Falkland Islands

Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys ©Michael Reeves Website
Birding the Falklands

If you want to get within touching distance to an abundance of wildlife and in particular birds, then jump in a car to RAF Brize Norton and get on the first possible plane departing for the British Overseas Territory of the Falkland Islands. Whilst it’s not teeming with vast quantities of different bird species, it houses some beauts and gives you unparalleled access to some rarities including the Blackish Cinclodes and stunning yet cheeky, Striated Caracara.

Flying into Mount Pleasant, you’ll transfer to Stanley as a base, and a must take trip (and what a trip it is!) is to Volunteer Beach which has one of the northernmost colonies of King Penguins in the world. A variety of waders, geese, gulls and two other types of penguins are found there too.

Away from the main islands you have a variety of smaller islands to travel to. The ‘musts’ amongst them have to be Sea Lion Island to the south and Saunders Island to the north-west which houses the largest colony in the world of Black-browed Albatross, and is the perfect place to sit down and watch the Rockhoppers’ in all their elegance in the water and observing what characters they become when they hop out.

The whole experience is made easy and enjoyable with the help of the islanders themselves, traveling around the islands with FIGAS is hugely entertaining. Most people know their fair share about birds too and who can blame them with this ‘wildlife paradise’ on their own doorstep.

Contributors
  • John Robinson

    Chile | gayleandjohn@lineone.net

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 227

    (As at May 2019)
Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 2

    Falkland Steamerduck Tachyeres brachypterus, Cobb's Wren Troglodytes cobbi
Checklist

  • Checklist

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

  • Bird Song in the Antarctic, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

    | Mandarin Productions | 2006 | CD | ISBN: #161465 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds & Mammals of the Falkland Islands

    | By Robin Woods & Anne Woods | Falklands Conservation | 2018 | Edition 2 | Hardback | 144 pages, 100+ colour photos, 3 colour maps | ISBN: 9781903657423 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Important Bird Areas of the Falkland Islands

    | Written & Published by Falklands Conservation | 2006 | Paperback |160 pages, colour photos, distribution maps, tables | ISBN: 9780953837168 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Birds of the Falkland Islands

    | (An Annotated Checklist)| By Robin W Woods | British Ornithologists' Club | 2017 | Paperback | 288 pages, 32 plates with 60 colour photos and colour maps | ISBN: 9780952288664 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Useful Information
  • Atlas of Breeding Birds

    The Atlas is based on records from about 160 observers who sent reports equivalent to more than 550 Breeding Birds Survey forms over a period of ten breeding seasons between 1983/84 and 1992/93. About 80 observers (51%) were Falkland Islanders or contract workers, 47 (30%) were military personnel and 29 (19%) were visitors to the Falklands. The results are substantial, considering that this country of 12,200 square kilometres (4,700 square miles); with land in 255 10km grid squares, has a small permanent human population of only about 2,200.
Organisations
  • Falklands Conservation

    Website
    In partnership with government, industry and the global community, Falklands Conservation will engage and empower the people of the Falkland Islands to take action with us to conserve biodiversity and manage landscapes and seascapes for the benefit of nature and people.
Guides & Tour Operators


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    ...we set sail to the Falkland Islands, famed for the massive colonies of King Penguin (plus four other penguin species), Black-browed Albatross, and a fabulous suite of other charismatic birds as well as marine mammals.
  • Focus Nature Wildlife Tours

    Tour Operator
    Wildlife holidays to the Falkland Islands offer exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. The combination of large seabird and mammal colonies and their relatively good tolerance of human presence affords superb opportunities for intimate encounters and photographs
Trip Reports


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • 2013 [January] - Michael Tanis - Argentina, Falkland Islands, and Chile

    PDF Report
    There was no birding, other than casual birding in the Plaza San Martin, as we had a scheduled guided birding trip very early the next day. The park in front of the Marriot had large trees, and so we saw Rock Pigeons, Rufous Hornero, Picazuro Pigeon, Eared Dove, and Monk Parakeets, with Turkey Vultures overhead.
  • 2014 [April] - Simon Cook

    PDF Report
    The long journey to Tristan da Cunha via Stanley, Falkland Islands* (Cattle Egret,Magellanic Penguin, Turkey Vulture, Southern Caracara and Variable Hawk)brought many more seabirds, including our first Sooty, Atlantic Yellow-nosed andTristan Albatrosses, Great, Sooty and Sub-Antarctic Little Shearwaters, SlenderbilledPrion, Atlantic, Soft-plumaged, Grey, Spectacled and Great-winged Petrels,Broad-billed Prion, South Polar Skua, White-faced and White-bellied Storm-Petrelsplus Long-tailed Skua. Marine mammals included Hourglass, Dusky and Peale’sDolphins...
  • 2014 [December] - Kristian Stahl & Roger Holmberg

