Birdwatching in Croatia: find 300 bird species on the island of Pag

Trips & adventures

Enjoy the serene experience of birdwatching in Pag’s pristine nature.

Lauded for its diversity and unique features, the nature of Croatia means home to a wide array of animal species. The magnificent wildlife is not limited to animals living in the sea or land, but also includes those in the air!

Pag, the jewel of Croatia birding sites

Among the many locations for birdwatching in Croatia, one that stands out is the island of Pag. In midst of all the rocky and barren island terrain, you can find three areas of fresh water with surprising wildlife. Since they comprise one of the few remaining wetland locations in Europe, Pag became a perfect home for more than 300 bird species. If you wish to see them, grab your binoculars and head for Pag’s famous ornithological reserves: Veliko Blato, Malo Blato and Kolansko Blato.

Three swamp reserves

The three swamp areas Veliko, Malo and Kolansko Blato serve as shelter for a wide variety of marsh birds — just Veliko Blato hosts an estimated number of 168 bird species! To preserve these amazing natural wonders, the three swamps were protected as ornithological reserves in 1988. Kolansko Blato is especially famous for being one of the last swamps of its type in Europe, and home to more than 163 endemic types of reptiles, fish and birds.

The reserves are equipped with a watchtower and have experts that document different bird varieties on the locality, compile a bird check-list and document which species of birds can be seen during a specific period.

Abundance of species

Among the birds that can be found on Pag are the more common ones, like the black coot (Fulica atra), little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), white heron (Egretta alba), bittern (Botaurus stellaris), glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca), and common spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia).

However, there are also those facing extinction, like the calandra lark (Melanocorypha calandra), gadwall (Anas strepera), and the Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus). These species are becoming a rarity in Europe, but the areas of Veliko, Malo and Kolansko Blato keep them safe from hunting and habitat destruction.

Natural beauty in Croatia isn’t that hard to find, but the island of Pag nature stands out for its amazing combination of sea, rocky areas and wildlife refuges. Should you want to visit the island, Camping Village Šimuni provides the perfect accommodation and easy access to the beautiful birds of Pag.

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