Bird Research and Tracking


The provinces of Iğdır, Kars, Ağrı and Ardahan are on the intercontinental bird migration routes. The wetlands in the region provide nutrition, rest and protection opportunities for many bird species during their migration journeys, while they are also breeding grounds for some species.

With bird ringing and tracking studies, the migration routes of birds can be identified. The data obtained as an outcome of the study helps us to protect the areas of international importance.


Aras Bird Research and Education Center – Aras River Bird Sanctuary

Aras River Bird Sanctuary is located in the Yukarı Çıyriklı village of Tuzluca district of Iğdır on the banks of the Aras River. The sanctuary and the research center is located on the Caucasus-Eurasian bird migration route. It is the first bird migration research station in Eastern Anatolia. Since autumn 2006 research and education activities has been continuing.

Bird ringing activities continue at this station for 6 months every year. In total, 332 bird species were recorded in Iğdır province. This number constitutes 68% of Turkey’s bird species, making Iğdır one of the most important provinces for birds in Turkey. The Aras River Wetland, where we are working hosts 299 bird species. 199 of these species are ringed in our station. Our studies have shown that Aras River Wetland is an important bird sanctuary where birds use to rest, feed and reproduce during migration.

The 7.2 grams Swallow (Hirundo rustica) ringed in Aras Bird Research Center was caught again in Kabwe city of Zambia on the African continent, Willow Nightingale (Phylloscopus trochilus) in Bulgaria and Öter Juniper (Turdus philomelos) in Cyprus.

At the Aras Bird Research Center, a steppe falcon (Buteo buteo) ringed in Israel, a 10.3 gram willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) ringed in Russia, and a 7.8 gram Swallow ringed in Cape Town,(Hirundo rustica) was caught again. Flying 7,835 km, the swallow (Hirundo rustica) has become the longest known migratory bird in Turkey.