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Swiss Confederation

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius ©Ignaas Robbe Website

Switzerland may be small, but it is a very varied land and has much more to offer than its famous cheeses, cuckoo clocks and good Swiss chocolate. The most important Swiss cities are Berne, Zurich and Geneva; Berne as the capital, Zurich because it is the largest and most economically important city and Geneva for its international importance as the main seat in Europe of the UNO for example.

Die Schweiz ist zwar ein kleines, aber doch sehr vielseitiges Land. Sie hat wesentlich mehr zu bieten als nur den bekannten Käse und die gute schweizer Schokolade. Die wichtigsten Städte der Schweiz sind Bern, Zürich und Genf. Bern ist wichtig als Hauptstadt; Zürich, weil es die grösste und wirtschaftlich bedeutendste Stadt der Schweiz ist und Genf wegen der internationalen Bedeutung, zum Beispiel als UNO-Hauptsitz.

Switzerland has stunning landscapes. The well-known Swiss Alps, with the Matterhorn in pride of place, are especially magnificent. Equally beautiful, in their own right, are the myriad lakes of all sizes, and the rivers and streams, which are often to be found in literally fairytale surroundings.

Landschaftlich ist die Schweiz sehr reizvoll. Besonders beeindruckend sind natürlich die bekannten Schweizer Berge, allen voran das Matterhorn. Ebenfalls sehr schön sind die vielen grossen und kleinen Seen, Flüsse und Bäche, welche zum Teil in märchenhaften Gegenden liegen.

From an ornithological point of view the Swiss Alps are of particular interest as almost all European mountain species are represented. In addition they present migrating birds with a formidable obstacle and thus channelling them into particular routes. Many mountain passes offer superb vantage points for observing migrant birds. Large areas of the former wide-ranging moor land areas have sadly disappeared due to drainage out and adjacent agricultural use. Many breeding birds have as a result almost completely vanished. Nonetheless the Swiss wetlands remain interesting above all for the passage of migrating species.

Die Schweizer Alpen sind auch aus ornithologischer Sicht sehr interessant, denn hier sind praktisch alle europäischen Gebirgsarten vertreten. Ausserdem stellen sie ein bedeutendes Hindernis für Zugvögel dar, wodurch diese zu bestimmten Routen gezwungen werden. So sind viele Pässe ausgezeichnete Beobachtungspunkte für durchziehende Vögel.Grosse Teile von den ehemals weitläufigen Sumpfgebieten der Schweiz sind leider durch Trockenlegung und anschliessende landwirtschaftliche Nutzung verschwunden. Dadurch sind viele Brutvögel fast ausgestorben. Deshalb sind die schweizer Sumpfgebiete vor allem als Rastplätze für Zugvögel interessant geblieben.

What Switzerland misses most is a coastline. For this reason all typical sea and coastal birds are rarely, if ever, seen.

Was der Schweiz fehlt, ist ein Anschluss ans Meer. Aus diesem Grund sind alle typischen Küstenvögel nicht oder nur ausnahmsweise zu beobachten.


Michael Gerber


Number of Species

Number of bird species: 394


iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Where to watch birds in Switzerland

Marco Sacchi, Peter Ruegg, Jacques Laesser, Michael Wilson (Translator) Paperback - 176 pages (October 1999) A & C Black

ISBN: 0713651830

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Ala - Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Vogelkunde und Vogelschutz


The Swiss society for the protection and preservation of birds.
Werner Holliger, Breitestr. 22, CH-5015 Niedererlinsbach, sekretariat@ala-schweiz.ch

Ficedula - Società pro avifauna della Svizzera italiana


The Swiss society for the protection and preservation of birds in Italian Switzerland.

