The mountains are a sanctuary for a huge variety and diversity of wild birds and animals all over the world. The often harsh climates and inaccessibility of the mountain environment make them less attractive to farmers and human exploitation than other more easily exploitable land, leaving them free for wild birds and animals to inhabit.
Watch the much loved furry marmots of the Alps scamper around the rocks and hear their piercing whistle as they spot one of their most common predators, the golden eagle as it soars through the sky above.
Listen to the wolves howling and spot their latest victim by the giveaway flock of vultures circling above the carcass.
In Europe you can find a huge variety of large mammals including bears, wolves, wild boar, foxes, lynx, chamois, ibex, many varieties of deer from moose to roe deer, and more. Smaller animals include the red squirrel, hares including the white mountain hare, pine martens, badgers, wild cats and many many more!
For bird lovers, the mountains are home to a huge plethora of well known birds including many rare species. Look out for ptarmigan, black grouse, golden eagles, snake eagles, eagle owls, alpine wall creepers, rock martin, snowfinch, vultures and many, many more too!
Best Wildlife Spotting Holidays
With our wildlife experts to show you where to look and a good pair of binoculars, a walk in the mountains becomes an amazing discovery of the natural world that many people are completely ignorant of.
We have a range of specific wildlife and bird watching holidays like our Wolf Tracking Trip in the Alps where the whole focus of the trip is around wildlife watching, in this case wolves. We also have one off wildlife and bird watching activities that you can do with your activity points on any of our customisable summer activity holidays or winter activity holidays.
Getting in to the wild to track and observe animals often means staying in remote cabins or even wild camping to really experience the mountain habitat so be prepared for an adventure!
On that note, a fantastic holiday to do if you love walking and wildlife is our guided walk through the foothills of the Alps. This area is particularly rich in wildlife and the walk takes you into wild untrodden paths where wildlife is at its most relaxed!
Our trek in the Himalayas to do the Alternative Annapurna Circuit is also a fabulous wildlife experience as it takes you right off the beaten track and you are camping in remote mountain locations so the chances of seeing wild animals on this trip is exceptionally high.
When to go on a Wildlife Holiday
There is plenty to see in the mountains all year round but some animals and birds can only be spotted in certain seasons in particular mountain regions. Migratory birds have regular patterns with some arriving for winter and some for the summer. Some animals like marmots and bears hibernate in the winter and others move further down the mountain to avoid the harsh winter climate.
Ironically, snow is also a good way to track animals and read the otherwise unseen natural wildlife traffic as they go about their daily routines. We chose the winter months for our wolf tracking trips for this reason. The snow also reduces their territory so they are in a smaller patch and easier to find!