The bird reserve at Bøtø Nor is what is left of a much larger, shallow coastal lagoon. The central part of the original Bøtø Nor has been preserved as a bird reserve. It consists of a stretch of land with meadows, reedbeds and ponds, with a total water surface area of 3 hectare. Various species of duck breed in the reserve, including Common Teal, Garganey and Northern Shoveler. Great Bittern, Water Rail, Common Crane and up to three pairs of Marsh Harrier nest in the reedbeds. Also Red-necked Grebe can be seen often.
In autumn, Bøtø Nor is an important staging area for migrants. Many species of ducks and geese can be seen on the ponds. Many waders appear on the reserve during the migration period, when large flocks of European Golden Plover and Northern Lapwing are seen, together with smaller flocks of Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper. Red-necked Phalarope is spotted fairly regularly in Bøtø Nor in August/September. A few non-breeding Common Crane sometimes stay here in summer, but larger numbers can be seen during autumn migration. During the day they feed on the surrounding fields but spend the night in the reserve.
In winter, the surrounding fields host large flocks of geese and a fair number of Whooper Swan can often be seen. Pink-footed Goose are seen more and more often and in increasing numbers. White-tailed Eagle are seen regularly all year round, as they nest in the adjoining Bøtø Plantage. Peregrine Falcon are spotted very often during the migration periods and in winter. Migrating Eurasian Hobby pass over the area in autumn, and in winter Hen Harrier can be observed, flying over the reedbeds and the fields. Now and again rarities appear.
On route E55 between Nykøbing and Gedser, turn off in Marrebæk towards Bøtø. Where the road ends in a T-junction, turn right along Bøtø Ringvej (ring road). There are a bird hide and a bird observation tower with good views over the area from the eastern side of the reserve. The hide is reached by turning right along Trevlekronevej and continuing to the end of the road. The hide is covered and is handicap-friendly. The tower is reached by driving further along the ring road (going south) and then turning right along Tidselvej and continuing to the end. At the tower there is also a handicap-friendly ramp and a viewing platform. There are signs to both viewpoints (‘Fugletårn’) on the ring road. One can drive from one to the other along Lævej. There are small car parks at both towers. Another possibility is to follow the main E55 road southwards. Just after a lay-by south of Marrebæk one can turn left onto a gravel track (not clearly signposted) which crosses the fields left of the road. After around 500m one reaches a small car park from which there is access to the third and newest observation tower in the area. The route is marked and there is just over one kilometer to the tower, which is very well situated for observing the birds at short distance. It is not, however, handicap-friendly.
To explore Bøtø Nor on foot, one can follow a 15 km long network of paths and gravel tracks around the area. They can be accessed from all three observation towers, where there are information boards showing the route. South of the bird reserve is Bøtø Plantage, which is south Falster’s largest wood, where one can go for a circular walk on marked trails.