    PDF Report
    A since long planned trip to the Antarcticfinally starts. We are all in all eight Swedesfrom various parts of the country whodecided to make this trip. Due to privatereasons, one of the original eight did notparticipate. Roger and myself start the tripto Ushuaia...
  • 2015 [February] - Andrew Spencer - The Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [12 December] - Dušan Brinkhuizen - The Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

    PDF Report
    Rockjumper’s Classic Antarctica I adventure started in the scenic harbour of Ushuaia, the southernmosttown of Argentina. In the afternoon, we boarded the impressive Akademik Ioffe, a Russian research vesselthat became our home for the next 19 days. The lifelong dreamto visit the continent of Antarctica, the world’s largest unspoiltwilderness area, was soon to become reality!
  • 2017 [03 March] - Aaron Ofner

    PDF Report
    In March 2017 I had the great fortune to be invited to join my father on an expedition cruise in the South Atlantic. The trip was a repositioning cruise from Ushuaia to Cape Town by way of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Tristan da Cunha archipelago.
  • 2017 [11 November] - Cliff Waller

    PDF Report
    On the longer second leg to Mount Pleasant, on West Falkland, we managed varying degrees of sleep, although at least everyone got a little. On reaching Mount Pleasant our first new species was Upland Goose, while the formalities of retrieving luggage and form filling were slow, but not arduous and once outside we were soon gathered up by our hosts from Darwin into the minibus. As we travelled we saw birds such as Rufous-chested Plover (also known as Rufous-breasted Dotterel), Long-tailed Meadowlark, Austral (also known as Falkland) Thrush and House Sparrow.
  • 2017 [12 December] - Chris Lotz

    PDF Report
    What an incredible journey of a lifetime! The scenery was unbelievably spectacular. The birds were wonderful and included seven penguin species, Snow Petrel, many albatrosses including the most majestic of all, Wandering Albatross, along with the sleek, beautiful Light-mantled Albatross, and some rare, localised terrestrial birds such as South Georgia Pipit and Cobb’s Wren, and then of course all the sought-after birds of southernmost South America (Tierra del Fuego) such as Magellanic Woodpecker and the tricky White-bellied Seedsnipe.
  • 2017 [12 December] - Greg Smith

    PDF Report
    Annotated list
  • 2018 [02 February] - Tom Johnson & Bret Whitney

    Report
    How could it not be great? Our 2018 tour through the Southern Ocean allowed us to absorb the wildlife spectacles of the Falklands and South Georgia, enjoy impressive flocks of pelagic seabirds, and visit the icy tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. This was a phenomenal journey across a route of vast scope, and Bret and I were very happy to travel with our group of Field Guides birders and with the other guests of Oceanwide Expeditions on the wonderful ship M/V Ortelius.
  • 2018 [11 November] - Mike Watson

    PDF Report
    On a windswept visit to the Southern Ocean and ultimately the white continent, Antarctica, we enjoyed some amazing wildlife spectacles in stunning surroundings. One of the main features of this tour is the opportunity for endless seabirding from the deck of MV Plancius and our highlights included Wandering, Southern and Northern Royal, Light-mantled (Sooty), Grey-headed and Blackbrowed Albatrosses. Other tubenoses included Southern and Northern Giant Petrels, Southern Fulmar, Antarctic, Cape, Snow, Blue, Atlantic, Soft-plumaged, White-headed and White-chinned Petrels as well as Antarctic and Slender-billed Prions and Sooty, Manx and Great Shearwaters.
Other Links
  • Birds & Seals of the Falkland Islands

    Website
    The Falklands is a haven for penguins, seabirds, seals, sealions and other wildlife. Indeed the Falkland Islands holds the majority of the world population of Black-browed Albatross, Striated Caracara, Ruddy-headed Goose and Flightless Steamer Duck. But the Falklands are best known for their penguins, with five breeding species and over a million penguins in total. That is a lot of penguins, but Falklands penguins numbered over 6 million in 1984
  • Falklands Wildlife

    Website
    Checklists of Birds, Mammals, Freshwater Fish and Plants
Blogs
  • Birding in the Falkland Islands

    BLOG
    Last updated 2012
Photographers & Artists
  • Andy Pollard Photography

    Gallery
    Hello and welcome to my Website. I am a 5th generation Falkland Island amateur photographer, taking the opportunity to enjoy the full diversity that the Islands has available. I hope, over the next couple of years, to photograph many of its wonders
  • Focus Nature

    Gallery
    Aniket Sardana's Galleries of Falkland Islands nature
  • Photographer - Mike Danzenbaker

    Gallery
    Excellent pictures of some of Falkland`s birds

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