Working for birds in Africa

Introduction

Sat, 01/12/2013 - 23:42 -- abc_admin
Canaries_Punta_del_Hidalgo

Punta del Hidalgo coastal platform, North East Tenerife

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco
Blue_Chaffinch_Canary_Islands

Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea, Tenerife, Canary Islands

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

A host of good birds including endemic species and subspecies, good transport connections to most European countries, wonderful weather and an excellent tourist infrastructure, make the Canary Islands a popular destination for birdwatchers.

The Canary Islands are part of the Madeira and Canary Islands endemic bird area. On the western and central Canary Islands, laurel forest occurs at 400-1,300 m, and montane pine forest at 800-1,900 m. The lower-lying and arid eastern Islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are vegetated with semi-desert scrub.

The islands hold five endemic species including two pigeons which are laurel forest specialists, Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii and Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae, and Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea which is restricted to pine forest. Tenerife has the greatest number of restricted-range species including those already mentioned plus Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis. Fuerteventura has its own endemic bird Canary Islands Chat Saxicola dacotiae. The islands also hold many endemic subspecies of widespread birds, notably the distinctive race of Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae, Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus majorensis which are confined to the eastern islands, Tenerife Kinglet Regulus regulus teneriffae and races of Blue Tit Parus caeruleus.

The purpose of this document is to provide a summary of the Canary Islands and its birds for birders interested in the country and potentially planning a visit. The information has been put together from a number of sources and it is intended to add new information as it becomes available. As such, readers are welcome to submit contributions by e-mail to info@africanbirdclub.org. You should note that the names of birds used in this document are those of the African Bird Club checklist.

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