Black-tailed Godwith Limosa limosa ©Andreas Trepte Website
Birding the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Including three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the European Netherlands has a total land area of 41,528 km2, including non-tidal water bodies. It lies between latitudes 50° and 54° N, and longitudes 3° and 8° E. The Netherlands has 20 national parks and hundreds of other nature reserves, that include lakes, heathland, woods, dunes and other habitats. Most of these are owned by Staatsbosbeheer, the national department for forestry and nature conservation and Natuurmonumenten (literally ‘Natures monuments’), a private organisation that buys, protects and manages nature reserves. The Dutch part of the Wadden Sea in the north, with its tidal flats and wetlands, is rich in biological diversity, and is a UNESCOWorld Heritage Nature Site.Holland is a small (42000 km2) industrialised country and with just over 16 million inhabitants; it is the most densely populated country in Europe. Nevertheless, it has a lot to offer to (foreign) birdwatchers and with around 300 regular migrant and resident birds and a total list of 534 bird species. It has a surprising variety of habitats, it is certainly worth a visit. With almost 800 kilometers of coast line and nearly half of the country below sea-level it is no wonder that (coastal) wetlands make up some of the best birdwatching areas, especially since the Netherlands are located on one of the main migration routes for waders. However, being on the continent Holland also profits from various range extensions of Middle-European or eastern species. Common Rosefinch [the colonisation of The Netherlands by Scarlet Rosefinch has more or less stopped – for unknown reasons]. and Penduline Tit and Eagle Owl are now well established breeding birds and many birders hope that Greenish Warbler and Thrush Nightingale will follow this same pattern. Eagle Owl colonised the extreme south of the country then spread north often nesting on electricity pylons as there are few cliff faces, its traditional preferred nest site.

Holland is an easy country to do as a birdwatcher with good facilities such as an increasing number of hides at the right places. Easy (usually free) access to most reserves and a good network of roads, although the traffic jams in the Western part of the country can be frustrating. Birdwatching is popular in Holland and when out in the field you will certainly meet other birders who are usually happy to give you information on local birds. Twitching is also increasingly popular and there is a national Bird-line and various web-sites with daily updates of rarities seen. Many Dutch birders use pagers and/or mobile phones but the whole scene is still far more relaxed than in the UK and any bird attracting over a 100 twitchers is still considered a massive twitch (or dip!).

Top Sites
  • Delta

    Satellite View
    The South-West of the country with the estuaries of the rivers Scheldt and Meuse is usually simply refered to as The Delta. It as a wide open country with many dams and lakes attracting large numbers of geese and other waterfowl in winter. A perfect place to see migrating birds which follow the coast line is at Breskens. Large numbers of common migrants and a surprising variety of rarer birds have been seen here at Parnassia. Another good site in this area, although completely artificial and under the smoke of petro-chemical industry is the Maasvlakte, the man-made extension of the Rotterdam harbour area projecting into the North Sea. Due to its position this area catches a lot of migrants.
  • Lapelaarplassen Reserve

    Satellite View
    Lapelaarplassen Reserve is in Flevoland, near to Lelystad, north of Amsterdam - it is similar in some ways to Stodmarsh in the UK, with a mere, reedbeds, scrubby willows and rough pasture behind the sea wall. Autumn species include Brambling, Chiffchaff, Water Rail, S/T Treecreeper, Smew, Bewick's Swan, Marsh Tit, Egyptian, Greylag, White-fronted, Brent and Bean Goose, Red-Necked Grebe, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Goosander. It is easy to get to from Amsterdam, and would suit any birder touring to Amsterdam who wanted to get some convenient birding in whilst in the area.
  • Lauwersmeer

    Satellite View
    Arguably the best bird-site in The Netherlands the wetlands of the Lauwersmeer and the surrounding grassland are worth a visit at any time of the year. The number of geese to be found at Anjumer Kolken can be breathtaking. The most common species to be found are Barnacle, Dark-bellied Brent and White-fronted Geese, but smaller numbers of all other species can also be found. Every year most of the rare geese visiting the Netherlands (Red-breasted Goose, Ross's Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose and Black Brent) are reported in this area. Because of it's proximity to the intertidal mudflats of the Waddensea the Lauwersmeer attracts large numbers of waders. Some of the rarest waders have been reported in the area like Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint and Lesser Yellowlegs. Interesting Breeding birds include Montague's Harrier, Golden Oriole, Bearded Tit and Marsh Warbler. The harbour of Lauwersoog, where the ferry to Schiermonnikoog departs, is one of the few places along the northern coast where sea-watching can produce some good birds.
  • Oostvaardersplassen

    Satellite View
    This large wetland in the central reclaimed area of The Netherlands is a popular place to visit both by Dutch birdwatchers and by foreign visitors. It can easily be reached (even if you have only a couple of hours to spend birdwatching in the Netherlands) and there are some excellent hides in the area. In spring and summer many marshland species can be seen here such as Bluethroat, Savi's warbler, Spoonbill, Great White Egret, Bittern, Black Tern etc. Many waders can be seen during migration and in september 1991 the first Great Knot for the Netherlands was found here. Another first for the OVP was the first Dutch breeding record of Melodious Warbler in 1990. In winter it is one of the best places to see White-tailed Eagle.
  • The Friesian Islands

    Satellite View
    The five inhabited Friesian Islands are all very good places for birdwatching although Texel is probably most famous as a hotspot for Dutch rarities. Indeed with 13 new species for the Dutch list and 36% of all rarities ever recorded on the islands it's fame is certainly well deserved. However, the other islands should not be underestimated. Part of Texel's fame is due to the fact that it can easily be reached by a regular ferry (allowing you to take your car) and because it is home to the annual Dutch Birding week. The smaller islands, however, are less disturbed by agriculture and tourism and have produced some of the best rarities ever found in the Netherlands such as the Myrtle warbler and Baltimore Oriole on Vlieland and the Northern Mockingbird on Schiermonnikoog. This is not to say that the Islands are only interesting to those looking for vagrants. The numbers and the variety of waders and other birds which can be seen here at the intertidal mudflats and on migration are impressive. Indeed, during the last national bird census Schiermonnikoog had more species of birds (264) than any other square in the Netherlands.
  • Veluwe

