Romania

Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus ©Dick Daniels Website

Birding Romania

Theres no doubt about it, the Danube delta is one of the best place in Europe for birds yet still most British birdwatchers haven’t been there – so begins Dave Gosney in his booklet about birding in Romania. Indeed, the Danube delta along with the lagoon system and plains south of it, host massive numbers of bird species and individuals that make this region a birding Eldorado for the visitors.

The 580,000 hectares of the Danube Delta Biospheres Reserve includes the largest reed surface in the world, interrupted by lakes and channels, where thousands of pelicans, herons, ibis, ducks, warblers and other birds breed. Birds like White-Tailed Eagle, Paddyfield Warbler, Pied Wheatear and Dalmatian Pelican are certain to be of interest to list keepers, but the main attraction here is the great show of nature, with huge wild areas reachable only by rowing boat, and everything seen at close range.

South of the delta Histria is a reserve where, stopping the car anywhere on a road near a lake, you can see thousands of water birds including 60 species of waders, terns, ducks, gulls, geese, cormorants, pelicans, herons, and egrets. And in the reeds a few meters from the road, Paddyfield Warblers and Bearded tits. In the steppes just one kilometre away, you can easily see Calandra Larks. In recent years things have changed, the wetlands of Histria often dry out most of the year. The area has water only in early spring when it is abundant in waterbirds, including a good number of waders. However, some years, by the end of May the area is already dry and birds dispersed.

The mountains are even less well known to birders and we heartily recommend a visit to Piatra Craiului and Retezat mountains, or to the large Bicaz Gorges, and again not just for easy ticking of Wallcreeper and other alpine species, but also for the large areas that are still wild and untouched by human influence, they can offer spectacular birding.

In Romania, birding is a new and developing hobby. The Romanian Ornithological Society (SOR) – BirdLife Romania only has about 5000 members.

Contributors
  • Florin Feneru

    Bacau ROMANIA | flfeneru@yahoo.com

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 383

    (As at December 2018)

    National Bird - Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus

Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Finding Birds in Romania

    | By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 1992 | Paperback | 28 pages, b/w maps | ISBN: 9781907316289 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Romania: A Birdwatching and Wildlife Guide

    | By James Roberts | Burton Expeditions | 2000 | Paperback | 330 pages, col photos, maps | ISBN: 9780951351628 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Museums & Universities
  • Banat Timisoara Museum of Natural History

    Information
    The collection of birds (Ornithology) is made up of over 3,000 items. They are organised in a scientific collection, arranged in systemic order, as well as naturalised birds for exhibitions. Additional collections display birds' eggs and bones…
Organisations
  • Milvus

    Website
    The Association for Bird and Nature Protection Milvus Group is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, acting in the fields of education, research and advisory, in order to make Romania a better place for birds, wildlife and people. A few very enthusiastic young bird-watchers founded the Milvus in autumn 1991. Soon after this, we joined the Romanian Ornithological Society, becoming its branch in Tirgu Mures. Since the end of 2001 the Association for Bird and Nature Protection Milvus Group became an independent registered NGO
  • SOR BirdLife Romania

    Website
    Romanian Ornithological SocietyStr Gheorghe Dima 49/2, RO-3400 Cluj. +40 64 438086 sorcj@codec.ro It is the official page of BirdLife`s partner in Romania, it has some English pages too.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BR NP Danube Delta

    InformationSatellite View
    The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. There are over 320 species of birds found in the delta during summer, of which 166 nest and 159 are migratory. Over one million individual birds (swans, wild ducks, coots, etc.) winter here.
  • NP Domogled-Valea Cernei

    InformationSatellite View
    The National Park stretches across over Cerna Mountains and Godeanu Mountains on the right side, and over Vâlcan Mountains and Medinţi Mountains on left (in Retezat-Godeanu Mountains group, subgroup of mountains in the Southern Carpathians), in the Cerna River basin.
  • NP Nera Gorge-Beușnița

