ostsee) in the northeast. The forested uplands of central Germany and the lowlands of northern Germany (lowest point: Wilstermarsch at 3.54 metres or 11.6 feet below sea level) are traversed by such major rivers as the Rhine, Danube and Elbe. Germany’s alpine glaciers are experiencing deglaciation. Most of Germany has a temperate seasonal climate dominated by humid westerly winds. The country is situated in between the oceanic Western European and the continental Eastern European climate. The climate is moderated by the North Atlantic Drift, the northern extension of the Gulf Stream. This warmer water affects the areas bordering the North Sea; consequently in the northwest and the north the climate is oceanic. Germany gets an average of 789 mm (31 in) of precipitation per year; there is no consistent dry season. Winters are cool and summers tend to be warm: temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F).Ornithology in Germany is a serious and very often professional business with very knowledgeable birders young and old. The general trend to an increase of interest in nature and the environment also holds true here, and the numbers of occasional birdwatchers is increasing all the time. But Germany has a long way to go until birding reaches the level of a Volkssport or national pastime as is the case in Holland and the UK.

The diverse landscape, and climate, offer a wide variety of birding from the paradise of the Wadden sea for ducks and waders, the woodland birds of the wide-ranging forests of Central Germany and the raptors and Mediterranean visitors of the Alps to the milder climes of Bavaria and Baden Wuerttemburg with the border inland sea of Lake Constance (Bodensee). The links below are arranged from the general to the particular: form the homepages of the larger nature organisation to local and private sites.

Top Sites
  • Deutsch-Belgischer Naturpark

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Anywhere in the Deutsch-Belgischer Naturpark in the Eiffel region South of Aachen and Cologne, especially the Ruhrsee just East of Heimbach is worth a visit. For example, in October it holds both Kites, 3 Buzzard species, Osprey and Storks all moving through and feeding/loafing about. The woods in and above the upper Ruhr valley south of Monschau are also very productive too.
  • National Parks

    Germany has 13 National Parks, 17 Biosphere reserves (some identical with national parks) and 18 Nature Parks or nature reserves.
  • David Conlin

  • Peter Wells

    | p.wells@zen.co.uk

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 519

    (As at March 2019)

    State Bird - Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Collins Bird Guide

    Lars Svensson (Author), Peter J Grant (Contributor), Killian Mullarney (Illustrator), Dan Zetterstr ISBN: 9780007268146 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birding Aps
  • Birds of Germany

    Apple iOS |

    This bird app was developed by PhD, passionate field ornithologist. For quick finding the birds can be sorted differently: By relationship - in each case in gallery view or as fold-out list
  • BUND (Friends of the Earth - Society for Environment and Nature Protection in Germany

    With branches at regional and local level throughout Germany
  • Birdlife International Deutschland (NABU - Naturschutzbund Deutschland)

    More protection for endangered habitats - Of all the wild animals, it is probably the birds that most people are particularly impressed with. But many are threatened: not only rare birds such as cranes or storks, even barn swallows or house sparrows are on the losing side when their habitat disappears. Learn more about the threat to our birdlife, the ways to save it, and, of course, to experience it!
  • Club 300

    For German rarities - you have to join to get full directions etc. but without membership you get an overview and photos etc.
  • Committee against Bird Slaughter - Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V.

    Hunters, poachers, bird catchers and pet traders are threatening our migratory birds everywhere along their migration routes. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter is campaigning for better protection of animals from persecution across Europe: with concrete actions on the ground, lobbying, research, public relations, expertise, legal proceedings and support from local conservation and animal protection groups, we protect the birds, where the authorities fail.
  • Deutscher Rat fur Vogelschutz

    The purpose and statutory purpose of the DRV is the protection of bird life and its habitats on a scientific basis and the advocacy of animal welfare including the practical implementation of scientific knowledge in this area.
  • Federation of German Avifaunists (Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten e.V. - DDA)

    The DDA is the union of all national and regional ornithological associations in Germany. It represents about 11,000 field ornithologists and birdwatchers.
  • German Ornithological Society - Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft (DO-G)

    The German Ornithologist's Society (DO-G) is one of the world`s oldest existing scientific societies. The DO-G was founded in 1850. Its original goal - to support and further scientific ornithology on all levels - has remained unchanged…
  • Ornithologischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft Bodensee - Bodensee or Lake Constance

    This Austrian/German/Swiss Working Group, consisting of field ornithologists, is primarily concerned with the analysis and preservation of the Bodensee/Lake Constance region. This includes regular stocktaking of breeding and visiting birds, the investigation of potential and actual threats and the execution of the resulting proposals.
  • World Wildlife Fund Germany


