News Archive

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

...from Hungarianbirdwatching.com Team (posted: 21/12/2017)


Whooper Swan Xmas card

76,000 Common Cranes in Hortobágy …

… but where are the missing 60,000 (posted: 16/10/2017)


In crane migration in Hortobágy, usually mid October is the strongest. In 2014, 2015, 2016 each, the number of Common Cranes (Grus grus) peaked at 135,000. This year's numbers are lagging behind the previous 3 years' numbers, and reasons are uncertain yet. The synchronous count in Hortobágy on 15th October, 2017 indicated, that the number of Cranes reached 75,780, 60,000 less, than expected. Once we know the reason we let you know.

Crane count graph 15-10-2017

First successful breeding of Red-rumped Swallow in Hungary …

… with 3 chicks successfully fledged (posted: 28/07/2017)


Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) is a very rare vagrant in Hungary, less than ten records until May 2017. On May 5th, 2017 a pair of Red-rumped Swallows was seen among Barn Swallows by Gábor Bodor in Balatonfüred. A few days later their nest was found at a garage of a hotel. Reports from the following weeks indicated a successful breeding . Around 3-5 July 3 chicks fledged and were seen together one of the adults. We hope next year the adults or the chicks will return to Hungary will breed again.

Our photographer guide Zoli Oláh took photos of the adults and the nest approximately a week before the chicks successfully fledged. Congratulation to Gábor for finding the Red-rumped Swallows and to Zoli for the excellent photos.

Red-rumped Swallow pic

Successful breeding of Common Cranes in Hungary …

… second record since the 1910s (posted: 16/07/2017)


Common Cranes (Grus grus) were breeding regularly in Hungary until the 19th century, but the last breeding were noted in 1917 and 1918. In 2015 it was big sensation in Hungary, that successful breeding of Cranes were reported and documented from Transdanubia, Veszprém County.

Early July, 2017 another successful breeding was reported from the same area. Gábor Kaufmann documented the details of the breeding in his blog in Hungarian, while Péter Hencz made excellent photos of the nest, habitat, the adults and the only chick. We hope in the following years there will be more successful breeding of Common Cranes in Hungary. Congratulation for Gábor, Péter and many others for documenting the breeding, and safeguarding the nest.

Common Crane pic

Siberian Accentor in Hungary …

… first record ever (posted: 22/01/2017)


Siberian Accentor (Prunella montanella) is a rare visitor in Europe, until 2015 there were only 32 records, mostly from Scandinavia. In the autumn of 2016, there was a large influx of this species between 4 October and 6 November. Altogether 212 sightings were reported from Finland to Great Britan. During this unprecedented influx, the species was recorded for the first time in Britain, Germany, Estonia, Latvia and the Netherlands, whereas there had been only one record before this influx in Czechia, Denmark, Lithuania, Norway and Poland.

Hungarian twitchers have been long awaited the arrival of this nice accentor in Hungary. On 18th January 2017 an amateur birder Lídia Molnár posted a bird photo in a Bird Identification Facebook group, seeking for advice to identify it. When it turned out, that the bird is a Siberian Accentor in Pest County, only 35 km-s from the downtown of Budapest, several birders travelled to see it the following day. In the last few days several birders spent hours in the extreme cold weather (-10 to -15 C) to see and photograph it, including Tamás Gaidosch, who took this nice photo of the Siberian Accentor. Congratulation to Lídia for finding the bird, and to Tamás for the excellent photo.

Siberian Accentor pic

You can find a nice article on the European influx of Siberian Accentors here.


Whooper Swan in Budapest ...

... cold weather brings many intersting species to the capital (posted: 14/01/2017)


Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) was breeding regularly in Hungary in the swamps of the Tisza River until the 18th century. It extinct from Hungary, but since 2005 one pair has been regularly nesting in natural marshlands of the Ipoly Valley. In Hungary the Whooper Swan is a rare, but regular migrant and winter visitor, most common in Transdanubia, but also regular on the Danube and Tisza Rivers.

