Kingdom of Denmark

Mute Swan Cygnus olor ©Jens Eriksen Website
Birding Denmark

Denmark is a relatively small country and the highest point above sea level is only 173m, but it has over 7,000km of coastline with marshland, mudflats, inlets and coastal meadows. Furthermore, Denmark lies on the main migration routes between continental Europe and the rest of Scandinavia. In spring and autumn, a massive migration of landbirds – both raptors and passerines – takes place, while enormous numbers of wildfowl and waders stop off, some of them even spending winter here. Denmark actually hosts almost the whole population of Pale-bellied Brent Geese from Spitzbergen in the winter months. In summer we are home to a large population of breeding waterbirds and approximately 200 bird species breed regularly in Denmark.

There are some 13,000 members of Dansk Ornitologisk Forening (DOF – BirdLife Denmark), which is the only national organisation for birders in Denmark.Most members look at their feeders, of course, but also birding is pretty common at wetland sites and at visible migration watch-points. Twitching is a small but fast growing pastime indulged in by perhaps between 300 and 500 people, but only about fifty go for every rare bird.There are about 100 ringers and only six Bird Observatories in Denmark with regular activities. Many people undertake some kind of monitoring or organisation work through DOF. There are two birdlines. BirdAlarm cost around £35 a year and is used also in Norway and Sweden so you can received bird news from these countries as well. BirdAlarm provides fast information about the occurrence of rarities as well as more common birds. Besides that there is BirdCall which is free, but does not receive so many reports as BirdAlarm. There are 13 regional bird magazines in black and white – one for each local branch. DOF – BirdLife Denmark provides two national bird magazines, which are in colour.

The best birding sites in Denmark are along the Danish west coast. In the south you find the northern part of the Wattensea. 100,000 birds, primarily ducks, geese and shorebirds, are visible in the area throughout the year. Further north along the coastline there are several wetlands, which all act as magnets to waterfowl. The entire coast is good for migrating seabirds, especially in the strong westerly winds. At the westernmost point lies Blaavand Bird Observatory, where there is ringing of migrant birds in spring and autumn. In the northernmost part of Jutland is Skagen. Skagen acts as a bottleneck and is probably Northern Europe’s best spring migration point for birds of prey. Migration here starts in April and ends in mid June. Skagen Bird Observatory provides daily updates and counts of migrating birds in Skagen.Another good spring migration site for birds is Gilbierg in North Zealand. Ten thousand Cranes pass North Zealand each year – especially if the wind is in the right direction. South of Copenhagen is the coast called Stevns. This is the site for birds of prey during autumn. When birds of prey leave Falsterbo in Sweden, Danes are ready to see them when they come off the sea.

The capital, Copenhagen, holds most birdwatchers and visitors to Copenhagen should visit West Amager, which is the best birding place near the capital.

The Southernmost point is Gedser. Birds of prey coming in from Sweden and first seen at Stevns, can sometimes be relocated on their further migration either by Gedser, Hyllekrog or Stignæs before leaving Zealand. As in Skagen and Blaavand birds are ringed at Gedser Bird Observatory. 2010 was a record year with over 20,000 ringed birds.Towards the east is the island of Bornholm. Northeast of Bornholm are Christiansø that for many years was regarded as the Danish equivalent to Fair Isle.

Remember – politically the Faroe Isles are part of Denmark, but biologically they are not – Danes do not ‘count’ Faroes birds on their Danish lists.

Top Sites
  • Birding sites in Denmark

    On this page you will find a number of links to birding sites in Denmark, region by region. The links can be found in the box to the right. The link "Birding sites in Denmark" leads to a Google map showing the whole of Denmark with all the sites marked.
  • Morten Bentzon Hansen

    | Mortenbentzon(AT)

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 474

    (As at November 2018)

    National Bird - Mute Swan Cygnus olor

  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Skagen Fuglefestival

    Facebook Page
    Skagen Fuglefestival takes place every year in Skagen the 2nd weekend in May - Skagen Bird Festival is arranged by: Skagen Bird's Nest Friends in collaboration with: Danish Ornithological Society, Skagen Bird's Nest and DOF-Jutland
  • Blåvand Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Blaavand Bird Observatory is located in the eastern part of the North Sea, situated at the westernmost tip of Denmark. The observatory was started by the Danish Ornithological Society in 1963 and is still run by volunteers of the society. In 1963 a standard observation programme was introduced which is still setting the guidelines for observations resulting in one of the longest standardised observation series in Europe. It is the oldest and best-equipped bird observatory in Denmark.
  • Christiansø Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Christiansø is the easternmost point in Denmark. Islands and shores, large seabird colonies, volumes of migratory birds, rare toads and plants. Ertholmene is the only Danish archipelago, and as such and in itself is a unique natural habitat. The Ertholmene is also covered by a wide range of protections, and is, for example, designated as the EU Habitat, EU Bird Protection Area and Nature Reserve.
  • Gedser Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    You are wellcome to visit the Bird Observatory and to parcicipate in excursions published on the right side of our homepage The discriptions are in Danish as most of the participants. But most Danes do understand English and speak it quite well.
  • Ringing Center National Museum of Natural History