    InformationSatellite View
    The Natural Park is located at the south-west limit of the country, in the south of the Anina Mountains (group mountain included in Banat Mountains), in Caraș-Severin County, on the middle course of Nera River and on the upper Beu River. It is rich in species of birds including: golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina), common kingfisher (Alcedo athis), hazel grouse (Bonasa bonasia), hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus), red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva), European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), grey-headed woodpecker (Picus canus), Ural owl (Strix uralensis), corn crake (Crex crex), barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria), red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), ortolan bunting (Emberiza hortulana), European roller (Coracias garrulus), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus) or middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius).
  • NP Retezat

    InformationSatellite View
    Containing more than 60 peaks over 2,300 metres (7,500 ft) and over 100 crystal clear deep glacier lakes, the Retezat Mountains are some of the most beautiful in the Carpathians. Wolves, brown bear, wild boar, Eurasian lynx, European wildcat, chamois, roe deer and red deer, as well as small carnivore species such as Eurasian badger and Eurasian otter populate the park.
  • NP Rodna

    InformationSatellite View
    The National Park is located in Northern Romania, in the Rodna Mountains, a subdivision of the Eastern Carpathians.
  • NP Semenic-Caraș Gorge

    InformationSatellite View
    The Natural Park is located in Anina Mountains and Semenic (groups mountain included in Banat Mountains), in the southwestern's part of the country, in the middle of Caraș-Severin county. A mixed mountainous area (canyons, caves, pit caves, sinkholes, ridges, valleys, pasture, forests) it shelters a wide variety of flora and fauna.
  • WII IBA Dumbravita Fishpond Complex

    InformationSatellite View
    The birdwatching is one of the most important activities within Dumbravita protection area. This area is annually visited by various groups of tourists from different countries to see the birds, plants and the beautiful landscapes.
  • Wetlands

    WebpageSatellite View
    Romania currently has 19 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 1,156,448 hectares.
Guides & Tour Operators


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  • Absolute Carpathian

    Tour Operator
    Absolute Carpathian is your local tour operator for wildlife watching tours in Transylvania, Romania. Mountain birding: Ural owl, Alpine Accentor, Sombre Tit, Wallcreepers, Alpine swifts, Eagle owl, Golden eagles, woodpeckers, Tawny Owls, buzzards and other birds of prey…
  • Birding in Romania

    Tour Operator
    Birding in Romania tours proudly offers quality birding adventures, expertly guided by our passionate and experienced professional tour leaders. We seek to deliver birding experience by ensuring our tours are seamlessly arranged, fun, educational and support conservation initiatives.
  • Chettusia Birdwatching Tours

    Tour Operator
    Chettusia Tours is a small private tourism company established in 2001 by two PASSIONATES, Baciu Mihai and Sorin Cismaru, of nature that afther a long work experience at Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority, have decided to demonstrate their own capabilities and acknowledges got both in Romania and abroad…
  • Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Romania should be high on the list of destinations for every birdwatcher. The Danube Delta is for those who enjoy spectacular birdwatching: huge flocks of pelicans, waders, cormorants, the reedbeds full of warblers, lakes and marshes full of herons, egrets and ibises. Woodpeckers, Hoopoe, Roller, Bee-eater and Golden Oriole are plentiful
  • Finesse Travel & Explore

    Tour Operator
    The day-to-day itinerary should be considered a guide only, as to some extent we will plan our program as we go along, to allow for greater flexibility. The propram tends to be determined by prevailing local condition (e.g. weather, water depth in channels). The delta is incredebly rich in breeding birds. The Danube Delta comprises a vast complex of reed beds, willow forest, and wetland, crossed by an intricate network of channels. We shall explore as wide a variety as possible of these habitas, both on foot and using a combination of the Flotel and a small motor boat…
  • Green Eye Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Today we provide outdoor-oriented tours, adventures, expeditions…
  • Ibis Tours

    Tour Operator
    If you want to visit Romania and you are on a budget you came to the wright place so look no further just let us know the kind of wildlife holiday or tour you want and we will try to tailor it according to your budget…
  • Probirder

    Tour Operator
    Gerard Gorman is available to guide you in Romania
  • Sakertour

