About us


Hungarianbirdwatching.com is an association of young, enthusiastic birders. We organise birding tours and birdwatching holidays in Hungary and in Budapest. Our birding tours are higly customised to your needs. 

During our birding trips to Hortobágy, Lake Fertő, Kiskunság, Lake Tisza, Bükk and Zemplén Mountains you have a reasonable chance to to see Great Bustard, Saker, Imperial Eagle, Pygmy Cormorant, Woodpeckers, Eagle and Ural Owl etc. 

We operate with small groups, and in our trips you will also have the opportunity to taste good Hungarian wines and explore the cultural heritages of Hungary.


More than birding ...

... we can organise many side-programs (posted: 06/06/2024)

One of our slogans is "More than birding". During the 20 years of our operation we have organised many side-programmes integrated into our birding tours. E.g. we bought tickets to the Opera (at the time when online ticket ordering did not exist), we organised a birthday programme for our 80 year old birder at his wife's request, we also organised several winetasting events in various wine regions like Tokaj, Eger, Neszmély and Sopron. On our Zemplén tours, visiting the Regéc Castle or the Boldogkő Castle is a regular programme.

In Budapest, in addition to the traditional sightseeing programmes, we also organised industrial heritage tours and various folk art programmes, and in September we will organise a felting workshop for the wife of our birder guest.


This year we were asked to organise two special programmes. One of our guests is a fan of reptiles, especially snakes. For her, we organised a visit to the largest reptile fair in Central Europe, where she could see many snakes, geckos and chameleons, and also visited the Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Centre, which also provided an opportunity for the staff of the Conservation Center for networking through our guest's herpetologist connections.

Meadow viper image

We also fulfilled the dream of our guest from the UK, who wanted to admire the mayfly swarming. He put himself on standby according to our swarming forecast and within 16 hours of our signal he was on a plane and we managed to catch a strong medium swarm, which was an unforgettable experience for him.

Of course, the organisation of these activities requires careful preparation on our part and flexibility on the part of the guests, so these side-programs can only be included in a multi-day birding tour.

Spotted Flycatcher image

In Hungary, the average length of stay in Budapest is 2.6 nights, so most of our guests only book a one-day birding trip, but they also have limited time for sightseeing. Hungary's cultural and natural heritage, its unique bird fauna is worth a weeklong holiday and we can help you organise it professionally. See more pictures on Facebook page...

Merry Christmas…

… and meet us on our 2024 tours… (posted 23/12/2023)

We would like to wish all our guests, partners, birders Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, with this card showing Great Bustards. In Hungary Great Bustard (Otis tarda) is a resident bird and is one of the most wanted birds among our guests. Its population declined to critical level in the 1980-ies, but thanks to the Great Bustard protection programs its population increased to around 1600 species. In Hungary the largest populations of Great Bustards are found in the Kiskunság, Hortobágy and Körös-Maros National Parks. The photo was taken by Károly Teleki in Kiskunság National Park in October 2023.

Merry Christmas 2023 pic

Nature Photographer of the Year 2023...

... exhibition from 7 November 2023 in Natural History Museum (posted: 11/11/2023)

The Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year 2023 competition was organised by Naturart the Society of Hungarian Nature Photographers.

Csaba Daróczi became the Nature Photographer of the Year. Csaba’s 12 photos were finalists, including two category winner photos. Csaba has recently won Bird-O „Bird Photographer of the Year 2023” photo contest as well.

The Young Nature Photographer of the year prize was awarded to Ákos Őri, who had 1st and 3rd prize in the Youth category.

THigh jump image

Zsolt Moldován won the Nature Photograph of the Year award for his photo his photo „High jump” which captures the moment when a Red Fox cub tries to catch a Maybug.

White-tailed Eagle image

Excellent pictures were taken in the Bird category as well, like Gábor Szerencsi’s picture of an Ural Owl (Strix uralensis).

Spotted Flycatcher image

The photo exhibition displaying the best pictures of the competition was opened on 7 November 2023 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum. You find more photos of the competition at Naturart website (check Hungarian „ÉTF Pályázat”//”ETF 2023 Nyertes Képei”/ menu”) ...

Bird-O „Bird Photographer of the Year 2023”…

....and travelling photo exhibition (posted: 06/11/2023)

Bird-O is a Hungarian photo competition, first held in 2022, and exclusively open to bird photos.