The cold weather brought this Whooper Swan to Budapest, to the Soroksári-Duna branch. Though the water is covered by thick ice, at one section it’s not frozen, since a wastewater treatment plant pumps warmer water into the Danube. On this area hundreds of ducks, coots, gulls, swans can be seen. This Whooper Swan is not shy at all, behaves like the Mute Swans around.

Whooper Swan pic

See more photos on our Facebook page …


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...

...from Hungarianbirdwatching.com Team (posted: 22/12/2016)


Ural Owl pic

First Yellow-billed Loon record in Hungary...

... found on Lake Balaton (posted: 10/12/2016)


Last week was very cold in Hungary, and the arctic wind brought a new species in Hungary, the Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii). The bird was found on 3rd December by our guide Bence Kókay on Lake Balaton. Bence was birding with his pals at Balatonföldvár, and listening to his instinct he left his friend for a while going to the opposite direction, when he spotted the Yellow-billed loon. It was the first record in Hungary.

Yellow-billed Loon pic

József Mészáros (aka „Becher”) a well known bird photographer in Hungary was among Bence’s friends and took this excellent picture of the loon with a 400mm lens. The photo was widely published in the Hungarian media. Congratulation for Bence, for finding the first Yellow-billed Loon in Hungary, and for József for the excellent picture. You find more pictures of „Becher” on his personal website, Becherfoto.hu


Nature Photographer of the Year 2016

From 9 November to 31 December 2016 (posted: 23/11/2016)


The Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year 2016 competition was organised by Naturart the Society of Hungarian Nature Photographers. This year was special, since two photographers in the adult category achieved exactly the same scores, so there are two winners of the competition: Csaba Daróczi and Dániel Selmeczi. Competition in the youth category was also very strong, with two winners as well: Ádám Ceglédi and Levente Szekeres.

Early morning take image

The photo exhibition displaying the best pictures of the competition was opened on 9 November 2016 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 31 December 2016. You find more photos of the competition at Fotoklikk.hu website (click on Képek tab) ...


More than 135.000 cranes in Hortobágy…

... and approximately 150,000 in the Carpathian Basin (posted: 25/10/2016)


If you have time, visit Hortobágy these days, since there are still more than 135,000 cranes in the area. Harvested corn fields offer plenty of food for foraging cranes, and if the weather remains as these days, the cranes will remain in the area in the next two weeks. Good news, that crane flocks also explored new roosting sites beside Hortobágy. See more photos on our Facebook site.

Cranes pic

Near 100.000 cranes in Hortobágy…

... though numbers lagging behind last two years’ numbers (posted: 11/10/2016)


The synchronous count on 9th October, 2016 indicated, that the number of Common Cranes reached 96.500 in Hortobágy. It’s less then the last two years’ number, when it was around 110.000. You can follow the number of cranes on the website of Hortobágy National Park.

Crane Count pic

Griffon Vultures in Budapest...

... on the chimney of a thermal power plant (posted: 03/10/2016)


Today was an unforgettable day for many birders in Budapest. Two Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) were reported from South-Budapest. The two birds were sitting on the chimney of a thermal power plant all afternoon. Griffon Vulture regularly occurred in Hungary in the 19th and the first part of the 20th century. Nowadays Griffon Vulture is a rare vagrant in Hungary mainly in summer and autumn.

Griffon Vulture pic

To see a short video footage visit our Facebook page...


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 exhibition...

... can be seen in Budapest from 4 May 2016 to 4 August 2016 (posted: 15/05/2016)


The exhibition of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 competition is closed now at London's Natural History Museum, but you can see the pictures in Budapest at the Hungarian Natural History Museum. We are happy, that among the finalists of the Bird category, there was a Hungarian photographer Zsolt Kudich. László Novák was finalist in Land category. Congratulations.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 image

The photo exhibition displaying the 100 award-winning photographs of competition was opened on 4 May 2016 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 4 August 2016. You find more photos of the competition at Natural History Museum's website ...


Sharer(s) accepted ...

... for upcoming Kiskunság tours (posted:08/02/2016)

We are looking for sharers for our Kiskunság day-tours In March, April and May on the following day(s):

  • 13 May

Tour starts and ends in Budapest. If you are interested, please, send an email to us . Here is the itineraryfor March-April and here is for May-June .


