Portugal is a great country for birdwatchers - both residents and visitors. This small country has been largely ignored by ornithologists yet it has a lot to offer, not only in terms of breeding birds, but also in migrants and non-breeding visitors - seabirds form an important part of what is on offer, both on the mainland and on the archipelagos of Madeira and Azores. The number of people taking an interest in nature and birds is still very low, at least when compared with other European countries, yet the number of ornithologists and birders has undergone a clear increase in recent years, giving Portuguese organisations some encouragement to proceed with their work in this important area.
Visiting birdwatchers are encouraged to get in touch with national associations, in order to get updated information about where to go and also to give some feed-back about their experiences in this country. Apart from the birds, Portugal is also interesting from other points of view - landscape, vegetation, history, monuments, beaches, gastronomy… It is almost guaranteed that a visit to Portugal will be interesting from many points of view.
Overshadowed by its larger neighbour many birders are completely unaware of that many of the most sought-after species in Spain are also found in Portugal such as Great Bustard, Azure-winged Magpie, Great-spotted Cuckoo, Booted eagle etc. as well as many warblers, shrikes, waders and passerines.
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 437
Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Birds of Portugal: An Annotated Checklist
by Gonçalo Elias | CreateSpace IPP | Nov 2013 | 152 Pages
ISBN: 1490490450Buy this book from NHBS.com
Finding Birds in South Portugal - Booklet
by Dave Gosney | Jun 2013 | Easybirder | Paperback Guide | £7.50p
ISBN: 9781907316401Buy this book from NHBS.com
Finding Birds in South Portugal - DVD
by Dave Gosney | Jun 2013 | Easybirder | Runtime: 78 min | £19.14p | http://www.easybirder.co.uk/Home.html
ISBN: 9781907316418Buy this book from NHBS.com
Prion Birdwatchers' guide to Portugal and Madeira
CC Moore, G Elias and H Costa Series: PRION BIRDWATCHERS' GUIDE SERIES 144 pages, line illus, 23 maps. Prion
ISBN: 1871104076Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula
by Eduardo de Juana & Ernest Garcia | Bloomsbury | 2015 | Hardback| 688 Pages | 32 plates with 64 colour photos | 216 b/w illustrations | b/w distribution map
See Fatbirder Review
ISBN: 9781408124802Buy this book from NHBS.com
Guides & Tour Operators
Birding in Portugal
Birding-in-portugal.com blends guided birdwatching throughout southern Portugal with a centralised location in a sparsely populated region of unique beauty. It's aim is to let you see the birds and countryside you wish to see and as much of them and it as possible, directing or taking you to places normally unfrequented by tourists. With its wealth of experience and flexibility of outlook it aims to satisfy any visitor to this wonderful region, whether they wish to have a guide or simply to birdwatch on their own…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Birds & Nature Tours
Birds & Nature Tours is the first and only Portuguese company specifically dedicated to birds and birding field tours. We offer you a wide variety of programmes, including guided field tours and bird-dedicated courses…
Domingos Leitão – Wildlife Tours
For any person or small group interested in coming to Portugal for birdwatching, we can suggest the best itinerary according to their interests, the season and the time they wish to spend. Then we will guide the group during all the itinerary and charge for the service…
Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays
If you are looking for a quality natural history holiday, this is a great place to start. The Honeyguide programme offers a mix of the very best of wildlife in fascinating parts of Europe…
Iberian Wildlife Tours
We are all British, freelance, natural history tour leaders who have been living in our respective regions of Spain for many years. Our experience of leading wildlife holidays in Spain and Portugal dates from 1989, both with established wildlife tour companies and a tailor-made basis for independent groups…
Ollem Tagus Tourism - Birdwatching Cruises
Take a 2 hour boat guided tour through the Tagus river hidden beauties and discover the amazing Herons Island and the Swallows Nesting Spot…
Tania Basílio is a portuguese biologist who guides tourist in west Portugal (Berlengas Islands, Peniche, Obidos, Caldas da Rainha and others). She speaks English, French & Spanish besides Portuguese. Tel: +351932532626
With its great diversity of habitat providing first landfall for thousands of spring migrants, good feeding grounds for birds on autumn migration, and a fine range of resident birds on the coast and inland…