This year, 2500 entries were received in 10 categories. In addition to the best-known names in Hungarian bird and nature photography, many "first-timers" also submitted images, increasing the diversity of individual perspectives.

Csaba Daróczi was awarded the Bird Photographer of the Year and Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz was awarded the Young Bird Photographer of the Year. The Bird Photo of the Year "Love on the Lake" was taken by Tibor Horváth of a pair of Black-winged Stilts.

Bird photo of the year 2023 pic

The exhibition of the winning and finalist photos is currently on display at the Budapest Zoo until 15 January 2024.

The best photos from this year and last year can be viewed on the Bird-O website, and the video below showcases the 51 winning and highly rated images of 2023.

Congratulations to the winners and organisers....

Nearly 200,000 Common Cranes in Hortobágy…

… …the first National Park of Hungary ( posted 25/10/2023)

Hortobágy is a major stopover in autumn for migrating Common Cranes (Grus grus). While in the late 1980s only 3,000 individuals were observed at the Hortobágy fish ponds, in the last 8-10 years the number of birds has surely exceeded 100,000 at least in one week in October. The peak so far was around 8 October 2018 and 2019 with around 160,000 cranes.

Crane numbers pic

This year the record was broken on 13 October, when Hortobágy National Park staff counted more than 180,000 cranes. Thanks to the mild weather and the excellent feeding and roosting sites, the cranes did not migrate any further and by the count on 20 October 2023 there were already 194,750 cranes in the Hortobágy area.

Common Crane pic

This year, the Hortobágy National Park celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation. The crane is the emblem of Hortobágy NP, the first national park of Hungary, perhaps not by chance...

Magical Hungary Photo Contest 2022...

....and travelling nature photography exhibition (posted: 08/04/2023)

Magical Hungary is one of the country's most popular nature photography websites and one of the country's most prestigious nature photography competitions. Each year since 2009 photographers were invited to submit images in 9 categories (including Bird category), which attracted almost 4000 entries in 2022.

Csaba Daróczi image

The most successful photographer of the year, and the winner of the Grand Prize for Hungarian Nature Photography was Csaba Daróczi, who was awarded the Golden Crane statuette, followed by Norbert Kaszás in 2nd place and Ferenc Kocsis in 3rd place.

Ferenc Kocsis image

A travelling exhibition of the best photos will be organised, the first stop of which will be the Hungarian National Museum, where the photos will be on display until 4 May 2023. Other venues in May and June are the Royal Castle in Gödöllő (5-22 May 2023) and the Hungarian Agricultural Museum (23 May - 9 July 2023).

UTímea Ambrus image

To see more photos of the nature photo contest, visit our Facebook site...

Merry Christmas…

… and meet us on our 2023 tours… (posted 24/12/2021)

We would like to wish all our guests, partners, birders Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, with this card showing Common Goldeneyes. In Hungary Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) is a regular passage and winter visitor on deep waters from late October to end of March. The most common wintering sites are large rivers like Danube and Tisza, and Lakes like Balaton and Lake Tisza. But you can find this nice duck on extensive natural lakes and gravel pits as well. The photo of the Goldeneye male and females was taken by Károly Teleki in February 2020 in South Budapest, where each winter flocks of 20-40 birds are wintering on the Danube.

Merry Christmas 2022 pic

Merry Christmas…

… and meet us on our 2022 tours… (posted 22/12/2021)

We would like to wish all our past and future guests Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, with this card showing a Short-eared Owl. In Hungary Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) breeds in small and fluctuating numbers (10-80 pairs) on lowlands in marshy meadows, grasslands and occasionally in agricultural fields. We mostly see Short-eared Owls during migration and winter, mostly in the Great Plain. Some individuals of overwintering Short-eared Owls occasionally can be seen among Long-eared Owls (see the owl in the background) roosting on evergreen trees of country towns. The photo of the Short-eared Owl was taken by Károly Teleki in February 2020 in Túrkeve, where each winter Long-eared Owls are roosting in large number in city parks and gardens.

Merry Christmas 2021 pic

Bonelli’s Eagle in Hungary…

…very rare vagrant, third record in Hungary (posted 03/08/2021)

On July 30, 2021, at noon, a young Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) was seen and photographed by Kornél Tóth at the gravel pits of Rábapaty in Western Hungary. The male bird had a color ring and a satellite transmitter and turned out that the bird was banded as a chick at the nest in Andros Island, Greece, this spring.