Nos Oiseaux - Societe Romande pour l`Etude et Ia Protection des Oiseaux


50 rue AchilleMerguin, CH-2900 Porrentuy. +41 6666 5629
Nos Oiseaux est une société, mais c`est aussi une revue qui paraît régulièrement depuis juillet 1913 et dont la collection est une véritable mémoire de l`ornithologie romande. Si le premier rédacteur en a assumé la parution durant 26 ans, son successeur, Paul Géroudet, a porté le flambeau durant 55 ans, donnant à notre revue l`audience internationale qu`on lui connaît. Référence incontournable de l`ornithologie européenne, auteur de la fameuse série La vie des oiseaux aux Editions Delachaux & Niestlé, Paul Géroudet, Dr honoris causa des Universités de Neuchâtel et de Genève, a donné, grâce à ses connaissances encyclopédiques et à sa plume élégante, un style inimitable à notre revue. Après un relais de trois ans par Claude Guex, c`est le jeune biologiste valaisan Bertrand Posse qui a pris la rédaction en mains depuis janvier 1998.

Ornithologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Graubünden


Pro Natura


Pro Natura - Switzerlands Number One in Conservation - we provide nature reserves with in-the-field conservation in over 700 reserves all over the country; in agricultural, forest, urban and wilderness areas. Pro Natura was founded to create the only Swiss National Park in 1914 and has since helped to establish half of all protected areas in Switzerland. The creation and management of reserves is still one of the main tasks of Pro Natura.

Swiss Association for the Protection of Birds - Schweizer Vogelschutzes SVS


Wiedingstr 78, P0 Box 8521, CH-8036 Zurich. +41 1 4637271 svs@birdlife.ch
The Swiss Association for the Protection of Birds SVS - BirdLife Switzerland is active for the conservation of bio-diversity in Switzerland and, through it partnership to BirdLife International all over the world. SVS has a membership of 60’000 and is the organisation of 20 national and canton associations with 500 local groups.

Swiss Ornithological Institute


The Swiss Ornithological Institute is a non-governmental scientific research institute at Sempach, near Lucerne. It was founded in 1924, mainly as a centre to organise and co-ordinate bird ringing in Switzerland and to study bird migration. Since 1954 the SOI has been a private foundation for ornithology, supported by donations and subscriptions from the Swiss population. It nowadays covers a wide range of topics from bird migration and ecology to population monitoring and applied studies for landscape management and conservation.

Swiss Rarities Committe


The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) works independently from any other organisation. It is a member of the Association of European Rarities Committees, AERC and follows its recommendations. Its main task is to check if unusual bird observations are sufficiently documented to be cited in scientific literature. The species concerned either occur rarely in Switzerland or are rarely seen at a specific time of the year or in a particular part of the country. The first breeding records in Switzerland are also examined by the SRC…


Abbreviations Key

Parc National Suisse


Satellite View

Here you can obtain information about the only national park in Switzerland, its particularities and what it has to offer. Use the search machine to find the information you are looking for.

Forums & Mailing Lists

Swiss-French-Belgian List

Mailing List

To post to list: chappuis@cmu.unige.ch

List contact: Alain Chappuis

To subscribe to list: chappuis@cmu.unige.ch

Mailing List – Discussion Group SWISS-FRENCH-BELGIAN LIST (mainly Switzerland, France, Belgium; French)

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

BBC [Birds, Beer and Chips] Swiss Tours

Tour Operator

Interested in a bird, beer and chips tour of Switzerland? It is not that expensive. We provide expert guides, transport (including pickup and return to the airport), accommodation (dinner/breakfast), bird lists and humour. We visit famous Roman Ruins, Swiss scenic views as well as seeing some of the 390 birds of Switzerland at a realistic price…

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Liberty Bird

Tour Operator

A Swiss company which organises Worldwide Birding Holidays, besides individual or group birding trips in Switzerland. Profesional, local guides show visitors all the specialities of Switzerland. Located in Bern, Switzerland mario.camici@bluewin.ch

Travelling Naturalist

Tour Operator

If you like to combine the thrill of alpine birding with a little gentle walking and a wider appreciation of the natural world, this trip is for you. Rock Partridge, Alpine Accentor, Nutcracker and Snowfinch await on this spectacularly scenic holiday based at a single hotel in the heart of the beautiful Swiss Alps…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2008 - Hans Schick - Bodensee


