List of birds of Germany
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Germany. The avifauna of Germany includes a total of 514 species, of which 11 have been introduced by humans, and 204 are rare or accidental in Germany and are not included in the species count. 14 species are globally threatened.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of Clements's 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflects this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Germany.
The following tags have been used to highlight certain relevant categories. The commonly occurring, native, species do not fall into any of these categories.
- (A) Accidental A species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Germany.
- (I) Introduced A species introduced to Germany as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions.
Loons, known as Divers in Europe, are group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Europe. They are the size of a large duck or small goose, which they somewhat resembles in shape when swimming, but they completely unrelated to these waterfowl. There are 5 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Germany.
- Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata
- Arctic Loon Gavia arctica
- Common Loon Gavia immer
- Yellow-billed Loon Gavia adamsii (A)
Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Germany.
- Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
- Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
- Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
- Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus
- Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris (A)
Shearwaters and petrels
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with a medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Germany.
- Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
- Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea (A)
- Greater Shearwater Puffinus gravis (A)
- Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus (A)
- Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus (A)
- Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus (A)
- Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis (A)
The storm petrels are relatives of the petrels, and are the smallest of sea-birds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Germany.
- Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus (A)
- European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus (A)
- Leach's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)
Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
Boobies and gannets
- Northern Gannet Morus bassanus (A)
The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating sea-birds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black and white, and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Germany.
- Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
- European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis (A)
- Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmaeus (A)
Bitterns, herons and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 61 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Germany.
- Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
- Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
- Great Egret Ardea alba
- Little Egret Egretta garzetta
- Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides (A)
- Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis (A)
- Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
- Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
- Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
Ibises and spoonbills
The Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Germany.
- Waldrapp Geronticus eremita (A)
- Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (A)
- Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Ducks, geese and swans
The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 47 species which occur in Germany.
- Mute Swan Cygnus olor
- Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
- Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus
- Bean Goose Anser fabalis
- Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
- Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
- Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus (A)
- Greylag Goose Anser anser
- Brant Branta bernicla
- Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
- Canada Goose Branta canadensis (I)
- Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis (A)
- Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus (I)
- Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
- Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata (I)
- Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
- American Wigeon Anas americana (A)
- Gadwall Anas strepera
- Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
- Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
- Northern Pintail Anas acuta
- Garganey Anas querquedula
- Blue-winged Teal Anas discors (A)
- Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
- Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris (A)
- Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
- Common Pochard Aythya ferina
- Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris (A)
- Ferruginous Pochard Aythya nyroca
- Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
- Greater Scaup Aythya marila
- Common Eider Somateria mollissima
- King Eider Somateria spectabilis (A)
- Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri (A)
- Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus (A)
- Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
- Black Scoter Melanitta nigra
- Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata (A)
- White-winged Scoter Melanitta fusca
- Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
- Barrow's Goldeneye Bucephala islandica (A)
- Smew Mergellus albellus
- Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus (I)
- Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
- Common Merganser Mergus merganser
- Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis (I)
- White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (A)
The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the Osprey. The Osprey is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
- Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Hawks, kites and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 28 species which occur in Germany.
- European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus
- Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus (A)
- Red Kite Milvus milvus
- Black Kite Milvus migrans
- White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
- Steller's Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus (A)
- Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus (A)
- Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
- Eurasian Griffon Gyps fulvus
- Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus (A)
- Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus (A)
- Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
- Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
- Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus (A)
- Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
- Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes (A)
- Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
- Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
- Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo
- Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (A)
- Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus
- Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina
- Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga (A)
- Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis (A)
- Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (A)
- Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
- Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciatus
- Booted Eagle Aquila pennatus (A)
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 62 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Germany.
- Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (A)
- Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
- Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus (A)
- Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae (A)
- Merlin Falco columbarius
- Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
- Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus (A)
- Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (A)
- Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus (A)
- Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Turkeys are similar to large pheasants but have a distinctive fleshy wattle that hangs from the beak, called a snood. There are two species, both native to the Americas, and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo (I)
Grouse are game birds, similar to quails and partridge. There are 18 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Germany.
- Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus (A)
- Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus muta
- Eurasian Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus
- Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix
- Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia
New World quails
The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits. There are 32 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas, and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- California Quail Callipepla californica (I)
Pheasants and partridges
The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they may vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Germany.
- Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca (A)
- Chukar Alectoris chukar (I)
- Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa (A)
- Gray Partridge Perdix perdix
- Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
- Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus (I)
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
Rails, crakes, gallinules, and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Germany.
- Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
- Corn Crake Crex crex
- Little Crake Porzana parva
- Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla
- Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
- Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio (A)
- Allen's Gallinule Porphyrio alleni (A)
- Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
- Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips, and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays. There are 26 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Germany.
- Great Bustard Otis tarda
- Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata (A)
- Macqueen's Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii (A)
- Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax (A)
- Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Avocets and stilts
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus
Pratincoles and coursers
Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Germany.
- Cream-colored Courser Cursorius cursor (A)
- Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola (A)
- Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni (A)
Plovers and lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions. There are 66 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Germany.
- Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
- Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus (A)
- Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius (A)
- White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus (A)
- Pacific Golden-Plover Pluvialis fulva (A)
- American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica (A)
- European Golden-Plover Pluvialis apricaria
- Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
- Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
- Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
- Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
- Lesser Sandplover Charadrius mongolus (A)
- Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii (A)
- Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus (A)
- Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus
Sandpipers and allies
The Scolopacidae are a large diverse family of small to medium sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 89 species worldwide and 46 species which occur in Germany.
- Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
- Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
- Great Snipe Gallinago media
- Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
- Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus (A)
- Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (A)
- Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
- Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
- Little Curlew Numenius minutus (A)
- Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
- Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris (A)
- Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
- Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda (A)
- Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
- Common Redshank Tringa totanus
- Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
- Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
- Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes (A)
- Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
- Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
- Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus (A)
- Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
- Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia (A)
- Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
- Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris (A)
- Red Knot Calidris canutus
- Sanderling Calidris alba
- Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla (A)
- Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
- Little Stint Calidris minuta
- Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
- Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla (A)
- White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis (A)
- Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii (A)
- Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos (A)
- Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata (A)
- Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
- Dunlin Calidris alpina
- Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
- Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus (A)
- Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus
- Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis (A)
- Ruff Philomachus pugnax
- Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor (A)
- Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
- Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Skuas and jaegers
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Germany.
- Great Skua Stercorarius skua
- Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus (A)
- Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus
- Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus
Laridae is a family of medium to large birds seabirds and includes gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and 23 species which occur in Germany.
- Mew Gull Larus canus
- Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii (A)
- Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis (A)
- Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
- Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
- Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
- Herring Gull Larus argentatus
- Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
- Heuglin's Gull Larus heuglini (A)
- Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans (A)
- Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
- Great Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus (A)
- Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
- Slender-billed Gull Larus genei (A)
- Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia (A)
- Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
- Laughing Gull Larus atricilla (A)
- Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan (A)
- Little Gull Larus minutus
- Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea (A)
- Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea (A)
- Sabine's Gull Xema sabini (A)
- Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Terns are a group of generally general medium to large sea-birds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25 to 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Germany.
- Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
- Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
- Elegant Tern Sterna elegans (A)
- Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
- Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii (A)
- Common Tern Sterna hirundo
- Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
- Little Tern Sterna albifrons
- Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus (A)
- Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata (A)
- Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
- White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
- Black Tern Chlidonias niger
- Brown Noddy Anous stolidus (A)
Auks, Murres, and Puffins
Alcids are superficially similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits, however they are not related to the penguins and differ in being able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, only deliberately coming ashore to nest. There are 24 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Germany.
- Dovekie Alle alle
- Common Murre Uria aalge
- Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia (A)
- Razorbill Alca torda
- Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle
- Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica
Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes. There are 16 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
Pigeons and doves
- Rock Pigeon Columba livia (I)
- Stock Dove Columba oenas
- Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus
- Eurasian Turtle-Dove Streptopelia turtur
- Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis (A)
- Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Parrots, macaws and allies
Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two back. There are 335 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri (I)
Cuckoos and anis
The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Germany.
- Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius (A)
- Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
- Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus (A)
Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Barn Owl Tyto alba
Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Germany.
- European Scops-Owl Otus scops (A)
- Eurasian Eagle-Owl Bubo bubo
- Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus (A)
- Tawny Owl Strix aluco
- Ural Owl Strix uralensis
- Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa (A)
- Northern Hawk-Owl Surnia ulula (A)
- Eurasian Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum
- Little Owl Athene noctua
- Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus
- Long-eared Owl Asio otus
- Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
Swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Germany.
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- European Roller Coracias garrulus (A)
Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Hoopoe Upupa epops
Woodpeckers and allies
Woodpeckers are small to medium sized birds with chisel like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 218 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Germany.
- Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla
- Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor
- Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius
- White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos
- Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
- Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus (A)
- Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus
- Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius
- European Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
- Gray-faced Woodpecker Picus canus
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Germany.
- Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra (A)
- White-winged Lark Melanocorypha leucoptera (A)
- Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis (A)
- Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (A)
- Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens (A)
- Crested Lark Galerida cristata
- Wood Lark Lullula arborea
- Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
- Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
Swallows and martins
The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Germany.
- Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
- Eurasian Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
- Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
- Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica (A)
- Common House-Martin Delichon urbica
Wagtails and pipits
The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Germany.
- White Wagtail Motacilla alba
- Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola (A)
- Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
- Gray Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
- Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi (A)
- Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
- Blyth's Pipit Anthus godlewskii (A)
- Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
- Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni (A)
- Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
- Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
- Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
- Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
- Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens (A)
The kinglets or crests are a small group of birds often included in the Old World warblers, but frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. There are 7 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
The waxwings are a group of passerine birds characterized by soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax, and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements. There are 5 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and a thin down-turned bill. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 80 species worldwide (of which all but one are New World species) and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Mockingbirds and Thrashers
The mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, especially their ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. Their colouring tends towards dull greys and browns. There are 35 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
The accentors are in the only bird family, Prunellidae, which is completely endemic to the Palearctic. They are small, fairly drab species superficially similar to sparrows. There are 13 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
Thrushes and allies
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Germany.