Wingspan Bird Tours
WINGSPAN BIRD TOURS offer a range of exciting bird-watching holidays and Bird Tours throughout Spain, Morocco, Lesvos and Portugal. Our Bird-watching breaks range from day trips in Andalucia to 10 days in Morocco. We cater for beginners and accomplished birders alike, we offer good value, good company and great birding…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2007 [03 March] - Glen & Debbie Moore - Southern Portugal
This was our first trip to Portugal and was booked as a package with Thomas Cook but with a hire car collected from Faro airport. It was meant to be a holiday and not dawn to dusk birding, although I always had my bins to hand. We had an apartment in Old Village, Vilamoura which turned out to be a good base. The flight from Gatwick was supposed to be at 2.30pm but various problems delayed this for 2 hours and meant it was dusk when we landed at Faro. Luckily I had a window seat and was able to see Greater Flamingos as we landed, our only birds on the first day…
2007 [06 June] - John Knight - Algarve & Alentejo
I flew into Faro on the 30th of May, and returned to the UK on the 6th of June. My Hotel was in a medium sized resort, Monte Gordo, which is at the Eastern end of the Algarve, about 6 kilometres from the Rio Guadiana and the Spanish border…
2008 [03 March] - Mark Easterbrook
With friends living near Cascais (35km west of Lisbon), the invitation to visit them and do some bird watching around the Lisbon area was irresistible. So leaving some hideous British weather behind we headed off from Luton airport on 7th Mar and retuned on the 16th having missed the biggest storm of the British winter – what a result!
2011 [04 April] -Chris Hall
Neighbourhood birds around the ‘block’ include Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Red-rumped Swallow, Azure-winged Magpie and tinkling Serins. To the west along the coast, our arrival at Pera marsh is greeted with point blank views of a Zitting Cisticola perched on a vine right beside the track, with a smart Woodchat Shrike on guard on the other side, while a Little Owl dozes in a nearby fig tree…
2012 [04 April] - Rob Macklin - Central Portugal
Domingos was very adept at finding reptiles and amphibians and it was not long before he was turning over countless rocks on the drier areas of the river. The group was enthralled as he first turned up three species of frogs, West Iberian painted frog, stripeless tree frog and green frog. This was followed by the spectacular fire salamander and a viperine snake, while Spanish terrapins basked on the rocks in the river…
2013 [03 March] - Bob Swann
…From the roadside we could see groups of feeding waders such as Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Ruff and Common Snipe. Small groups of Greater Flamingo and Spoonbill were also visible. Raptors included some Marsh Harriers and three Black-winged Kites. The surrounding fields held Crested Larks, Meadow Pipits, White Wagtails, Zitting Cisticolas, Spotless Starlings and Corn Buntings…
2013 [09 September] - Neal Warnock
…I was particularly keen to experience raptor migration for the first time. Only the Azure-winged Magpie was a guaranteed lifer, with others most likely at the raptor watch point at Sagres. I split my time checking various wetlands along the coast and visiting the Sagres Peninsula to see what I could find. The trip ended with a total of 153 species recorded, 5 of which were lifers…
2013 [10 October] - Steve Flynn
…We arrived in Bilbao on Tuesday morning in darkness facing a 12 hour drive to the Algarve. The focus was on the driving but inevitably a few birds were seen including many Common Buzzard and Red Kites along with about 100 Griffon vultures at different locations…
2015 [05 May] - Frank McClintock - Hills, Plains & Lagoons
... Just before we parked the car a small flock of European Bee-eaters was seen using the telephone wires as a look-out point in their search for prey, accompanied by a Zitting Cisticola that zitted lazily beside them.
2015 [12 December] - A S Jack - Southern Portugal & Andalucia
The prospect of warm weather and a host of exciting birds tempted me back to this familiar area for a mid-winter escape from a cold, wet British December. This, the latest of many visits, saw me accompanied by J. Todd and L. Robson and proved a very successful trip, with us seeing all but one of the hoped for species, some of which were seen in the thousands! The area holds a huge number of North European birds spending the winter here in the mild climate with an abundance of food available, especially during harvesting time in the many rice fields.
