The Netherlands have more spots for birding than we can list on this site.
Because of years of experience birding in the Netherlands, we know almost every one of them!
The Netherlands are known for some spectacular birds that are easier to see here than almost anywhere else in the world. Even top lister Phoebe Snetsinger came to the Netherlands specifically to look for Red-breasted Goose and Lesser White-fronted Goose.
Some of the birding highlights possible in the Netherlands:
Up to 10 species of geese in one day (Snow Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Brent, Pale-bellied Brent, Black Brant and Red-breasted Goose usually are all present in winter). Not only are there a lot of species of geese, the sheer numbers are breathtaking!
The gorgeous black-and-white male Smew can be found with relative ease in winter.
The largest European raptor, White-tailed Eagle, breeds in the Netherlands, making this a bird that is present year round. These magnificent birds breed very close to Amsterdam (less than 25 miles).
The second largest woodpecker in the world, Black Woodpecker, can be found almost any time of the year if you know where to look.
The second largest owl in the world, Eurasian Eagle Owl, has a roost in the south of the country and has been very reliable from December through June!
A good day in spring when singing males are most active can produce otherwise hard to find birds like Bluethroat, Nightingale, Savi's Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Great Reed Warbler, in one single day!
Birds that are usually easy to find in the Netherlands (depending on the time of year): Eurasian Spoonbill, Purple Heron, Common Buzzard, Ruff (even in full plumage), Purple Sandpiper, Bearded Reedling, Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit, a bird with a continuously shrinking world population.
For a small country (roughly 16.000 square miles - a little larger than Maryland) the Netherlands have a very impressive birdlist: over 500 species! This means we get more than our fair share of rarities. We are a member of the Dutch rare bird pager community. This means we are among the first people to know exactly when and where a rarity has been sighted. We can usually adjust any pre-planned route to see an extremely rare bird!