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© Marcel Burkhardt
Swiss Ornithological Institute

We investigate and protect what we are passionate about.

Bird of the day

The Swiss Ornithological Institute is a non-profit foundation dedicated to ornithology and the protection of birds. It monitors native birds, researches their way of life and advocates for threatened species. It looks after injured and orphaned birds, provides information and advice to the public, and runs a visitor centre in Sempach.

Our commitment

Whinchat © Marcel Burkhardt

How we help birds, support them and enhance their habitats

We develop measures, provide targeted support for endangered species, enhance habitats and generally try to improve the conditions for birds in our country.
Red Kite © Marcel Burkhardt

How we monitor bird populations and research bird life

We monitor the populations of all bird species in Switzerland and their development, investigate the lifestyles and requirements of endangered bird species and research bird migration.

100 years of the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach

The Swiss Ornithological Institute was founded on 6 April 1924 with the inauguration of an observation tower near Sempach. The powerful vision of our predecessors has grown into a foundation that makes a key contribution to ornithology and bird conservation in our country. The fundamental approach that was originally adopted has remained…

Learn more
Do you have any questions?
As a national centre of excellence for ornithology and bird protection, we provide information and advice to the public, the media and authorities.

We answer your inquiries by phone or e-mail within regular office hours .

Monday to Friday
08:00 – 12:00 / 13:30 – 17:00

Weekends and public holidays
In emergencies, please dial the emergency number.

Call now at +41 41 462 97 00

About us

European Robin © Marcel Burkhardt
Swiss Ornithological Institute

A unique institution

Our vision is to understand Switzerland’s native avifauna and to preserve its diversity for generations to come.
© Lukas Linder

Our research and protection projects

Here you will find an overview of all current projects and the most important completed ones at the Ornithological Institute.


© Marcel Burkhardt
Visitor centre

Welcome to the Swiss Ornithological Institute

An interactive exhibit, a bird cinema, a mechanical theatre about birdcalls, and a wildlife garden on the shores of Lake Sempach are your invitation to visit the local world of birds.

To the visitor centre


© Marcel Burkhardt
Bird database

Everything you need to know about the birds of Switzerland

The “Birds of Switzerland” section provides comprehensive information on over 400 different bird species that live in Switzerland.

To the bird database

The 10 most frequently searched bird species

Red Kite
Common Kingfisher
Eurasian Green Woodpecker
Great Tit
Eurasian Blue Tit
European Robin
Black Redstart
Eurasian Blackbird
European Goldfinch
Common Chaffinch
Help the birds of Switzerland.
Your support allows us to monitor stocks, identify problems, develop solutions and provide assistance to endangered species.
Donate Now
Logo Zewo

We handle the donations entrusted to us very carefully. For many years, the Swiss Ornithological Institute has carried the ZEWO seal of approval for non-profit institutions.