Abbreviations Key

  • National Parks in Germany – Europarc Deutschland

    WebsiteSatellite View
    A great central site with interactive map links to all the 13 National Parks, 17 Biosphere reserves (some identical with national parks) and 18 Nature Parks or nature reserves.
  • Nature Parks - Birding in Westhavelland / Die Vogelwelt des Naturparks Westhavelland

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Home to hundreds of thousands of northern geese in winter and important staging area for waders and other waterfowl. A paradise for White Stork, and Black and Red Kite in summer. Healthy White-tailed Eagle population. Some of the last of the North European Great Bustard (Otis tarda) population can be found in the region (Displays on the leks at end of March).
  • Wetlands

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Germany currently has 34 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 868,226 hectares.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • GBN - German Birdnet

    Discussion of birds in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, in German.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Berlin - Rolf Nessing

    Rolf offers field trips getting to know the urban bird life within the city of Berlin, as well as full day trips in the immediate vicinity of Berlin or further afield. There are 46 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) around Berlin as well as one IBA in the city itself (as at 2003). He knows most of them like the back of his hand…
  • birdingtours

    Tour Operator
    Why do more and more birders choose to travel with birdingtours? Because it is the German specialist for bird watching trips. Our qualified tour guides are ornithological experts with whom you enjoy a unique natural experience. With a group of like-minded people you will see more and learn more. Our trips are characterised by good organisation, good accommodation and local specialties...
Trip Reports
  • 2014 [10 October] - Johan Schaerlaeckens

    PDF Report
    In German
  • 2015 [08 August] - Julian Bell - Rhine Valley

    Although this was essentially a non-birding holiday there were still quite a few birds to see. Along the river Black Kite were numerous and obviously feeding young - their calls were often the first sign of their presence and they were regularly seen fishing. Other notable sightings (at least for a birder from UK/Norway) included Bee eaters, a flock of Garganey, Black Terns, White Stork and a decent variety of raptors.
  • 2019 [05 May] - Stefan Schlick - Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommmern)

    PDF Report
    For the first time in my life I ventured out to the states in the former East Germany for a 12-day birding trip. I also included 2 half-day birding outings when I was based out of Stuttgart (Baden-Wuerttemberg) to visit family...
  • 2023 [04 April] - Brian Carruthers

    e-bird pages
  • 2023 [04 April] - Daniel Watson

    PDF Report
    A total of 63 species were observed, with highlights including; White-tailed eagle, White stork, Short-toed treecreeper, Crested tit, Black, Middle-spotted and Lesser-spotted woodpeckers.
Other Links
  • Bird Song Identification

    The new Bestseller and standard work for learning to identify birds by their song! Bird song identification made easy! Quick audio-visual learning system
  • Birder's Homepage - - Meine Vogelstimmen

    Bird calls & song and digitalfotos with wav-, mp3- und avi-files
  • Birder's Homepage - Rudy's Birding Page

    Welcome to my homepage. This site is an information-page about everything that is linked to my favourite hobby: birdwatching! Surprisingly, even for me, that everything turned out to be mostly gulls!! So they deserve their own Gull-index. Which means my actual birding page is now pretty stagnant…
  • Birding Germany

    In German only but easy to use for information and tips on the best birding spots in Bavaria, the Lake Constance area and the Upper Rhine. Also contains information on the most sought-after species in Germany (divided in to songbirds and others) such as Crag Martin, Alpine Accentor, Wall Creeper, Black Stork, Golden Eagle and many more.
  • Roland Fiala

    The bird songs of Europe
  • Translation of Bird Names

    On this site you can find recent reports of Bavarian birds and other topics - full, informative and colourful. And with links to other local and German sites - information in English
  • Vivara Naturschutzprodukte

    Alle Produkte werden speziell auf die Ansprüche wild lebender Kleintiere wie Vögel, Igel oder Fledermäuse hin entwickelt und regelmäßig von Ornithologen und Biologen analysiert und getestet…
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Christopher Schmidt

    A brillaint wildlife illustrator - this site is well worth a lengthy surfing session! [Fatbirder]
  • Artist - Heidi Lots

    Heidi is a self-taught artist born in Argentina - South America with German ancestors, now living in Germany..
  • Die Vogel Europas

    Photographs of he Birds of Europe
  • Photographer

    Excellent bird photos from Germany
  • Photographer - Johannes Ferdinand - Bird Lens

    Bird Lens | Images for Science & Public | Western Palaearctic & the World
  • Photographer - Thomas Plack

    Some great bird photos on this growing site…
  • Webcam - Free-Live

    Our club has the purpose to give you an exciting view of the local world of animals. For this we use modern technologies and install internet livecams in places normally hidden from human views. The infrastructure is constantly developing…

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