    Tour Operator
    Established in 1994 by Prof. J. Ol
  • Wild Danube Company

    Tour Operator
    Birds are created the delta fame, notorious, even from the beginning of the century as a bird paradise. The renown is due to the 327 species we can meet in the delta and which represent 81% of Romanian bird fauna…
Trip Reports


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  • 2010 [06 June] - Thea Cockcroft & Jean Walker

    PDF Report
    …with white and Dalmatian pelicans thermalling, lesser spotted eagle, long-legged buzzard, common buzzard, hobbies and bee-eaters all above and below…
  • 2010 [09 September] - Simon Eaves

    PDF Report
    …Magic Moments: The appearance of the Brown Bear cubs at the hide…
  • 2011 [02 February] - Branta Tours

    Report
    The Geese were spectacular and are becoming increasingly rare with a world population estimate of just 20,000, down very significantly on previous years and they all winter in the Coastal Dobrudja of Bulgaria and Romania…
  • 2011 [06 June] - Honeyguide - Danube Delta & Carpathians

    Report
    …the warden filled various containers with food and then covered it over to give the bears a bit of a challenge. We were eventually rewarded with the sight of up to nine animals including two-year-old triplets (quite unusual, evidently), which stayed in the clearing for quite some time. Most of us have read that bears can climb trees, but that doesn’t prepare you for how fast and agile they are…
  • 2012 [05 May] - Sándor Borza

    PDF Report
    We recorded a total of 205 species in 10 days of birding while covering almost all major bird habitats of the Carpathian Basin. This tour also gives a superb insight of the fantastic sceneries in the countries visited: Hungary, Slovakia and Romania…
  • 2012 [06 June] – Norman Sills – Danube Delta

    PDF Report
    "Countless whiskered terns, hundreds of white storks, dozens of glossy ibises, and many pygmy cormorants were crossing, probing or just standing in the wetness. With them were Dalmatian pelicans, great white egrets, ferruginous ducks, garganeys, ruddy shelducks, black-winged stilts and, above some nearby crags, a skyful of bee-eaters."
  • 2012 [09 Sepetmber] - Birds & bears

    PDF Report
    …The Danube Delta is probably the most important wetland of Europe. Passing a few days and nights at the heart of the Delta on a Floating Hotel is bird watching at its most relaxing…
  • 2013 [05 May] - Stephen Daly

    PDF Report
    …Corn Buntings and Red-backed Shrikes lined the taller vegetation and small bushes along the track to the wood; on getting out of the van we heard Golden Oriole, Cuckoo, Savi's Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher calling. The views of Red-footed Falcon as they came across over the woodland were spectacular and eventually we enticed a Cuckoo to come right in and land on a wire about 10m away…
  • 2013 [05 May] - Sándor Borza - Hungary, Slovakia & Romania

    PDF Report
    …This year’s highlights were all the European breeding woodpeckers including superb views of the rare and declining White- backed Woodpecker and the enigmatic Three-toed Woodpecker; six species of owls including Ural and Eagle Owl; nineteen species of raptors including Booted, Short-toed and Imperial Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-footed Falcon and Saker; Great Bustard, Little Crake, Corncrake, Collared Pratincole, Wallcreeper, Red-breasted and Collared Flycatchers, Thrush Nightingale and a wide range of warblers including River Warbler…
  • 2013 [06 June] - Russell Leavett

    PDF Report
    …We stopped to look over some fish ponds on route, which produced quite a lot of whiskered terns, a few ferruginous ducks and a lone ruddy shelduck, the only one we were to see. White storks were seen here and there and eventually a roadside nest gave us the chance to view the sparrows that were living ‘downstairs’ from the storks – a mixture of house and Spanish sparrows…
  • 2013 [08 August] - Bob Shiret - Carpathian Mountains

    Report
    This was our first trip to Romania, my wife is a non-birder so it was intended the holiday would be geared to walking/wildlife and culture. Our base was the mountain ski resort of Poiana Brasov which in summer can be used as a hiking centre…
  • 2013 [09 September] - Peter Kennerley

