Hungary Birding Tours

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Hungary (or Magyarorszag in Hungarian) is located in central Eastern Europe, in the middle of the Carpathian basin. Hungary is landlocked and shares its borders with no fewer than seven countries: Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Slovakia. Its capital, Budapest, is in the north of the country and is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with its combination of culture, history, cuisine, and nightlife. Hungary’s population is 9.7 million people with around a third of these people living in the Budapest area.

One of Hungary’s most famous sons is Attila the Hun, with his rampaging Hunnic army feared by the Roman Empire for around 20 years until his death in 453 AD. The country was ruled by several factions before Hungary became a Christian Kingdom on Christmas Day in 1000 AD. Hungary’s power peaked in the 15th century before becoming part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867. This union ended after the end of World War One which saw Hungary lose 71% of its territory and 58% of its population. During World War Two Hungary joined the Axis Powers before becoming part of the Soviet Union after the war ended. Independence from the Soviet Union was achieved in October 1989.

Hungary is divided into three parts by two large rivers, the Danube River, and the Tisza River (we will be visiting Lake Tisza on our tour), in fact the entire country lies within the drainage basin of the Danube River. The west of Hungary consists of hills and low mountains, including part of the eastern Alps. The rest of the country is a vast plain apart from the very north which is part of the Carpathian Mountains near Slovakia, here Mount Kekas, the tallest mountain in Hungary is found, which rises to 3,327 feet (1, 014 meters). Hungary has hot summers and cold winters with regular snowfall throughout the country.

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Following International Ornithological Congress (IOC) taxonomy (v10.2 in October 2020) the bird list of Hungary is 434 species, with 25 of these being globally threatened. Hungary has 54 Important Bird Areas (IBAs); sites identified by BirdLife International as having high value to birds. On top of this, parts of Hungary are also conserved by ten national parks, 145 minor nature reserves, and 35 landscape protection areas. On our tour of Hungary, we will take in many of these special areas which are rich in wildlife.

Our tour of Hungary is high value and the birds in Hungary certainly do not disappoint. During our exploration of the wetlands we hope to come across star species such as Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Little Crake, Black-necked Grebe, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Whiskered Tern, White Stork, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, and Purple Heron. Birds of prey are numerous and multiple species can be found, including European Honey Buzzard, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Booted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Montagu’s Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, and Saker Falcon. Other non-passerine highlights include owls, such as Eurasian Scops Owl, Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Tawny Owl, and Little Owl and steppe species such as Great Bustard, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Stone-curlew, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Roller, and European Bee-eater, along with ten breeding species of European woodpeckers and multiple shrike species which will all fill the landscape with striking colors and beautiful sounds.

The number of passerines in Hungary is vast and we hope to see species such as Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Bearded Reedling (Tit), Crested Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, numerous warbler species such as Great Reed Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Aquatic Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Icterine Warbler, River Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Barred Warbler, and Lesser Whitethroat. We will also search for Wallcreeper (a sought-after monotypic family), Rosy Starling, Bluethroat, Thrush Nightingale, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, White-throated Dipper, Red-throated Pipit, Ortolan Bunting, Cirl Bunting, and much more.

Hungary offers one of the most diverse birding experiences in Europe with a wide range of excellent bird species possible, making it a birder’s paradise. Combine this with wonderful hospitality, a fascinating history, beautiful landscapes, and great weather, you have a country that is sensational value and well worth a visit. Our tour of Hungary is designed so you can experience the country in comfort and ensure you have a memorable experience. We look forward to showing you this Eastern European gem of a country.

Austria and Hungary: Birding Adventure May 2021

Austria and Hungary: Birding Adventure May 2021


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I can highly recommend booking a trip through Birding Ecotours South Africa. The Birding Ecotours staff is professional, the e-mail responses fast and all questions receive detail replies. Chris Lotz of Birding Ecotours forwarded excellent advice to me on how to start world birding, which countries to visit in order to find a high number of birds over a short period and which bird book(s) to use for a country. Birding Ecotours’ newsletters provide further information on upcoming trips, details on areas (e.g. East African birding), on target birds per trip, as well as regarding birding books available for countries or areas. Trip reports (forwarded upon request) allow one to mentally prepare regarding number of possible birds, endemics per country and difficulty or travel time of a trip. The Birding Ecotours’ Facebook postings include snippets from current trips with photos as well as spaces available on future trips. The single supplement for Birding Ecotours’ trips is in most cases lower than other tour companies, which makes for safe as well as affordable travelling.

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