From 2002 to 2008 I had the opportunity to visit Lake Constance (Bodensee) once a year. I always spent a day in the surroundings of Fußach, where the River Rhine flows into the lake. This area is a well known birding place (Vorarlberger Rheindelta) and has the status of a nature reserve. In addition I visited other interesting sites at the German lake shore as the Peninsula of Mettnau, the Island of Reichenau, Lake Mindelsee or the natur reserves Wolmatinger Ried and Eriskircher Ried. The observations made during the last seven years are summarized in this report…

2010 [06 June] - Remco Hofland


…Confiding pairs of Rock Partridge and Rock Ptarmigan, prolonged views of up to seven displaying male Black Grouse and a hammering male Three-toed Woodpecker were our best sightings…

2011 [05 May] - Allan Finlayson - Fribourg


The purpose of this trip was mainly to visit our daughter, currently studying at the University of Fribourg. We stayed at the Hôtel du Faucon, Rue de Lausanne, in Fribourg, which is in the plain of Switzerland between the Alps and the Jura Mountains - an area which is probably rarely visited by birdwatchers, compared with the more spectacular Alpine regions…


The Sempach Observatory (Schweizerischen Vogelwarte Sempach)


Satellite View

The homepage of the Swiss Observatory at Sempach, the largest private field research institute. Includes a quiz on Swiss birds, extensive information on Swiss species and a lot more besides. [Die Homepage der schweizerischen Vogelwarte Sempach, welche das grösste private Feldforschungsinstitut ist. Hier finden Sie ein Quiz mit schweizer Vögeln, ausführliche Informationen über Schweizer Vogelarten und vieles mehr.]


Museo Cantonale di Storia Naturale


Nel 1854 Luigi Lavizzari, naturalista e uomo politico, creò presso il Liceo cantonale (allora nel centro di Lugano) un gabinetto di storia naturale con parte delle sue collezioni, nell`intento di gettare le basi per un futuro museo patrio


Birding in Switzerland an abroad


Welcome to my blog. I love a lot of things. There is wonderful nature with lots of animals that I like to take pictures of - I like to share them with you here…

Birds, Beer & Chips


A group of Basel based Bird watchers…

Other Links

Birds On-line


Much information on European birds, over 250 pictures, red lists, etc… This site is in German. Herzlich willkommen auf meiner Homepage! Ich hoffe, dass sie Ihnen gefällt und dass Sie finden, was Sie suchen. Falls Sie Fragen oder Kritiken haben, können Sie mich per E-Mail (mail@birds-online.ch) kontaktieren…

CH Club 300


Here is information about the SMS-Rarities Service and news about rare birds in Switzerland (birdnames in german, french and english). There is also a ranking of the swiss birders…



Observation, étude et photographie des oiseaux sauvages, Protection des oiseaux etc…

Swiss Birdwatching Sites


Principaux points d'observation pour les oiseaux en Suisse - Top bird watching sites in Switzerland including line maps and locations and photographs on this informative site…



Birds and other pictures of nature…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Fotos freilebender Vögel


Bird photos from this Swiss bordering photographer…

Photographer - Joël Bruezière


Some excellent bird images…

Photographer - Ken Billington's Bird & Wildlife Photography


Birding & wildlife in Switzerland, Austria & other European countries - Photobank of high resolution bird & wildlife images, also slideshows complete with birdsong. The original jpeg files can be supplied for publications & fine-art prints.

Photographer - Michel Roggo


Welcome to Michel Roggo Online featuring the work of swiss wildlife photographer Michel Roggo. It contains two parts. The first For Editorial Use, is made especially for people looking for stories or photographs of nature and wildlife for commercial use. The fastest way to get some information about Michel Roggo and his work is to go to About Roggo. Stories features stories ready to edit in magazines, an there are Photographs of particular species, especially of fish, birds, and mammals. For a fast and up-to-date information about the photographs in the files, please go to Archive List, and you may as well print this list.

Vogelfotos der Westpaläarktis