The bird crossed the Balkan countries (Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia) in a straight line and entered Hungary on the 25th July. Between 31st July and today (3rd August) several birders twitched the Bonelli’s Eagle, which is a rarity in Hungary. So far only in 1907 and 1943 was the bird observed in Hungary, so this is the third record.

Congratulation to Kornél Tóth for finding the bird and to Katalin Borbás for the excellent shot. Thanks to LIFE Bonelli eastMed project for providing invaluable and timely information on the bird and its movement.

Bonelli's Eagle pic

Merry Christmas…

… and meet us on our 2021 tours… (posted 21/12/2020)

We would like to wish all our past and future guests Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, with this card showing an Alpine Accentor. In Hungary Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) is a regular winter visitor in small number (50-150 individuals) from early November till late March. Mainly you can observe single birds on and around castle ruins, quarries and rocky hillsides of Transdanubia (Balaton Uplands, Visegrádi Mountains) and Northern Hungary (Börzsöny, Bükk and Zemplén Mountains). Since 2014 each year some 1-3 individuals could be seen in Budapest mostly on Apáthy Cliff. The photo of the Alpine Accentor was taken by Ádám Selmeczi Kovács.

Merry Christmas 2020 pic

Near 425,000 Geese in Hungary ...

... 150,000 within 70 kms from Budapest (posted: 02/12/2020)

While October is the month of migrating Common Cranes, November is definitely the month of migrating Geese in Hungary. Recently there are near 425,000 Geese in our country according to the synchronous count of last week (W48 November 2020). The majority of the geese are Greater White-fronted and Greylag Geese, but there are near 600 Red-breasted Geese and 144 Lesser White-fronted Geese in Hungary. The latter two species are the most wanted geese for our birders. The table below shows the numbers and distribution of the geese within Hungary.


Nature Photographer of the Year 2020...

... exhibition from 4 November to 31 December 2020 (posted: 04/11/2020)

The Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year 2020 competition was organised by Naturart the Society of Hungarian Nature Photographers. This year two photographers in the adult category received the main prizes.

Imre Potyó became the Nature Photographer of the Year.  Imres’s 9 photos were finalists, including the macro photo of a pseudoscorpion.  The close-up photo was awarded „highly commended” in the Animal portrait category.

The king of ice image

Csaba Pintér won the Nature Photograph of the Year award for his photo which captures the moment when an Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) catches a Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella).

NPOY2020 image

Excellent pictures were taken in the Bird category as well, like Gábor Szerencsi’s picture of an Ural Owl (Strix uralensis).

Ural owl image

The photo exhibition displaying the best pictures of the competition was opened on 4 November 2020 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 31 December 2020. You find more photos of the competition at Naturart website (check Hungarian „ÉTF Pályázat menu”) ...

Travel limitations to Hungary …

… because of the coronavirus pandemic (updated 09/11/2020)

Update 09/11/2020: New measures to take effect at midnight on November 11: A curfew will be instated between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. All forms of assembly will be forbidden. Restaurants must close, but food delivery will remain possible. Shops and services (e.g., hairdressers) must close by 7 p.m. Hotels may only host business travelers. There will be a general ban on events.

Update 04/11/2020: Government is reintroducing the state of emergency in connection to the coronavirus epidemic. Curfew restrictions between midnight and 5 am. Closing of entertainment venues (bars, dance clubs). Free parking. Distancing in theater, cinema, stadium.

Update 28/08/2020: BREAKING - New travel restrictions to take effect starting September 1: No foreigners are allowed entry to Hungary... The travel restriction measures will stay in force for at least a month...

Update 11/04/2020: the government is extending indefinitely restrictions on movement introduced in Hungary on 27th March 2020 to combat the novel coronavirus epidemic...

Update 27/03/2020: today morning PM Viktor Orbán has announced curfew between March 28 and April 11...

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Hungary. The Hungarian authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The Hungarian Prime Minister announced on 16 March that Hungary would close all borders to foreigners at midnight on Monday 16 March. Only Hungarian citizens and EEA citizens (including UK nationals) holding a Permanent Residence Card or a Registration Certificate and Address Card will be allowed to enter the country.