Happy Easter ...

... by Hungarianbirdwatching.com (posted: 25/03/2016)

Rabbit pic

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

...from Hungarianbirdwatching.com Team (posted: 21/12/2015)


Mute Swan Xmas card

Nature Photographer of the Year 2015

From 4 November 2015 to 27 January 2016 (posted: 29/11/2015)


The Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year 2015 competition was organised by Naturart the Society of Hungarian Nature Photographers. The overall winner of the competition was Bence Máté the renowned Hungarian nature photographer. On the photo below you can see Bence's photo "Triumphal arch" which was a winning image in category "Animals eye to eye".

Triumphal arch image

The photo exhibition displaying the best pictures of the competition was opened on 4 November 2015 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 27 January 2016. You find more photos of the competition at Naturart's website...


Hoopoe - Bird of the year...

... Eurasian Hoopoe is the Bird of the Year 2015 (posted:24/02/2015)

Since 1979 MME Birdlife Hungary nominates a bird for the year. The Bird of the Year receives special publicity, how to protect and safeguard it. The campaign targets especially schoolchildren, teachers, land owners, farmers and hunters.

In 2015 Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) was elected for bird of the year by an internet based public vote. Hoopoe is a common and widespread breeder in Hungary. Higher populations are in the Great Plain, so it is a regular bird on our Kiskunság or Hortobágy tours. Its breeding population in Hungary is estimated at 10,000-17,000 pairs, slightly decreasing in the past few years. In Hungary the Hoopoes arrive in late March and April and leave in August or September.

Eurasian Hoopoe picture

Another great year in crane migration

... five percent increase compared to last year (posted: 13/10/2015)


The synchronous count in Hortobágy on 9th October, 2015 indicated, that the number of cranes reached 115.000. It’s 5% higher than last year in the same period. You can follow the number of cranes on the website of Hortobágy National Park: http://www.hnp.hu/…/t…/darvak-vilaga/oldal/daruszinkron-2015


Numbers of Cranes graph

Sharers accepted ...

... for our day-tours and 2-day Crane watching tours in October (posted: 03/07/2015)

An American birder has booked two day-tours (starting and ending in Budapest) and a 2-day Crane watching tour in Hortobágy. The dates are the following:

  • 8 Oct 2015, THU – Birding in Kiskunság (overnight Budapest)
  • 9 Oct 2015, FRI – Birding in Buda Hills (overnight Budapest)
  • 10-11 Oct 2015, SAT-SUN – Crane watching in Hortobágy (overnight Hajdúszoboszló)

Cranes in Hortobagy

If you are interested in either the day-trips or the 2-day tour, send us an email for itinerary and pricing. Max 2 sharers are accepted for the tour.


European Souslik ...

...mammal of the year (posted: 03/07/2015)

The European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus), also known as the European souslik is the mammal of the year in Hungary. You can see this funny diurnal animal on our Kiskunság tour during summer. If you cannot join our tours, visit the temporary exhibition (open till 7th September) in the Hungarian Natural History Museum showing Bálint Vincze’s souslik photos.

European Souslik pic

Bálint is a graphic designer & typographer, working at Paks Nuclear Power Plant and his nature portfolio is frequently used in the environmental PR campaigns of the power plant. He has recently published his Souslik Tales book. To see Bálint’s wonderful bird, mammal and nature photos, visit his website.


Sharers accepted ...

... for our day-tour on 1 June, 2015 (posted: 20/05/2015)

An Irish birder has booked a day-tour with us for 1st June, 2015 to Kiskunság. He accepts sharer or sharers (max 2 persons) for the tour. Possible birds are Great Bustard, Roller, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, raptors and many other species. Plus European Souslik. Please, drop an email, if you are in Budapest and interested in the tour.


Scheduled tours finished ...

... but we are available on demand (posted: 18/05/2015)

In Hungary, May is the main birding season, and our week and long tours are usually scheduled between 9-20 May. Our long tour finishes 20th May, but we are available for bespoke tours and day trips. If you are travelling alone and you are flexible with dates, allow us to find a sharer for your tour. You have more chances, on weekends to find a sharer.