    Satellite View
    In the centre of the country you will find the National Park Hoge Veluwe with it's extensive forests and heathland. Here and in much of the surrounding woodland you will find most of the characteristic woodland species such as woodpeckers and certain birds of prey like Honey-Buzzard and Goshawk. Sometimes more southerly species turn up in this area such as Short-toed Eagle and Grey-headed Woodpecker. More or less the same species can be expected somewhat further north in the province of Drenthe. Tengmalm's Owl has been reported here and the south-eastern corner of the province has by far the largest population of Red-backed Shrike in the Netherlands at Bargerveen. A Black-winged Kite spent most of the summer of 2000 at this reserve.
  • Jaap Schelvis

    Alkumaheerd, Wirdumerweg 1, 9917PA Wirdum (Gn) The Netherlands |

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 541

    (As at April 2020)

    National Bird - Black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • A Birdwatching Guide to the Netherlands

    | By Roger White | Roger White | 2019 | Paperback | colour photos, colour maps | ISBN: 9780957169531 Buy this book from
  • Handboek Vogels van Nederland en België [Handbook to the Birds of the Netherlands and Belgium]

    | By Luc Hoogenstein & Ger Meesters | KNNV Uitgeverij | 2017 | Hardback | 343 pages, ~2000 colour photos and colour illustrations, 1 colour map | ISBN: 9789050115803 Buy this book from
  • Zakgids Vogels van Nederland en België [Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Netherlands and Belgium]

    | By Luc Hoogenstein, Ger Meesters & Jip Louwe Kooijmans | KNNV Uitgeverij | 2017 | Paperback | 320 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9789050115810 Buy this book from
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Wadden Islands Bird Festival

    Situated on the southern edge of the tidal bay the Mokbaai and within the beautiful Dune of Texel National Park, this birdwatching point has great views over the freshwater pools of the Geulplas and the tidal Mokbaai.
  • Ooievaarsbuitenstation Zegveld

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Site about a Stork breeding station
  • Schiermonnikoog Ringing Station

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Schiermonnikoog is one of the Dutch islands in the Waddensee on the coordinates 53.29N 06.11E. It is about 14km long and 2.5km broad
  • Zouweboezem - Vogelkijkhut

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    This bird viewing hut is an excellent location for observing purple herons. They forage in the nearby meadows of Polder Achthoven. You can also find all kinds of typical marsh and reed birds in the marshland, varying from bittern to beard and from water rail to mustache.
Museums & Universities
  • Zoological Museum Amsterdam - Bird type specimens online

    The bird collection of the Zoological Museum of the University of Amsterdam holds over 60,000 skins, including 23 holotypes, 112 paratypes and 16 syntypes. To increase the accessibility of the collection, a pilot project (funded by NLBIF) has been launched with the aim of digitizing the most valuable specimens. The 3D images on this website allow bird skins to be viewed from all angles.
  • Avifauna Groningen

    The website of a local/provincial bird society with impressive galleries of pictures, sounds and videos of birds seen in the province of Groningen. A useful feature of the site is that it gives detailed maps of the atlas-blocks mentioned at the recent sightings…
  • Barn Owl Protection Foundation

    The Barn Owl is referred to as a ’red alert species’ (or red list species) according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality confirming its status as a severely endangered bird species nowadays. As a consequence, extra surveillance and protection measures are taken…
  • Birdclub Katwijk

    A site devoted to the birds seen in Katwijk, the Netherlands. Incl complete list of all species recorded (with much data) in this coastal village, recent sightings, photo-gallery (the rare stuff) and more
  • Commissie Dwaalgasten Nederlandse Avifauna (CDNA) Handbook

    Dutch Rarities Committee - The CDNA is a committee of the Dutch Birding Association (DBA) and the Netherlands Ornithological Union (NOU)…
  • Dutch Birding Association

    The web site of Dutch Birding (the magazine) and the Dutch Birding Association. The site includes information on the magazine, membership of the association, Masters of Mystery (one of the best mystery bird competitions around); news from the Dutch rarities committee, bird reports with pictures, sounds, e-mail service (great place to find an e-mail address of a certain person, anywhere on earth). One of the best birding sites in Holland. Language: English…
  • GoForNature

    Foundation which organize nature trips…
  • Haagse Vogelbescherming (HVB)

    Association for Bird Protection of The Hague has already been active for more than 90 years. The Association for Bird Protection of The Hague (“De Haagse Vogelbescherming”, HVB) aims to protect (wild) birds and their habitats in and around The Hague. The Association was founded in 1925 and mainly works with volunteers.
  • KNNV Afdeling Voorne

    Met o.a. recente waarneming op Voorne Putten en omstreken…
  • Natuur-en Vogelwacht "De Alblasserwaard"

    Welkom op de website van de Natuur- en Vogelwacht "De Alblasserwaard" De Natuur- en Vogelwacht "De Alblasserwaard" is een middelgrote regionale vereniging met bijna 800 leden. Binnen de vereniging zijn een groot aantal actieve werkgroepen, daarnaast is de NVWA de trotse eigenaar van het SNC (StreekNatuurCentrum) in Papendrecht.
  • Natuur-en Vogelwacht Rotta

