The Azores are known to be an excellent destination for bird watching. There are birds on all the islands and in all types of habitats and landscapes, but given the multiplicity of species that you will find there, wetlands are best areas and they include lakes, mires and coastal islets that function as a haven where birds rest, breed and nest protected from predators and with easy access to food.
In addition to the Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina), one of the rarest birds in Europe that is endemic to a small area of the island of São Miguel, and to the Monteiro’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma monteiroi), an even rarer endemic seabird discovered by Azorean ornithologist Luís Monteiro, other species stand out, including the Atlantic Canary (Serinus canaria), a unique species of Macaronesia, and several subspecies, such as the Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs moreletti), the São Miguel Goldcrest (Regulus regulus azoricus), the Azores Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus azorica), and the Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo rothschildi). The Azores also host the world’s most important populations of the Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedia borealis) and of the Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii).
In its entirety, the archipelago features about 30 breeding species, but given its central position in the Atlantic Ocean, it stands out for the spotting of migratory birds coming from the American and Eurasian continents. The best season for bird watching in the Azores runs from September to November. Almost 400 bird species have already been spotted in the archipelago, including some extremely rare ones and even some novelties for the Western Palearctic. The bird populations of the Azores are considered to be so relevant that Special Protection Areas (SPAs) were implemented on all the islands of the archipelago, with the aim of preserving the habitats of the species listed in the Birds Directive.