Bulgaria is an agricultural country with lowland areas turned over to farmland. Land reclamation and other industrial activities have had a major impact on bird diversity, none more so than along the Black Sea coast. Nevertheless, there is still great birding in this former eastern bloc country.

Along the Black Sea, Lake Burgas holds populations of Glossy Ibis and Pygmy Cormorant, whilst nearby Atanassovo saltpans holds breeding Collared Pratincole, Gull-billed Tern and huge numbers of White Pelican on migration. Further north, Cape Kaliakra is an outstanding raptor migration point with good numbers of harriers (three species), Lesser Spotted and Short-toed Eagles and Levant Sparrowhawks. This part of the coastline is also good for Pied Wheatear (confined to Bulgaria and Romania in Europe), Rock Thrush and, in invasion years, Rose-coloured Starling.

Rila, in the south-west, is the highest point in Bulgaria and offers the chance of Sombre Tit, Rock Partridge and other high altitude species.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis © Szymon Bartosz


For the best birding tours in Bulgaria


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Feature articles at surfbirds

Exploring Bulgaria's birdlife - the best regions

Birdwatching and wildlife photography in Bulgaria - the European paradise


Showing the 23 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted

South-east Bulgaria, autumn 2003, author Surfbirds Admin (added September 23, 2004)

Bulgaria - September 2004, author Surfbirds Admin (link created October 7, 2004)
(Chris Wormwell (with additional information by Jon Lowes))

Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria - Autumn Migration - 21st - 30th September 2011, author Kathie Claydon (added October 31, 2011)
(Bourgas, Varna, migration)

Bulgaria - September 2010 - Black Sea Coast , author Ken Reeves (added October 11, 2010)

Bulgaria Sept 2010 Birds, Bottles & Potholes, author Ken Reeves (link created October 10, 2010)

Bulgaria - 23rd September to 30th September 2004, author Surfbirds Admin (added November 5, 2004)
(tour report with Villa Philadelphia)

Migration of the Northern Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria, 24th April-1st May 2009, author Colin Bradshaw (added May 4, 2009)
(Cape Kaliakra, Durankulak & Shabla)

Bulgaria - Winter birding tour along the Black Sea (February, 2006), author Ivailo Nikolov (added March 17, 2006)
(Bulgaria, Red-breasted Goose, Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, White-headed Duck)

Bulgaria - Winter Birding Wonderland - 26 January - 3 February 2019, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created March 16, 2019)
(Varna, Burgas, Strandzha mountain massif, Vitosha)

Bulgaria - 15th April - 2nd May 2006, author Steve Mlodinow (added June 26, 2006)
(I still don't know if I'll ever see a Wallcreeper.)

Bulgaria - June 2007 - 2 day tour, author Surfbirds Admin (added June 22, 2007)
(Black Sea Coast / Saker Mountains & Eastern Rhodopes)

Birds of prey birding trip in Bulgaria - May 2008, author Michael Vivian (added July 14, 2008)
(birdwatching Bulgaria, birding Bulgaria, migration, birds of prey)

Spring birding tour in Bulgaria - 3rd - 9th June 2008, author Michael Vivian (added July 14, 2008)
(birdwatching Bulgaria, birding Bulgaria, spring birding)

Autumn migration birding in Bulgaria - 23 August - 8 September 2007, author Michael Vivian (added July 14, 2008)
(birding Bulgaria, birdwatching Bulgaria, tours, migration, autumn)

Bulgaria - 28th May - 5th June 2015, author Peter Williams (added July 11, 2015)
(Black Sea Coast, Eastern Rhodopes)

Bulgaria - Romania - Scouting trip - 31st July - 11th August 2014, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created January 21, 2020)

Bulgaria - 3rd - 9th February 2014, author Christopher Hall (added February 18, 2014)
(Red-breasted Geese and much more )

Bulgaria, one-day birding tour around Sofia, author Ivailo Nikolov (link created December 19, 2006)
(Bulgaria, Dragoman Marsh, birdwatching, birding, birds, checklist, Osprey, Bittern, Purple Heron, Golden Eagle, Black Stork)

Birdwatching and Wildlife Photography in Bulgaria - the European Paradise, author Iordan Hristov (link created August 7, 2012)

Birding Trip to Bulgaria in May 2006, author Tony Moverley (added August 7, 2006)
(Black Sea, Rhodope Mountains, Bourgas, Varna, Pamporovo, Trigrad, Sofia, Imperial Eagle, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Roller, Red-footed Falcon, Levant Sparrowhawk, Masked Shrike)

Bulgaria Sept - Oct 04, author www.branta-tours.com (link created August 30, 2006)
(Black Sea coast, Cape Kaliakra, Burgas Wetlands, Dalmatian Pelican, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Red-footed Falcon, Marsh Sandpiper...)

Northern Greece (Lake Kerkini) and Bulgaria - 27 May - 9 June 2014, author Kathie Claydon (added August 20, 2014)
(Lake Kerkini, southern Bulgaria)

Bulgaria - 4th - 9th February 2011, author Jo Ann MacKenzie (added April 12, 2011)
(Coastal Dobroudzha; Durankulak and Shaba Lakes, Red-breasted Goose, White-headed Duck, Sakar Hills, Imperial Eagle)

Showing the 1 Latest Recent Sightings Posted

Burgas Wetlands , 2 Western Reef Herons - Second and third records author Dave Horton (added June 2, 2013)