    Natuur-en Vogelwacht Rotta is een natuurbeschermingsvereniging die werkzaam is in het recreatiegebied De Rottemeren, alsmede in de omliggende gemeenten Moerkapelle / Zevenhuizen, Bergschenhoek…
  • Natuurbeschermingsvereniging (NBV) de Steltkluut

    Recent sightings, local information and other wild-life items about the eastern half of Zeeuw Vlaanderen…
  • Nederlandse Ornithologische Unie

    Welkom op de website van de Nederlandse Ornithologische Unie. Op de website vindt u informatie over onze activiteiten en achtergronden
  • Netherlands Biodiversity Information Facility

    Promoting Access to Biodiversity Information…
  • Netherlands Institute of Ecology

    The NIOOs core task is to carry out fundamental ecological research to the highest international standards, which are safeguarded by the KNAW board. Thus, once every five years, the NIOOs performance is evaluated by experts from various countries; during these reviews, explicit performance criteria are applied in order to determine whether or not the institute's activities should continue…
  • Nivon Vogelwerkgroep Goor (Birding Group Goor)

    Goor is a little town in the eastern part of Holland, in the province of Overijssel. We hope you will have much fun with our pages. The Nivon, Dutch Institution for Peoples-development and Nature friends work, is a national club who is occupied with active recreation, nature-experience, holidays and courses. The division on Goor counts ca. 300 members and has a various of activities as nature walks and cycle tours, excursions, dia- our filmlectures and courses. Just one part of it is the birding group…
  • SOVON (Sovon Vogelonderzoek Nederland)

    The Dutch Trust for Ornithology - equivalent to the British BTO…
  • Twentse Vogelwerkgroep

    On the site of the Twente birdwork group you will find extensive information about the activities of the association. The observation list is also updated 3x per week...
  • Vogel-en Natuurwacht Zuid-Flevoland

    The Stichting Vogel- en Natuurwacht Flevoland was established in 1984 with the aim of studying and protecting the birds in Flevoland, and thus also all nature reserves in which they occur. We are a very active foundation.
  • Vogelbescherming Nederland

    P0 Box 925, NL-3700 AX Zeist. + 31 30 6937700 The Birdlife International partner in Holland. (In Dutch)…
  • Vogelbeschermingswacht Noord-Veluwe

    Another local site, this time about birdwatching at the Noord-Veluwe, the northern part of the central wooded area of the Netherlands, with the usual features such as recent sightings, information about excursions, local projects etc
  • Vogels in de Kempen

    On this site you will find observations of special birds in the Kempen (Southeast Brabant, the Netherlands) Birds in the Kempen is from and for all birders who are active in the Kempen.
  • Vogelwacht Dordrecht

    The Natuur- en Vogelwacht Foundation is a voluntary organization that was established in 1983. The general objective of the foundation is: Nature conservation in the broadest sense of the word, or in other words: The protection of native plants, animals and landscape types in the Netherlands. De Bosuil (Strix aluco) is the logo of the foundationâ
  • Vogelwacht Kollum

    News, reports etc
  • Vogelwacht Uden e.o.

    Birdwatch Uden; (especially in the Maashorst working groups) Barn owl, Sand martin, Nest cupboard, Inventory, PR On site div special observations of Uden etc.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Alkmaar

    The Vogelwerkgroep was founded in 1983 and has since grown into an association with almost 300 members
  • Vogelwerkgroep Amsterdam

    In Amsterdam there is a bird working group that has been involved for many years in all kinds of bird activities. Over 300 species of birds have been identified in this region. The bird migration can also be seen within the boundaries of the municipality of Amsterdam.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Arnhem en omstreken

    Welcome to the site of the Vogelwerkgroep Arnhem and surroundings. This site provides information about the work of the VWG in the Arnhem region.
  • Vogelwerkgroep De IJsselstreek

    Welcome to the homepage of bird working group 'De IJsselstreek'. The birdwork group was founded in 1967 with the aim of researching and protecting the bird population in a part of Overijssel and Gelderland.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Den Haag

    Bird and bird migration site in and around The Hague, with regularly updated data...
  • Vogelwerkgroep Koudekerk/Hazerswoude e.o.

    The members of the VWG bring the bird interests to the attention of the formal authorities with the collected knowledge about the Rhine region.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Losser

    Welcome to the website of the bird working group Losser.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Neede

    This local site about the area around Neede gives some extra infromation about ringing programs for Little Owl and Tawny Owl as well as the usual local information…
  • Vogelwerkgroep Nijmegen

    Wetlandwacht is active for the Wetland de Gelderse Poort. In the rest of the work area, the spatial planning coordinator, with the help of regional informants, fulfills the objective of protecting birds and their habitat. Furthermore, a number of members of the bird working group are active in protecting specific species, such as House Martin, House Sparrow and Swift
  • Vogelwerkgroep Ridderkerk en Barendrecht

    Facebook Page
    Dunes, forests, farms, orchards, meadows, waterjungles, mills and monuments. Since 1934 we have provided green treasures in the busiest province of our country. We think it is important that everyone in South Holland can enjoy a green environment. Step by step we are working on more nature close by. Thanks to the support of you and many others, we make South Holland even more beautiful!
  • Vogelwerkgroep Stad en Ambt Doesborgh

    A landscape management group is active with the management of small landscape elements in the outlying area. These are often hedges, pollard trees, thickets and trees (avenues). These can be located on the grounds of the municipality, the water board or a private owner. Sometimes a group has its own area in management or ownership. We mainly work in the winter season. Most groups meet on Saturday (morning), but sometimes the working day is a weekday. Working outdoors, working together and clearing the head for a while are terms that fit this volunteer work.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Texel

    The Vogelwerkgroep Texel was founded in 1982 and came from a group of bird watchers who had carried out a count every two years. Nowadays the association counts 225 (per 14-3-2003) members at home and abroad
  • Vogelwerkgroep Vlietland