The restrictions will remain in effect indefinitely, until revoked. Further restrictions to daily life may be announced over the coming days and we are monitoring the situation. The situation may change rapidly, including in neighbouring countries, where some airports have closed or ceased direct flights to the UK, USA, Canada and other countries.

coronavirus pic

Video clip of the Great Sand Plover...

... at Kiskunság National Park (posted: 28/05/2020)

Another very rare vagrant which makes Hungarian birders excited is the Great Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultia) which had only two records (1992, 1997) before Monday (25 May 2020). The bird was found by Ilona Kurfis at Sárkeresztúr around 11am, but soon the plover disappeared. Likely the same Great Sand Plover showed up at 3pm at the fishpond near Apaj village in Kiskunság rediscovered by János Oláh (owner of Sakertour). Since the bird is still there today (28 May 2020) many Hungarian birders and twitchers could tick this rarity on their list. The video shared below was prepared by Csaba Lendvai project manager of MME Birdlife Hungary on 26 May 2020. Congratulation to Ilona and János for finding the bird and thanks to Csaba for sharing the video…

Great Sand Plover pic

Video clip of the Demoiselle Crane...

... at Fertő-Hanság National Park (posted: 26/05/2020)

We are happy to share the video clip of the Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) prepared by dr. Tibor Hadarics. Tibor is a senior ornithologist at the Fertő-Hanság National Park. The bird was found by Miklós Váczi area manager at the National Park on Sunday 24 May 2020 at Lake Fertő (Neusiedler See). In the following days Tibor and Miklós provided updated information about the crane, helping many Hungarian birders to twitch this exceedingly rare vagrant. This is the 5th record of this elegant bird in Hungary, previous records are from 1858, 1901,1993, 2018. Thanks, Tibor, for the excellent photos and the video clip and congratulation to Miklós finding the crane.

Demoiselle Crane pic

First record of Blue-cheeked Bee-eater in Hungary…

… …seen in Kiskunság at Dabas village( posted 25/05/2020)

Saturday (23 May 2020) at 07.48am, Bence Kókay the well-known birder in Hungary alarmed the birding community that he had just twitched a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus) in Kiskunság near to Dabas village. Bence also immediately shared the proving photo see below.

Three other birders Ádám Takács, Ármin Csipak and Bence Csesznik -who were also birdwatching in Kiskunság- joined Bence soon and had the chance to see the first ever Blue-cheeked Bee-eater in Hungary. At about 8.30am the bird disappeared and though several other birders arrived in the area it was not found again on Saturday and Sunday.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater was not the only new bird species Bence added to the Hungarian bird list. For example, in 2016 Bence twitched the first Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) in Hungary. Congratulations Bence for finding the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and sharing the excellent photo of the bird.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater pic

Other exciting news from Hungary:
Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) was seen at Lake Fertő (Neusiedler See) on 24th May 2020. Today (25/05/2020) morning the bird has flown to the Austrian side of the lake adding a new species to the Austrian bird fauna.
Up to 8 Alpine Swifts (Apus melba) were seen in Debrecen near to a grain silo since 2 May 2020, we hope they are nesting.

White Stork nest camera…

… to watch birds during the coronavirus pandemic ( posted 31/03/2020)

Because of the travel limitations and curfew in Hungary we cannot make tours, so we continue to share bird webcams.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a typical bird of the Hungarian countryside, its population is estimated 5000-5500 pairs. It’s 3,3% of the EU27 White Stork population (154-164,000 pairs), appr. the same share as Romania and Bulgaria has. Though traditionally the White Storks were nesting on trees, in the 19th-20th century they gradually moved into villages. According to a White Stork census in 1941, 28.9% of storks were nesting on trees, 28,8% on chimneys, 14.3% on haystacks, 13% on barns, 10% on roofs of buildings and churches, and 2% on platforms made from carriage wheels.

Nowadays 90% of storks are nesting on artificial platforms built on electric poles and 10% on chimneys. The game changed in the 1980-ies, when MME Birdlife Hungary, National Parks and electricity distributors started to work together to install safe platforms on electric poles to prevent electrocution. These platforms became very popular amongst storks and became dominant for nest making in Hungary. (Source of nesting data: László Haraszthy, Madártávlat 2020 spring issue, MME)

White Stork nest pic

In Hungary there are several White Stork webcams. Now we share the webcam of Kocsér village, where is a stork nest on the unused chimney of the elementary school. Locals have recently cleaned and maintained the nest, and the male Kázmér has just returned yesterday (30 March 2020) from migration (quite late). We hope the female Kelepke will also arrive soon. The webcam is streaming the family life of Kázmér and Kelepke since March 2015. Watch and enjoy…

Here is the link to the White Stork nest webcam...