- Common Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (A)
- Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (A)
- Siberian Thrush Zoothera sibirica (A)
- Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma (A)
- Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus (A)
- Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus (A)
- Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus (A)
- Tickell's Thrush Turdus unicolor (A)
- Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
- Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
- Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus (A)
- Dark-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis (A)
- Dusky Thrush Turdus naumanni (A)
- Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
- Redwing Turdus iliacus
- Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
- Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
- American Robin Turdus migratorius (A)
Cisticolas and allies
The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. There are 111 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis (A)
Old World warblers
The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. The Sylviidae mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 291 species worldwide and 43 species which occur in Germany.
- Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti (A)
- Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata (A)
- Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
- Pallas's Warbler Locustella certhiola (A)
- Eurasian River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis
- Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides
- Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon (A)
- Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola
- Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
- Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola (A)
- Eurasian Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
- Blyth's Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum (A)
- Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris
- Great Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
- Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata (A)
- Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida (A)
- Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum (A)
- Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta
- Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina
- Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
- Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
- Western Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli
- Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
- Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus (A)
- Radde's Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi (A)
- Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus (A)
- Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus (A)
- Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei (A)
- Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis (A)
- Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
- Eastern Crowned Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus
- Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
- Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
- Greater Whitethroat Sylvia communis
- Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
- Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana (A)
- Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria
- Western Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis (A)
- Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassirostris (A)
- Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans (A)
- Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala (A)
- Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata (A)
- Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata (A)
Old World flycatchers
Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is very varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide and 23 species which occur in Germany.
- Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
- European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
- Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis
- Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
- European Robin Erithacus rubecula
- Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia
- Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
- Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope (A)
- Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
- Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus
- Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas galactotes (A)
- Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
- Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
- Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura (A)
- Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
- European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola
- White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga (A)
- Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura (A)
- Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
- Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka (A)
- Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica (A)
- Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti (A)
- Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina (A)
The parrotbills are a group of birds native to East and Southeast Asia, though feral populations are known from elsewhere. They are generally small, long-tailed birds which inhabit reedbeds and similar habitats. There are 20 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Bearded Reedling Panurus biarmicus
Long-tailed tits are a group of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet that includes insects. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Chickadees and titmice
The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are species 59 worldwide and 7 species which occur in Germany.
- Marsh Tit Poecile palustris
- Willow Tit Poecile montana
- Coal Tit Periparus ater
- Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus
- Great Tit Parus major
- Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
- Azure Tit Cyanistes cyanus (A)
Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. There are 24 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea
The Wallcreeper is a small bird with stunning crimson, grey and black plumage, related to the nuthatch family.
- Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria
Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There are 6 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
The penduline tits are a group of small passerine birds, related to the true tits. They are insectivores. There are 13 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Eurasian Penduline-Tit Remiz pendulinus
Old World orioles
The Old World Orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 31 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Germany.
- Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
- Rufous-tailed Shrike Lanius isabellinus (A)
- Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus (A)
- Northern Shrike Lanius excubitor
- Lesser Gray Shrike Lanius minor (A)
- Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
Crows, jays, ravens and magpies
The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show high levels of learning behavior. There are 120 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Germany.
- Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
- Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
- Eurasian Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes
- Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax (A)
- Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus
- Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
- Rook Corvus frugilegus
- Carrion Crow Corvus corone
- Common Raven Corvus corax
- Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
The vireos are a group of small to medium sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 52 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Germany.
New World warblers
The New World warblers are a group of small, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. There are 119 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens (A)
Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies
The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are named as buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as Sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are species 275 worldwide and 18 species which occur in Germany.
- Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
- Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos (A)
- Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
- Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
- Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea (A)
- Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
- Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia (A)
- Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla (A)
- Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica (A)
- Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola (A)
- Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala (A)
- Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps (A)
- Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala (A)
- Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
- Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
- Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca (A)
- Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus
- Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Saltators, Cardinals and allies
The cardinals are a family of passerine birds that are robust, seed-eating birds, with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 43 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Germany.
- Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea (A)
Siskins, crossbills and allies
Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide and 19 species which occur in Germany.
- Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
- Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
- Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator (A)
- Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
- Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus (A)
- Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
- White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera (A)
- European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
- Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea
- Hoary Redpoll Carduelis hornemanni (A)
- Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus
- European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
- Twite Carduelis flavirostris
- Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina
- European Serin Serinus serinus
- Citril Finch Serinus citrinella
- Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
- Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
- Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githaginea (A)
Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Germany.
- House Sparrow Passer domesticus
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
- Rock Petronia Petronia petronia (A)
- White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Germany". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- Clements, James F. (2000). Birds of the World: a Checklist. Cornell University Press. p. 880. ISBN 0-934797-16-1.