    The VWG Vlietland is active on the Vogelplas Starrevaart, in Vlietland and Leidschendammerhout. The areas are located in South Holland, municipality Leidschendam (see map). On this website you will find information about the areas and results of the work of the VWG Vlietland. This includes an overview of recent observations, reports, a virtual excursion, a bird calendar (which bird species is present) and press releases about the area. You can find photos in many places on the site. These are all from the areas themselves.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Walcheren

    Walcheren is a peninsula in the middle of one of the most populous areas of the Netherlands with a wide variety of biotopes; from forest to open sea. The nutrient-rich sandbanks off the coast are a magnet for birds that come here to rest and refuel during the migration.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Wierhaven

    Natuurvereniging Wierhaven is a nature association in the former municipalities of Wieringermeer and Wieringen and the city of Medemblik.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Zuid-Kennemerland

    We count, research, protect and we provide lectures, excursions, youth excursions, camps and courses. Join and become a member.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Zuidlaren

    The Vogelwerkgroep offers a wide variety of activities, both for the experienced birdwatcher and for beginners. This partly concerns informal trips to jointly 'watch birds' and partly involves the execution of official counts and inventories.
  • Vogelwerkgroep Zwolle

    The bird group of the KNNV Zwolle department exists since 1980. The bird working group consists of enthusiastic group of bird watchers. The group's activities largely consist of participating in almost all SOVON projects, especially breeding bird galleries and water bird counts.
  • Vogelwerkgroep de Krimpenerwaard

    The Natuur- en Vogelwerkgroep Krimpenerwaard is a regional association founded in 1961. The NVWK aims to stand up for nature, landscape and the environment in the Krimpenerwaard.
  • Vogelwerkgroep voor Vogel-en Natuurbescherming Midden-Brabant

    Our association is busy shaping its objectives. Many times, members of the bird working group carry out inventories, surveys and surveys. Owls, swallows and meadow birds get all the attention. Visit the website regularly to keep up to date with all developments and activities.
  • Werkgroep Roofvogels Nederland

    Website of the Dutch working group on Raptors with information on many aspects of the birds of prey breeding and wintering in the Netherlands…

Abbreviations Key

  • BR Wadden Sea

    InformationSatellite View
    The Wadden Sea is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It lies between the coast of northwestern continental Europe and the range of low-lying Frisian Islands, forming a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands. It has a high biological diversity and is an important area for both breeding and migrating birds.
  • NP Biesbosch

    InformationSatellite View
    The Biesbosch National Park is one of the largest national parks of the Netherlands. It consists of a large network of rivers and smaller and larger creeks with islands. The vegetation is mostly willow forests, although wet grasslands and fields of reed are common as well.[3] The Biesbosch is an important wetland area for waterfowl and has a rich flora and fauna. It is especially important for migrating geese.
  • NP De Alde Feanen

    InformationSatellite View
    The Oude Venen National Park is a national park in the Netherlands province of Friesland. Its size is about 25 km2 (9.7 sq mi). Part of the national park is the lake area Princenhof (or Princehof). 100 bird species can be found there. A very prominent bird is the white stork (Ciconia ciconia). Tall wooden poles have been installed so that the storks can build nests.
  • NP De Groote Peel

    InformationSatellite View
    De Groote Peel is a National Park in the Peel, a region in the Southeast of the Netherlands on the border between the provinces of Limburg and North Brabant. It has a size of 13,4 km² and preserves a peat bog that has remained partly untouched by peat cutting, which used to be extensive in the area. It is one of the most bird-rich areas in Western Europe, with resident black-necked grebes and sometimes migrating common cranes in October/November. The terrain is varied with inaccessible peat swamps, lakes, heath land and sand ridges. The present swamp and some of the lakes were created by the cutting of peat. There is a 3 km-long safe route guided by red poles with a tower that provides visitors with a view of the wasteland. Those who do not want to follow the route but want to find their own way have to careful in these treacherous swamps.
  • NP De Maasduinen

    InformationSatellite View
    De Maasduinen National Park is in the Dutch province of Limburg covering approximately 4500 ha. The landscape consists of forests and heathlands on a sandy plateau along the river Meuse close to the German border. The present name is derived from the parabolic dunes which date from the last glaciation. In the park quite a lot of reptiles and amphibians species occur such as Coronella austriaca, Epidalea calamita, Pelobates fuscus, Lacerta agilis, Anguis fragilis, and Zootoca vivipara. Some typical birds for the park are Grus grus, Caprimulgus europaeus, Falco subbuteo, Circus aeruginosus, Dryocopus martius and Alcedo atthis. Several marten species can be found in the park, such as the beaver (Castor fiber), as well as several bat species such as Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Plecotus auritus. There are at least 26 species of dragonflies and 33 species of butterflies.
  • NP De Zoom–Kalmthoutse Heide

    InformationSatellite View
    De Zoom–Kalmthoutse Heide is a cross-border park on the Belgian–Dutch border. It is a merger of two former parks, the Kalmthoutse Heide in Belgium and De Zoom in the Netherlands, together extending over 37.50 square kilometres (14.48 sq mi). A very large part of the park is covered with heath. Particularly good for butterflies.
  • NP Drents-Friese Wold

    InformationSatellite View
    The Drents-Friese Wold National Park is a national park in the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Drenthe, covering more than 61 km2 (24 sq mi), founded in 2000. It consists of forests, heath lands and drift-sands.
  • NP Dunes of Texel

    InformationSatellite View
    Dunes of Texel National Park (Dutch: Nationaal Park Duinen van Texel) is a national park located on the North-Holland island of Texel. All dune systems on the western side of the island and the large coastal plains on both the northern and southern points of the island are part of the park. The park covers approximately 43 km2 (17 sq mi). Commonly sighted birds on the island are: brent goose, spoonbill, shelduck, wigeon, eider, scoter, oystercatcher, pied avocet, golden plover, peewit, knot, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit, black-headed gull, starling and the hen harrier.
  • NP Dwingelderveld

