Birding Guides of Europe

“Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe” by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, and Dan Zetterström This comprehensive guide is widely considered a must-have for birders in Europe, featuring detailed illustrations, distribution maps, and species descriptions.

“Birds of Europe” by Lars Jonsson Renowned for its artistic illustrations, this guide offers a unique approach to bird identification with detailed paintings and information.

“Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe” by Roger Tory Peterson, Guy Mountfort, and P.A.D. Hollom A classic guide with concise text and illustrations, this book provides a user-friendly resource for identifying European birds.

“Birds of Europe” by Andrew Gosler and David Tipling This guide combines detailed illustrations and photographs to aid in bird identification, along with informative species accounts.

“Birds of Europe” by Lars Gejl Known for its beautiful and realistic illustrations, this guide provides a valuable visual reference to European bird species.

“Complete Birds of Europe” by Rob Hume Offering information on more than 900 species, this guide includes illustrations, maps, and concise descriptions.

“The Helm Guide to Bird Identification” by Keith Vinicombe, Alan Harris, and Laurel Tucker This guide focuses on field identification, featuring illustrations, photos, and valuable tips for distinguishing between similar species.

“Birds of Europe: Second Edition” by Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, and Dan Zetterström A newer edition of the classic Collins guide, it provides updated information and illustrations for European bird identification.

“Birds of Europe: A Photographic Guide” by Peter Hayman and Rob Hume This photographic guide offers images for easy identification, along with concise text and range maps.

“Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume 1-9” edited by Stanley Cramp This comprehensive multi-volume set provides in-depth information on the birds of the Western Palearctic region, including Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Remember to consider the level of detail you need, your preference for illustrations versus photographs, and other features when choosing a field guide. Reading reviews and previewing sample pages can help you make an informed decision.

FAQ related to birds of Europe:

What makes Europe a diverse region for bird species?

Europe’s diverse range of habitats, including forests, wetlands, mountains, and coasts, provides a home to a wide variety of bird species.

How many bird species are found in Europe?

Europe is home to around 700 bird species, though this number can vary based on migration patterns and occasional rare visitors.

Which countries in Europe are famous for birdwatching?

Countries like the UK, Spain, France, Portugal, Sweden, and Finland are renowned for their rich birdwatching opportunities due to their varied landscapes and avian diversity.

What are some iconic bird species of Europe?

Iconic European bird species include the Eurasian Eagle Owl, European Robin, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, and Barn Swallow.

Are there any endangered bird species in Europe?

Yes, several European bird species are endangered, including the Bearded Vulture, Lesser Kestrel, Sociable Lapwing, and Northern Bald Ibis.

What are some important migration routes in Europe for birds?

The East Atlantic Flyway and the Mediterranean Flyway are critical migration routes for many bird species traveling between breeding and wintering grounds.

What are some unique birding experiences in Europe?

Unique experiences include observing Gannet colonies in Scotland, tracking White Storks in Portugal, and spotting raptors during the migration across the Strait of Gibraltar.

How can I contribute to European bird conservation efforts?

You can support European bird conservation by participating in citizen science projects, supporting local conservation organizations, and promoting sustainable tourism practices.

When is the best time for birdwatching in Europe? 

 The best time for birdwatching varies by region and season. Spring and fall migrations are often ideal for observing a diverse range of species.

What resources can help me learn more about European birds?

Reputable field guides, birding apps, websites like eBird, and local birdwatching clubs can provide valuable information for learning about European bird species and their habitats.

Are there any threats to European bird populations? 

Habitat loss, climate change, illegal hunting, and pollution are among the threats facing European bird populations.

What is the significance of the European Union’s Natura 2000 network for bird conservation?

Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas established to safeguard Europe’s most valuable habitats and species, including many bird species. It plays a crucial role in preserving Europe’s biodiversity.

Here are some of the top birding destinations in Europe, along with a few notable bird species you might encounter at each location. Keep in mind that the species you’ll see can vary depending on the season and specific habitats within these destinations.

United Kingdom (Scotland – Isle of Mull and Shetland Islands)

  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Puffin
  • Northern Gannet
  • Red-throated Diver
  • Corncrake

Spain (Extremadura)

  • Spanish Imperial Eagle
  • Great Bustard
  • Eurasian Griffon Vulture
  • Little Bustard
  • Black Stork

France (Camargue and Pyrenees)

  • Greater Flamingo
  • Lammergeier
  • European Roller
  • Citril Finch
  • Moustached Warbler

Portugal (Alentejo and Algarve)

  • European Bee-eater
  • Azure-winged Magpie
  • Iberian Magpie
  • Great Spotted Cuckoo
  • Black-winged Kite

Sweden (Öland Island and Lake Hornborga)

  • Eurasian Crane
  • Steller’s Eider
  • Pygmy Owl
  • Northern Hawk Owl
  • Ural Owl

Norway (Varanger Peninsula)

  • King Eider
  • Long-tailed Duck
  • White-billed Diver
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Bluethroat

Greece (Lesvos Island and Evros Delta)

  • Krüper’s Nuthatch
  • Rüppell’s Warbler
  • European Roller
  • Dalmatian Pelican
  • Cinereous Bunting

Italy (Abruzzo National Park and Venice Lagoon)

  • Rock Partridge
  • Bearded Vulture
  • Little Bittern
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Collared Pratincole

Finland (Kuusamo and Liminka Bay)

  • Hazel Grouse
  • Red-flanked Bluetail
  • Rustic Bunting
  • Great Grey Owl
  • Siberian Jay


  • Atlantic Puffin
  • Gyrfalcon
  • Redwing
  • Harlequin Duck
  • Ptarmigan

These destinations offer a variety of habitats and bird species, making Europe a rich and diverse region for birdwatching. Research the best times to visit for optimal birdwatching experiences and adhere to local regulations to ensure responsible birding practices.