One of the most popular activities in the Danube Delta is birdwatching. Being called a “birdwatcher’s paradise”, the reservation holds over 300 species of migratory and year-round birds, a density you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Being the largest wetlands in Europe, more than 60% of it being largely untouched by man, the Delta offers a unique opportunity to witness these species go about their lives undisturbed.
Of the 331 species of birds, the White Pelican is definitely the symbol of the Danube Delta. You will find them mostly in the Roșca-Buhaiova reserve, which holds the largest breeding population of its kind in Europe.
As of the last count, there are over 3500 pairs that come here every year from the Nile Delta. The white pelican can be found here from March to October, in Roșca-Buhaiova and numerous other lakes.
Its close cousin, the Dalmatian Pelican is also common here. After a few decades of decline, the Dalmatian Pelican population is starting to grow again and now there are over 150 identified pairs going about their lives here. Most of them migrate every year, but some pairs stay here for the winter. You can see them from April to October.
The Danube Delta also offers home to more than 60% of the world’s population of Pygmy Cormorants and 50% of red-breasted geese. The red-breasted goose spends the winter in the southern part of the Delta, in the Razim-Sinoe lagoon.
From August to September, the Delta is one of the best places to see the Ferruginous Duck, a declining species, almost extinct in the rest of Europe. This time of the year, large flocks of Ducks gather on Somova Lake, 5 minutest west of the city of Tulcea.
For a birdwatching trip to Danube Delta, you can either contact one of the tour operators in Tulcea, or simply book one of the local boat operators. They will happy to show you some of the most secluded area of the Delta and the best places to spot numerous bird species. Booking a small boat has the advantage of the cost and the opportunity to personalize your trip.
Birdwatching trips usually start from Tulcea and follow one of the three branches of the Danube (Chilia, Sulina and Sf. Gheorghe) and the numerous canals in between. Common stops are taken in Crisan, Sulina, Mila 23, Chilia, Sf. Gheorghe and more.
So, if you haven’t decided yet where to go on your next birdwatching trip, Danube Delta should be your first choice.