A Bird’s Paradise: Top Bird Sanctuaries in Montenegro

  • By Luštica Bay
  • 21 Feb, 2017
Home to some of the most exciting birding destinations, either in the hidden mountains or along the sea coast, birds native to Montenegro can survive in varying landscapes; from bare alpine terrain, rocky areas and pastures to coniferous forests, southern European and sub-Mediterranean forests, and, finally, Mediterranean vegetation.

With over 300 bird species, including the Rock Partridge, Baillon’s Crake, Pygmy Cormorant, Little Bittern and Scoops Owl, that call Montenegro home, the observation of birds at Montenegro’s best nature spots is a true delight to behold.

Lake Skadar

Located in the Zeta-Skadar valley, Lake Skadar is home to one of Europe’s largest freshwater lakes. Situated along the Montenegrin-Albanian border, its subtopic temperatures provide the perfect breeding ground for birds and wildlife.

A large amount of the lake is home to pelicans and pygmy cormorants, with more than 80 types of birds breeding on the lake itself.

During the winter months, a large number of birds, such as common coot, Fulica atra, grebes and ferruginous duck, fly to Lake Skadar especially for the wintering period.

The sub-Mediterranean temperatures mean that birds nest on the variety of biotopes and floodplain forests surrounding the lake all year round. Summer is the best time for bird watching, and visitors can spot large numbers of native birds along the water lilies and caltrops along the north coast and bays.

Tivat Solila

Home to one of the most significant ornithological reserves in the country, Solila is the top bird sanctuary in Boka Bay. Surrounded by the Cape Brdišta and Djurasevica coast on one side, and Mount Lovcen and the Adriatic Sea on the other, visitors to Solila can enjoy spectacular views of Kotor Bay and its adjacent islands.

The majority of Solila’s native birds are either observed and protected, so those who are able to visit this sanctuary will see birds in winter and migratory birds before making their way south. As it’s situated along the Adriatic Migratory corridor, Solila serves as a ‘last resort’ and prime feeding spot, so expect to see gulls, Widgeons, Mallards, gay herons, harks and little grebes nesting before the winter season.

The majority of Solila’s native birds are either observed and protected, so those who are able to visit this sanctuary will see birds in winter and migratory birds before making their way south. As it’s situated along the Adriatic Migratory corridor, Solila serves as a ‘last resort’ and prime feeding spot, so expect to see gulls, Widgeons, Mallards, gay herons, harks and little grebes nesting before the winter season.

Ulcinj Saltern

For those seeking the most exclusive habitat for bird watching on the Adriatic, the Balkans or even the whole Mediterranean, Ulcinj Saltern would definitely be at the top of the list. Located on the outermost part of Montenegro, Ulcinj Saltern is situated in a region with the clearest sky and the most sunshine along the Adriatic - 2,567 hours to be exact - making it the ideal location for a salt plain.

The Autumn months make for the best time to see birds in nesting season. With over 10,000 birds, including Barn Swallows, House Martins, Yellow Wigtails, Flycatchers and many more, flocking to Ulcinj Saltern in peak time. It is at this time, visitors can enjoy a sneak peek of native Siberian and Northern European birds savouring the Mediterranean winter frosts as they are prepare to migrate south.

Crkvice

Although the Orjen region is well known for having the largest percentage of precipitation in Europe between Autumn and Spring, its limestone also reaches one of the deepest layers in the world, allowing huge amounts of rain to trickle down to caves and abysses into springs feeding into Boka Bay. This, combined with the forest-covered ruins, creates a unique habitat for bird nurturing.

Crkvice is a hotspot for birds. An incredible site for observing birds of prey in the nesting season as well as the migration period, that allows for the potential to spot rare and unique birds, with nuthatches, tree creepers and tits accompanying visitors at every turn. Sparrow hawks, golden and short-toed eagles are also known to spend time in Crkvice, along with many native Mediterranean wildlife, including rock bunting and black woodpeckers.

 

We would like to thank the Centar za zastitu i proucavanje ptica (Centre for Bird Protection) and Tivat Tourist Board for images.  

Share by: