In The Bird Paradise

Posted On November 30, 2009 


Located between the Danube River and the Black Sea in southeastern Romania, Dobrogea is home to the Danube Delta, a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve and the ancient port city of Constanta. Dobrogea is a plateau region with an average altitude between 200-300 metres. The northern part is higher. Tutuiatu/Greci Peak in the Macin Mountains with a height of 467 metres is the highest point. The Casimcea and Taita rivers flow through the plateau. Several lakes and lagoons are also located in this region. The climate in Dobrogea is warmer and dry than in other parts of Romania. Dobrogea features fine-sand beaches dotted with seaside resorts.

Dobrogea features

Dobrogea has a rich flora diversity. It has a concentration of nearly 2,000 plant species and more than half of the Romanian flora. The hilly regions here are covered with oak, European hornbeam and linden trees. Owing to its proximity with the Danube Delta, Dobrogea is also home to a great variety of botanical and zoological reserves.


Romania is located in south-eastern Europe, in and around the Carpathian arch, to the north of the Balkan Peninsula and bordering the Black Sea. Hungary and Serbia lie to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the north-east while Bulgaria lies to the south of the country. The country has a rich diversity in natural and cultural attributes and has been included as one of the most recent members of the European Union. The country has a strong Latin heritage as well. danube delta romaniaRomania is famous for the Carpathian Mountains. National capital is Bucharest.

Danube Delta

Danube Delta is the second largest river delta formed by river Danube (4152 square kilometres) in Europe after the Volga. The major part of the Delta falls in Romania while in the north, its territory falls in Ukraine. If one adds the lagoon areas of Razim Sinoe to the Danube Delta area (as a combined World Heritage Site), the area becomes even bigger. The delta is a low alluvial plain, mainly covered by wetlands and water. It consists of an intricate pattern of marshes, channels, streamlets and lakes. The average altitude of the delta is 0.52 metre.

The climate is mainly continental temperate owing to sea influences. The average annual temperature in Danube Delta region is of 11 degree Celcius. Dranov , Rosu and Gorgova are some of the big lakes located in the delta region. People of Ukrainian, Russian, Lipovan, Bulgarian, Turkish, Moldavan and Gagauz origin live in scattered villages in and around the Danube River Delta

In the year 1991, the Romanian part of the Danube Delta was designated World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.  In 1998, the delta was set up as a bisophere reserve by the UNESCO.

Birding in Danube
danube delta birds

Danube Delta offers such a magnificent scope of birdwatching that it is often known as ‘Bird Paradise’. Over 300 species of birds have been identified in the Danube Delta including sedentary and migratory species and non-brooding species. Histria and Grindul Chituc are the best birding areas not only in Romania but perhaps in entire Europe. Militarova is also known as an excellent place for birdwatching.


Birds from Mediterranean, Siberian, Mongolian, Chinese and Arctic regions visit the Danube Delta region. Pelicans are widely seen in Danube Delta. 80 per cent of the entire European avifauna can be seen in Danube Delta. The wetland and the maze of reeds and channels here play a big role a sustaining the rich avifauna.

Some of the notable bird species found in Danube Delta are:
  • Collared Pratincole
  • White-tailed Lapwings
  • Polecat (Steppe and Marbled)
  • Paddyfield Warbler
  • Danubian hawk
  • Crane
  • Pelicans (the largest concentration of the pelicans in Europe is found in the Danube Delta)danube delta pelicans
  • Swan
  • Cormorants
  • Levant Sparrowhawk
  • Pied Wheatear
  • Calandra Lark
  • Spanish Sparrow
  • Spoonbills
  • Egrets
  • Eagles
  • Kestrel
  • Slender-billed Curlew
  • Bustard

Besides birds the Danube Delta is also home to various kinds of animals like wolves, raccoon dogs, beavers, wildcat, freshwater otter, monk seal and European Minks. About 90 different species of fish are also found here including Stor Sturgeon, Catfish, Pike, perch, zander and carps. Tortoise, snakes and lizards are also seen in this part of the world.

A week of birding in Danube a Coast:
Day 1

Arrival in Bucharest and reach Tulcea by car. Overnight stay in the new Ibis Guesthouse 4.

Day 2

Departure for Danube Delta through small channels and lakes. Red-necked Grebes, Kingfishers, White-tailed Eagle, Glossy Ibises can be spotted during this time.  Overnight stay at holiday appartment in Maliuc.

Day 3

Departure for one of the most remote places in the delta for birdwatching by boat. Lunch in boat in the midst of the wilderness. Waders, Woodpeckers, Pelicans can be spotted. Overnight stay at Maliuc.

Day 4

Return to Tulcea. Trip of reed beds and white yellow forest. Overnight stay at Ibis Guesthouse 4.

Day 5

Early morning departure for the lagoons near Black Sea Coast by car. Visit to Histria, one of the best spots of birdwatching in Eastern Europe. Little Bittern, Collared Pranticole, Dalmatian Pelican, Kentish Plover and Paddyfield Warblers can be spotted. Overnight stay at Tulcea.

Day 6

Departure for the Macin Mountains National Park. Here birds like Saker Falcon, Eagles, Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk can be seen.

Day 7

Driving back to Bucharest. Stop at few places for birding in Dobrogea region.

Attractions/Activities at Danube and Dobrogea:
  • Museums of art, archaeology, ethnography and natural history at Tulcea town, the gateway to the Danube Delta.
  • Batag Monastery
  • Trekking in the Macin MountainsMacin Mountains
  • Pelican watching at Mila 23 village, the birthplace of Ivan Patzaichin, the Olympic gold winning canoe sprinter
  • ‘Dracula’ trip in Bran, Tihuta pass, Sighisoara in Transylvania
  • Boating tours of the delta for birdwatching
  • Bucovina cultural trip
  • Wolf and bear tracking
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Rafting
  • Wine-tasting tours at Murfatlar vineyard
  • Underground limestone complex and the chalk church at Basarabi
  • Ruins of ancient Greek town of Callatis and the medieval settlement in Mangalia
  • Floating hotels
  • Land hotels

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