    InformationSatellite View
    Dwingelderveld National Park covers about 37 km2 (14 sq mi) and is mainly managed by the State Forest Service (Staatsbosbeheer) and the most important Dutch private nature management organisation Natuurmonumenten. It is the largest wet heathland of Western-Europe.
  • NP Hoge Veluwe

    InformationSatellite View
    Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe is in the province of Gelderland near the cities of Ede, Wageningen, Arnhem and Apeldoorn. It is approximately 55 square kilometers in area, consisting of heathlands, sand dunes, and woodlands. It is situated in the Veluwe, the area of the largest terminal moraine in the Netherlands.
  • NP Lauwersmeer

    InformationSatellite View
    One of the best birding areas in the country is on the border of the provinces of Friesland and Groningen. This area is good any time of the year and we will focus on the birds that are present at the time. The area, Lauwersmeer, used to have an open connection to the sea until not too long ago. After the disaster floods of 1953 in Zeeland the government decided not to make the existing dikes any higher, but to build a completely new, 8 mile long dam across the inlet, which meant the end of the open connection to the sea. By doing this a magnificent nature reserve was lost, but a new, completely different reserve was created. The new area is home to large numbers of birds, and a visit will be a highlight of any trip.
  • NP Meinweg

    InformationSatellite View
    Meinweg National Park is in Limburg, Netherlands. It is about 1800 hectares in size and was established in 1995.
  • NP Oosterschelde

    InformationSatellite View
    Since May 8, 2002, the entire Oosterschelde was designated a national park. Its boundaries are the dikes of Schouwen-Duiveland, Tholen and Sint-Philipsland, Noord-Beveland and Zuid-Beveland, and the dams of the Delta Works. Having an area of 370 square kilometres (140 sq mi), it is the largest national park in the Netherlands. Total shore length is 125 kilometres (78 mi).
  • NP Sallandse Heuvelrug

    InformationSatellite View
    Sallandse Heuvelrug National Park is located between the townships of Hellendoorn and Holten. It holds the last Dutch population of the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeusnightjar), and several lizard species, such as the viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara).
  • NP Schiermonnikoog

    InformationSatellite View
    It covers about 72 km2 (28 sq mi), the majority of the island Schiermonnikoog. On the marshes and tidal flats thousands of birds occur, such as common redshank, barnacle goose, spoonbill, hen harrier, oystercatcher, red knot, bar-tailed godwit, curlew and European herring gull.
  • NP Utrechtse Heuvelrug

    InformationSatellite View
    Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park is in the Dutch province of Utrecht. When it was founded the park covered 6,000 ha (15,000 acres) of heathlands, shifting sands, forests, grass lands and floodplains. In 2013 the park was extended to 10,000 ha (25,000 acres), adding the area north of highway A12 when the ecoduct Mollebos was realized. The most striking landscape feature is the glacial ridge after which the park is named. There are more than 100 bird species living in the park, among which the black woodpecker, the raven and the bluethroat. In the marshy region near Amerongen castle the little bittern is a rare species.
  • NP Veluwezoom

    InformationSatellite View
    Veluwezoom National Park is located in the province of Gelderland. This park is the oldest national park of the Netherlands. The landscape of the park consists of forests and heathland, which is kept open by grazing of Highland cattle, and a small sand drift, which is kept open by human maintenance.
  • NP Weerribben-Wieden

    InformationSatellite View
    The Weerribben-Wieden National Park is in the municipality of the province of Overijssel. Comprising the largest bog of northwestern Europe, the park consists of two areas, De Weerribben and De Wieden, and has an area of roughly 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi). The vegetation and wildlife are typical for such an area, full of peat and water. Resident species include the water soldier, the sundew, the black tern, the northern pike and, recently, the otter. In addition, the Green Hawker and the Large Copper are found here.
  • NP Zuid-Kennemerland

    InformationSatellite View
    National Park Zuid-Kennemerland is located in the province of North Holland and established in 1995. Over 100 bird species and.nearly 20 butterfly species have been observed.
  • NR Ackerdijkse Plassen

    InformationSatellite View
    Ackerdijkse Plassen is a nature reserve in Oude Leede, a village in the municipality of Pijnacker-Nootdorp, (south of Delft and west of Berkel en Rodenrijs). It is one of the most important bird areas in the Netherlands. In addition to 115 species of breeding birds, the ponds are visited annually by about eighty species of migratory birds, such as greenish warbler, Greater short-toed lark, short-eared owl, booted eagle, lesser spotted eagle, black crowned night heron and osprey.
  • NR Bargerveen WII IBA

    InformationSatellite View
    Bargerveen Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in the Dutch province of Drenthe that has been included in the Natura 2000 ecological network. Most of the transboundary nature reserve, some 134 km2 (52 sq mi), lies in Germany, in the west of the state of Lower Saxony. The sparsely populated landscape consists of large peat areas, heather, and small lakes. Bargerveen is a Special Protection Area for bird-life,[8] and is home to large numbers of wintering bean geese, It is also an Important Bird Area: "trigger" species are the spotted crake and the red-backed shrike.[
  • NR De Lokkerij

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Stork Station was established in 1981 by the Koopman couple, on the initiative of the Nature Conservation Association IJhorst / Staphorst. This in response to the reintroduction program for the white stork in 1969 in the stork village Liesveld in Groot-Ammers .
  • NR Donkse Laagten

