The overall distribution of this species can be assessed, and
specific locations where birds have been spotted can be found,
based on individual sighting reports submitted by birdwatchers to
The global distribution of the Smew is available
Smews are a migratory Eurasian species.
Their range extends along almost the entire width of Europe
and Asia, from southern England and northern Scandinavia in
the West to far-eastern Siberia, Kamchatka, Japan and, on
passage, parts of the Aleutian island chain in the East.
They breed in a wide area from northern Scandinavia to
far-eastern Asia, while they overwinter in wetlands from
western/central Europe to southern/eastern China, South
Korea and Japan.
In Europe Smews breed in boreal forest from northern
Scandinavia, parts of the Kola peninsula and
north-western Russia (except the western and northern
Their winter quarters extend from southern England
to central Europe (from northern France and the
Benelux countries to Denmark, northern Germany and
Poland. They also overwinter in large parts of the
Danube valley, from southern Germany to Hungary and
on to the Black Sea coastline.
In central Germany, southern Poland, the Baltic states
and around the Baltic Sea they are found only during
their migration. Other migration routes lead from the
northern coastlines of the Black Sea and the Caspian
Sea to northern Russia.
Smews are tree hollow-nesting birds that, during their
breeding season, have a strong preference for boreal
forest, usually near clear lakes or calm streams.
Outside the breeding season they favour often
well-vegetated fresh water wetlands, including