Bird watching

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Thanks to its pristine natural environment, Slovenia is a sanctuary for many species of birds. Over 200 different bird species nest in Slovenia, among them over 160 endangered and protected species. Slovenia is also traversed by numerous flocks of migratory birds that stop here on their way south in winter or back north in spring.

The best places to see large numbers of bird species in a small area are bird sanctuaries and nature reserves, which are to be found in several parts of the country. You can visit them on your own or accompanied by an ornithologist, who will show you various species and their habitats. The following locations are particularly suitable for birdwatching:

- The Ljubljansko Barje wetland area This nature park contains the Iški Morost nature reserve, including the Corncrake Nature Trail. Here you can see buzzards, starlings, finches and many other species.
- Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. Almost three hundred different species of birds have been spotted in this coastal nature park near the border with Croatia. Most common are various species of gulls, waders, herons and ducks.
- Škocjanski Zatok. This nature reserve near Bertoki in Primorska is a coastal wetland area with rushes and a freshwater wetland area with meadow and shrub vegetation. Here you can see waders, herons, gulls, coots, various species of ducks and starlings, goldfinches and various warblers.
- Volovja Reber. The slope of the Snežnik Plateau is home to crows and various birds of prey, including the endangered golden eagle. More birds of prey fly over this hill area during the migration season.
- Medvedce near Pragersko. Many birds of prey, herons, waders, gulls and grebes stop here during migration, along with thousands of ducks and coots.

Slovenia also offers many other locations for birdwatching, so it is a good idea to keep a pair of binoculars and suitable footwear handy.

If you are interested in birdwatching with an ornithologist, contact the Birdwatching Association of Slovenia (DOPPS). The association manages the Iški Morost and Škocjanski Zatok nature reserves. Guided birdwatching is easiest to arrange in these reserves, but other locations are also possible by arrangement with the ornithologist.

The association organises frequent free guided birdwatching trips for its members. Others can take part if there are any free places.

Groups number no more than 15 to 20 people, because large groups of birdwatchers drive birds away. It is also useful to know that birds are most active in the early morning hours, particularly in spring and early summer.
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