The Lago di Cornino reserve is named after Lake Cornino, a small lake of clear deep blue water, and borders the mighty Tagliamento River, the last “free” river in Europe. It was established in 1996 but the project of re-introducing Griffon Vulture to the region dates back to the 1980s. At that time about 75 vultures were released and a feeding point was created. According to the reserve’s website, the colony currently has about 150 griffons in winter and over 200 in spring and summer, when individuals arrive from other Mediterranean countries, and about 30 pairs nest along the central section of the valley of the River Tagliamento. Other large birds that can be observed circling above the sheer rock walls or around the feeding station include Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Golden Eagle, Red Kite and Black Kite.
During spring and autumn migration one may also spot several less common birds of prey such as Short-toed Snake Eagle , European Honey-buzzard , Osprey, Hen Harrier, European Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier and Red-footed Falcon.
Other species commonly observed around the visitor centre and the lake include Blackcap , Common Nightingale , Eurasian Jay , Rock Bunting and Western Bonelli's Warbler. Eurasian Eagle Owl, Tawny Owl and Little Owl also inhabit the area.
Best accessible by car. There is a small car park at the visitor centre.
Terrain and HabitatForest, Mountain, Lake
Is a telescope useful?Can be useful
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring migration, Summer, Spring, Autumn migration
Difficulty walking trailAverage walk
Birdwatching hide / platformYes
The best view of the feeding station is from within the visitor centre and therefore only accessible at opening hours. There is also a small exhibition about the geography of the region and its fauna and flora at the visitor centre. A few captive birds are exhibited here, e.g. specimen of griffon vulture that could not be released.