    PDF Report
    …Crested Larks and Kestrels were quite numerous and just before we reached our next stop at the Sitorman Quarry, a couple of Hoopoes, the only ones we were to see on the tour, fed quietly beside the road giving nice views. Pied Wheatear is one of Romania’s star breeding birds here at the western limit of its breeding range…
  • 2014 [05 May] - Zoltán Baczó

    Report
    ...We had several Caspian and one Gull-billed Tern here but our attention soon turned to the sandpiper flocks which contained mainly Curlew Sandpipers, Dunlins and Little Stints, but more then 30 Broad-billed Sandpipers were also seen here which is an outstanding number even at this eastern location. The dryer parts of the lagoon held a few Kentish Plovers and also a few Collared Pratincoles. As the road was really bad and slow back to the hotel, it was already time to head back to have our lunch and right after go out to check another wetland site a bit further away...
  • 2014 [06 June] - Chris Durdin - Danube Delta

    PDF Report
    A white-tailed eagle landed on a sandy river bank and was mobbed by a marsh harrier. Spoonbills included birds in breeding plumage with a patch of red skin at their bill’s base. Ducks included Garganey and any number of ferruginous ducks, and black-necked grebes kept the company and protection of whiskered terns on floating vegetation. There were so many rollers, glossy ibises and great white egrets that we had long stopped calling them or pointing to them...
  • 2015 [04 April] - Zoltán Baczó

    PDF Report
    We were especially proud to find all 10 of the European woodpecker species within this short time of birding.
  • 2015 [05 May] - Dick Meijer and Peter van Scheepen

    PDF Report
    Best birds today: Ruddy Shelduck, Red-crested Pochard, both species of Pelican, Pallid Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billedGull, Mediterranean Gull, Pallas’s’ Gull, White-winged Tern, Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Gray-Shrike, Bearded Reedling, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Paddyfield Warbler (Wolf Peninsula), Thrush Nightingale and Collared Flycatcher(Vadu) and Red-breasted Flycatcher (Sinoe village), Isabelline Wheatear and Tawny Pipit (rocky slope), Pied Wheatear (Sitorman Quarry).
  • 2015 [05 May] - Janos Olah - Hungary & Transylvania

    PDF Report
    We had several tour highlights on this recent tour but certainly the displaying Great Bustards, a majestic pair of Eastern Imperial Eagle, the mighty Saker, the handsome Red-footed Falcon, a hunting Peregrine, the shy Capercaillie, the elusive Little Crake and Corncrake, the enigmatic Ural Owl, the declining White-backed Woodpecker, the skulking River and Barred Warblers, a rare Sombre Tit, which was a write-in, the fluty Red-breasted and Collared Flycatchers and the stunning Wallcreeper will be long remembered.
  • 2015 [12 December] - Richard Webb

    PDF Report
    ...The lake itself is a known drinking site for geese including Red-breasted but disturbance from hunters stopped them from doing so during my visit. However the lake did produce a single Dalmatian Pelican and White-tailed Eagle....
  • 2017 [05 May] - Janos Olah - Hungary & Transylvania

    PDF Report
    ...the combination of Hungary and Transylvania seems to be a settled and well established one, and offers an amazing list of European birds...
  • 2017 [05 May] - Terry Stevenson & Lajos Nemeth-Boka - Hungary & Romania

    Report
    As always, the birding included the specials of the region, with Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, Imperial Eagle, Great Bustard, Black Woodpecker and Wallcreeper being just a few from an impressive list. However, this year we also did absolutely exceptional for mammals, with European Mink being the rarest, but we also had Common 'Golden' Jackal, Wildcat, and no less than 8 Brown Bears.
  • 2017 [06 June] - Colin Richardson - Black Sea Coast & Southern Carpathians

    PDF Report
    My first time there, and its wetlands, forests and new experiences beckoned. Previous late spring trip reports indicated a wealth of interesting wetland breeders, including Great White & Dalmatian Pelicans, Ferruginous Duck, Spoonbill, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned night Heron, Collared Pratincole, Marsh Sandpiper, Great Black-headed Gull and Whiskered Tern
  • 2017 [May] - Simay Gábor - Hungary, Slovakia & Tansylvania

