Monitoring rare breeding and visiting birds

Our Information service receives about 400,000 chance observations every year from volunteer birdwatchers all over Switzerland. For many species this provides reliable information on their spatial and temporal patterns of occurrence as well as on population trends.


  1. Systematic collection of selected chance observations of birds from all of Switzerland
  2. Annual assessment of the spatial and temporal patterns of occurrence of all moderately rare to rare species of breeding birds and migrant species
  3. Estimation of population trends
  4. Early-warning system for range changes, invasions or other extraordinary events


Since about 1960, our Information service has been systematically collecting opportunistic observations of birds. The Ornithological Institute benefits from the observation efforts of more than two thousand volunteer collaborators, many of them experts with sound skills in field ornithology and extensive knowledge of Swiss and European birds. These invaluable collaborators record their observations on our online birding platform In exchange they receive a bird information bulletin twice a year, which contains a summary of the most noteworthy bird observations made in Switzerland during the past four months as well as calls for special collaborations and further information.

You can record any remarkable sightings directly at

Project management

Bernard Volet


The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment FOEN supports our database and thus obtains access to the data contained therein.

Financial support

Swiss Federal Office for the Environment FOEN


Schmid, H., M. Burkhardt, V. Keller, P. Knaus, B. Volet & N. Zbinden (2001):
Die Entwicklung der Vogelwelt in der Schweiz/L'évolution de l'avifaune en Suisse.