Happy Easter ...

... by Hungarianbirdwatching.com (posted: 02/04/2015)

Rabbit pic

Merry Christmas...

... by Hungarianbirdwatching.com (posted: 20/12/2014)

Christmas2014

New photo gallery ...

... with the contributon of Helge Sorensen (posted:23/07/2014)

Helge Sorensen the renowned Danish bird photographer spent a week in Hungary in June 2014 birding with us. Helge's webpage contains one of the largest collections of bird photos on the web.  Currently there is over 50,000 images representing more than 500 species and many subspecies. Helge came to Hungary with a goal to photograph Red-footed Falcon, Saker Falcon, Eagles, Owls, Roller, Golden Oriole and Warblers. During the tour he could see some 150 species, and in our gallery you find a few pictures of the thousands shots Helge made on the tour.

Red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) photo by Helge Sorensen


Sharer(s) accepted ...

... for a Kiskunság tour 17 July 2014 (posted:02/07/2014)

A birder and his non-birder wife has booked a private tour to Kiskunság for 17 July (THU), but they accept sharer(s) for the tour. Tour starts and ends in Budapest. If you are interested, please, send an email to us . Here is the itinerary...


European Souslik ...

... a good time to see in Kiskunság (posted:20/07/2014)

The European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus), also known as the European souslik is a rodent and important prey of the Saker. You can see this funny diurnal animal on our Kiskunság tour during summer. Not surprisingly, the area where the ground squirrels live is rich in raptor species (e.g. Saker, Imperial Eagle). For more pictures visit our Facebook site.

European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) Photo by Károly Teleki


Happy Easter ...

... by Hungarianbirdwatching.com (posted:18/04/2014)


Happy Easter pic

See our 2014 birding tours...

...and book now to ensure your place

 

Saker (Falco cherrug) See Hungarianbirdwatching.com's 2014 birding tours. We completely rearranged our tour portfolio where you find various tour offers: day-trips, scheduled tours and elements of bespoke tours. Our strength is designing personalised tours, taking into consideration the needs of the participants and we can integrate side programs seamlessly into the itinerary. With our tour partners we can arrange sightseeing or winetasting programs or can buy tickets to the Opera or concerts. For most recent news Follow us at Facebook iconFollow us at Facebook or for older ones see our news archive ...


Merry Christmas...

... by Hungarianbirdwatching.com (posted: 22/12/2013)


Merry Christmas pic

Embarking, disembarking, birdwatching

Cruise, pre-cruise, after-cruise birding programs (posted: 15/05//2013)


Danube cruise pic

The Danube cruise season has already started and we offer cruise, pre-cruise, after-cruise birding programs for the passengers. Especially our D1 Day-tour to Kiskunság is a suitable cruise holiday side-program, because its length can be easily adjusted to embarking and disembarking schedules. We provide pickup at the dock, and take you back to the cruise or to any destination in the downtown of Budapest at the requested time.

For pre-cruise and after cruise birding tours -beside the day trips- we offer 2-5 days tour to Hungary’s bird watching hotspots. During the past tens years we successfully guided the passengers of Uniworld, Viking, AmaWaterways, Avalon, APT and Scenic Tours Danube boats.


Two birds with one stone!

...or rather two photo exhibitions with one visit (posted: 24/03/2013)


Raven pic

Two temporary exhibitions can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum . The more well-known is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012. Now it's closed in London, but you can see in Budapest until 11 May 2013.
The other exhibition shows the winners of Magic Hungary, an online nature photo competition. Pictures are taken by amateur and professional nature photographers in the 10 national parks of Hungary. Here you can see some pictures of the exhibition. This exhibition is open till 28 April 2013.

The combined ticket valid for both exhibitions is HUF 900 (appr. EUR 3) for adults.


