Birdwatching Kopacki Rit

Important Bird Area

Bird watching in Eastern Croatia

BIRDWATCHING | 6-hour | 159 € | Nature park Kopacki Rit, Eastern Croatia. This private 6-hour birdwatching programme with a professional guide will show you why is Kopacki rit reserve included in the List of Important Bird Areas (IBA) and also in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Kopacki rit Nature Park in North-East Croatia, in the Baranja region, is a part of the Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve which is under UNESCO protection. It is one of the largest wetlands in Europe and with its 293 bird species an ornithological significant area. It makes up 78 procent of the total bird fauna in Croatia.

Although is still not so well known birding destination, the park is really worth visiting. There is no mass tourism. It plays an essential role in a local tourism, prolongs the tourist season and brings benefits to local people and whole environment.

The ideal period for birdwatching in Kopacki rit is from the middle of April to the middle of September. With the appropriate equipment (field glasses, spotting scope ) it is possible to observe both popular bird species and, with a bit of patience, rarities such as the Black Stork or Imperial Eagle.

The tour can be adapted for both: beginners who want to know more about this interesting and popular hobby, and birders for who the observation of birds is a recreational activity done through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes.

ITINERARY

Arrival at the Visitor Centre Kopacki rit

6:00 AM - Arrival at the Visitor Centre Kopacki rit

The birdwatching day-trip starts at 6:00am from the Visitor Centre of Nature Park Kopacki rit, next to the village Kopačevo, a 10-minute drive from Osijek City. In the Visitor Centre you will meet your guide. There is a possibility to meet at the boat dock inside the nature park, which is about 1.5 km away from the Visitor Centre.

Special Zoological Reserve

6:30 AM - Special Zoological Reserve

The exciting six-hour birdwatching programme with a professional guide starts in the Special Zoological Reserve. The whole surface of this high protected area lies on 71 km2 (7.143 ha). Taking picture of so many interesting birds so close or feeling the thrill of spotting huge eagles soaring high above the plain – that could be a memorable and exciting adventure.. Your guide will explain you everything you want to know and how to behave and get closer to the bird you want to observe. He will help you to recognise bird flights, calls, habitats. Duration of birdwatching programme: 6 hours.

Lunch – picnic or traditional restaurant

12:45 PM - Lunch – picnic or traditional restaurant

You can choose between having lunch in a nature or in a traditional local restaurant. If you choose a restaurant we recommend the Kormoran restaurant located in the Kopacki rit Nature Park. It serves Baranja's traditional cuisine and probably the best fish stew called Fish Paprikash (local specialty). There are also various regional specialties especially from freshwater fish and venison. The restaurant has a big garden and childrens' playground. Not far from the restaurant you can observe the famous Podolac cows, a traditional, but today endangered breed of cattle that graze freely in the nature of Kopacki rit.

Return to the Visitor Centre Kopacki rit

14:30 PM - Return to the Visitor Centre Kopacki rit

Our birdwatching Kopacki rit excursion ends in the Visitor Centre of Nature Park from where you started this day-trip.

Departures 2019:

  • from middle of April until middle of September - every day
  • dates on request
  • reservations at least 3 days in advance

Price: 159 € per person / 6 hours

  • The excursion price is based on a minimum of one (1) participant.
  • Individual guests can join an existing group.
  • Definite departure will be confirmed to participants by e-mail.
  • Participants interested in a private trip may contact Inlandia for an individual offer.

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Birdwatching programme with an English, German or Hungarian speaking professional guide specialized in birdwatching.
  • Entrance fee for Nature Park Kopacki rit.
  • Insurance and costs for the organization and realization of a trip.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE  /  Additional costs:

  • Transfer to another starting / ending point (of your interest).
  • Equipment for bird-watching.
  • Beverages and picnic lunch.
  • Lunch in a local restaurant. Approx. 12€ - 20€ for a menu.
  • Personal expenses and tips.
  • Additional health and cancellation insurance, which can be arranged by e-mail to info@inlandia.com
  • All other expenses not covered by the programme.

You need to bring:

  1. All the necessary equipment that you will use in the bird-watching: basic equipment are binoculars and digital camera (with or without tripod); for the more serious bird watcher a spotting scopes and a hide are necessary if you want to get a much closer look at birds and take photographs by digiscoping - a technique using a digital camera and a scope to take long range shots.  
  2. Lightweight, waterproof, warm clothes, hat, sunglasses, sun cream.
  3. Lunch and drinks.
  4. Notebook and pencil are recommended for writing down interesting and needed information.

Note* For those who are more interested in experiencing Kopacki rit in the eastern Croatia, we recommend our excursion Canoeing Kopacki Rit

  • Nature Park Kopacki rit
  • 293 bird species

Kopacki Rit Nature Park is one of the largest wetlands in Europe, ornithological significant area (293 species of birds) and the largest freshwater fish hatchery in the Danube region (about 60 species). It is situated in the Eastern Croatia, in the picturesque plains of Baranja, between the rivers Drava and Danube. It stretches across the area of 240 km2. A great biodiversity of 2.000 biological species reflects the rich flora and fauna of the park. Due to the exceptional natural values Kopacki rit is included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance and also in the List of Important Bird Areas (IBA). More than 7500 areas in over 170 countries have been designated on the IBAs list from 2004. In 2012, the Park was declared as part of the Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO protection.

293 bird species, up to now, have been registered in Kopački rit, which makes up 78,1% of the total bird fauna in Croatia (375 species). The diversity of birds is specially high during spring and autumn migrations, and then in the summer. Approximately 70% of species living in the park area can be seen in one single tour, which means that birdwatchers can see as many as 60 bird species in one day.

Some of bird species in Kopacki rit:

  • White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is particularly attractive, and they are well-established in the Kopacki rit. We can often see ten to twenty specimens if there is enough food. They feed on meat; sometimes they eat injured birds or geese, wild boars and marsh turtles. Fish have also a special role in their food.
  • There are large colonies of cormorants and grey herons (Ardea cinerea) during the nesting period. Kopački rit is a paradise for different species of heron. The most numerous are the Grey Herons. A large colony exists at the area called “Ćošak šume” ("Forest corner") counting more than a thousand pairs. They like to build their nests high up on the treetops. There is also the purple heron (Ardea purpurea) which used to be the most numerous species in Kopački rit. Today they nest irregularly in only a couple of pairs.
  • The park is also known for the Ferruginous Duck (Anas platyrchynchos) - the most numerous of all ducks in Kopački rit. They built their nests on trees in spring when the water level is high. The number of these ducks rises to tens of thousands during autumn and winter.
  • The Wild Geese (Anser anser) are great flyers and the ones coming to Kopački rit nest in Sweden and Finland. They must constantly keep their feathers in good condition in order to keel over the long journeys.

There are also white and black storks, egrets, Black-headed Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Imperial Eagle, …

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