Saker nest camera…

… to watch birds during the coronavirus pandemic ( posted 30/03/2020)

Because of the travel limitations and curfew in Hungary we cannot make tours, so we continue to share bird webcams.

Saker (Falco cherrug) is a symbolic bird of Hungary and one of our most wanted raptors on our tours. Not surprising. While the Saker’s population is decreasing in Europe and worldwide, its population in the Carpathian Basin is stable and increasing. Now 40+% (appr. 180-200 pairs) of the European population (appr. 450 pairs) nests in the Carpathian Basin, mainly in Hungary. The figure of MME Birdlife Hungary depicts the changes of known nesting Saker pairs in Hungary from 1980 (when its population in Hungary was 20 pairs) to 2017.

Saker nest pic

Beside habitat preservation and restoration, the increase is also attributable to a very successful artificial nest installation program. Thanks to it, now some 93% of the Saker pairs nest in artificial nest boxes which are safely secured mostly on electric pylons. MAVIR -the Hungarian electricity transmission system operator- have installed 450 nestboxes on electric pylons during the past decades. One of these nest boxes are streaming HD video since 2012. A pair Csenge (female) and Hunor (male) is using the nest. In these days Csenge is incubating 4 eggs, and Hunor supplies food for Csenge.

Nesting Saker pairs graph

Here is the link to the Saker nest webcam... Watch and enjoy!

Black Stork nest camera…

… to watch birds during the coronavirus pandemic ( posted 27/03/2020)

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Hungary. The Hungarian authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. Hungary closed all borders to foreigners at midnight on Monday 16 March. Only Hungarian citizens and EEA citizens holding a Permanent Residence Card or a Registration Certificate and Address Card will be allowed to enter the country. The restrictions will remain in effect indefinitely, until revoked..

Black Stork nest pic

In this situation many birding tours are cancelled so what we can offer to share the links of some bird webcams. The webcam of a Black Stork nest in the Gemenc forest streams video since 2013. Each year the nest was occupied. Between 2011-2018 a male Tóbiás used the nest, and since 2019 another male. These days the Black Stork pair are laying eggs. Watch and enjoy… You find statistics of previous years’ breeding success in the table attached. Source is Gemenc Zrt., who operates the web camera. Data are collected from their website.

Black Stork breeding satistics table

Here is the link to the Black Stork nest webcam...

17th National Eagle Census reveals…

… there are 1200+ eagles in Hungary ( posted 28/02/2020)

MME Birdlife Hungary is the Coordinating Beneficiary of the PannonEagle LIFE Project (LIFE15/NAT/HU/000902). The main objective of the project is to increase the population of the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in the Pannonian Region through significantly decreasing the non-natural mortality caused by persecution incidents.

In January 2020, the 17th National Eagle Census was organized by MME Birdlife Hungary in collaboration with National Park Directorates and other NGOs. The Hungarian surveyors visited 2689 2,5x2,5 km UTM grids, which is 16806 km2, covering 18% of the country. The surveys focused on prime eagle habitats, so the majority of the Hungarian population could be counted.

Eagle census results

During the 2020 census, 805-859 White-tailed Eagles and 390-403 Imperial Eagles were recorded in Hungary. Beside the White-tailed and Imperial Eagles, the even more rare Golden Eagles (2) and Spotted Eagles (4) have also been recorded. In addition, 13 000 individuals of seventeen other raptor species were seen during the census. Although these numbers may seem high, the strictly protected eagles are still fairly rare. Even on the most densely populated areas an average of only 4,68 White-tailed Eagles and 1,82 Imperial Eagles were recorded in every 100 km2.

Imperial Eagle pic

You find more information on the census’ results -including distribution maps of Imperial and White-tailed Eagles and other statistics- on the website of the PannonEagle Life Project.

