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EuroBirdwatch 2023: Looking up at the skies together  

Bringing together bird enthusiasts from across Europe and Central Asia, EuroBirdwatch 2023 soared to new heights as the largest European birdwatching event to date. Over the course of a single weekend, more than 15,000 birdwatchers gathered to witness the journey of over 3.52 million birds as they embarked on their southward migration to their wintering destinations. 34 BirdLife Partners organized a staggering 770 different events, with SOS/BirdLife Slovakia at the helm to gather, assess and publish this invaluable data.

A glimpse of the highlights 

As the birds took center stage in this avian theater, several European nations stood out for their commitment and dedication to the cause. Here are some of the top achievers from EuroBirdwatch 2023: 

Top 1 – Most events 

  1. MME/BirdLife Hungary – 161 events 
  2. Vogelbescherming Nederland – 140 events 
  3. Natuurpunt & Natagora Belgium – 81 events 

Top 2 – Most participants 

  1. HOS/BirdLife Greece – 3,000 participants 
  2. MME/BirdLife Hungary – 2,445 participants 
  3. BirdLife Sweden – 2,000 participants 

Top 3 – Most observed birds 

  1. BirdLife Finland – 1,496,000 birds 
  2. BirdLife Sweden – 944,045 birds 
  3. Vogelbescherming Nederland – 340,500 birds 

Top 3 – Most abundant bird species 

  1. Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis
  2. Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus
  3. Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris

The events across Europe yielded sightings of many rare and elusive species. Among the ornithological highlights were: 

  • Richard’s Pipits (Anthus richardi) spotted in Austria and Belgium 
  • A remarkable gathering of 122 Lesser White-fronted Geese (Anser erythropus) at Lake Kerkini in Greece 
  • The rare and striking appearance of a Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) in Hungary 
  • Sweden’s encounter with the elusive Radde’s Warbler (Phylloscopus schwarzi
  • A heartwarming sight of 834 individuals of Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) in Uzbekistan 
  • The Netherlands contributed to the rare sightings with the discovery of 2 Little Buntings (Emberiza pusilla

Find out which other species were spotted here

In a time where nature is under attack like never before by vested interests, and where the impacts of the nature and climate crises become increasingly destructive and lethal across our continent, we must do much more than just celebrate the marvels of nature. EuroBirdwatch serves as a powerful reminder of our shared responsibility to protect these winged wonders, and their habitats for generations to come. 

Picture: Barnacle Goose – Yves Adams

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Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.