    InformationSatellite View
    The Donkse Laagten is a small Dutch nature reserve of roughly two square kilometres in the Alblasserwaard in the province of South Holland. It is located in the municipality of Molenwaard, between the towns Streefkerk to the northwest and Bleskensgraaf to the south. It is a site of relative importance in bird conservation and protection. There are three duck decoys.
  • NR Duivelsberg

    InformationSatellite View
    Duivelsberg is a hill and nature reserve in the municipality of Berg en Dal in the Dutch province of Gelderland, near the border with Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia). The nature reserve covers about 125 ha and is predominantly covered with deciduous trees, especially chestnut. It is managed by the Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch Forestry Commission.
  • NR Griend

    InformationSatellite View
    Griend is a small uninhabited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea, lying around 12 kilometres south of Terschelling. It is one of the West Frisian Islands, and belongs to the municipality of Terschelling. The largest colony of Sandwich terns in Western Europe can be found on Griend: every year, around 10,000 pairs breed on the island. Among others, the common tern, Arctic tern, common eider, common shelduck, Eurasian oystercatcher, common redshank, and occasionally the short-eared owl also breed on the island.
  • NR Het Groene Woud

    InformationSatellite View
    Het Groene Woud (The Green Forest) is a special area of the Netherlands which is located in North Brabant between the cities of Tilburg.
  • NR Oostvaardersplassen WII

    InformationSatellite View
    The Oostvaardersplassen is a nature reserve, which is managed by the State Forestry Service. Covering about 56 square kilometres (22 sq mi), it is noted as an experiment of rewilding. It is in a polder which was created in 1968, by 1989 its ecological interest had resulted in its being declared a Ramsar wetland.
  • NR Rottum (island group)

    InformationSatellite View
    Rottum is a nature reserve in the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands. It consists of the three West Frisian Islands Rottumerplaat, Rottumeroog, and Zuiderduintjes. As a nature reserve, Rottum receives highest protection status under Dutch law; admission to the islands is restricted.
  • NR Zwin

    InformationSatellite View
    The Zwin is a nature reserve at the North Sea coast, on the Belgian-Dutch border. It consists of the entrance area of a former tidal inlet which during the Middle Ages connected the North Sea with the ports of Sluis and Bruges inland. It is famous for its large variety in salt-resistant flora, such as sea lavender. It is also popular with bird watchers. There is a small zoo with some major domestic birds and it is one of the few places in Belgium with a population of white storks.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Trektellen


    Sightings etc
    Waarneming stands for record/observation and this site aims to give you as many of these as possible in a way that you can easily check out the latest rarities, find all records of certain species (many with photographs), see which species are to be expected in a certain area etc. Not only birds, but also mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Netherlands

    Tour Operator
    Birding Netherlands specialises in guided Birding and Photography Tours in The Netherlands. Planning a (business) visit or holiday in the Netherlands? We can help you find targets birds, take wonderful photos of Dutch wildlife or go birding near Amsterdam when you have a layover between flights. If you just started birding, are a professional photographer or anything between we can help you with our experienced guides and knowledge...
  • Flevo Birdwatching

    Tour Operator
    Birdwatching in the Netherlands without a trip to the Oostvaardersplassen is like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffeltower. The Oostvaarderplassen is a must for birdwatchers who are visiting the Netherlands. Flevo Birdwatching Tours offers you a full day of birdwatching in this great wetland reserve. I will show you the best spots for birdwatching. Together we will search for the birds. The number of species depends on the weather and time of year. Between 50 and 80 are numbers to be expected
  • Natuurbeleven

    Tour Operator
    The Netherlands, especially the numerous wetlands, are home of the largest concentrations of birds in North-Western Europe. Because of its situation in a corner of the Eurasian continent and the great variety of wetlands, millions of birds concentrate in this area in all months of the year. The country offers an astonishing variety of habitats in a small area, thus creating ample opportunity for birdwatchers to see many species in a short time. A typical trip with NatuurBeleven in spring should give you around 125 species…
Trip Reports
  • 2014 [10 October] - Andy Hall - Texel

    PDF Report
    ...Along with a Dutch birder, in one hour, I had 100 Common Scoter, 20 Red-throated Divers and 3 Gannet all south, along with a Merlin and a Short-eared Owl in off the sea. At the same time a steady flow of Starlings were pouring through. Between 8.30 and 10.00, I had 4,000 to the south. The weather began to take a turn for the worse with sporadic showers in the early afternoon, as I received news of a Red-breasted Flycatcher in a garden on Vuurtorenweg....
  • 2015 [07 July] - Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen

    ...An alarming Mistle Thrush took our attention and as we came close a Sparrowhawk flew away. In the fox-area we saw several more Kingfishers, a White Wagtail, Green Sandpipers and Greenshanks. Because the radar showed that more rain was coming our way we walked back stopping over to photograph more Fallow Deer and a nice juvenile Kestrel.
  • 2016 [02 February] - Pat Harrison

    PDF Report
    More a daily list
  • 2016 [03 March] - Christopher Hall

    When this trip was planned almost a year in advance, the prospect of seeing Siberian Rubythroat, all the way from east of the Ural Mountains, at least two thousand miles away, and normally wintering in southeast Asia, would have been laughable, and yet this European mega rarity turned up in a Dutch suburb in mid January, creating Europe’s biggest twitch at the time, with daily sightings for the next nine weeks! It wasn’t even on the Dutch list until now, and so, with reports of sightings still coming in as we arrived in Europoort, we had to go and see this remarkable bird for ourselves....
  • 2016 [04 April] - Birding Netherlands

    On April 16th our guides Maarten and Menno spend a full day birding in the province Noord-Holland the check several locations for an upcoming one and a half day-tour for Birding Netherlands. The weather conditions weren't the most ideal with a strong wind from the west (5-6 bft), several rain showers and now and then the sun broke through the clouds. Due to these conditions there wasn’t any bird migration neither the past night as this depression keeps lots of spring migrants stranded in southern and eastern Europe waiting for more ideal conditions.
  • 2017 [03 March] - Schiphol Airport Layover

