Where to Watch Birds in France

  • Expert local knowledge of the 312 best birding sites
  • 466 detailed site and region maps
  • Accompanying GPS file with waypoints for key features at sites
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  • There is no doubt that a huge effort has gone into this book, which can now be considered the definitive resource for the country’s travelling or visiting birders.
  • birding
  • birds
  • birdwatching
  • Coming Soon
  • France
  • natural history
  • ornithology
  • site guide


An introduction to France for anyone visiting with birds in mind, from casual birdwatchers checking a bird that flies over the terrace during a family holiday to addict birders who would sell their souls for a dream species or a record-breaking checklist. Some may have just a few spare hours to get their binoculars out between business meetings or museum visits, others will be out in the field for two weeks or more, from sunrise to sunset. The authors wrote this book for all bird lovers, birdwatchers and birders, whatever the duration of their stay, the number of kilometres they are prepared to travel and how they enjoy birds.

With over 400 regularly occurring species, of which 357 normally breed or winter, France has one of the most diverse avifaunas of the whole of Europe, spanning an incredible range from colourful Mediterranean flagship species such as roller, bee-eater or black-winged kite to secretive cold-climate or mountain specialists like three-toed woodpecker and Tengmalm’s owl. The Birdfinder section provides targeted details for 30 species which often rank in the top wish-list of birders visiting France.

Dividing the country into 14 regions, the authors highlight 312 representative sites, chosen for their bird species composition and ease of access. The selected sites enable the reader to see the widest possible species diversity and largest range of local specialities in a reasonable time, while respecting the basic ethical rules obvious to all birdwatchers. Whenever possible, sites are arranged in clusters or itineraries that can be covered in two to three days without hurrying. To supplement the use of the book in the field, all the sites described are geolocated in a file that can be downloaded from the publisher’s website and loaded onto any GPS device.


This book will be of interest to birders visiting France who want to get the most out of their trip.

Table of Contents

Symbol chart
Regions at a glance
Practical information
Birdwatching in France
Region 1 – Paris and the Seine Reservoirs
Region 2 – From the North Sea to the Somme Bay and the western Ardennes
Region 3 – Normandy
Region 4 – Brittany
Region 5 – The Loire Valley
Region 6 – Poitou-Charentes and the Vendée
Region 7 – Aquitaine
Region 8 – The Pyrenees
Region 9 – Western Mediterranean Coast and the Cévennes
Region 10 – Eastern Mediterranean Coast, Southern Alps and Corsica
Region 11 – Jura and the Alps
Region 12 – Massif Central
Region 13 – Burgundy
Region 14 – Northeast
Site index


  • An ideal tool for any trip to France, whether for the specific aim of birdwatching or for some other purpose that allows a quick escape.
    —José Luis Copete, Ardeola

Bibliographic Information

  • 336 pages
  • Figures
  • BISAC NAT004000, SCI070040, NAT043000, TRV009050

Teaching Resources