Madeira Birdwatching Tours
Join us on our Madeira Birdwatching Tours! Madeira holds particular interest to bird watchers! Its unique ecosystems support a wide variety of land and sea birds. Some species include endemic, unusual and endangered species. There are 42 breeding species or subspecies of birds found in the island.
We offer a wide variety of tours lasting from half a day to 6 days both on land and at sea! Experienced guides will accompany you on all the tours to help you spot and identify the birds. We work with SPEA Madeira, Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds to learn more about and protect Madeira’s birds. Check out the bars above for all of our tours!
Why not organize your whole holiday with us? Click on this LINK for all of the activities we offer in Madeira!
Zino’s Night Tour
This tour takes you into the mountains of Madeira Natural Park in search of the Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma Madeira. One of Europe’s most endangered birds it was believed extinct before being rediscovered in 1969. There are now an estimated 65 to 80 breeding pairs mostly in the park. Our tour guide will lead you on a short trek through the park stunning scenery of the park and then in the silence of the night you should hear the Zino’s Petrels calling as they return to the colonies. In order to protect the birds only certified companies such as ourselves are allowed to offer this tour and the price includes a charge levied by the Madeira Natural Park to fund the Zino’s Petrel conservation project. This tour takes place every day between April and mid-September 20:00h – 00:00h. The price per person is €55pp and includes an experienced guide, transportation with pick up in Funchal, insurance, fee to the Natural Park of Madeira) and torch. Minimum: 2 people per tour
Madeira Birds ½ day Tour
Explore Madeira with our experienced guide and observe some species and subspecies that are endemic to Madeira and the Macaronesian Region. The tour will take you through laurel forest, by hills, plateaus, and lagoons to the coast. We’ll be keeping a particular look out for the Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz, Madeira Firecrest Regulus madeirensis, and the Pallid Swift Apus pallidus. This tour can be tailored to your particular interests. The tour takes 4 hours and runs all year. The price per person is €40 and includes experienced guide, transportation, insurance, and telescope. Minimum 2 people per tour
Forest Eco Tour
Open to all nature enthusiasts, this is a fascinating journey through Madeira’s unusual fauna and flora. The archipelago is characterised by the Macaronesian subtropical mountain humid forest known as laurisilva. This important and rare ecosystem is home to many interesting species many only found here. With over 1200 plant species, 42 breeding bird species and over 500 endemic invertebrates found here this forest walking tour will give you an insight into the sheer biodiversity and beauty of Madeira’s landscape. This tour lasts 3.5 hours and runs all year round. The price per person is €40 and includes experienced guide, transportation, insurance. A minimum of 2 people per tour.
Madeira birds 1 day tour
Discover the diversity of Madeira’s landscape and birdlife. This tour starts early in the morning to watch birds such as the Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz and the sub-specie Madeira Firecrest Regulus madeirensis go about their morning routines. As the day goes on we’d hope to see a variety of other species including the Pallid Swift Apus pallidus, the Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillatabella, the Madeiran Chaffinch Fringillacoelebsmaderensis, the Berthelot’s Pipit Anthusberthelotiimadeirensis, the Plain Swift Apus unicolor, the Kestrel Falco tinnunculuscanariensis, the Buzzard Buteobuteoharterti and the Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus granti. The tour, stretching from west to east Madeira, takes in the native laurisilva forest, viewing points near high ravines and gorges, high altitude zones and dramatic coastal cliffs so we can observe both land and marine birds. This tour can be tailored to your particular interests. Lunch in a typical local restaurant is included. The tour lasts for 8 hours and runs all year round. The price per person is €90 and includes experienced guide, transportation, insurance and a telescope. Minimum of 2 people per tour
Madeira Sea Birds Cruise
If your main interest is to watch seabirds we will recommend you to book this tour, as you will get a closer look at the various species of birds, and the chances to see Cory’s and Manx shearwaters, Bulwer’s and Fea’s petrels or even Madeira-storm petrels. You will be accompanied by specialized guides onboard to make the most of your birdwatching experience!
It will take about 2 hours to go from Funchal to Desertas Grande bay or maybe a bit more if dolphins or whales are seen on the trip. Once you arrive at Deserta Grande, you will have the opportunity to swim in crystal waters sided by a rocky cliff, where we will disembark after lunch. Lunch is served on board and afterwards, a visit on shore will take you through a very short path around the Madeira Natural Park Desertas Conservation Center, were you may admire the Desertas Islands geological formation and the continuing rockfall just at the back of the house, while a member of our crew will talk you about history, wildlife conservation and other interesting aspects. Canaries, Berthelot’s Pipits and Madeira Wall Lizard are usually the creatures that will receive you on land! Around 3:30 pm the boat departs towards the marina and will look for more cetaceans on the way. Arrival to Funchal Harbour is between 5:30 and 6:00 pm.
