Portuguese Republic

Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus ©Juan Martin Simon
Birding Portugal

Portugal is a great country for birdwatchers – both residents and visitors. This small country has been largely ignored by ornithologists who target Spain 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.

  • Gonçalo Elias

    | goncalo.elias@gmail.com

  • Pedro Lopes

    | pi.lopes@mail.icav.up.pt

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 465

    (As at July 2018)
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    Portugal (Atlantic)
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    Portugal (Mainland)
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Birdwatchers' Guide to Portugal, the Azores & Madeira Archipelagos

    | By Colm Moore, Goncalo Elias & Helder Costa | Prion | 2014 (Second Edition) | Paperback | 212 pages, b/w illustrations, b/w maps | ISBN: 9781871104134 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Portugal: An Annotated Checklist

    | By Gonçalo Elias | Gonçalo Elias | 2017 (Second Edition) | Paperback | 143 pages, no illustrations | ISBN: 9781544628608 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Finding Birds in South Portugal - Booklet

    | By Dave Gosney | Easy Birder | 2013 | Paperback | 40 pages, b/w maps | ISBN: 9781907316401 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Finding Birds in South Portugal - DVD

    | By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2013 | DVD | Runtime: 78 min | ISBN: 9781907316418 Buy 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 | ISBN: 9781408124802 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Associacao Cientifica para o Conservacao das Aves de Rapina

    Luis Filipe Oliveira, Apt 105, P-2775 Carcavelos. +351 14530204.
  • Sociedade Portguesa para o Estudo das Aves

    SPEA, Rua da Vitoria, 53 - 3-Esq, 1100- 618 Lisboa. +351 21 3220430 spea@spea.pt 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.

Abbreviations Key

  • Natural Parks

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Basic Information on all of Portugal`s national and regional parks including flora and fauna likely to be encountered.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding in Portugal

    Tour Operator
    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
  • Birds & Nature Tours

    Tour Operator
    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 Leit

    Tour Operator
    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
  • Iberian Wildlife Tours

    Tour Operator
    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 beautiesand discover the amazing Herons Island and the Swallows Nesting Spot
  • Travelling Naturalist

    Tour Operator
    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
Trip Reports
  • 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…
  • 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 - Southwest Portugal

    PDF Report
    …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…
  • 2015 [11 November] - Honeyguide

    PDF Report
    ...The first part of the week was based at Alte and included trips to Castro Marim on the Guadiana estuary and the Castro Verde grasslands...
  • 2015 [12 December] - A S Jack - Southern Portugal & Andalucia

    PDF Report
    The prospect of warm weather and a host of exciting birds tempted me back to this familiar area fora mid-winter escape from a cold, wet British December. This, the latest of many visits, saw meaccompanied by J. Todd and L. Robson and proved a very successful trip, with us seeing all but one ofthe hoped for species, some of which were seen in the thousands! The area holds a huge number ofNorth European birds spending the winter here in the mild climate with an abundance of foodavailable, 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....
  • 2019 [03 March] - Ella Maria and Leif Bisschop-Larsen - Southern Portugal

    PDF Report
    Our aim was to enjoy nature and bird-life of the region Alentejo in a relaxing way. This short report contains notes on our tour with a list of species. Because it was early in the season, we did not expect to see that many species of birds, but we were quite happy with the outcome anyway.
  • 2019 [06 June] - David Bradnum - Seville & Alentejo

    PDF Report
    This was a short, low-cost birding break to Spain and Portugal. We had two aims: to see a handful of late-arriving spring migrants – White-rumped Swift, Western Olivaceous Warbler and Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin – and to enjoy as many as possible of the local specialities on the Castro Verde plains and the Rio Guadiana valley.
  • 2022 [10 October] - Gerard Gorman

    PDF Report
    ...We observed a varied assortment of fabulous bird species – eagles, vultures, owls, shorebirds, wildfowl, songbirds, seabirds, and the Eurasian Hoopoe and the colorful Kingfisher, two favorites. Other wonderful wildlife experienced included pods of Common Dolphins by right by our boat, close views of Fallow Deer and a curious Wild Boar and Eurasian Otter active in broad daylight...
Places to Stay
  • 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.
Other Links
  • Aves de Portugal

    Sites, BLOG, photos, forum and much more…
  • Cadernos de ornitologia

    Uma boa parte dos ornit
  • Nature & Environment

    From the coast to the interior, the sea to the hills and rolling plains of Set
  • Portuguese birds

    Some pics of portuguese birds
  • Seabirds Portugal


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