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    The Bird Ringing Data Collection of the Zoological Museum, known as the Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre, comprises data from Denmark as well as the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The Collection consists of ringing data for altogether c. 2.5 million birds as well as information on c. 150,000 recoveries. The annual number of ringed birds varies between 100,000 and 120,000. While the ringing data are still manu- ally recorded, the main part of the recoveries are stored in a computer database. Government Site.
  • Skagen Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Migratory routes over Denmark are generally spread over a wide front, but in certain cases migration is concentrated, due to special geographical conditions. This is the case at Skagen (also known as the Skaw) as Jutland has the form of a giant funnel with Skagen at the end. Bird news daily.
Museums & Universities
  • Copenhagen University Zoological Museum

    The main collection comprises study skins, altogether c. 110,000 specimens of c. 7,000 species. This collection is arranged in systematic order and with a geographical subdivision within individual species. Half of this collection is from Denmark and the North Atlantic Dependencies, obtained mainly by Finn Salomonsen. There are modest collections from Scandinavia and relatively little from other parts of Europe. Important sections comprise the private collection of Lehn Schiøler of c. 30,000 Nordic waterfowl, collected mainly for detailed studies of of seasonal and age-related plumage variations. Large series also exist of shorebirds. The series of gyrfalcons Falco rusticolus comprises c. 800 specimens, representing c. half of all material kept in museums. An historically important collection is c. 100 mounts from the beginning of the 19th Century (Peter C. Wöldike).
  • Bird Ringing Central

    The place to report sightings, enquire about observed rings etc.
  • DOF - Bornholm

    The branch covers the islands of Bornholm and Ertholmene. Two IBA
  • DOF - Fyn

    The branch covers Funen. Seven IBA’s are located here with Arreskov Sø, Firtalsstrand and Langeland being the best places to birdwatch…
  • DOF - København

    The branch covers the capital. Nine IBA’s are located here with Vestamager, Ølsemagle Revle and Stevns being the main birding places…
  • DOF - Nordjylland

    The branch covers northern Jutland. Nine IBA’s are located here with Skagen, Lille Vildmose and Ulvedybet being the best places to birdwatch…
  • DOF - Nordsjælland

    The branch covers Northern Zealand. Six IBA’s are located here with Vaserne and the north coast being the main birding locations…
  • DOF - Nordvestjylland

    The branch covers North Western Jutland. Seven IBA’s are located here with Vejlerne and Agger Tange being the best places to bird…
  • DOF - Pandion

  • DOF - Storstrøm

    The branch covers the southern islands Falster, Lolland and Møn. 13 IBA’s are located here with Møn, Gedser and Maribo lakes being the best places to birdwatch…
  • DOF - Sydvestjylland

    The branch covers South Western Jutland. Nine IBA’s are located here with Blaavand, Mandø, Skallingen and Filsø being the best places to birdwatch…
  • DOF - Sydøstjylland

    The local department DOF Southeast Jutland arranges toursand conducts meetings as well as lectures for the members of the association. We are also active in the local work with bird protection.
  • DOF - Vestjylland

    Facebook Page
    The branch covers Western Jutland. 14 IBA’s are located here with Tipperne, Skjern Enge and Stadil Fjord being the best places to bird…
  • DOF - Vestsjælland

    The branch covers Western Zealand. Five IBA’s are located here with Tissø, Tyrstrup Bavelse lakes and Korshage being the best places to birdwatch…
  • DOF - Østjylland

    Dansk Ornitologisk Forening, Lokalafdeling for Østjylland - The branch covers Eastern Jutland. 16 IBA’s are located here with Norsminde Fjord, Egå Engsø and Årslev Engsø being the best places to bird…
  • DOFbasen - Observation Database

    The local branches of DOF do the administrative work on the database. The people involved in this work are organized in a group called "DOFbasegruppen" and its activities are coordinated by DOF.
  • Danmarks Naturfredningsforening (Danish Society for Nature Conservation)

    The Danish Society for Nature Conservation is the largest nature conservation and environmental organisation in Denmark. It is a membership organisation that works to conserve nature and the environment in Denmark through local work, conservation, lobbying and specific projects. We are committed to conserve and protect the natural environment in Denmark in order to secure a future, where natural forests and meadows rich in biological diversity still exists and clean drinking water is still obtainable.
  • Dansk Ornitologisk Forening - BirdLife Denmark

    Founded in 1906, DOF is one of the oldest nature conservation organizations in Denmark with a 110-year history of bird research and protection. Bird watching, lectures and a common scientific interest in birds has always been the focal point of the organization – and it still is. However, the support base has broadened and today DOF embraces all bird and nature enthusiasts sharing DOF's concern about the degeneration of nature and decline in bird populations.
  • Dansk Ornitologisk Forening Shop

