Birds of prey of Slovakia

feathered kings of sky

Even such a relatively small country as Slovakia is a home to 19 species of birds of prey. Diverse natural conditions contributed to the occurrence of various species of raptors. Probably the best known of these is Golden Eagle – Slovak national bird, that lives in mountainous areas of northern Slovakia. Its smaller relative, Lesser Spotted Eagle reaches one of the highest breeding densities in Europe in Slovakia.  At lowlands we can meet majestic White-tailed Eagle or endangered Saker Falcon.

During our 3-day trip we should see as far as 16 species of birds of prey nesting in Slovakia. We will visit lowland hunting grounds of Imperial Eagles, Saker Falcons, White-tailed Eagles and kites. Then we will move to mountainous regions in the northern Slovakia, which are a home of Peregrine Falcons, Golden and Lesser Spotted Eagles.


characteristics: During our trip we will visit two different regions. The lowland country near the Morava River in western Slovakia and mountainous Orava region in the north. The area of former Iron curtain without any access for people contributed to preservation of floodplain forests on the banks of the Morava River. Large species of birds of prey find here suitable conditions for nesting and the river together with wet meadows in its neighborhood provide enough food resources. Diverse landscape in Orava, large preserved forest stands in particular, are a home for Lesser Spotted Eagle, the Slovak emblematic bird – Golden Eagle and Peregrine Falcon.

highlights of this area: preserved floodplain forests, wet meadows, former Iron curtain area, preserved spruce forests, bogs, traditional small-scale farming, unique rescue center for wild animals in Malá Fatra Mts., traditional sheep cheese products

other highlights (possible to include in to the trip itinerary): wooden church in Leštiny

protected areas visited: SPA Záhorské Pomoravie, Protected Landscape Area Záhorie; SPA and Protected Landscape Area Horná Orava, SPA and Malá Fatra National Park

target species of birds of prey: Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), Red Kite (Milvus milvus), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), Montagu´s Harrier (Circus pygargus), Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Merlin (Falco subbuteo), Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

other bird species: White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Corncrake (Crex crex), Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola), Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus), Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

Trip length: 3 days

Terrain difficulty: easy to moderate; flat to mountainous area; longer transfers will be made in a car/shuttle/bus, otherwise easy walking on short distances

Accommodation: *** guest house in a quiet locality surrounded by coniferous and mixed forests and pastures – possibility to walk around before breakfast or in free time

Day 1: departure from Bratislava, short transfer to lowlands sites with the presence of Imperial Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Red Kite, Black Kite, Saker Falcon, and other species; lunch; second visit of lowland sites; transfer to Orava, arrival to the place of accommodation, dinner; after the dinner possible walk in the vicinity (owls)

Day 2: whole day birdwatching in Orava, various types of habitats with presence of various birds of prey (Peregrine Falcon, Golden Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle)

Day 3: program according to species recorded during two previous days: transfer to places with the occurrence so far not observed species, or by arrangement a visit of habitats rich in woodpeckers and Red-breasted and Collared  Flycatcher or Oravská priehrada water reservoir with several interesting bird species (Common Rosefinch, Citrine Wagtail, River Warbler); lunch; departure, arrival to Bratislava in evening hours

Starting and final point: Bratislava. Possibility to get an extra paid transfer from airport Vienna.

Recommended term: April – June

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

435,- € / 3 – 5 participants

365,- € / 6 – 10 participants

295,- € / 11 and more participants

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 2 nights, full board (2x breakfast, 3x lunch, 2x dinner), full guiding service, local guide, binoculars, spotting scope and bird identification guide rental, corporate insolvency insurance

Price does NOT include: individual travel insurance


More info about this area could be also found in our trip report:
100 species and no more, because the guide wants to have his beer
Spring near Morava River