Best time to travel to Estonia

Birdwatching during Mass Bird Migration

Thousands of birds come to Estonia's meadows, bogs, and islands in mid-May

Birdwatching during Mass Bird Migration in Estonia - Best Time
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© Mait Jüriado

Estonia gives you the chance to observe a spectacular massive bird migration. Its position lies on the crossroads of a major migratory flyway, between breeding and wintering areas for millions of Arctic waterbirds. The Estonian islands are perfect feeding stopover sites.

White-backed Woodpecker
White-backed Woodpecker

Birds can be observed from early April till October but mid-May is considered to be the best time for bird-watching. During this period you can see the greatest diversity of bird species possible. However, if you wish to visit protected areas from April 15 to July 15 you'll need a special permit.

Barnacle Geese
Barnacle Geese

You can observe the Scarlet Rose Finch, Honey Buzzards, White-tailed and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Montagu's Harriers, Great Snipes, Black Stork, and many others. Estonian coasts bring together a large number of seabirds before they take off. Hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese, swans, and millions of Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks stop here to feed and rest before a long trip to their arctic breeding grounds.

Goldcrest
Goldcrest

In autumn, from September to October, you can observe the massive arctic waterfowl migration. It gives you the chance to see such rare birds as the White-billed Diver or the Grey Phalarope. Lots of others like Brambling folks, Goldcrests, Long-tailed and Willow Tits, Red-throated Diver, Greater Scaup, Bent Geese, and Velvet Scoter also pass through Estonia during the first week of September.

Montague's Harrier
Montague's Harrier
Penduline Tit nest building
Penduline Tit nest building
Willow Tit
Willow Tit
Seagull looking over City. More of a bird watching you than you watching a bird.
Seagull looking over City. More of a bird watching you than you watching a bird.
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