Imperial Eagle Aquila helica (also called Eastern Imperial Eagle) is one of the birds that visitors to Central and Eastern Europe often want to see. There are pairs in the lowlands of eastern Austria, scattered through southern Slovakia and parts of the Balkans but, in Europe, Hungary is overall the best place to find this impressive raptor.
Every autumn in eastern Hungary lots of Common Cranes (Grus grus) stop over on passage. Over 100,000 are there in October. It is a truly great spectacle to see them feeding in crop fields and flying in numbers to their roosts.
White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) are fairly common breeding birds in much of C & E Europe. The majority arrive in April and leave in August and September. They are often confiding, easy to photograph and always popular.
Many birds are common somewhere and this goes for the Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus, too. Rare or absent in the north of the C & E European region, this attractive songbird is locally common in the south. For example around the Adriatic in Croatia. This this singing male was photographed. Paklenica, Croatia, April 2015 (Gerard Gorman).
Common Choughs (aka Red-billed Chough) Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax are not widespread in C & E Europe. Rather, these attractive, gregarious crows are localised, found mainly in the higher ranges of the Balkans and the Austrian Alps.
The Rook Corvus frugilegus is a fairly common bird in the region. Despite some misguided persecution (being a crow and wrongly viewed as pests), Rooks play an important role as providers of nests for birds such as Long-eared Owls, Common Kestrels and Red-footed Falcons.
Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus breed in forests at high elevations in C & E Europe. They are migratory and can be seen in lowlands when on the move at the end of summer and again in early spring. This one was photographed in Austria by Thomas Hochebner.
This blog focuses on birds & birding from the Baltic to the Black Sea. With info & photos on species, destinations, country profiles, tours & conservation. I hope you find the info helpful and the photos enticing. To read earlier posts, simply scroll down, visit the ARCHIVE (below) or use the SEARCH BLOG function (top left) to find the topics that most interest you. Good browsing, good birding! Gerard Gorman
PROBIRDER: VISIT EASTERN EUROPE WITH THE LEADERS IN THE FIELD, FROM THE BALTIC TO THE BALKANS!
This site guide was published in 2006 and covers the best birding sites in 11 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia & Slovenia. Click on the cover
When joining any birding tour be sure that the organising company operates in an environmentally responsible manner. Over the years many of the bird tour companies and birding groups that I have worked with in Eastern Europe have supported local projects and organisations. Beneficiaries have included the Large Carnivore Project in Transylvania, the Falco Cherrug Club for young people in Tulcea, Romania, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, the Raptor Working Group of the Hungarian Ornithological Society, Butterfly Conservation, and funds were also raised for the building of birding towers in the Hortobagy National Park, Hungary. Gerard Gorman.