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  • Photograph of Levant Sparrowhawk

    Levant Sparrowhawk by Michael McKee.

    ROMANIA

    Best Wildlife in Romania

    Mammals
    A chance of Brown Bear (mostly May-Sep), European Beaver (reintroduced), (Carpathian) Chamois, European Souslik and Muskrat, and an outside chance of Golden Jackal and Wild Cat (both especially in the Danube Delta). In May 2014 seventeen European Bison were reintroduced to the Tarcu Mountains Reserve in the southern Carpathians, with more to follow.

    Birds
    Many of the species listed are present during the spring, summer and autumn only. White-tailed Eagle, White and Black Storks, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, (Eurasian) Nutcracker, Wallcreeper and Firecrest, as well as Ruddy Shelduck, Red-necked Grebe, Yelkouan Shearwater, Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Booted, Lesser Spotted and Golden Eagles, Levant Sparrowhawk, Red-footed Falcon, (Pied) Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Little and Slender-billed Gulls, Caspian, Black, White-winged and Whiskered Terns, Alpine Swift, Golden (European) Bee-eater, European Roller, Hoopoe, woodpeckers including Black, Great Grey and Lesser Grey Shrikes, (Eurasian) Golden Oriole, (Bearded) Reedling, Sombre, (Eurasian) Penduline and Long-tailed Tits, (White-throated) Dipper, Moustached and Paddyfield Warblers, Collared Flycatcher, (Eastern) Black-eared, Isabelline and Pied Wheatears, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, (Black-headed) Yellow Wagtail, Rock Bunting and Spanish Sparrow. Also a chance of Ferruginous Duck, (Western) Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, (Eastern) Imperial and Short-toed Eagles, Little Crake, Red-necked Phalarope, Great Black-headed Gull (which has bred in the Danube Delta since 2009), Pygmy and Ural Owls, Horned/Shore Lark (balcanica) and Alpine Accentor. Also, during the usually very cold northern winters huge flocks of Red-breasted Geese usually gather along the Black Sea Coast.

    Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
    Fire Salamander.

    Invertebrates
    The wide variety of butterflies includes Clouded Apollo and Scarce Swallowtail, and dragonflies include Broad Scarlet and Blue Featherleg.

    Plants
    The rich flora of the Carpathian Mountains includes over 50 orchid species (best mid-June to mid-July).

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Romania

    Best Times for Wildlife in Romania

    The best times for Brown Bears are usually May to early June when they are fresh out of hibernation and hungry and therefore most likely to take advantage of any food put out for them within sight of hides (chocolate chips are a favourite), and the second half of September when they are fattening up before hibernation.

    The best time for birds along the Black Sea Coast, including the Danube Delta, is from mid-April to October, with the peak times, when the majority of migrating birds are usually passing through, being the first three weeks of May and late August to mid-September. May is also when most of the birds in the delta are nesting.

    The best time for flowers in the Carpathian Mountains is mid-June to mid-July.

    Recommended Books etc. for Romania

    Bradt Travel Guides: Central and Eastern European Wildlife by G Gorman. Bradt, 2008.

    Birding in Eastern Europe by G Gorman. WildSounds, 2006.

    Collins Bird Guide by L Svensson et al. Collins, 2010 (Second Edition).

    Birds of Europe by L Jonsson. Helm, 1999.

    Mammals of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by S Aulagnier et al. Helm, 2009.

    Mammals of Britain and Europe by D McDonald and P Barrett. Collins, 2005.

    Collins Butterfly Guide by T Tolman and R Lewington. Collins, 2009 (Third Edition).

    Butterflies of Britain and Europe: A Photographic Guide by H Aarnio et al. A & C Black Publishers, 2009.


    Apps etc.

    Collins Bird Guide.

    Where to watch birds in Europe & Russia by N Wheatley. Helm, 2000.

    Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Europe? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Romania

    Many trip reports, some for Romania, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Romania. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Romania' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Romania

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.