Discover Poland’s own Amazon 15.05.2013 Biebrza Valley
The Biebrza River Valley is the biggest Polish national park and the best place in the country to go canoeing and bird watching.
“This is the Poland I dreamt about, this is the Poland I discovered,” writes Ernesto Occhiato, professor of chemistry at the University of Florence and avid bird-watcher. This Italian nature lover has been enchanted by the Biebrza River Valley in northeast Poland. It is the biggest collection of marshes, wetlands, and peat bogs in Europe. There are over 230 bird species – some endemic – living in an area of almost 600 km2.
The sheer size and biodiversity of the region mean that it is sometimes dubbed the "Polish Amazon". It even has its own indigenous Indian – nature photographer Darek Karp (friends call him “Chief”). The world-renowned wildlife photographer lives in a wooden hut among the marshes, dresses like Winnetou, and publishes his work in National Geographic magazine. His “Dom Trapera” Biebrza Guest House is open throughout the year for those eager to relax in the heart of nature.
The Biebrza River Valley is home to a large variety of birds: white-tailed eagles, horned owls, short-eared owls, corn crakes, and ruffs. It is also a refuge for mammals, featuring beavers, otters, and the largest population of elk in Poland. The most precious species to be found in the marshes is the aquatic warbler. This small migratory bird lives only in Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. The yellow-feathered creature attracts naturalists from around Europe to the Biebrza peat bogs.