Birdwatching destinations

Source: Arne Ader

Birdwatching destinations

Estonia has some of the most untouched nature in Europe, home to hundreds of species of birds and a destination for many more during their migrations - a destination for all birdwatching enthusiasts. 

Abundance of species

Common and rare species 

Observe owls, eagles, woodpeckers and storks. 

Photo by: Mariann Rea

With bogs, coastline, islands and over half of it's land area covered in forests, Estonia provides attractive habitat for over 300 species of birds, not to mention other animals like brown bear, lynx, wolves and seals. Bird lovers can spot six species of eagles and eight species of woodpecker in addition to various storks, owls and other rarities. The record for number of bird species seen in 24 hours in Estonia is a whopping 194, making it the second most diverse region after Spain. Between 13 and 19 million pairs of birds nest in Estonia each year, up to 9 million of which stay over the winter.

Prime locations

One of Europe's best birdwatching countries 

Estonia is in the top three places to go birdwatching in Europe, based on number of species that can be observed.

Photo by: Jarek Jõepera

Thanks to Estonia's position on the East Atlantic Flyway, one of the world's largest migratory routes for birds travelling between North America, Europe and Africa, birdwatching spots can be found across the country. Matsalu national park on the western coast, with its large bay, is one of the key stopping points for migratory birds. The Nõva nature reserve on the northwestern coastline is a prime area, including the Põõsaspea cape where many birds come to land. The meadows near lakes Peipsi and Võrtsjärv in the south are also good locations.

When to come

Migratory peaks

Two main migrations occur annually in Estonia - spring and autumn. 

Photo by: Remo Savisaar

Spring migrations begin in March, peaking in mid-May and concluding in mid-June. Birds can also be seen during the autumn migration in September and October.

Last updated : 28.03.2023

In category: West Estonia, Islands, Activities & Adventure, Nature & Wildlife