Slovakia is filled with some of the best bird watching locations in the World. Birding has become an increasingly popular hobby over the last few years but it isn’t always easy to find the best bird watching spots and locations! This article will give tips and information on the best bird watching locations in Slovakia.
Slovakia is a landlocked nation in central Europe. Due to Slovakia’s location in the middle of continent, it is a country that is on migratory bird routes and a common destination for birds looking for warm climates during the year. The country’s vast landscapes and diverse ecosystems make it a great destination for birdwatchers seeking an exciting range of birds to see. Not only is Slovakia a destination for birds from northern regions of Europe, but birds from Asia and Africa also head to Slovakia throughout the year.
The central European nation is home to around 360 bird species. The entire country of Slovakia is ideal for birding, however, there are some specific regions that are better than others. Slovakia can become extremely cold during the winter months, therefore, visiting from April to October is the prime time to go birdwatching. The weather in spring and autumn offer warm temperatures and birds seek out Slovakia when migrating.
What is the best bird watching location in Slovakia?
1. Tatras Mountains
The Tatras Mountains separate Slovakia and Poland and cover around 785 square kilometres (303 square miles). The mountainous region is an ideal area to go birdwatching and explore Slovakia’s natural landscapes. In the High Tatras, the mountains are snowcapped and pine forests are located in the valleys below. You will find cold alpine lakes situated at the base of the mountains with snow run-off filling them.
You will find a number of birds that breed in the Tatras Mountains including the Black Grouse, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Corncrake, Eurasian Eagle-owl, and many more. You can spot two of the rarest owl species around in the Tatras Mountains as the Tengmalm and Pygmy owls call the area home.
Due to the High Tatras being the highest points in the Carpathian mountain range, climbers and hikers from all over the world visit Slovakia to test their skills. Travellers can combine a hiking/trekking trip to the Tatras Mountains with a birdwatching adventure. It should be noted that the trails in the Tatras Mountains can be difficult and only experienced climbers should attempt them.
2. Poloniny National Park
Poloniny National Park is situated in Slovakia’s northeastern region near the country’s borders with Poland and Ukraine. The national park is located in the Bukovske Vrchy mountain range, which is part of the Carpathian Mountains. The park was founded in 1997 and covers around 298.05 square kilometres (115.08 square miles) of land.
You will find over three-quarters of the national park covered with forests. The number of trees, shrubs and grasses found in Poloniny National Park make for great cover for bird species. Along with a number of bird species, visitors to the park will find a variety of endemic animals. Around 200 bird species have been reported in Poloniny National Park. Two of the birds that are most sought-after to see in Poloniny National Park are the Ural Owl and Hazel Grouse.
Exploring nature and birdwatching aren’t the only popular activities to do at Poloniny National Park. There is a lot to do in the towns around the national park and visitors can experience top-notch spas, restaurants, and cultural sites.
3. National Natural Reserve Senné
The National Natural Reserve Senné is a network of ponds that commercial and private fisherman are allowed to use. The ponds are surrounded by forests and woodlands that attract birds. The combination of ponds and woodlands make it a haven for birds seeking food, shelter, and to breed. In 2009, the National Natural Reserve Senné was designated as a special area and is now protected.
Birders seek out National Natural Reserve Senné as it is a vital breeding ground for waterfowl and other water birds. The ponds are ideal for nesting and you will find Spoonbill in many of the watering holes around the reserve. Avocet can also be found in the network of ponds although they are not quite as common. The National Natural Reserve Senné is home to the largest population of Great Egret in Slovakia.
According to researchers, there are 58 endangered bird species that can be found in the reserve. That simple statistic alone is why so many birders and researchers visit the National Natural Reserve Senné. The park has observation towers making it easy to see the variety of bird species that call the reserve home permanently or temporarily. A path was constructed in the park making it possible to learn about the various species during a visit.
One of the other top attractions in the reserve is an 17th century Slovakian home. It is claimed that the home is a “mysterious manor”.
4. Slovak Karst National Park
Located in southern Slovakia, the Slovak Karst is another mountainous area that is a part of the Carpathians. The region is made up of karst plains and plateaus. It is protected and makes up part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Caves of Aggtele Karst and Slovak Karst.
The park is defined by hilly gorges and woodlands with deciduous trees. It is the rocky, forested areas that attract many of the birds to the area. A number of bird species are bound to the park due to its landscape. Birds that can be spotted in the Slovak Karst National Park include the Black Stork, Honey Buzzard, White-backed Woodpecker, and the Rock Thrush.
The park is filled with trails that snake through it. Hikers can find a variety of challenging trails to explore and spot birds on their journeys through the park. Spring is the best time to visit Slovak Karst National Park due to birds being more visible as the weather warms up. Visitors will find the Slovakian city of Roznava not far from the national park. It is a city to base your stay in during a trip to the area.
Slovakia is a perfectly positioned European nation that attracts a number of bird species to its forests, mountains and ponds. Slovakia offers a unique look at birds from all over Europe and some from Asia and Africa. It truly is a must-visit birding destination.
– TripAdvisor Profile – Caves of Karst
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We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!