    The DOF virtual shop with books, binoculars and all things birdie... profit for conservation
  • Fuglevaernsfonden

    For birds, for people, for the future - Fuglevaernsfonden runs 20 bird reserves in Denmark. They all have outstanding nature and most of them are open to visitors…

Abbreviations Key

  • Denmark's IBAs

    InformationSatellite View
  • NP Mols Bjerge

    InformationSatellite View
    The protected area, measures 180 square kilometres (69 sq mi) in size. The Mols Hills, reaching a height of 137 metres (449 ft), are centrally located in the park, and take up 2,500 ha. "More than half of all wild Danish plant species" can be found at Mols Bjerge. There are rich and varied populations of birds in the park area, ranging from sea birds, waders, forest birds, cavity nesting birds to birds of prey at the top of the food chain.
  • NP Skjoldungernes Land

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Skjoldungernes Land was created to preserve the rich natural areas that border Roskilde Fjord. The park's many islands and promontories are also a vital breeding and feeding grounds for a diverse range of birds including the rare white-tailed eagle.
  • NP Thy

    InformationSatellite View
    The landscape comprise windy coasts and dune systems, either bare, covered by heaths, meadows or plantations, with a great number of conifers. Low-nutrient wet hollows (a kind of bog) also occur, and between this varied coastal landscape, small ponds and lakes can be found. Parts of the park have been designated as a bird protection and international Ramsar area, as well as Natura 2000 and various other protections.
  • NP Wadden Sea

    InformationSatellite View
    The Wadden Sea is internationally known as a resting place for millions of migratory birds, and more than 10 million of them pass through the Wadden Sea twice a year.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Netfugl

    News & Sightings is produced in cooperation with the Danish Ornithological Society
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Danish Ornithological Society tours and activity

    Lists of day trips and outings organised by DOF
Trip Reports
  • 2013 [08 August] - Frank van Groen

    PDF Report
    I made this trip with my wife Inka and children Roos and Jan. We stayed one week in an house in Fanø, the northernmost island of the Danish Waddensea and one week in a house in southern Norway in Åpta at the northern end of Åpta-fjorden. We took the ferry from Hirtshals in northern Denmark to Kristiansand in southern Norway. On the way to Denmark we camped near Lüneburger Heide at Soltau-Harber, south of Hamburg. On the way back we camped near Hirtshals, on the Danish Waddensea island Rømø and again at Soltau-Harber. The weather was fine most of the time, except for some rainy moments in southern Norway
Other Links
  • Danish Bird List

    The database containing records of all Danish rarities will continually be updated
  • Fugle og Natur (Birds & Nature)

    Facebook Page
    Forum, Blog, Gallery etc…

    This is probably is one of the best overall danish sites. It has internet updates on Beaman and Madges birds of europe, which also would be of interest to Norwegians and Swedes - It says of itself: Birding in Denmark with a complete list of the birds of Denmark including records of all rarities, photos and news about the latest rarities, Danish birders ranking and observations from Zealand
  • Snatur

    Birds on Fyn
  • Stig Linander's Danish Birding Spots

    Many net birders have put descriptions of birding spots on the net as an aid to other birders asking the everlasting question: Where to go birding? On this page you will find links to descriptions of Danish birding spots. You will also find descriptions of a few spots outside Denmark. These spots have given me unique birding experiences…
  • Kent Olsen - BirdsDK

    Birding, mammaling, insecting and everything-elsing
  • Rasmus Due Nielsen & Stephan Skaarup Lund - Aarhusbirderne

    Photoblog last updated November 2016
  • Rune Sø Neergaard - Birding NJ (Northern Jutland)

    I am a birder living in Aalborg - the unofficial capital of the best region for birding in Denmark - Northern Jutland!
  • Terry - Birding Copenhagen

    Last updated 2010 - Terry moved to China! I am a Brit living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark, for three years. I am a keen birdwatcher. I do not have a car so do most of my birding by cycle and public transport. My favourite sites are Sydvestpynten (on the island of Amager just south of Copenhagen), Nordhavnstippen (the edge of the industrial harbour to the north of Copenhagen) and Vestamager, a large area of open wet ground and birch forest. I also like to explore southern Sweden, especially Falsterbo and the western coast up to Gothenburg…
Photographers & Artists
  • Gallery

    More than 57.000 birdimages from all over the world
  • Photographer - Jens Eriksen

    The latest on birds and birdwatching in the Sultanate of Oman but also a gallery including many of thisDanish [photographer pictures from Scandinavia.
  • Photographer - Steffen Ortmann - Birds of Denmark

    A Scandinavian bird site… mostly galleries of some terrific photos.
  • Photographer - Tobias Hjorth

    Tobias Hjorth's hobby and general interest for photographing birds and other wildlife evolved immediately after he purchased his first telephoto lens. Great reviews too. Today Tobias lives in the Denmark enjoying his passion and the great outdoors…

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