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  BIRDING AZORES

Untitled Document
Transparent utfyllnad Common and regular bird database

Little Egret Egretta garzetta, Santa Maria 2008-02-17. (Photo: Staffan Rodebrand).

There are 64 common or regular species of birds in the Azores. Many of these - 20 species - are non migratory breeding birds that remain on the islands all year round. Of these at least 4 were introduced by man. There are 7 species that breed every year but mostly migrate away from the Azores during the rest of the year. There are also a few species (7), which are very rare breeders or maybe not breeding every year. Most of these are still found commonly on the islands.
   The rest of the common species (30) are migratory birds that either pass the Azores during their migration, or species that spend the winter on the islands.
   For four of these species the Azores population is very important on a global scale; large populations of Cory´s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea borealis and Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, the endemic and very local Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina, and the summer breeding form of Madeiran Storm-petrel - Monteiro´s Storm-petrel Oceanodroma monteiroi, also endemic to the Azores.
   The breeding bird fauna of the Azores is still rather poorly known, and there have been very few quantitative censuses carried out.
   There are a few species excluded from the list, which now and then, on purpose or by accident, have been introduced to the local fauna. These are Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus, Grey Partridge Perdix perdix, Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus, and Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri. Of these the Rose-ringed Parakeet is the only one present today with a few birds occupying a territory in central Ponta Delgada.
   The following texts for the 64 species are based on published material (see Bibliography) and a number of reports from different observers, mainly collected from 2005 onwards.
   Pages can also be viewed in Portuguese thanks to kind help with translations from Gerbrand AM. Michielsen and Raquel Pombo Martins.


Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope, Piadeira-comum
 
There are very few flocks of ducks in the Azores, and you normally only see just one or a few birds in the lakes. One of the more common species is the Eurasian Wigeon, sometimes seen in small flocks, and it can be found in lakes all over the archipelago. They seem to winter here, arriving mostly in late October or November and departing in early spring.
   Eurasian Wigeons seem to outnumber the American Wigeon with at least three to one. Autumn an early winter birds are in young or eclipse plumages where detailed studies on head colour, as well as great coverts and under-wing colours should be checked to separate them from American Wigeons.
   In the period 2001-2005 there were on the average at least 13 birds per year reported.
 



2008-02-19, Lagoa Azul, São Miguel
Photo: © Carlos Ribeiro

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