Birds of Montenegro

Birds of Montenegro – 352 bird species have been registered in Montenegro so far (out of 533 species registered in Europe so far or 65% of European ornithofauna), including Turnix sylvaticus, whose occurrence has remained suspicious. Also, the presence (for example: Fulmarus glacialis) and the status of certain species (for example: Carpodacus erythrinus) were determined based on the findings of the authors, which have not yet been published.

Of the total number of species registered so far, 213 species belong to safe nesting sites, seven species are possible nesting sites, while 10 are considered extinct, such as, for example, Aegypius monachus. 106 species are considered resident (tenants), ie. species that spend all their life cycles in Montenegro. This number also includes two species that were introduced (pheasant and woodpecker). 107 species of birds registered in Montenegro belong to migratory nesting birds.

The appearance of 21 species, such as Tetrax tetrax for example, is a historical fact because in the last 30 years they have not been registered in the territory of Montenegro. Out of the total number of species (348), 264 species are regularly observed in Montenegro, while 14 species are observed occasionally.

The richness of the bird fauna of a country is observed through the total number of registered species or, more often, the number of nesting species. In Montenegro, the nesting density index, which represents the ratio of the logarithm of the number of nesting species to the logarithm of the country’s surface, is significantly above the Balkan average (0.435) and amounts to 0.562. This is due to the diversity of habitats: from the sea coast, through salt pans, freshwater lakes, semi-steppes, canyons, dense forests, mountain plateaus and high mountain peaks.

On the other hand, Montenegro is located on one of the four most important bird corridors in Europe – the Adriatic Migration Corridor (Adriatic Flyway), through which millions of birds move to Africa every year and vice versa.

Compared to other European countries, the number of 213 species nesting in Montenegro is relatively high, given that Montenegro is one of the smallest European countries. For example, Montenegro is in 39th place in terms of area, while in terms of the number of nesting birds it is in 23rd place, just below Hungary, which is almost seven times larger than Montenegro. Also, there are more nesting birds in Montenegro than the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Slovenia or Switzerland, for example.

The first presentation of the ornithological wealth of Montenegro in the form of a list of species was published as Catalogus faunae Jugoslaviae published by the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Slovenia in 1973 as part of the Census of Bird Fauna of SFR Yugoslavia. After that, the bird fauna of Montenegro was considered within the Diversity of Birds of Yugoslavia with an overview of species of international importance in 1995, and the Census of Birds of Montenegro with bibliography, published in 2015, is the first independent work related exclusively to its territory.

Due to insufficient field research and the non-coverage of a large part of the country’s territory, many species have been assessed in this list as stricter status than the real situation on the ground could be. This List of Birds of Montenegro is subject to revision and everyone is welcome to change the status of certain species with valid evidence.