Ten percent increase in Great Bustard population…

… in the Carpathian Basin (posted 20/02/2020)

According to the recent count in January 2020, 2200 Great Bustards (Otis tarda) live in the Carpathian Basin. That’s a 10 percent increase, compared to the previous years’ numbers. Main strongholds of the population of the Carpathian macroregion are the East-Pannon region with around 1000 species, Central-Hungary and West-Pannon regions with appr.  600-600 species each.

Great Bustrad distribution map

The Hungarian population is around 1600 species, also increased compared to the population of the 2010s (1400-1500 birds). Great Bustard is a symbolic bird of Hungary, and also a logo bird of MME Birdlife Hungary and Körös-Maros National Park. Great Bustard is protected in Hungary since 1971. Thanks, to the conservation efforts the declining trend has reversed, and its population has doubled since the 1970-ies (700-800 birds in Hungary).

Great Bustards pic

Definitely, Great Bustard is the most wanted bird on our tours, which you can see on our Kiskunság and Hortobágy tours.

The Blue Vesper is Best Bird Book of the Year 2019…

… a book about Red-footed Falcon by Hungarian authors (Posted 09/02/2020)

Every year, British Birds (BB) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) announces the Best Bird Book of the year. In 2019 a book about Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) won this honourable title. The content rich book deals with everything from the species’ breeding biology and habitat use to its conservation, migration, and wintering (including results of satellite-tracking work).

Book of year pic

The book was edited by Péter Palatitz, Szabolcs Solt and Péter Fehérvári managers and key experts of the Life+ project „Conservation of the Red-footed Falcon in the Carpathian Basin”. The BB/BTO jury’s decision was also influenced by the visual attractiveness of the book; it was praised for its design and layout (Szabolcs Pálfi) as well as for its photos (Bence Máté, Csaba Lóki, Péter Csonka). The book was published by MME Birdlife Hungary. Congratulation to all contributors to this book.

Red-footed Falcon female pic

Beside Saker, Eastern Imperial and Lesser-spotted Eagle, Red-footed Falcon is the most wanted raptor on our tours. Red-footed Falcon is a breeding species in Hungary (estimated 1100-1300 pairs) and can be seen in Hungary from April to early October. Nests in colonies, occupying Rooks’ nests. In breeding season, it is an unforgettable experience to see the dozens of this colourful raptor in the colonies and foraging on nearby fields.

Red-footed Falcon female pic

You can look inside the book and read the Table of Content here...

Merry Christmas…

… and see us on our 2020 tours… (posted 21/12/2019)

We would like to wish all our guests Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, with this card showing a Long-tailed Duck. In Hungary Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) is a regular migrant and winter visitor in small number from October till April. Mainly you can observe single birds or small flocks of females and juveniles in Hungary, drakes in winter/breeding plumage are quite rare. You usually see Long-tailed Ducks on Lake Balaton and the Northern section of the Danube as well as on Lake Tisza. The photo of the Long-tailed Duck was taken by Ádám Selmeczi Kovács.

Merry Christmas 2019 pic

Hungarian Winner at NPOTY 2019...

... is Csaba Daróczi with his „Jump” picture (posted: 25/11/2019)

Nature Photographer of The Year (NPOTY) is a prestigious international nature photography contest in twelve categories like Birds, Mammals, Plants and Fungi, Underwater and Landscape. In 2019 the jury of the NPOTY contest received near 14,000 images from 73 countries. The overall winner of the 2019 competition was Csaba Daróczi with his picture of “Jump” of European rabbits. This image was also a Category winner of the Black & White category. Csaba’s other photo “Frozen Spring” was Highly Commended in the Plants and Fungi category.

Jump image

Norbert Kaszás’s „Golden rain” picture was Category Winner in the Other animals category, while Bence Máté’s „Wings” picture received Highly Commended award.

Wings image

Just a few weeks ago in the Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year contest organised by Naturart Csaba Daróczi became the Nature Photographer of the Year, and Bence Máté won the Nature Photograph of the Year award. Congratulations to Csaba, Bence and Norbert for the world-class photos!

Nature Photographer of the Year 2019...

... exhibition from 6 November to 31 December 2019 (posted: 06/11/2019)

The Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year 2019 competition was organised by Naturart the Society of Hungarian Nature Photographers. This year two photographers in the adult category achieved similar scores, both are well known wildlife photographers in Hungary and abroad. Csaba Daróczi became the Nature Photographer of the Year, while Bence Máté won the Nature Photograph of the Year award for his Frog leg photo.