    ...We started our trip at Waterland, just north of Amsterdam. Waterland is a mix of grasslands, marshes and lakes so our target species were mostly waterbirds. Time was very limited so we birded mostly from the car. We saw lots of Barnacle geese, Greater white fronted geese, Greylag geese, Eurasian wigeons, Common teal, Gadwall, Tufted duck, Pochards, Shelduck, Northern lapwing, Eurasian curlew. Along the road to Marken there were small groups of Smew and a few Goosanders....
  • 2017 [04 April] - Rein Genuit - Birding National Pac De Biesbosch

    It's just before seven as I enter the hotel in Eindhoven to pick up Louise for a guided birding tour in the Biesbosch. On our way we see a pair of White Storks walking in the field looking for frogs, mice and worms joined by some Blue Herons. Other typical roadside birds are Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Rook en Wood Pigeon.
  • 2017 [07 July] - Ann Gifford

    PDF Report
    Our first morning looked pretty dismal as we headed towards Oostvaardersplassen, one of Europe’s largest and most important wetland reserves. This is an area of shallow lakes, pools, marshes, reeedbeds, salix woodland and grassland within seasonally flooded agricultural land. It is popular with birders, cyclists and walkers. We headed straight for the Visitor Centre (De Oostvaarder)which is well set up with a shop and café plus information on the area. We left with a sheet of A4 about the De Zeearend (the Sea eagle ) Walking Trail (1 euro) and went straight to the hide round the corner which was empty apart from a couple of nesting Barn swallows. There was very little to see: a distant Spoonbill and a few Greylag geese was about it.
  • 2019 [04 April] - Christopher Hall

    Heading north from Den Burg, the ‘capital’ of Texel, this bright and breezy morning, our first stop is at the Waal en Burg reserve in the heart of the island, where the wide open meadows are home to patrolling Marsh Harriers, along with newly arrived vivid yellow blue-headed Yellow Wagtails and a smart male Wheatear, while a small flock of Fieldfares flies over in a north easterly direction en route back to their summer home.
  • 2019 [05 May] - Andy Hall - France and Texel

    I also wanted to pull in a quick visit to Texel for the Dutch Birding Festival, and as a non-driver/non-flyer, this would require quite a fiddly route on public transport.
  • 2019 [05 May] - James Dee - Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden

    PDF Report
    This trip re-affirmed my appreciation of the people and nations of Western Europe, especially Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden where I met the most fantastic friendly people
  • 2021 [11 November] - Stefano Miceli

    PDF Report
    ...In total, 113 species were seen and fully identified. I saw the majority of the commoner species I wanted to see, but missed some scarcer targets such as redbreasted goose, rough-legged buzzard and Lapland bunting...
  • 2022 [01 January] - Luca Feuerriegel

    PDF Report
    ...I ate some sandwiches and continued South along the dyke and stopped at the visitors center where I locked my bike and walked along the trails a bit, spending most time at the Keersluisplas hide. I was greeted by a single Barnacle Goose that found some protection from the wind in front of the hide. After a while, I was busy watching a female Common Pochard when for a fraction of a second, a black and white bird appeared on the edge of my binoculars’ field of vision – unmistakably a Smew...
  • 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.
Places to Stay
  • Farmer's campsite Wetland

    The campground is situated on the edge of the National Park De Groote Peel. In days gone by this area was a nearly impenetrable marsh. In this watery nature moor-peat developed which was used as fuel by the local inhabitants. In later years peat was exploited on a large scale. Around 1930 the area around the campsite was reclaimed and brought under cultivation as grassy meadows and fertile acres…
Other Links
  • Birds in the Lauwersmeer

    Information about birding in the northern part of the Netherlands. You can also find an up-to-date list of nice or rare birds that have been seen here and a lot of bird pictures…
  • Birdshome

    Homepage of Rona and Alfred Wolk. The section Hutten (Hides) can be useful. A sort of good hide guide; hides are organised by province. A number have additional information in the form of maps. Language: Dutch
  • Eaglewatch

    Eaglewatch contains information of all sparrow hawks (Accipitriformes), falcons (Falconiformes), vultures (Cathartiformes) and owls (Strigiformes) from around the world
  • IVN Vecht & Plassengebied

    Vecht and Plassen is a beautiful area with polder landscape, but also the urban nature of Utrecht. The IVN department Vecht en Plassengebied organizes activities in this area where everyone can participate.
  • Nature Channel Foundation

    Brings nature to man and man in nature...
  • Noord-Holland Ranking

    Site where twitchers can keep track of their number of bird species seen in the province Noord-Holland
  • Norman Deans van Swelm

    Radioactive Robins and other birds...
  • Twitchers only

    Jan van der Laan, one of Holland’s leading twitchers tells all about the new species he has seen since 1994 (which are often new for a lot of the Dutch twitchers); with discussion and pictures, both rather amusing ones of twitchers, and nice ones of the birds. Great site to reminisce on species seen or dipped. Language: English
  • Vivara natuurbeschermingsproducten

    Vivara nature conservation products specializes in the development of nature conservation products, such as bird feed, feeder houses and nest boxes. Be surprised by the original products and useful tips that will help you bring nature to your home in no time ...
  • Vogelaar Pagina Netherlands

    Portal site to a large number of sites (more or less) interesting to any given birder…
  • Vogels van Groningen & Drenthe

    Homepage with information about birdwatching in the provinces Groningen en Drenthe with special emphasis on woodpeckers in the Noordlaarderbos
  • Vroege Vogels

    Radio Nature programme - Vroege Vogels has been working hard for a greener Netherlands for more than 40 years.
  • Faab in Israel

