Madeira is an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean that includes the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, the Desertas Islands and Selvagens Islands, together covering 801 km²



Mostly Palaearctic avifauna
Approximately 370 recorded species, including breeding seabirds and many vagrants

Zino’s Petrel (Werner Suter)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Augusto Faustino)
Atlantic Canary (Paul van Giersbergen)

Endemics (E)
Zino’s Petrel (breeding) (EN)
Desertas Petrel (breeding) (VU)
Trocaz Pigeon | Long-toed Pigeon (LC)
Madeira Firecrest (LC)
Madeira Chaffinch (NA)

Madeira Firecrest (John Caddick)

Birds best found in Madeira but occurring more widely (BT)
Barolo Shearwater

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not near-endemics or BT (1/2), including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Plain Swift
Berthelot’s Pipit (ESS madeirensis)

Birds best found in two territories but occurring in more (B2)
Atlantic Canary | Island Canary

Other taxa of interest, including ESS
Common Quail
Pallid Swift (brehmorum)
Common Wood Pigeon (ESS maderensis)
Eurasian Collared Dove
Common Moorhen | Eurasian Moorhen
Kentish Plover
Eurasian Woodcock
Yellow-legged Gull (atlantis)
Sooty Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Great Skua
White-faced Storm Petrel (hypoleuca)
European Storm Petrel
Band-rumped Storm Petrel | Madeiran Storm Petrel
Cory’s Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Bulwer’s Petrel
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (granti)
Common Buzzard (ESS harterti)
Western Barn Owl (ESS schmitzi)
Long-eared Owl
Eurasian Hoopoe
Common Kestrel | Eurasian Kestrel (canariensis)
Eurasian Blackcap (heineken)
Spectacled Warbler (orbitalis)
Common Blackbird | Eurasian Blackbird (cabrerae)
European Robin (rubecula)
Rock Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Grey Wagtail (ESS schmitzi)
European Greenfinch
Common Linnet | Eurasian Linnet (ESS guentheri)
European Goldfinch (parva)
Eurasian Siskin

Yellow-legged Gull (Augusto Faustino)
Grey Wagtail (Kevin Ravno)
Common Blackbird (Augusto Faustino)
Madeira Chaffinch (John Caddick)

Introduced species
Red-legged Partridge
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Common Waxbill

Temperate forest, islands

Madeira and the Canary Islands Endemic Bird Area
8 Important Bird Areas

Desertas Islands for breeding seabirds
Balcões on Madeira for endemic landbirds

TIMING (May–Jul)
Best in early summer, after the rains and once it warms up, when most birds, including most seabirds, breed
Avoid winter (Oct–Mar)

Collins Bird Guide
Macaronesian Birds

Field guides
Birds of the Atlantic Islands: Canary Islands, Madeira, Azores, Cape Verde by Tony Clarke (2006)
Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia: Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde by Eduardo García-del-Rey (2011), which is also available in Spanish as Aves de Macaronesia: Azores, Madeira, Islas Canarias, Cabo Verde
Aves de Portugal by Helder Costa, Eduardo de Juana & Juan Varela (2018) is a field guide in Portuguese that includes bird species present in Madeira
Pelagic Birds of the North Atlantic: an Identification Guide by Andy Paterson (2012)
Seabirds of Spain and Portugal/Las Aves Marinas de España y Portugal – Península Ibérica, Islas Baleares, Canarias, Azores y Madeira by Andrew M Paterson (1997)
Guia de Campo das Aves do Parque Ecológico do Funchal e do Arquipélago da Madeira by D B Câmara (1997)
Wildlife of Madeira and the Canary Islands by John Bowler (2018) is a photographic guide to the birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies most likely to be seen on these islands

African Bird Sounds/Oiseaux d’Afrique Vol 1: North-West Africa, Canaria and Cap-Verde Islands/Sahara, Maghreb, Madère, Canaries & Iles du Cap-Vert by Claude Chappuis

Site guides
Where to Watch Birds in Portugal, the Azores & Madeira Archipelagos by Colm Moore, Gonçalo Elias & Helder Costa (2020)
Where to Watch Birds in the Madeira Archipelago/Onde Observar Aves no Arquipélago da Madeira by Cláudia Delgado (2006)
Madeira in The Good Bird Guide: a Species-by-Species Guide to Finding Europe’s Best Birds by Keith Marsh (2005)
Birding in Madeira by James Siddle (2004)
Crossbill Guide: Madeira by Dirk Hilbers & Kees Woutersen (2019)
Madeira Nature Walks and Birdwatching – Crossbill Guides

Atlas das Aves Nidificantes do Parque Ecológico do Funchal by Ana Isabel Fagundes, João Nunes & Jorge Ferreira (2008)

Further reading
Checklist of the Birds of the Archipelagos of Madeira and Selvagens by Catarina Correia-Fagundes, Hugo Romano, Francis Zino & Manuel Biscoito (2010-2020)
Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East: an Annotated Checklist by Dominic Mitchell (2017)
Aves do Arquipélago da Madeira by Manuel Biscoito & Francis Zino (2002)
Madeira by Francis Zino, Manuel José Biscoito & Paulo Oliveira in Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority Sites for Conservation, Volume 2: Southern Europe edited by Melanie F Heath & Michael I Evans with D G Hoccom, A J Payne & N B Peet (2000)
A Conservação e Gestão das Aves do Arquipélago da Madeira by Paulo Oliveira (1999)
A Survey of the Distribution, Density and Habitat Preferences of the Long-toed Pigeon in Madeira by Martin J Jones (1988)
Madeira’s Natural History in a Nutshell by Peter Sziemer (2000)
Articles in Bocagiana, Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal, Bull. ABC, etc.

Madeira Birds
Madeira Wind Birds
Birding Madeira
The Salvage Islands
Laurisilva of Madeira – UNESCO World Heritage List

Aves @ Ilha da Madeira
MacaroAves Madeira

Facebook groups
Wind Birds
Birds & Company
Madeira Fauna & Flora


The BirdLife Partner in Madeira is Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (SPEA)

All observers who record rare or accidental bird species in Madeira are invited to report their observations to the Portuguese Rarities Committee/Comité Português de Raridades of SPEA

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Madeira include –
Associação dos Amigos do Parque Ecológico do Funchal
Madeira – Quercus

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