Birding Factoids

438 species
in 52 families

3 of the 5 European
endemics are 
represented here. 
No national endemics
9 speciality species
7 endangered species

Checklist of Italian BirdsTours and GuidesRare Bird AlertsSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country Information
For a photo gallery of Italian Birds, visit Pasquale and Gianluca Montanaro's Palude La Vela.
Also check out Guiliano Gerro and Silvio Sommazzi's Italian Birds
EBN Italy's Photo Gallery and Raniero Massoli-Novelli's Birds of Italy
and Stefano Fantini's Birdwatching in Cesena Photo Gallery.
Italian Specialities
(Pause your cursor on the photo to see the species name.)
Hoopoe - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Mediterranean Gull - Photo Ivan Steenkiste

Photo copyright Ivan Steenkiste

Willow Tit - Photo copyright Jean-Sébastien Rousseau-Piot

Photo copyright Jean-Sébastien Rousseau-Piot

Red-rumped Swallow - Photo copyright Sumit Sen

Photo copyright Sumit Sen

Meadow Pipit - Photo copyright Erik Kleyheeg

Photo copyright Erik Kleyheeg
    ....Top Ten Sites  for Birdwatching in Italy - from EBN Italy, by  Luciano
      Ruggieri and Maurizio Sighele - this site provides a selection of some of the most interesting Italian species and the places where you can find them. Please note that the map is merely representative and some of the indicated birds can also be watched in other areas. Nevertheless, the sites here shown are the most suitable for experiencing more of the natural beauty of some of the best wild areas in Italy, even if you are not a birder... (many of the explanatory links are in Italian...) And, again for Italian readers, check out the EBN newsletter
    ....Birding Italy - by Martin Adlam. In southern Italy, running along the 
      shores of the Adriatic Sea, lies the Puglia region. This, the heel of Italy might  not have the glamour and appeal of Northern Italy, but for ornithologists this area can be just as exciting.
    ....Birding Italy - although the link to English text seems to be broken, 
      this website from the Po Delta Ceter for Birdwatching provides a large section of trip reports, a Po Delta Checklist, and lots of other information.
    ....Parks in Italy - includes information (in English) on:
      • Park of the Month
      • National Parks
      • Regional Parks
      • National Natural Reserves
      • Regional Natural Reserves
      • Local Parks and Reserves
      • Wetlands
    ....Bird Watching in Italy - a fantastic site for those who read Italian
    ....Daunia Risi - birding in Gargano National Park. Along the banks of the
      basins you can see a wide variety of bird species, and with luck, reptiles, amphipians, and mammals too. Includes a bird list. A great site by Cosmo Mario Andriani.
    ....Birdwatching in Cesena - by Stefano Fantini. This site contains
      photographs taken while spending many hours and whole days in natural full immersion. This site has no pretentions to be technical or scientific, it’s just a choice of natural beauties that Cesena can offer to sharp observant eyes.Use the Birdwatching Sites link to find additional information about places to go birding in the neighborhood. 
    ....Natura in Puglia - by Pasquale and Gianluca Montanaro - information 
      in both English and Italian on wetlands, woods, heaths and canyons in southwest Italy.
    ....Birdwatching Oasis of Massaciuccoli Lake (Lucca) -
      owned by LIPU, the Italian Liga of Birds Protection
    ....Palude la Vela - this marsh is located 8 km from Taranto, Italy
    ....Isola della Cona Nature Reserve, Municipality of Staranzano, 
      (Gorizia), NE Italy - by Paul Tout. Site Description: A new nature reserve and environmental education centre funded by the Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the local council of Staranzano, Cona will probably turn out to be one of the most important sites in the area for wetland birds after a  complex-programme of habitat creation and restoration.
    ....Birdwatching in Cesena - by Stefano Fantini. This site contains 
      information on Birdwatching sites in the area (only in Italian at the moment), a photo gallery, and an identification corner, as well as a map of the area. 
    ....Maudoc Birding - an interesting Italian web-page about birding with
      a great collection of photographs. Includes information about birding around Verona.
    ....The Mountains and Marshes of North-east Italy -
      Trip Report, 26th May - 5th June 1996, Leader: Paul Tout
    ....Trip Report: The island of Elba and the Chianti Region - March 15 - 27,
      1997. By Tim Herfurth. I am totally aware of the fact that both areas are not "birding hot spots" and that this can't be called a "birding report". Still I think that some short notes can be usefull for somebody travelling the area, wanting to know what you can expect. I visited the area for reasons such as drinking good wine, eating good food, walking in the vineyards visiting places of interest such as Siena or San Gimmignano and seeing as many birds as possible.
    ....Trip report NE-Italy and Slovenia - April 2nd to 5th 1999 - by Joerg
      Langenberg and Stefan Tewinkel. Start in Munich 5:30, via Salzburg, Villach to Italy.
    ....Trip Report: Birding Italy - Part 1: Venice and the Po Delta - 
      by Janet Zinn July 2002. Our recent trip to Italy was by no means focused on birding; but as avid birders, my husband and I can't really go anywhere without taking some time out to bird. 
    ....Trip Report: Sardinia: - June, 2001. by Steve Webb, England. Sardinia
      is an easy place to bird with an excellent road system. With careful planning it should be possible to see all the key species within 3 days. I went in late June and already the Sylvia warblers were not responding to tape (except Spectacled warbler at one location). 
    ....Trip Report: Italy Trip Report by an American birder - June-July, 2001
      By Jack Stephens. I spent three weeks in Italy with Ellen and the kids this past month. While I was primarily in Italy for a family trip, I could not resist the temptation to explore the birds of the region while I was there. I knew that Italy is not the best place for birding in Europe, and while my total count was low (68 species seen) I did manage to see some truly beautiful birds. As always, the process of birding added greatly to the experience of being in another country.
    ....Trip Report: Apulia & Murgia: (16 - 21 February 1999) by David B.
      Collinge. I have appended the list of birds from my 5 days in Puglia. It is an exciting area. The surprises for me (in retrospect) were Cormorant and Fieldfare. The nice things for me were Rock Bunting which I have never seen before, Calandra Lark, which I have only seen once and then the more common southern species which we don't see often (if at all) in Denmark - Red Kite, Crested Lark, Black Redstart and Cetti's Warbler. 
    ....Trip Report: Spring in a North Italian Marsh -- Verona, May 3, 1997 - by
      Wim Vader. On Sunday 3 May I had the great fortune to be able to accompany two Italian colleagues, Prof. Paolo de Franceschi and Prof. Roberto Pollo, on a half day visit to 2 of the very few remnant marshes in the densely populated plains south of Verona.
    ....Trip Report: Sardinia (Italy), August 9-16, 1997 - by Graham Tebb. 
      Christine and I have just returned from a week in Sardinia. The primary purpose of the trip was not to watch birds but to escape from the office, and we did not by any means spend all our time looking down binoculars. Nevertheless, we did see a number of interesting species, several of which were new to us. 
    ....Trip Report: Lerici and Surroundings (Italy), September 13-20, 1997 - By
      Mike Collins. I was in Italy for business from Sept. 13th to 20th and had time to do some birding during part of each day. I had work in Tirrenia, which is conveniently located near a heavily wooded area. Based on suggestions from Alberto Marcone and Finn Jensen, I visited the Oasi di Massaciuccoli and the mountains in the vicinity of Aulla. 
    ....Tuscany Trip Report: 27/4 - 4/5/98 by A. Marcone. 
    ....Trip Report: Italy. September, 1997. By Mike Collins. I had work in
      Tirrenia, which is conveniently located near a heavily wooded area. Based on suggestions from Alberto Marcone and Finn Jensen, I visited the Oasis di Massaciuccoli and the mountains in the vicinity of Aulla.
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Tours and Guides

