Tenerife

Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea ©Bartkauz Website
Birding Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest and most populated island of the seven Canary Islands. It is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 square kilometres (785 sq mi).There are 904,713 inhabitants, 43 percent of the total population of the Canary Islands. Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of Macaronesia. Approximately five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the most visited island of the archipelago. It is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain and the world. The oldest mountain ranges in Tenerife rose from the Atlantic Ocean by volcanic eruption which gave birth to the island around twelve million years ago. The island as it is today was formed three million years ago by the fusion of three islands made up of the mountain ranges of Anaga, Teno and Valle de San Lorenzo, due to volcanic activity from Teide. The volcano is visible from most parts of the island today, and the crater is 17 kilometres (11 miles) long at some points. Teide National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is located in the centre of the island. In it, Mount Teide rises as the highest elevation of Spain, the highest of the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and the third-largest volcano in the world from its base. Also on the island, the Macizo de Anaga (massif) has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2015. It has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.Among the mouth watering bird species unique to the islands, the two endemic laurel pigeons, Bolle’s Pigeon Columba bolli and Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae, the Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea and the Tenerife Kinglet Regulus teneriffae and Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis are best seen during a visit to Tenerife. A day trip to the Las Lajas picnic site is probably the best place to see the Blue Chaffinch as well as the distinctive local race of the Great Spotted Woodpecker. The distinct Canary Blue Tit Parus teneriffae and of course Canary Serinus canaria also abound. Other sought-after species include Trumpeter Finch, Berthelot’s Pipit, Barbary Falcon, Barbary Partridge, Rock Sparrow (rare), the local race of chaffinch, buzzard, kestrel and of Great-spotted Woodpecker as well as Plain and Pallid Swift. A seawatch might turn up Scopoli’s Shearwater and Bulwer’s Petrel that beed in rocky islets off shore.

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Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 2 Races

    The sub-species: Canary Blue Tit cyanistes teneriffae teneriffae Tenerife Goldcrest Regulus regulus teneriffae with the latter often elevated to a full species.
Useful Reading

  • Birdwatching in The Canary Islands

    Edited by Steve Evans | Isabelline Films | DVD | Runtime: 53 minutes | All Region | ISBN: #206780 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where to Watch Birds in Tenerife

    by Eduardo Garcia del Rey | Turquesa Publicaciones | 2000 | Paperback | 148 pages, Colour photos, colour illustrations, line illustrations, distribution maps, tables | ISBN: 9788495412072 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BG Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

    InformationSatellite View
    The Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a botanical garden of 120.000 m² specialized in palms (Arecaceae) . It is an artificial hill, with views of the ocean, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The gardens include a large system of waterfalls, streams and ponds, a museum dedicated to palms, and a display shade house.
  • NP Teide

    InformationSatellite View
    The national park is centered on Mount Teide, the highest mountain of Spain (3,718 meters high) in addition, the highest volcano in the Atlantic Ocean islands and the third highest volcano in the world from its base in the ocean floor (7.500 meters high). The park has an area of 18,990 hectares located in the municipality of La Orotava. Ten species of bird nest in the park. These include the blue chaffinch (Fringilla teydea teydea); Berthelot's pipit (Anthus berthelotii berthelotii); the Atlantic canary (Serinus canaria); and a subspecies of kestrel (Falco tinnunculus canariensis). Three endemic reptile species are also found in the park – the Canary Island lizard (Gallotia galloti galloti), the Canary Island wall gecko (Tarentola delalandii), and the Canary Island skink (Chalcides viridanus viridanus).
  • NR Barranco del Infierno

    InformationSatellite View
    The Barranco del Infierno ( "Hell's Gorge") is a ravine located in the town of Adeje in the south of the island of Tenerife.
  • NR Macizo de Anaga

    InformationSatellite View
    Macizo de Anaga is a mountain range in the northeastern part of the island. The highest point is 1,024 m (Cruz de Taborno). It stretches from the Punta de Anaga in the northeast to Cruz del Carmen in the southwest. Anaga features the mountain peaks of Bichuelo, Anambro, Chinobre, Pico Limante, Cruz de Taborno and Cruz del Carmen. The mountains were formed by a volcanic eruption about 7 to 9 million years ago making it the oldest part of the island. Since 1987 it has been protected as a "natural park".
  • NR Malpaís de Güímar

    InformationSatellite View
    Malpaís de Güímar or Badlands of Guimar consist of a volcanic cone, subsidiary cones, and several basaltic lava flows in the Güímar municipality on the island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, Spain. They total in area about 290 hectares. The lava flows are quite recent; typically less than 10,000 years old. In 1987, part of the Malpaís de Güímar was set aside as a protected park called the Reserva Natural del Malpaís de Güímar
Guides & Tour Operators


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  • Juan José

    Guide
    The island of Tenerife is the house for over 200 bird species, from which five species are exclusive from the Canarian archipelago, like the rabiche pidgeon, the turqué pidgeon, the pinzón azul, and those that are recently considered apart from the previous ones: the Canarian mosquito and the reyezuelo of Tenerife.
Trip Reports


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  • 2012 [10 October] - Stewart Betts & Chris Small

    PDF Report
    This trip was planned around seeing the resident Tenerife, Canary Island and Macronesian endemic bird species on the island of Tenerife, together with endemic sub-species and other resident birds. Further interest was provided by a few butterfly and dragonfly species, and other wildlife.
  • 2013 [01 January] - Anders Hangaard

