Wildlife of Madeira

Forest fires in Madeira put future of Europe’s rarest seabird under threat

Europe’s rarest seabird, the Zino’s Petrel, found only in Madeira, has suffered potentially devastating losses from a forest fire which struck the birds’ breeding area on the Atlantic island. The fire on Madeira’s central mountain massif killed 25 chicks – 65 per cent of this year’s young birds.

Seabirds of Madeira

Some of the species listed below are those that are most likely to be seen when seawatching on Madeira. How many species and in what numbers you will see them in a one or two weeks trip depends highly on which time of year you visit Madeira. The ultimate time to see both breeding and migrating seabirds is undoubtedly between mid August and mid September.

A Field Guide to the Birds of the Atlantic Islands: Canary Islands, Madeira, Azores, Cape Verde (Helm Field Guides (recommended)

‘For visiting birders, I would unhesitatingly recommend this book as a must – there is no other guide like it.’ Scottish Bird News (June 2007) ‘Tony Clarke’s guide is more up-to-date, and more pragmatic in its approach, than any other work covering the Atlantic Islands, and should be required reading for every resident or visiting birder.’ Birdwatch (August 2006) ‘Tony Clarke’s energy, enthusiam and awareness shine through time and time again – it’s a splendid achievement. I like his whole approach… not only has he filled an important gap in birding coverage, he has done so in a way that, if slightly quirky, works very well.’ Birds Illustrated (Spring 2007) ‘Tony Clarke’s superb new book covers all the species recorded on the islands to date…supported beautifully by Chris Orgill and Tony Disley’s illustrations. This is an absolute must-have for the birdwatcher planning a trip to any of the Atlantic Islands.’ The Visitor (13th September 2006) ‘This excellent guide is the first to deal exclusively with the birds of this spectacular region… This has to be the field guide of choice for anyone visiting the islands.’ Birdtours.co.uk (29th August 2006)

Prion Birdwatchers’ Guide to Portugal and Madeira

A  guide to 32 of the best birdwatching sites, giving details of location, access, best times to visit, bird species expected, and other interesting wildlife present. It also includes a selective bird list giving brief details on the distribution and status of the uncommon birds which may be found, cross-referenced to site information, and a full species list. In addition, advice on preparing for a trip, transport and accommodation details are provided.

Birding Madeira – Sea animals

Today the Madeiran whale boats no longer leave to hunt cetaceans, and the long battles at sea are just stories which the old whalers tell at the doors of the old boathouse. However, the whales have not left the archipelago, and they presently support a fast-growing whale-watching industry that attracts a new generation of eco-friendly whalers.