Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Goldcrest Regulus regulus ©Francis C Franklin - Creative Commons
Birding Luxembourg

Luxembourg is one of Europe’s smallest sovereign states, with a surface area of 2,586 km2. It has a border with Belgium to the west and north, with Germany to the east, and with France to the south. It has no mountains, no moor land and very little standing water. There are four main land divisions: a small area of iron-ore deposits in the south, with a declining but still important iron and steel industry; a small area of lowland farmland in the rest of the south and the centre; a strip of very steep, heavily wooded valleys (part of the Eifel/Ardennes massif); and remnants of marshes and bogs in the north-west on an otherwise cultivated plateau.

Ornithological Importance

Eighteen Important Bird Areas (IBA) are included in the BirdLife International IBA-Programme. Under 300 bird species have been reliably recorded in Luxembourg (including 15 escaped and 5 introduced species). One of the most interesting zone is the Haff Réimech Nature Reserve (Remerschen Gravel pits) in the Moselle valley where more than 250 species have been recorded. The most interesting breeding species here are Little Bittern, Grey Woodpecker, Great Reed and Melodious Warbler. It’s the only breeding area in Luxembourg for Common Tern, Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck. Regular winter or migratory birds are Bittern (up to 6); Osprey, Bearded Tit, Hobby, Purple Heron and Great White Egret, ducks and waders. An 80ha Nature Reserve was declared here in 1997 and the whole area is a Natura2000 area and one of Luxembourg’s only two Ramsar sites. Since 2016 the visitor centre Biodiversum gives information on the area

Perhaps the second major zone is the northwestern part of Luxembourg, the so-called Oesling, the land of Black Stork. 12 to 18 pairs of Black Stork breed in Luxembourg and this part of the country is probably the best for seeing them. Other interesting birds species are Eagle Owl and Great Grey and Red-backed Shrike. The numerous little wetlands owned by the Help for Nature Trust (Fondatioun Hëllef fir d’Natur) held populations of Yellow Wagtail and Whinchat. In Winter, Jacksnipe and Hen Harrier are likely to be seen here.

The Our is a little Stream on the German border. It’s good water quality makes it possible for the Otter to survive. Major bird species are Grey Wagtail, Dipper and Kingfisher. Black Stork, Red Kite, Hobby and Hazel Grouse breed in the forests alongside the Our.

The open iron-ore deposits in the southwestern part of Luxembourg are a unique place in central Europe. Breeding species include Woodlark, Tree Pipit, Eagle Owl, Stonechat and Black Woodpecker in the adjacent forests.


Nearly 50 % of the Luxembourg landscape is arable land. In the northern part of the country, the Oesling region (covering one third of the country); agriculture is partially dominated by grassland culture (26 % of Oesling). Agriculture is part pastoral, part arable, with grazing, hay and silage meadows predominating (the main product being milk). Vines are grown for wine along the Moselle and some of its tributaries.

Forests cover a third of the land surface (almost entirely modified); and of this area one-third is coniferous and two-thirds deciduous. Luxembourg’s landscape is extremely poor in standing freshwater and moor lands; wetlands, once abundant, have been much reduced by modern agriculture, as have hedgerows. A small part of country, the so-called Minette, is dominated by abandoned open-cast (iron-ore) mines.

  • Patric Lorgé

    natur&ëmwelt - BirdLife Luxembourg | patlor@naturemwelt.luNumber

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 289

    (As at february 2019)

    National Bird: Goldcrest Regulus regulus

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Tous les Oiseaux de France

    (de Belgique, de Suisse et du Luxembourg) | By Frédéric Jiguet & Aurélien Audevard | Delachaux et Niestle | 2014 | Paperback | 320 pages, 1500 colour photos | in French | ISBN: 9782603020746 Buy this book from
  • Vögel Luxemburgs (Birds of Luxembourg)

    By Patric Lorgé | natur&ëmwelt | 2016 | Hardback | Edition 2 | 275 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations, colour tables | German with English, German, French and Luxembourgish nomenclature | ISBN: 9782919920013 Buy this book from
Museums & Universities
  • Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle

    Research project - Raptors and Owls from Luxembourg and Belgium: Exposure by mercury and organochlorines…
  • BirdLife Luxemburg - natur&ëmwelt

    Kräizhaff, 5 Route de Luxembourg, Kockelscheuer, LU, LU-1899 Tel. +352 29 04 04-1; Fax +352 29 05 04 To protect wild birds and their habitats, natur&ëmwelt works closely with its foundation Hëllef fir d'Natur, (above) which is concerned with the purchase and management of habitats.

Abbreviations Key

  • IBAs - Luxembourg

    InformationSatellite View
  • NP Upper Sûre Natural Park WII

    InformationSatellite View
    It is a national park in north-western Luxembourg. Located in the Oesling region, the park is primarily an area of conservation and a specially protected area for wild birds.
  • NR German-Luxembourg Nature Park

    InformationSatellite View
    The German-Luxembourg Nature Park is a cross-border nature park, which was established on 17 April 1964 by state treaty between the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It thus became the first cross-border nature park in Western Europe.
  • Wetlands

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The convention entered into force in Luxembourg on 15 August 1998. Luxembourg currently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 17,213 hectares.
Trip Reports
  • 2013 [01 January] - Bruce Wedderburn - Belgium, Holland, Germany and Luxembourg

    I had to travel to France for business and as I had worked through Christmas and New Year, I decided to spend 10 days exploring parts of France that I had not visited previously, together with Yvonne. When we were in France, we decided to extend the visit by another 10 days and also visit Belgium, Holland, Germany and Luxembourg.
Other Links
  • List of birds of Luxembourg

    This is a list of the bird species recorded in Luxembourg. The avifauna of Luxembourg include a total of 289 species, of which five have been introduced by humans and 89 are rare or accidental; of these, 15 have not been reported in Luxembourg since 1950.

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