2016 [04 April] - Christopher Hall - Southern Portugal
...Heavy rain during the night continues through breakfast, but looks like clearing up as we head east to the Castro Marim Reserva Natural on the border with Spain. Early birds here include White Stork, Cattle Egret, Marsh Harrier, Corn Bunting and Crested Lark, quickly followed by a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoos calling raucously right next to the Visitor Centre. Meanwhile the saltmarsh produces plenty of Black-winged Stilts, plus Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Avocet, Grey, Ringed and Kentish Plovers, Whimbrel, Flamingo, Spoonbill, Caspian Tern, Yellow Wagtail, Zitting Cisticola and eventually Spotted Redshank. Next sighting is Spotless Starling and then we go in search of Spectacled Warbler....
2016 [10 October] - Frank McClintock
...On the way we saw Iberian Magpies, Spotless Starlings, Eurasian Collared Doves, a Eurasian Jay and a stunning Little Owl...
Places to Stay
Nomadica is an off grid eco retreat created with love set on our 5-acre smallholding in Central Portugal.This is a magical place to come and experience an off-grid holiday or the transformative nature of our bespoke wellness retreats, where we specialise in shamanism, yoga, and massage.
Quinta do Barranco da Estrada (Gully Road Farm)
A small, 7 bedroomed south facing lakeside hotel with stunning views over one of Europe`s largest and cleanest lakes, it is set in unspoilt countryside one and a half hours from Faro International Airport. The cooking is to a cordon bleu standard, and the friendliness and professionalism of the international staff make a holiday here something to be treasured. The lake, though close to the Algarve, is relatively unknown, with a busy day being the sight of over five boats, and in the summer the mature fruit and flower gardens lead guests down to the shore where a variety of watersports are on offer, overlooked by the lawns close to the water`s edge.
Welcome to Quintassential Holiday Apartments where four luxurious self catering apartment/cottages are located in an old Quinta in the central Algarve, Portugal offering accommodation from 2 to 13 people…
Associacao Cientifica para o Conservacao das Aves de Rapina
Luis Filipe Oliveira, Apt 105, P-2775 Carcavelos. +351 1 4530204.
Sociedade Portguesa para o Estudo das Aves
SPEA, Rua da Vitoria, 53 - 3-Esq, 1100- 618 Lisboa. +351 21 3220430 firstname.lastname@example.org
S.P.E.A. is the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds, and is a scientific organization that works for the development of ornithology in this country and for the conservation of birds and their habitats. S.P.E.A. congregates most Portuguese ornithologists and birdwatchers, as well as people that care for the birds and their preservation in a healthy environment. S.P.E.A. is the Portuguese Partner (Designate) of BirdLife International, an organization with worldwide implantation with partners in more than 60 countries.
Basic Information on all of Portugal`s national and regional parks including flora and fauna likely to be encountered.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Fórum para troca de informações sobre aves selvagens.
Aves de Portugal
Sites, BLOG, photos and much more…
Cadernos de ornitologia
Uma boa parte dos ornitólogos, amadores ou profissionais, anota de forma mais ou menos sistemática as suas observações em cadernos de campo. Essa informação pode servir de base a trabalhos de carácter técnico e de divulgação ou pode ser aproveitada em projectos de âmbito alargado que visem caracterizar a situação de uma espécie, ou espécies, numa determinada área geográfica. Apesar dessas possíveis utilizações, muita da informação que é recolhida nunca chega a ser usada permanecendo desaproveitada e inacessível.
Nature & Environment
From the coast to the interior, the sea to the hills and rolling plains of Setúbal, one can find a series of naturally enchanting values, both socio-economic and cultural; a diversity of which is difficult to find elsewhere…
The need to conserve nature, landscape, heritage in harmony with the growing needs of the human population has recently been responsible for the establishing of protected areas, one National Park, two Natural Reserves and an area of Protected landscape.
Some pics of portuguese birds…
Photographers & Artists
Photographer - José Viana - Aves Digital
Some brilliant images…
Photographer - Octavio Alcantara - Aves Natureza
… mostly of Portuguese birds, fauna and flora, Birding places, articles, material used, photos organised by species…
Photographer - Ricardo Guerreiro - DigiScoping Portugal
Gallery of some excellent phoitographs of birds in Portugal…
Photographer - Sparky Faisca
Digisoper from Portugal…