Frog leg image

Csaba won the first prize in three categories, including the Behaviour of mammals category for his European rabbits' fight picture.

European Rabbit image

Excellent pictures were taken in the Bird category as well, like László Tóth's picture of a Black-winged Stilt punishing a Pied Avocet chick.

Black-winged Stilt image

The photo exhibition displaying the best 103 pictures of the competition was opened on 6 November 2019 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 31 December 2019. You find more photos of the competition at Fotoklikk.hu website (selector only in Hungarian) ...

Red-flanked Bluetail and other rarities...

… keep Hungarian twitchers excited (posted 28/10/2019)

In the past two weeks several rarities occurred in Hungary, you can see only in every ten or twenty years. On 17th October 2019 a Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) was found in Apaj. Kiskunság by Ádám Takács. This was the 4th record in Hungary, last seen in Hortobágy in 2013. On 24th October dr. Tibor Hadarics reported a White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) from Fertőújlak, Fertő-tó (Neusiedler See). 5th record for Hungary, last sighting was in the same area in 2004. Today (28th Oct) morning the bird is still there. Saturday, 26th October a Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) was captured and ringed at Ócsa near to Budapest. It was the 4th record in Hungary, last two records are from 2010 from Northern Hungary. The photo of the Bluetail is made by István Péntek (source birding.hu facebook).

Red-flanked Bluetail pic

Still 130,000 Common Cranes in Hortobágy…

… and another 11,000 at other parts of Hungary (posted 21/10/2019)

According to the count on 18th October 2019, there are still 129,790 cranes in the Hortobágy region. It’s still a huge number, however Cranes are gradually migrating South. Weather is still very nice, and corn harvesting and ploughing of maize stalks are continuing. We hope that farmers won’t rush with disking corn stalk because no rain is forecasted, and Cranes can feed on harvested corn fields in the next two weeks.

Common Crane count 18 Oct 2019

Near 160,000 Common Cranes in Hortobágy …

… and another 9,000 near Szeged and Lake-Tisza (posted: 14/10/2019)

According to the count on 10th October 2019, the number of Common Cranes (Grus grus) in the Hortobágy area is 158,740. This figure is very close to the last year’s peak number of 160,240.
Another 2,500 Cranes were counted at Lake Fehér at Szeged and additional 6,400 at Borsodi-Mezőség (NE from Lake Tisza). This week we have an Indian Summer in Hungary, excellent opportunity to see cranes during the day.

Common Crane pic

Near 130,000 Common Cranes in Hortobágy …

… and still increasing (posted 05/10/2019)

According to the synchronous count on 3rd October 2019, there are already 128,000 Common Cranes (Grus grus) in the Hortobágy area. It’s 12,000 more, than the average of the last five years’ counts (average 116,000 cranes around 4 October).

Common Cranes Count Staistics

Usually the second and third week of October is the strongest, last year the number of Cranes peaked at 160,240 on 12th October 2018. This year the maize production is excellent and on many fields corn harvest has not started yet, so there is a good supply of food for the Cranes. If weather will be mild, you can see the Cranes in Hortobágy until early to mid-November.

Common Crane pic

Second Yellow-billed Loon record in Hungary...

... found on gravel pit in Hódmezővásárhely (posted: 11/02/2019)

This video is a proof of the second record of the Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) in Hungary. The bird was found on 7th February 2019 by Zsolt Ampovics on a gravel pit in Hódmezővásárhely, S-E Hungary. Zsolt is an excellent birder and local twitcher, who has uploaded thousands sightings to Birding.hu from the Dél-Alföld Region. He is also known for his excellent bird, nature and habitat photos, some of them you can find here.
The video was made by Bence Kókay who found the first Yellow-billed Loon in Hungary on Lake Balaton early December 2016. Congratulations to Zsolt for the second record and to Bence for the excellent video of the Yellow-billed Loon.

Yello-billed Loon pic

Merry Christmas...