...>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Italian Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
    **..Pro-Birder - Professional Birding... for the Birder - Gerard Gorman
      has a decade of experience (over 100 group tours alone) in finding and showing visiting birders from all over the world eastern Europe's special and sought after birds. All types and styles of birding can be catered for, from hard-core listers, twitchers and target birders to those into habitat birding and those with a more relaxed generalist approach. Birding by ear is a speciality and remember Gerard wrote the books that others use (Where to watch birds in Eastern Europe and The Birds of Hungary)! Personal Guiding, Group Arrangements, Itinerary Design, Target Birding All levels of ability and experience catered for. 

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Rare Bird Alert

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European Endemics and Specialities

in Italy

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.5. Speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Europe. Species printed in bold italic have only been sighted in Italy. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International, and supporting data bases developed by Ian Patton, of Merlin Species Watcher.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Italy. 

European Endemics in Italy - No Italian Endemics

___ Citril Finch ___ Red-legged Partridge ___ Rock Partridge
Endangered Birds in Italy

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Audouin's Gull
___ Corn Crake
___ Ferruginous Pochard
___ Lesser Kestrel
___ Greater Spotted Owl
___ Slender-billed Curlew
___ White-headed Duck
Other Speciality Birds in Italy
(list partially provided by Gerard Gorman, author of "Where to Watch Birds in Eastern Europe")

___ Barbary Falcon
___ Bar-tailed Desert Lark 
___ Cetti's Warbler
___ Cirl Bunting
___ Cory's Shearwater
___ Fox Sparrow
___ Greater Hoopoe-Lark
___ Jouanin's Petrel
___ Lanner
___ Moussier's Redstart
___ Pallid Swift
___ Schrenck's Bittern
___ Spotted Sandgrouse
___ Subalpine Warbler
___ Tawny Eagle
___ Woodchat Shrike

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Links checked December 16, 2000