New Photo Gallery

Nature photos of Zsolt Kardos (posted: 07/03/2013)


White-tailed Eagle pic

A temporary exhibition in the Hungarian Natural History Museum showing Zsolt Kardos's nicest bird, mammal and landscape pictures ended successfully on 5 March 2013. Those who haven't got the opportunity to visit the exhibition, can see most of Zsolt's pictures in our new gallery section.
We are also happy to announce, that we work together with Zsolt offering birding+hidephotography tours.


Suburban killers

Free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds (posted: 10/02/2013)


Hunting cat pic

A recent study says that just in the contiguous United States the free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually. Un-owned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality (69% in case of birds and 88% in case of mammals). The study also shows, that the main prey of cats are the mammals (mice, shrews, voles), but birds represent one sixth of their diet. My cat on the picture is also a suburban killer. She catches mice (what I don’t mind), but birds and lizards as well (which I hate). Each year she returns some 4 birds (usually blackbirds and great tits) to our house entrance door, but likely this is just the peak of the iceberg. Europe and US studies indicate, that bird return rate per cat per year varies 4.2-18.3. The findings of the study suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and is likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals. Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact. You can download the study or read a similar article at BBC Wildlife Magazine. (Karoly Teleki)


Bird of the Year 2013

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) (posted: 17/01/2013)


Bee Eater pic

BirdLife Hungary has launched again its annual Bird of the Year campaign, and in 2013 the European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) has been elected. The Bee-eater is a fairly common breeder in Hungary (see distribution map) its population is estimated 20-30,000 pairs. Regularly breeds in colonies in loess and sandbanks, sand quarries and river banks. Its population is showing a slightly decreasing trend since 1998, based on the figures of MME Birdlife Hungary. Migrant. Arrives early May and leaves Hungary in August and September. Migrating flocks can be seen at several sites in Hungary hunting over open areas in August and September. In our tour portfolio D1, A, B, C tours (and their combinations) offer excellent opportunity to see and admire this wonderful bird.


In the Wake of White-tailed Eagles

From 9 January 2013 to 5 March 2013 (posted: 10/01/2013)


White-tailed Eagle pic

The young, professional wedding and glamour photographer Zsolt Kardos is also a passionate nature photographer. A temporary exhibition displaying his nicest bird, mammal and landscape pictures was opened 9 January in the Hungarian Natural History Museum and can be seen till 5 March 2013. Zsolt is working with Canon gears and many of the photos were shot in hides of DreamBirdPictures. You can see Zsolt's nature and wedding portfolio by visiting the links...


See our 2013 birding tours...

...and book now to ensure your place


Saker pic

From today you can book your 2013 birding tours at Hungarianbirdwatching.com. We completely rearranged our tour portfolio where you find various tour offers: day-trips, scheduled tours and elements of bespoke tours. Our strength is designing personalised tours, taking into consideration the needs of the participants and we can integrate side programs seamlessly into the itinerary. With our tour partners we can arrange sightseeing or winetasting programs or can buy tickets to the Opera or concerts.


Merry Christmas...

... by Hungarianbirdwatching.com (posted: 23/12/2012)

Robin pic

Nature Photographer of the Year 2012

From 7 November 2012 to 6 January 2013 (posted: 23/12/2012)


Seans picThe Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year 2012 competition was the 20th competion in a row organised by Naturart the Society of Hungarian Nature Photographers. The overall winner of the competition was Csaba Daróczi. The photo exhibition displaying the best pictures of the competition was opened on 7 November 2012 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 6 January 2013. Visit Csaba Daróczi's website...


There's no free lunch...

...but free nature photo magazine (posted: 05/10/2012)


Nature Photo Magazine picNature Photo Magazine is a free online photo magazine edited by renowned Hungarian wildlife photographers. Editor-in-chief Tamás Imre and his wife Aniko have long track records in nature photography, news edition and training. Tamás's professionalism was acknowledged by appointing him as Canon Wildlife Ambassador. In Nature Photo Magazin you find technical reviews, photo tips and tricks, places worth to visit, and photo galleries of Tamás, Anikó and other well known photographers like János Eifert, Bence Máté, János Suhayda. Current issue covers an article on Golden Eagles, Iceland photos of Orsolya Haarberg and long article on Bence Máté and how his hide photography venture started and developed.