    Birdwatching and Birdringing mainly in the Netherlands but also abroad, for example in Israel or North America
  • Ringersdagboek

    A blog about all my birdringing activity in the Netherlands (Schiermonnikoog, Vlieland, Veluwe Hof van Twente) and abroad
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Dirk Moerbeek

    Field sketches, some of them worked out, of rare birds in The Netherlands. Etc.
  • Gallery - Bird Pix

    This site is in English & Dutch - some great images - and you can post your own.
  • M3 Photo

    Wildlife photos
  • Photographer - Andrew George - AGPhoto

    Dutch Nature Photographer
  • Photographer - Arjen Drost - Nature View

    Hidden or remote, Natureview tries to give a view on the parts of nature that one normally does not see. Be it Polar Bears, Walrusses, Penguins and Seals of the remote Polar areas, or the dragon- and damselflies that might be hidden somewhere near your house, Natureview tries to expose them. Arjen Drost can also give nice slideshow lectures or help you organise a trip to Spitsbergen…
  • Photographer - Art Wittingen - Nature Photography

    Welcome to my Nature Photography galleries. Since my early childhood, I have been interested in nature. In the Summer of 1986 I became fascinated by photography…
  • Photographer - Chris Schenk

    Another homepage of a photographer (who also does slideshows). Several galleries of beautiful pictures of birds and mammals both in the Netherlands and abroad with a clear preference for high arctic places…
  • Photographer - Chris van Rijswijk - Bird Shooting

    Personal homepage with about two dozen recently taken attractive pictures of (rare) birds in the Netherlands
  • Photographer - Christian Biemans

    …welcome to my website which is all about wildlife and nature photography. I'm a dutch wildlife photographer living in the west part of Holland…
  • Photographer - Deel de Natuur

    Nature photography with the emphasis on birds…
  • Photographer - Dennis Binda

    Bird and mammal photogaphy
  • Photographer - Dick Hoogenboom

    I was born in 1958 in a little place called Alkemade and now I'm living in a bigger city called Alphen aan den Rijn. I started nature photography when I left the army at the age of 23. As a self-taught man, I learned a lot from many photographers in the world. I'm joining two nature photography clubs, one local club and one called the NVN (The Dutch Nature Photographers Association)
  • Photographer - Dirk Beekman - Natuurfotograaf

    Photo's of birds in various localities…
  • Photographer - Edwin Leemans

    Here you can find my best pictures of birds and animals. All photo's are of wild animals and are taken in the Netherlands. New photo's are added regularly
  • Photographer - Erik Beek

    Excellent photographs
  • Photographer - Erik Kleyheeg

    Kleyheeg Natuurfotografie [nature photography from this Dutch photographer…]
  • Photographer - Han Boumeester

    My name is Han Bouwmeester and I live in the picturesque and very photogenic area of Twente, which is situated in the east of the Netherlands. My knowledge of nature and the love for it was inspired by my late grandfather Frits. He was the founder of our local bird-watching group that is still active today, 40 years after it started. My father continued the work of my grandfather and passed on his skills to both my brother and myself…
  • Photographer - Henri Hofer - Natuurfotografie

    Ik ben Henri Hofer, een geboren natuurliefhebber. Al sinds mijn zevende was ik helemaal gek op de natuur en vogels in het bijzonder. Ik begon met vogels waarnemen in stadsparken. Ik kreeg van mijn oma een mooi geillustreerd vogelboek. Zo leerde ik diverse vogels, die in parken voorkomen, kennen
  • Photographer - Jan Bosch

    Most of the pictures on this site are taken in National Park Lauwersmeer in the north of the Netherlands
  • Photographer - Klaas Lukas Bird Pictures

    Bird pictures from the Netherlands & around the world
  • Photographer - Lesley van Loo

    Photographs of birds, mainly Holland, but also from trips around the world
  • Photographer - Peter Zwitser - Wildlife Photography

    Photographs of birds and other wildlife from all over the world where I have visited…
  • Photographer - Pieter Cox

    From early on nature already interested me, but only to 'rural' flat. The "kind oriented 'look only started from October 10, 2006, when I was in the 4th secondary (Campus Wico Lommel). During that school year we have been for biology several times to places to observe the behavior of birds. Since then, my passion for birds ever larger. I accompanied more and more my biology teacher (C. Vertommen) scoff at the birds....
  • Photographer - Rein Hofman

    Some really excellent pictures from this bird photographer
  • Photographer - Rene de Heer

    Rene has been a nature photographers for 20 years. His main interest is bird photography but given the chance he will also try his luck with mammals and landscapes
  • Photographer - Rick van der Weijde - Corotauria Natuurfotografie

  • Photographer - Ruud Altenburg

    This page has pictures of gulls in Amsterdam and abroad, breeding Peregrines in Amsterdam and illustrated reports of two excursions…
  • Photographer - Wilfred Marissen

    Excellent pictures of birds and other taxa from Holland and around the world
  • Photographer - William Price

    Welcome to my Pbase photo gallery containing a variety of nature images. Most of my photography is of birds and many in the Netherlands, where I am based in Amsterdam. I also have included photographs from a number of foreign birding trips. Species texts are presented with many of the Brazilian and Cuban bird photographs…
  • Photographer - Wim de Groot

    Really excellent crisp photographs from Afrca and India as well as Holland
  • Photographers

    The pictures shown on this site are made by Ton, Ben and Rob Nagtegaal. Although most pictures on this site are of birds and animals living in the wild, we also included some action shots of ourselves. Ton Nagtegaal began bird watching in the late 80's, taking us - his twin sons Rob and Ben - with him, the interest for wildlife photography especially birds started years later in 2005
  • Webcams - Peter Boelee

    I herby invite you to see young storks, peregrines, nuthatchers, little owls etc…

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