Competition Determines Most Diverse Town for Birdwatching in Estonia

28. March 2011

The annual birdwatching competition which takes place every spring was held on March 27, where the objective was to find out which of the 14 Estonian towns taking part have the most different kinds of birds.

This year, victory went to Tallinn, where 49 bird species were spotted. The capital was followed closely by the western Estonian towns Haapsalu (48) and Kärdla (47). Among inland towns, Tartu was the richest in birds, with its uncommonly long list of 41 different species.

The competition has been annually held since 2002, and the goal has been to draw attention to the diverse life found in the urban environment of a city and the arrival of migratory birds, according to the Estonian Ornithological Society, which is also the organizer of the event.

All together 60 bird enthusiasts spotted 86 different bird species across Estonia, which was 13 less than in 2010. This might have been a result of this year's late spring and the windy weather, said the organizers.

Nevertheless during the competition a number of migratory birds were spotted, such as grey geese, starlings, skylarks, lapwings and chaffinches. Out of the birds who inhabit Estonia year round, most uncommon for urban areas were hazel hens, long-eared owls and spotted woodpecker.