Romania Nature

Birding Romania

Romania boasts an impressive range of wildlife habitats which makes it the perfect location for a variety of exciting bird communities. Indeed, the mighty Carpathians have some of Europe's wildest forests and mountains and the remarkable Danube Delta is almost unique in its extent and variety. Further east the Black Sea coastline is dotted with saline and freshwater marshes, lagoons, beaches and dunes. Indeed, several visits are needed to do justice to Romania's habitats, birds, and culture. A number of species that are rare vagrants to the rest of Europe frequent here. Ruddy Shelduck, Black-winged Pratincole, Paddyfield Warbler, and Isabelline and Pied wheatears, although not super common, do breed along the ever important, coastal plains of Dobrudja. Romania also holds the largest population of Lesser Grey Shrikes and nesting Great White Pelicans as well as a critical proportion of the threatened Dalmatian Pelican population. The bulk of the European population of Ferruginous Duck is found here and in some winters you may see the entire world population of Red-breasted Goose!

The Danube Delta provides  nesting sites and stop over habitat for a wide variety of breeding and migrating birds, many of which are categorized as threatened across all ranges. The vast uplands, forests, meadows, pasture and gorges of Transylvania and the Carpathians contain, amongst many other species, a wide range of raptors, Wallcreeper, Eurasian Eagle, Ural, Pygmy and Boreal Owls, Western Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Alpine Accentor, Ring Ouzel, Shore Lark, Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Eurasian Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Rock Bunting, and all of Europe's woodpecker species.

Contributor: Gerard Gorman/PROBIRDER:

What to See in Romania

Notable Mammals and Other Wildlife

  • European Brown Bear
  • Stoat
  • Red fox
  • Eurasian lynx
  • Grey wolf
  • Raccoon dog
  • Golden jackal
  • Beech and Pine marten
  • Eurasian badger
  • Red, Fallow and Roe deer
  • Moose
  • Chamois
  • Boar
  • Spadefoot toad
  • Nose-horned Viper
  • Spur-thighed Tortoise
  • Fire salamander
  • Snake-eyed Skink

Other Attractions

  • The Watermills from Eftimie Murgue- An outdoor museum of sorts, the narrow  path along the Rudaria River contains 22 traditional watermills that once inhabited the Almajului Mountains. Locals still use these water mills to grind grains, giving tourists an opportunity to witness traditional customs.
  • Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park - Gorges, unique blue lakes, hills, valleys, caves, ravines and waterfalls make this park a must visit. Make sure to leave time to travel by train from Oravita to Anina on one of Romania's oldest train routes through mountains, forests and tunnels!
  • Racos- This village is famous for it geological reserve, mighty basalt columns and a crater resulted from volcanic activity thousands of years prior. In the former basalt quarry, a crystal clear lake has taken form and is perfect for swimming!
  • Transylvania- The most well know tourism spot, this town is enclosed by the Carpathian Mountains and is a UNESCO World Heritage site! For avid hikers- Retezat National Park has the highest peaks of the mountains.

Where and When to Go

Nature & Birding Hotspots in Romania

  • Danube Delta
    • The delta is known as Europe's most spectacular wetland and should be on every birders list to visit! Bird life here is incredible, with thousands of species accounted for in summer including Pygmy Cormorant, Great White Pelican, Squacco, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy ibis and a wide range of waterfowl. Non-vagrant raptor species such as White-tailed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Hobby, Red-footed Falcon as well as those species passing through, Lesser Spotted and Booted Eagles, European Honey Buzzard and Levant Sparrowhawk, all utilize resources in the delta.
  • Bicaz Gorge
    • Of the eastern Carpathian gems, this is the deepest and likely the most spectacular gorge. Wallcreeper, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Alpine Swift, Alpine Accentor, Peregrine and Golden Eagle all breed along the sheer granite cliffs and roadside walls of the gorge. The forests surrounding Lake Rosu are particularly good for spotting Ural and Boreal Owls, Hazel Grouse, Western Capercaillie, White-backed and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpeckers, Firecrest and Eurasian Nutcracker.
  • Istria
    • A very productive birding location! In summer wetland areas hold populations of Squacco Heron, Ruddy Shelduck, Little Bittern, Collared, and if your'e lucky, Black-winged Pratincole, Paddyfield Warbler, Kentish Plover, Pied Avocet, Marsh Sandpiper, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, and Ferruginous Duck. Spring and Autumn migrants include egret, heron, raptor, wader and pelican, while winters can host hundreds of thousands of geese. 
  • Bucharest
  • Cefa Fishponds
  • Turda Gorge
  • Gurghiu Mountains
  • Sinpaul Fishponds
  • Rotbav Fishponds
  • poiana Brasov
  • Retezat National Park
  • Macin
  • Babadag
  • Razelm Lagoon
  • Lake Ceamurlia
  • Lake Hasarlac
  • Sinoie Laoon
  • Cheia
  • Vadu
  • Lake Tasaul
  • Ciocanesti Fishponds
  • Fetii Gorge
  • Lake Techirghiol
  • Hagieni Forest

Romania Birding and Nature Tours

Experience the Romanian wildlife with IBIS Tours

Set up a birding holiday tour in various locations throughout Romania with Ecotours wildlife holidays

Romania Ecolodges/Accommodations

Delta Nature Resort, observe a variety of birds and wildlife on location!


Best Time to Go

A different variety of birds thrive during each season in the Danube Delta and along the coast of the Black Sea.

From April to mid June the wetlands along the sea are alive with passage birds. In summer months songbird activity is low but breeding bird behavior is at its peak as weather conditions are ideal along the coast.  By August post-breeding wader passage has begun.

Autumn brings forth the most enjoyable weather and while the forest and mountains are not at their bests, the coast of the Black Sea is in full swing with a rich and remarkable variety of species traversing eastern Romania. The end of October sees the arrival of White-fronted and Red-breasted Goose.

As long as you can withstand the cold, sites along the Black Sea and adjacent Dobrudja Plain offer some of Europe's best birding! In productive winters grebes, ducks and geese have been seen in flocks up to half a million!

Visit Romania

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