Common Crane migration in the Hortobágy National Park

the most spectacular bird migration in Central Europe

Autumnal trip to Hortobágy in Hungary, where thousands of Common Cranes are making a stopover on their way south every year. An unique chance for those who haven’t witnessed this amazing wildlife show yet.

characteristics: Hungarian puszta is one of the largest meadow and steppe ecosystems in Europe. Mosaic of pastures, meadows and wetlands in harmony with traditional agriculture provides suitable conditions for nesting and migration of many bird species. More than 320 species of birds were recorded in the national park. Attractive is the autumnal migration of tens of thousands of Common Cranes which you can spot flying to their roosting places.

highlights of this area: wetlands in alkaline grasslands, dry habitats in alkaline grasslands, Hortobágy fishponds, Lake Tisza, traditional settlements, delicious cuisine

other highlights (possible to include in to the trip itinerary): ecocentre in Poroszló, thermal spa Egerszálok, Debrecén – the second largest city in Hungary, wine cellars in Eger

protected areas visited: IBA and National Park Hortobágy (Hortobágy Nemzeti Park), a UNESCO World Heritage Site


target species: up to 100 000 Common Cranes (Grus grus), large flocks of migrating geese (Anser sp.), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Great Bustard (Otis tarda)

other species: Gadwall (Anas strepera), Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Great Egret (Egretta alba), Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmeus), Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus), Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), Curlew (Numenius arquata), Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Little Owl (Athene noctua), Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus)

local breeds of domestic animals: Hungarian Grey Cattle, Water Buffalo, Raczka Sheep, Mangalica Pig, Nonius horse

Trip length: 3 days

Terrain difficulty: All terrains during this trip are easy walking, the area of the trip is lowland.

Accommodation: rural guesthouse

Day 1: departure from Bratislava early in the morning, route continues straight to Hungary; arrival in the afternoon, accommodation; village Hortobágy – typical Hungarian puszta village, visit of the national park information center, visit of crane roosting places

Day 2: birdwatching at national park fishponds (entry fee is included in the trip price); lunch in a local famous csárda offering delicious Hungarian cuisine (every participant chooses dish and pays for it individually – the price of the lunch is not included in the trip price); birds of dry grasslands habitats, crane roosting places

Day 3: birdwatching near the Tisza River, possibility to visit local ecocenter, the entry fee is not included in the trip price; lunch; departure, arrival to Bratislava in late evening hours (Upon request it is possible to shorten the program and to depart earlier.)

Starting and final point: Bratislava. Possibility to get an extra paid transfer from airport Vienna. Transfer to/from Budapest for no extra charge.

Recommended term: October – November

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

395,- € / 3 – 5 participants

275,- € / 6 – 10 participants

245,- € / 11 and more participants

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 2 nights, halfboard (2x breakfast, 2x dinner), recreational fee, National Park entry fee, railway ticket to the National Park fishponds, full guiding service, local guide, binoculars and bird identification guide rental, corporate insolvency insurance

Price does NOT include: individual travel insurance, lunch, ecocenter entry fee

If you are interested in this trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by email to or give us a call at +421 903 751 330. We can then discuss the date that suits your needs the best.

More info about this area could be also found in our trip reports:
2013: trip report; photoreport
2012: trip report; photoreport
2011: trip report; photoreport

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