    PDF Report
    ...his tourcoversthree Central European countries and most of their birdhabitats from the Hungarian grasslands to the Slovakian and Romanian spruce forests. This is an extremely productive tour in Europe and can be easily combined with the Romanian Danube DeltaTour for overseas travellers...
  • 2018 [05 May] - Jonathan Lethbridge - Bulgaria & Romania

    PDF Report
    This is a trip report about an unashamedly photographic trip to Eastern Europe - Romania and Bulgaria. I'd birded the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria before, about six years, and vowed to go back as it was simply outstanding. For many reasons I had not managed it until now - it was once again so good that I am trying to find an excuse to go back...
  • 2018 [06 June] - Richard Lansdown - The Wildlife of Transylvania

    PDF Report
    The quality of this tour was characterised by the remarkable wildlife around the guesthouse in Magura, with Chamois on the cliffs opposite throughout the day and often in the field below the guesthouse most mornings, together with Roe Deer in the fields around the village and a wide range of birds including Black Woodpeckers, Red-backed Shrike, White Wagtail and Peregrine. It was also exceptional for the food with buffet breakfasts, wonderful lunches and three-course evening meals, combined with stunning views and species-rich meadows.
  • 2018 [09 September] - Jason Mitchell - Romania's Danube Delta & Carpathian Mountains

    PDF Report
    The tour started on a high in the Carpathians with an amazing count of ten Brown Bears giving breath-taking views as they searched for food at a feeding station, although these were almost upstaged by a magnificent Ural Owl seen perched right alongside the bus! Migration was in full swing on the Danube, with a spectacular 500+ Bee-eaters passing through in one afternoon, other highlights included an impressive 17 species of wader on the Black Sea coast, alongside a flock of thirty Red-footed Falcons!
Places to Stay


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  • Bunica Maria

    Accommodation
    "Bunica Maria" is a beautiful property, located 200 meters from the Danube River bank-Sf. Gheorghe Arm, in the village of Mahmudia, a gateway to the Danube Delta, Natural Reserve and bird paradise.
  • Delta Nature Resort

    Accommodation
    Designed for premium comfort in natural surroundings, the Delta Nature Resort harmonizes traditional living with sophisticated luxury Each of the 32 spacious luxury villas at the resort has a breath-taking view of the wilderness of the Delta
  • Victoria Hotel

    Accommodation
    Constanta, Romania - we are interested in cooperating with foreign Bird Watching Organizations. We want to organize trips in the Danube Delta in the spring of 2012. In this way the members of the bird watching organization will be able to observe the 300 species of birds of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve and you will be accommodated at our hotel
Other Links
  • Bird Species in Romania

    Website
    Full list…
  • Birds in the Wild in Romania & beyond

    Website
    Birds in the Wild in Romania & beyond
  • Natura-Z

    Website
    We are a team of scholars and science and nature enthusiasts who care about the environment we live in and besides scientific research, we want to raise our awareness of the importance of nature conservation through education.
  • White Stork Protection in the Carpathian Basin

    Website
    White Stork Protection in the Carpathian Basin is a cross-border cooperative environmental project, supported financially by the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe. In English, with Romanian, Hungarian and Serbian versions under construction.
Blogs
  • Denis D - Birdwatching in Oltenia

    BLOG
    A blog about bird-watching and bird photography in Romania and Oltenia. About nature and wildlife. And photography.
  • Robert Hitter - Pasarile si Lumea Pasarilor

    BLOG
    Last updated August 2016 - After a year I decided to start a new blog, start day, month with something that I like "birdwatching" that gives me satisfaction and pleasure ...
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer

    Gallery
    A few years ago I've discovered my passion for photography. After some experiences (studio, fashion, portrait, etc) I realized that the wildlife, especially the bird, and travel photography represents me. Romania
  • Photographer – Floriana Andronache - Wildlife from Romania

    Gallery
    Gallery of Romanian birds by Floriana Andronache….

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