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Birds of Montenegro

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In Montenegro, 348 bird species has been registered so far (of the total 533 registered in Europe until today or 65% of the European bird fauna), including Turnix sylvaticus, whose appearance remained suspicious. Also, the presence (for example: Fulmarus glacialis) and the status of some species (for example: Carpodacus erythrinus) was determined on the basis of the findings of authors, which have not been published yet.

Out of the total number of bird species registered so far, 213 species belong to the certain breeding and seven species are possible breeding, while ten are considered to be extinct, such as for example, Aegypius monachus. 106 species are considered to be resident, i.e. species which spend the whole life cycle in Montenegro. This number includes two species that are introduced (pheasant and chukar). 107 species of birds registered in Montenegro are breeding migratory birds.

The occurrence of 21 species, such as Tetrax tetrax, represents a historical data, because for at least 30 years back they had not been registered on the territory of Montenegro. Out of the total number of species (348), 266 species are regularly seen in Montenegro, while 14 species are occasionally seen.

The richness of bird fauna of a country is viewed through the total number of registered species or, more often, trough the number of breeding species. In Montenegro, the density index of breeding species, which represents the ratio between the logarithm of the number of breeding species and the logarithm of the country's surface area, is significantly above the Balkan average (0.435) and it amounts 0.563. This is contributed by the diversity of habitats: from the sea coast, across the salinas, freshwater lakes, semi steppes, canyons, dense forests, mountain plateaus and high mountain peaks. On the other hand, Montenegro is located in one of the four most important corridors for birds in Europe - Adriatic Flyway, through which millions of birds annually migrate to Africa and vice versa.

In comparison to other European countries, the number of 213 species that breed in Montenegro is relatively high, taking into consideration that Montenegro is one of the smallest European countries. For example, according to its surface, Montenegro is on the 39th place, while according to the number of breeding birds at 22th, just below Hungary, which is nearly seven times larger than Montenegro. Also, Montenegro has more breeding birds than the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Slovenia or Switzerland, for example.

First preview of the ornithological richness of Montenegro in the form of a list of bird species was published as the Catalogus faunae Jugoslaviae by the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Slovenia in 1973, as pertaining part of the Catalog of the bird fauna of SFR Yugoslavia. Later, the bird fauna of Montenegro was elaborated in the context of the Diversity of Bird Species in Yugoslavia, with an Overview of Species of International Importance in 1995, and, finally the List of Birds of Montenegro with Bibliography, which represents the first independent paper related solely to its territory.

Due to the lack of field research and the large part of territorial non-coverage, many species in this list have been rated stricter than it would be the case in the field. This List of Birds of Montenegro is subject to a revision and all scientifically proven feedback is more than welcome.

List of Birds of Montenegro with Bibliography can be downloaded here.

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