Situated along the Eastern Baltic Flyway, Lithuania receives flocks of migratory birds in spring and autumn. Blessed with a mild climate and a compact size that lets one traverse the country in its entirety, Lithuania attracts birdwatching enthusiasts from around the world during both major migratory seasons.
The list of birds one can spot on a trip to Lithuania is impressive and, depending on the season, encompasses Aquatic Warbler, Great Snipe, Greater-spotted Eagle, Black- and Red-throated Diver, Bewick’s Swan, multiple species of geese, most of Europe’s woodpeckers, Greater Scaup, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, and many more.
Lithuania offers a diversity of habitats, including bogs, taiga forests and two of most spectacular landscapes the Baltics have to offer – Nemunas delta and the sand-dune dominated Curonian Spit. Where else can you see elks roaming in a desert-like environment?
Experienced guides – united under the Birding Lithuania Tours banner – help visitors discover the best of Lithuanian nature. So, why not plan your next birdwatching trip to Northern Europe’s best kept secret?
Find more about organized tours:
It’s worth visiting Lithuania for these five birds alone. To see and hear the birds that no longer wander farther west, making a home and laying eggs in our untouched meadows and the thickets of our forests. Lithuania also welcomes newcomers – a few decades ago, the citrine wagtail and the Blyth’s reed warbler moved here from the East and started breeding. These two small birds are of particular interest to professional bird watchers. You can admire the citrine wagtail with your eyes, but you should listen to the Blyth’s reed warbler. Its intriguing song is a repetitive whistle punctuated with scales. Birdwatching can be an exciting hobby. Listen to and see the birds that few ever do.
A water and bird paradise that emits pure Baltic tranquillity. This is what bird watchers call the Nemunas Delta. The serenity and quiet of unspoiled nature, the morning fog, the flooded meadows, and the tall grass and shrubs make it a great hideout for the rare species of birds that appear when the freshet begins and leave when the waters begin to ice over. This is a place which provides shelter to globally endangered greater spotted eagles, great snipes, black-tailed godwits, Eurasian curlews, and aquatic warblers. Geese, swans, ducks and sandpipers fly here, and flocks of thousands of passerines and birds of prey fly past overhead.
More than 300 species of birds have been counted in the Nemunas Delta and its surroundings, and one of the first banding stations in the world has been operating in Ventės Ragas since 1929, which also has the largest mist net in the world.
The best time for bird watching in the Nemunas Delta and the grasslands of the Curonian Lagoon is spring or autumn. In spring, the Nemunas Delta Regional Park even holds Parskrenda paukščiai (“The Birds Return”), a special event to welcome the birds back.
Žuvintas – a unique corner of nature not far from Marijampolė that is often called “Bird Lake” – is Lithuania’s largest wetland as well as its oldest nature reserve, and has been included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The shallow, naturally overgrown lake and the wetlands that surround it are a safe haven for the 14 rare and protected bird species that lay eggs here. Determined bird watchers can catch sight of the extremely scarce aquatic warbler, the western marsh harrier and Montagu’s harrier, the corn crake and the spotted crake, the black grouse, the common crane, the wood sandpiper, the black tern, the white-backed woodpecker and the middle spotted woodpecker, the greater white-fronted goose and the taiga bean goose, and the Eurasian bittern. Those who aren’t interested in going deep into the swamp to look for rare species of birds can take in the lake surroundings on the educational trail or from the observations towers next to the lake. Every autumn, people gather at Žuvintas to see off the migratory birds.
The best time for bird watching in Žuvintas is from March to October.
Next to the countless lakes and rivers in the boundless forests of Dzūkija, people who are tired of the city noise feel serenity, as do birds. Only mushroom and berry pickers can scare away the birds that have found shelter in the shrubs, grasslands and flooded meadows. From April to September, you can see corn crakes holding concerts in the valley of the Merkys, gorgeous kingfishers flying over the Ūla River, black storks standing on the shores, and goosanders just hanging around. In the ancient villages of Dzūkija, the Eurasian hoopoe that the locals sing songs about haven’t been scared off yet, and the beautiful western capercaillies and black grouses dance their mating dances in Čepkeliai Marsh. Figuratively speaking, if you plan to go bird watching in Dzūkija, you’ll kill two birds with one stone, since you will have a chance to spot rare birds while also becoming acquainted with the unique cultural heritage of this region.
The Curonian Spit National Park, cherished for its prehistoric sand-dunes, is also an excellent spot for birdwatching. In fact, this UNESCO-listed peninsula nestled between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon, offers six different observation towers that help you observe the flocks of migratory birds passing above. And if you forgot your birding manual at home (happens to the best of us), information stands on-site will help you identify the birds you spot.
When it comes to birdwatching, Ventė Cape is second to none. Situated in the Nemunas River Delta, the headland sees half a million of birds passing each day during the peak migratory season in September and October.
Ventė Cape is also home to one of the oldest bird ringing stations in Europe. Established in 1929 by the legendary Lithuanian biologist Tadas Ivanauskas, the station has been educating the public and substantially contributing to the scientific field of ornithology.
The Ventė Cape area includes a polder museum and a 100-year-old lighthouse which is now open to visitors. You can also take a boat ride in the nearby Minija River and explore the unique Minija village. Also known as the Lithuanian Venice, this place has canals for streets, and visiting your neighbour by boat is a perfectly normal thing to do.