Republic of North Macedonia

Great White Egret Ardea alba ©Ashley Beolens Website
Birding North Macedonia

The Republic of North Macedonia, is a landlocked country on the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Serbia and the disputed territory of Kosovo to the north, Albania to the west, Greece to the south, and Bulgaria to the east.

The Republic of North Macedonia lies in the northwestern third of the wider geographical region of Macedonia, with about 40% of the region’s population. The capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to a 2004 census, and there are a number of smaller cities, notably Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar and Strumica. It has more than 50 lakes and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 meters (6,550 ft).

It is a landlocked country that is geographically clearly defined by a central valley formed by the Vardar river and framed along its borders by mountain ranges. The terrain is mostly rugged, located between the Šar Mountains and Osogovo, which frame the valley of the Vardar river. Three large lakes — Lake Ohrid, Lake Prespa and Dojran Lake — lie on the southern borders of the Republic, bisected by the frontiers with Albania and Greece. Ohrid is considered to be one of the oldest lakes and biotopes in the world. The region is seismically active and has been the site of destructive earthquakes in the past, most recently in 1963 when Skopje was heavily damaged by a major earthquake, killing over 1,000.North Macedonia also has scenic mountains. They belong to two different ranges: the Dinaric Alps and Belasica. The Dinaric range is the oldest with subsequent erosion while the Belasica range is younger offering rugged, alpine scenery.

Macedonia has transitional climate from Mediterranean to continental. The summers are hot and dry and the winters are moderately cold. Average annual precipitation varies from 1,700 mm (67 inches) in the western mountainous area to 500 mm (20 inches) in the eastern area. There are three main climatic zones in the country: temperate Mediterranean, mountainous and mildly Continental. Along the valleys of the Vardar and Strumica rivers, in the regions of Gevgelija, Valandovo, Dojran, Strumica and Radovish the climate is temperate Mediterranean. The warmest regions are Demir Kapija and Gevgelija, where the temperature in July and August frequently exceeds 40 C. The mountainous climate is present in the mountainous regions of the country and it is characterised by long and snowy winters and short and cold summers. The spring is colder than the fall. The majority of Macedonia has a moderate continental climate with warm and dry summers and relatively cold and wet winters. There are 30 main and regular weather stations in the country.

Phytogeographically, the country belongs to the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF and Digital Map of European Ecological Regions by the European Environment Agency, the territory of the republic can be subdivided into four ecoregions: the Pindus Mountains mixed forests, Balkan mixed forests, Rhodopes mixed forests and Aegean sclerophyllous and mixed forests.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 335

    As at June 2018
Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Macedonia

    By Thammy Evans & Rudolf Abraham | Bradt Travel Guides | 2015 | Paperback | 390 pages, 8 pages with colour photos; 42 b/w maps | ISBN: 9781841628585 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Museums & Universities
  • Macedonian Museum of Natural History

    Webpage
    The Macedonian Museum of Natural History was founded in October 1926, following an initiative of the well-known biologist, Dr. Stanko Karaman. The Museum collects, studies and exhibits the natural treasure of Macedonia. The permanent exhibitions of the Museum comprise an area of 1700 sqm and about 4000 original exhibits are displayed in glass showcases and dioramas.
Organisations
  • Macedonian Ecological Society

    Website
    The BirdLife affiliate for North Macedonia: Bul. Boris Trajkovski ul.7 br.9A, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia - Tel. +389 (0)2 2402 773 - contact@mes.org.mk
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Galicica

    WebpageSatellite View
    Macedonia is a splendid country with various tourist destinations which make it attractive during the whole year. One of those destinations is the beautiful National Park Galicica which is situated in the south-west part of Macedonia and it is part of the mountain which bears the same name - Galichica.
  • NP Mavrovo

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The wild life in Mavrovo is present with 64 species or 62.1 % from the total quantity of wild life in the Republic of Macedonia. 41 species or 51.9% are permenantly protected, while 14 species or 82.4 % is wild life without legal protection in Macedonia.
  • NP Tikvesh

    WebpageSatellite View
  • National Parks

    InformationSatellite View
    Most prominent mamles in the parks are the families of weasels, dogs and cats, as well as deer. From the birds, most domimanat are the families of eagles, hawks, with over 15 species, and geese swans and ducks, with over 12 species, then ravans, storks, with 8 species each, and owls with 7 species, etc
  • Ohrid Lake

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Due to its age, many of Lake Ohrid's aquatic species are endemic including ten of the seventeen fish species. In addition, there are five particular endemic species which are restricted to small areas of the Lake such as special various birds, as well as four fish spawning grounds. Because of its rich history and unique flora and fauna, Lake Ohrid was declared a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural heritage Site in 1980…
  • Parks & Nature Reserves of Macedonia

    WebsiteSatellite View
    There are three large tectonic lakes, fifteen artificial lakes and also twenty-five glacial lakes located in the highest areas of the mountain ranges dating from the Ice Age
  • SNR Ezerani

    PDF BrochureSatellite View
  • SNR Ploce Litotelmi

    InformationSatellite View
  • Wetlands

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The convention entered into force in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 8 September 1991. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia currently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 21,616 hectares.
Guides & Tour Operators


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Trip Reports


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  • 2017 [05 May] - Ella Maria & Leif Bisschop - Larsen

    PDF Report
    This is open grazed grassland more or less with bushes and wooded areasand mountains in the distance. Very few people live there. In this area wespottedGriffon -and Egyptian Vulture, Imperial -and Golden Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Little Kestrel and Hobby. Red-backed and Woodchat Shrike were common as were Cirl, Black-headed and Corn Bunting. We heard Golden Oriole and Nightingale all the time.
  • 2017 [06 June] - Rob Mileto - Butterflies & Birds of Macedonia

    PDF Report
    Stepping out of the vehicles, there were many Tree Sparrows to be seen and as we approached the water’s edge, our first catch in the butterfly net was ... a Bladetail dragonfly! There were butterflies too, with (Balkan) Green-veined White and Lang’s Short-tailed Blue a couple of the top spots. On the bird front, four Little Bitterns out in the open and showing well was a welcome surprise.
Blogs
  • Charis Kourouzidis - Nature of Macedonia

    Website
    Photos of nature in Greek Macedonia... over the border but as the avifauna is largely shared a useful site for images of Macedonian birds

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