State of Birds 2017
    share page

    Winter visitors

    Switzerland with its many lakes and rivers is a very important wintering site for waterbirds. As a consequence, monitoring of population size and distribution during the winter focuses on this group. For decades, waterbirds have been counted twice every winter on all important sections of rivers and lakes. Switzerland has an international responsibility for several species. These have therefore been classified as national priority species. Many other species that are not dependent on water bodies are monitored – like the migrants – through the programme Rare Breeding and Visiting Birds.


    Further analyses

    The current results of the project Monitoring Wintering Waterbirds are summarised in this (german) or in this (french) document:

    In addition, detailed results can be downloaded via the following Excel files:

    In Birds of Switzerland, you can find the results of the waterbird census for any given species:

    • Category “Population”: Population numbers on the most important lakes and rivers in Switzerland as well as population trends.
    • Category “Distribution”: Distribution as documented by the waterbird census.


    • Strebel, N. (2017): Wintering Waterbirds in Switzerland - Results of the Swiss Waterbird Census 2016/2017. Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach.
    • Fox, A. D., A. Caizergues, M. V. Banik, K. Devos, M. Dvorak, M. Ellermaa, B. Folliot, A. J. Green, C. Grüneberg, M. Guillemain, A. Haland, M. Hornman, V. Keller, A. I. Koshelev, V. A. Kostyushin, A. Kozulin, L. Lawicki, L. Luigujoe, C. Müller, P. Musil, Z. Musilová, L. Nilsson, A. Mischenko, H. Pöysä, M. Sciban, J. Sjenicic, A. Stipniece, S. Svazas & J. Wahl (2016): Recent changes in the abundance of Common Pochard Aythya ferina breeding in Europe. Wildfowl 66: 22–40.
    • Fox, A.D., L. Dalby, T.K. Christensen, S. Nagy, T.J.S. Balsby, O. Crowe, P. Clausen, B. Deceuninck, K. Devos, C.A. Holt, M. Hornman, V. Keller, T. Langendoesn, A. Lehikoinen, S-H. Lorentsen, B. Molina, L. Nilsson, A. Stipniece, J-C. Svenning & J. Wahl (2016): Seeking explanations for recent changes in abundance of wintering EurasianWigeon (Anas penelope) in northwest Europe

    Internet links

    International Waterbird Census IWC