... by Hungarianbirdwatching.com (posted: 23/12/2018)

Robin pic

Black-winged Kite in Hungary in Kiskunság…

… found on 30 November 2018 (posted: 06/12//2018)

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) is a very rare vagrant in Hungary. The first record is from August 2012 (Csákvár, Transdanubia). The current sighting of Black-winged Kite is only the second confirmed record of this elegant bird of prey. The bird was found by Dr. Csaba Pigniczki, senior ranger of Kiskunság National Park, on 30 November 2018. The kite is feeding on rodents, and likely has found a good foraging area at a weedy rape field, because the bird has not moved on in the past six days.  Dozens of Hungarian birders had the chance to tick this raptor on their list. The Black-winged Kite was usually seen on a traverse or cable of high a voltage power line, some 10 kms from Szabadszállás. Congratulations Csaba, and thanks for sharing the info.

Black-winged Kite pic

Azure Tit - First Record in Hungary…

… found on 18 November 2018 (posted: 19/11/2018)

Hungary's first Azure Tit (Cyanistes cyanus or Parus cyanus) was found on 18 November 2018 by Csaba Barkóczi at Szeged-Fishponds. Interestingly it was found in South-East Hungary! Congratulations Csaba! You made the day of several Hungarian birders! The excellent photo is by Bence Szántó.

Azure Tit pic

Still 140,000 Common Cranes in Hortobágy …

… number peaked at 160,000 in mid-October (posted: 25/10/2018)

Based on the recent count, the number of Common Cranes (Grus grus) in Hortobágy is 139,500. The number of cranes peaked at 160,000 in mid-October, the highest number in the past two decades. In comparison in 2014, 2015, 2016 each, the maximum number of Common Cranes were around 135,000. According to experts the increase of numbers of cranes in Hortobágy is attributable to the strengthening of the northern breeding population and to the changing of migration routes of the Siberian population (assumption needs to be verified). If weather stays mild, the cranes will remain in the area till mid-November.

Common Crane pic

Common Redpoll Invasion in Hungary …

… long awaited by Hungarian birders (posted: 04/02/2018)

Many Hungarian birders’ dream came true this winter when they had a good view of a Common Redpoll. The Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) is a regular winter visitor in fluctuating numbers in Hungary. In the past ten years Redpolls overwintered only in small numbers, and there were years with no or less than 5 observations. The graph below shows the sightings of Common Redpolls in Hungary based on the records of www.birding.hu.

Common Redpoll Sightings pic

The winter 2017-2018 is an invasion year and between 28 October 2017 and 3 February 2018 314 sightings were uploaded to birding.hu. Largest flock reported was around 80 species. Lesser Redpolls (Carduelis flammea cabaret) were also observed in higher numbers then in the previous years, 13 sightings in W2017/18. The Redpoll on the picture was photographed in January 2018 in Budapest.

Common Redpoll pic

Oriental Turtle Dove in Hungary …

… vagrant or an escaped dove? (posted: 22/01/2018)

These days Hungarian birders from across the country make pilgrimages to Siófok to see an Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis), which is an exceptional rare vagrant in Hungary. In November and December 2017, an Oriental Turtle Dove was seen several times in Tószeg (near to Szolnok) and on 11 January another one (or the same?) in Siófok at Lake Balaton.

There are disputes whether the Oriental Turtle Dove(s) are vagrants or escaped ones from captivity. Nevertheless, dozens of Hungarian twitchers travelled to Siófok in the past few days to see this exotic turtle dove, including Bence Kókay, who made this wonderful shot on January 20th, 2018.

Oriental Turtle Dove pic

Bird Jokes

Magician and his parrot

A magician was performing on cruise ship and each night while performing his pet parrot keeps saying quotits up his sleeve "its in his pocket". "Its in his shoe". "In his pants" etc and the magician was loosing his patience.

One night while performing his tricks the ships boilers blew and the ship sank, the lucky magician was able to grab onto a ships table and float on the sea for a few days. The parrot in the mean time seemed non plussed and was looking quizzically at the magician for a few days whilst drifting.

On the 4th day the parrot looks at his master and says "I give up... what did you do with the ship?"

Old man got drunk

An old man was sitting on a bench in the mall when a young man with spiked hair came over and sat down beside him. The boy's hair was yellow and green and orange and purple. He had black make up around his eyes. The old man just stared at him.
With an attitude, the boy said, "What's the matter, old man, haven't you ever done anything wild in your life?"
The old man answered, "Well yes, actually, I have. I got drunk once and had sex with a parrot. I was just wondering if you were my son.


Spying picAlbatross bragging picPhotographing birds pic

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