Transfers from Câmara de Lobos, Funchal, Caniço and Machico are available upon request. The boat used on this trip is a 23 meters wooden caravel built in 1996 with two masts and with capacity for 50 people. It has a large solarium with mattresses at the bow and a shadow area with armchairs at the stern. Inside it has 9 cabins, toilets, a saloon, a mini-bar and a kitchen.
Tour days: Wednesday and Saturday
Departure times: 9:30am
Typical duration: 8 hours
Space: maximum 50
Staff to Guest ratio: 1:15
Tour Languages: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese
Pick up location: Free pick up is available from all Funchal, Caniço, Câmara de Lobos, Ponta do Sol*, Ribeira Brava*, Calheta*, Machico hotels or similar accommodation but is subject to availability. *Specific areas of these councils.
Return details: Funchal Harbour or original point of pick up.
Friendly advices: Take warm jumper, sun protector, hat, swimming suit, towel and appropriate footwear for a wet feet landing in Desertas
Photography: Allowed and recommended. There is a possibility of your equipment getting wet with salt water spray.
Petrel Pelagic Expedition
Three afternoons at sea to ID and photograph Zino’s, Fea’s and Bulwer’s Petrels, White-faced, Madeiran and other Storm-petrels.
This is a package of three long afternoons of a pelagic adventure on the Western North Atlantic Ocean, around Madeira Island. An ultimate birdwatching experience that consists in observing closely the greatest number of tubenoses on the Western Palearctic and some close encounters with whales and dolphins too.
Since 2008 our guides have been researching the Madeiran seas to find the hot spots for seabirds as Zino’s Petrels, Fea’s/Desertas Petrels, Madeiran Petrel and White-faced Storm Petrel. During these long days at sea they developed the chum technique, found the right and safest boat for these kind of trips and now Catarina and Hugo form the most experienced team to organize and run deep sea pelagic trips in the North Atlantic aboard the 11 meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat ideal for this kind of sea expedition.
On the first two afternoons of this pelagic expedition around Madeira island we will search for different bird species at different hot spots, being one day for Zino’s Petrels and Madeiran Storm Petrels while on the second pelagic trip we look for Fea’s Petrels and White-faced Storm Petrels. The third afternoon at sea is kept for missing species or to increase the sightings of bird species. Everyday we will look for cetaceans and if we spot any whales or dolphins we will spend some time watching them.
This trip is run over 3 days with approx. 8 hrs per day and costs €595/person. The guides speak English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Below is a list of pelagic birds and sea mammals seen during the pelagic trips, since 2010:
Procellariidae: Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira, Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta, Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, Macaronesian Shearwater Puffinus baroli, Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris borealis, Scopoli’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus, Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
Hydrobatidae: Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro (winter & summer populations), European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma monorhis, Wilson’s Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus, Leach’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina, Black-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta tropica (1st Record for the Western Palearctic)
Laridae: Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini, Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis, Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Stercorariidae: Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus, Great Skua Stercorarius skua, Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus, Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus, South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki
Scolopacidae: Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Sulidae: Northern Gannet Morus bassanus, Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
Mammalia: Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus monachus, Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus, Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Cuvier’s Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris, Blainville’s Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris, Gervais’ Beaked Whale Mesoplodon europaeus, Short-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala macrorhynchus, Common Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus, Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Stenella frontalis, Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba, Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis
Note that some of these bird species are rarely seen in the Western Palearctic or even in the North Atlantic Ocean making these pelagic expeditions so special and memorable
Private Guided Tours
If you prefer to have a VIP experience with and expert guide and run the tour according to your preferences, the best option we have to offer you is a private tour. From romantic sightseeing with your partner, to exclusive excursions to celebrate your anniversary, or if you’re travelling in a cruise ship with limited time, or you just feel like knowing Madeira by your own exclusive way, choose a full-day private tour!
Private Van passenger capacity 8 persons.
Currently in promotion we offer a free 3 course meal for every passenger, have the opportunity to taste traditional dishes.
Tour days: Any day if booked in advance
Departure times: 7am to 2pm
Typical duration: 8 hours
Space: maximum 8
Staff to Guest ratio: 1:8
Tour Languages: English, Spanish, French and Portuguese
Pick up location: Anywhere in Madeira Island
Return details: Tour concludes at original point of pick up.
Friendly advices: A jacket is always useful for the altitude cold and a hat.