    Report
    …On day two I went to Erjos to look for the two endemic species of pigeon. Bolle´s was quite common there. I heard 3-4 cooing, saw one perched and many flying around along the track. Laurel´s, on the other hand, was much scarcer and only seen once in three attempts. This one, magnificent, creature flew at close range by the big rock, which is located one hour´s walk across the valley. Tenerife Goldcrest, Tenerife Chaffinch and Tenerife Blue Tit were common there. I recommend going there early in the morning when the birds are most active, and you won´t be bothered by all the annoying hikers and bikers…
  • 2013 [06 June] - Phil Callagher

    PDF Report
    …Bolle’s pigeons were also present, and at times both species were perched and visible through the scope. In the lay-by itself, the walls were teeming with Canary Lizards, many of them happy to take pieces of banana from the hand!…
  • 2013 [09 September] - David Blair

    PDF Report
    …We didn't see much as we just parked up and had a little stroll around the edge of the course but we did get out first endemic the Canary Island Chiffchaff, other birds were Yellow legged Gull, Cattle Egret and some Fulvous Whistling Ducks and young of dubious origin…
  • 2013 [April] - Theo Admiraal

    PDF Report
    …At the rough edges of the course and the Barranco’s in that area, I had Hoopoe, Southern Grey Shrike and many Berthelot’s Pipits…
  • 2014 [02 February] - Stephen Burch

    Report
    This is an illustrated trip report for a weeks holiday on Tenerife. This trip follows other ones to the Canary Islands at almost identical times of year, with the common objective of escaping the British winter and getting a bit of sun and warmth!
  • 2014 [12 December] - Derek Charlton

    Report
    We stayed near Los Gigantes on a self catering basis. We booked a car hire for three days on arrival and there were ample cafes, bars and restaurants available within easy walking distance around the resort. Los Gigantes is situated near the north-west of the island and the six species on my wish list (incl. Barbary Falcon, Bolles/Laurel Pigeon, Blue Chaffinch) were all possible within an hours drive...
  • 2016 [04 April] - David Karr

    PDF Report
    A quest for island endemics (and some very localizsd sub-species) and a great opportunity to catchup with old friends from Venezuela brought me to Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands for a weekend from Geneva. With a hire car, Tony and Rita Crease, Paula Sifontes and Mathias Gonzalez and I spent a very productive day covering most of the top birding sites (and bagging all the wanted birds) on 9 April.
  • 2016 [11 November] - Bob Swann

    PDF Report
    ...11th November. An early start as I headed to Playa de las Americas just after first light to look for parakeets. I droveto Avenue les Americas and checked the area between Avenue Rafael Puig Lluvina and Calle Luis Diaz de Losada.Lots of Blackbird and Canary Island Chiffchaff in the bushes in the gardens. Eventually a raucous call alerted meto a pair of Nanday Parakeets in a palm tree on Paseo Les Piramides. Further down the avenue a group of sevenwere feeding in another tree. They were very confiding giving good views....
  • 2016 [12 December] - Jean-Yves Barnagaud - Tenerife and La Gomera

    PDF Report
    ...Also two Common Buzzards (one with an all-white belly andface), a Kestrel and several Chiffchaffs and Blue Tits. Then the path enters the laurel forest for ~1km ;a flock of Kinglets, Blue Tits and Chaffinches. Eventually spent some time at the nearby mirador,resulting in a distant flock of ~50 Plain Swifts. Back to Erjos, a stop around the ponds resulted in aCommon Snipe, ~10 Moorhens and several Coots and a Barbary Partdridges....
  • 2017 [02 February] - Ed Stubbs

    PDF Report
    ... my first Bolle’s Pigeon flew over the forest valleybelow. 3 more followed in the next 15 or so minutes, and a Pigeon flushed from the track down to the water trough was probably Laurel, but I couldn’t say for sure. So, it was onto the famous Mirador de La Grimona, the apparent failsafe site in the world for this elusive species. I wasn’t to be disappointed – about 5 minutes after arriving, a Laurel Pigeon flew over...
  • 2018 [02 February] - Dave Flumm

    Report
    This time round we decided to book our own apartment well away from here – in the small village of Radazul in the north east and with sea views from the balcony for my scope, this proved to be a better solution for the peace and quiet we were seeking. With our hire car and the great new road network we still managed to see most of the island although our second week, being cooler with showers, saw us driving the 60km south most days to the warmer climes associated with southern Tenerife.
  • 2018 [05 May] - Elliot Dowding & John Thorogood

    PDF Report
    We arrived late in the evening on Saturday 28th April and spent the 29th, 30th and 1st May birding all day then returned late on the evening of the 1st.
  • 2018 [07 July] - Birthe Rasmussen

    PDF Report
    This report covers a 7 days mainly ordinary family vacation though Tenerife, Spain in July 2018 including two Danish birdwatchers. This time is was not an ordinary hard-core birdwatching trip as usual, early up in the mornings and guides, but a family holiday with focus at some of our grandchildren, swimming pools, bathing, focus on history, monasteries, churches, botanical gardens, girl-shopping in different towns and visiting a lot of restaurants. So actually we had the opportunity to make birdwatching 1-2 hours only each day.
Other Links
  • Birds that can be seen on Tenerife

    Information
    The island of Tenerife has many different habitats, ranging from mountains and forests to semi-desert coastal plains and farmland. Not surprisingly it has a wide range of birds and some of these are very rare endemic species….
  • Tenerife Birds

    Information
    There are many species, some completely endemic, some that are found on the island, but also elsewhere in the world. Here, I'll list a selection. If any ornithologists know of any others they feel should be included, by all means contact me and I'll remedy the situation…
Blogs
  • Victor Cardoso - Naturaleza Cercana

    BLOG
    Photoblog
Photographers & Artists
  • Digiscoping Tenerife

    Gallery
    Website dedicado a las aves de Islas Canarias, algunas fotograf

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