Bird Watching in Madeira: A Symphony of Nature’s Wonders
Birdwatching is an activity that finds, on Madeira, ideal conditions for its practice, whether being the observation of land or sea birds.
Birdwatching is a pleasant way of getting to know, in depth, the elements that make up the unique natural heritage of Madeira.
The rich biodiversity of the Madeira Islands, which are considered as a Biogenetic Reserve by the European Union and a World Natural Heritage by UNESCO, allows you to observe native species of Madeira and Macaronesia.
So just take a leisurely stroll down the paths and levadas (man-made waterways) and enjoy the discovery of the long-toed pigeon (Columba trocaz), the Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea schmitzi), the Buzzard (Buteo buteo harterti) and the Zino’s Petrel (Pterodroma Madeira). Should you prefer to make a boat trip, then you will also be able to see and enjoy a large variety of marine birds.
There are companies specialised in this area that organise excursions on land or sea, adapted to your preferences.
Madeira, an archipelago renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and rich biodiversity, offers a unique opportunity for bird enthusiasts to explore and admire various species in their natural habitats. Bird watching in Madeira is more than a leisure activity; it’s a profound experience that connects you with nature’s essence. This blog post will guide you through the beauty and significance of bird watching in Madeira, highlighting the species you may encounter and the best practices to follow.
The mild climate of Madeira and Porto Santo Islands is ideal for the practice of all kinds of sports, leisure and outdoors activities, at any time of the year.
Many options are available, including water, land and aerial sports, ranging from relaxing activities to traditional and extreme sports:
Sea lovers will benefit from the warm sea currents, with temperatures ranging between 19º and 24ºC, ideal for snorkelling, diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and sport fishing, all year round. You will also be able to catch the best waves in Europe, at the Jardim do Mar, Fajã da Areia (São Vicente) and Porto da Cruz beaches.
A quiet boat trip is also a must. Sailing along the coast, you will be able to watch the dolphins, whales and monk seals that grace Madeira seas with their presence.
The Flora and Fauna of Madeira
Madeira’s ecosystems are among its most valued assets. The islands are home to several endemic species and subspecies that enrich the local biodiversity. Bird watching in Madeira offers a chance to witness these rare species in preserved and highly respected ecosystems.
Key Bird Species to Spot
- Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs madeirensis): A colorful bird that adds vibrancy to the Madeiran forests.
- Bis bis (Regulus ignicapillus madeirensis): A small and lively bird, unique to the region.
- Papinho (Erithacus rubecula rubecula): Known for its melodious song and striking appearance.
- Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea schmitzi): Often found near water, this bird is known for its graceful movements.
- Zino’s Petrel (Pterodroma Madeira): A rare seabird that symbolizes Madeira’s rich marine life.
Bird Watching Tours: A Closer Look at Nature
Bird watching tours in Madeira provide moments of communion with the vibrant ecosystems of the islands. Whether on land or at sea, visitors have the chance to observe land and sea birds up close. These tours are suitable for both beginners and experienced bird watchers, offering a unique immersion in the valuable natural heritage of the archipelago.
Booking Your Experience
Companies like Birds and Company offer specialized bird watching tours in Madeira. With expert guidance, you can access the best birdwatching spots and enjoy a memorable experience.
Beyond Bird Watching: Other Nature Activities
Madeira’s natural beauty extends beyond bird watching. The archipelago offers a plethora of activities for nature seekers, including:
- Bike Tours: Explore Madeira’s trails by bike and discover the natural landscapes.
- Canyoning: Immerse yourself in Madeira’s watercourses for an adrenaline-packed adventure.
- Trail Running: Enjoy running in mountain areas accompanied by exuberant landscapes.
- Climbing: Rugged cliffs and ocean views provide a perfect setting for climbing.
A Symphony of Nature’s Wonders
Bird watching in Madeira is a celebration of life and nature. It’s an opportunity to slow down and admire the liveliness of Madeira’s ecosystems. From the melodious songs of the Chaffinch to the graceful flight of the Grey Wagtail, every bird tells a story of harmony, beauty, and ecological balance.
Join the community of bird enthusiasts and embark on a journey that transcends mere observation. Bird watching in Madeira is a melody composed by nature, waiting to be heard, seen, and felt.
Visitors looking for stronger sensations will certainly be able to find them. Paragliding or hang-gliding over the island, canyoning to discover the heart of the mountains, climbing the highest peaks, embarking on an all-terrain adventure, feeling the adrenaline rush while riding a jet-ski, or simply enjoying the sheer freedom of kitesurfing, are some of the sporting experiences available to visitors.
Golf, trekking and hiking are excellent alternatives for those preferring calmer activities, allowing a closer look at the natural features of these lusciously green islands.
Discover the impressive and diverse island vegetation over a walk along one of the local canals known as “levadas” or one of the many trails at the heart of the Laurissilva forest, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Nature Site. Due to its beauty and diverse landscape, this forest has recently been declared one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal.