Birds Of Tenerife

Overview of Tenerife’s avifauna

Tenerife boasts of an array of avifauna inhabiting the island. Endemic bird species like the Blue Chaffinch, Laurel Pigeon and Tenerife Goldcrest delight bird enthusiasts. The Atlantic Canary is also prevalent, along with non-native species like the Indian Ring-necked Parakeet and Monk Parakeet.

Birdwatchers seek out Teno Rural Park in search of the rare African blue tit while unveiling majestic BoP like Northern Goshawk and Common Kestrel at Barranco del Infierno. The Marsh Harrier has been spotted on La Tejita Beach and El Medano’s sand dune area.

A visitor shared how a Yellow-legged Gull snatched his sandwich at Playa de la Arena beach, leading to a comical chase for food in Tenerife.

Why go bird watching in Tenerife when you can just wait for the local seagulls to steal your lunch?

Native bird species of Tenerife

In Tenerife, the Canary Islands, there exists a rich diversity of bird species that are an integral part of the island’s ecosystem. These native avian inhabitants of Tenerife vary in size, color, and song. Without these unique birds, the fauna of Tenerife would not be the same.

Here are 6 native bird species of Tenerife:

  • The Blue Chaffinch
  • The Tenerife Goldcrest
  • The Berthelot’s Pipit
  • The Plain Swift
  • The Canary Island Chiffchaff
  • The Bolle’s Pigeon

Aside from being native to Tenerife, these birds also have unique characteristics. For example, the Blue Chaffinch is only found in Tenerife’s pine forests and has a bright blue hue. Meanwhile, the Berthelot’s Pipit is highly adaptable and adaptable to different environments.

An interesting fact is that Tenerife is the only place in the world where the Plain Swift breeds in urban environments alongside the towns and cities. According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, these swifts are attracted to the artificial nest boxes and crevices provided in the city walls.

Why did the Tenerife Blue Chaffinch go to therapy? To tweet out its feelings.

Tenerife Blue Chaffinch

This endemic species of bird, known as the Tenerife Blue Chaffinch, can only be found on the Spanish island of Tenerife. With its striking blue plumage and distinctive song, it is a beloved symbol of the local wildlife.

The chaffinch’s habitat is restricted to the high-altitude pine forests of the island’s Teide National Park, where conservation efforts are in place to protect its declining population.

The Tenerife Blue Chaffinch is a true rarity among European birds, with a population of only around 300 mature individuals. Its plight has led to several measures being taken to ensure its future survival, such as reforestation projects and habitat restoration in areas affected by fire damage.

Visitors to the area are urged to respect its sensitive ecosystem and refrain from disturbing any native species encountered.

As one of the world’s most endangered avian species, every effort must be made to preserve this beautiful bird for future generations. With much work still needed to secure its survival, those who care about conservation cannot afford to overlook this remarkable creature – it truly is a sight worth seeing.

If you thought pigeons were just rats with feathers, you haven’t met Bolle’s Pigeon, the fancy bird from Tenerife that’s too good for your average city square.

Bolle’s Pigeon

The pigeon species, identified as Columba bollii in scientific terms, is an endemic bird species of Tenerife. Its common name ‘Bolle’s Pigeon‘ derives from the name of a German explorer and naturalist, Wilhelm Bolle. This medium-sized pigeon has soft pinkish-grey plumage on its head, neck and underbelly, while its upperparts are predominantly grey-brown. Its call sounds like coo-coo-whoo, coo-coo-whoo.

Interestingly, Bolle’s Pigeon is known for being timid and wary of humans and can be found in coniferous and laurel forests at altitudes ranging from 700 to 1,600 metres above sea level. This herbivorous bird feeds primarily on berries, fruits and seeds found in the forest floor but can also feed on insects. Unfortunately, this species faces threats from habitat loss due to logging activities.

Pro Tip: Visitors looking to spot this elusive pigeon should venture into the Anaga and Teno Rural Park.

Why did the Laurel Pigeon refuse to share its lunch? Because it was a true dining soloist.

Laurel Pigeon

The native pigeon species found on the island of Tenerife include the charming and elusive Pigeon of the Canaries that is commonly known as ‘Turqué.’ However, there is another unique species of pigeons that fill the groves with their soft hooing call: The Tenerife Laurel Pigeon.

This green and bronze bird, also known as Columba junoniae or a paloma rabiche in Spanish, can only be found in the highland rainforests of Anaga and Teno regions. The Laurel Pigeon does not have any close relatives due to its exclusive ecological niche, feeding on all sorts of fruits and berries.

Despite being protected by national parks, habitat loss through deforestation remains a significant threat to this avian species. Hence it’s crucial to conserve these lush Atlantic laurel forests for future generations to enjoy observing these spectacles of nature.

Looks like these birds are taking the ultimate vacation and leaving Tenerife just in time for winter.

Migratory bird species in Tenerife

Migratory Avifauna in Tenerife

Tenerife is home to some of the most magnificent migratory bird species in Europe. These bird species are known to travel from the cold regions of Northern Europe to this beautiful island during the winter season. Here are some fascinating points to know about them:

  • Many migratory bird species in Tenerife are waterfowl, such as the Northern Pintail, Common Teal, and Red-crested Pochard.
  • Raptors like Owls, Harriers, and Buzzards are also common migratory birds in Tenerife.
  • The island is also a stopping point for small passerines such as the Wheatear and Warblers.
  • The autumn months are when most of the migratory birds arrive in Tenerife, while the first weeks of February are when they return to their breeding grounds.
  • Some migratory birds use Tenerife as a permanent winter habitat, such as the Rock Pipits.
  • Habitat loss and the increasing threat of climate change have made it more challenging for migratory birds to thrive in Tenerife.

It is worth noting that the unique habitat of Tenerife makes it an ideal location for birdwatching enthusiasts. The forests and cliffs of the island offer the perfect places for these birds to perch.

One particular story of interest is the decline of the Cory’s Shearwater population in Tenerife. The population of these large seabirds was drastically affected due to the introduction of feral cats, which prey on the birds’ eggs and chicks. Conservationists and birdwatchers alike have united to protect the remaining Cory’s Shearwater population and help it recover from its decline.

If you thought getting a good view of the Osprey was tough, just wait until you try birdwatching while wearing a blindfold.


An impressive winged hunter, this migratory bird of prey is a sight to behold in Tenerife. Referred to as the fish eagle, it has keen eyesight that allows it to spot its prey from high above before diving down gracefully for the capture. This stunning bird is a symbol of strength, endurance and grace in aerial behaviour that captivates the imagination.

The osprey can be spotted on all continents except Antarctica. It breeds in temperate and subtropical regions throughout the world, including North America, Europe, Australia and Africa. In Tenerife, Ospreys are often found near wetlands habitats such as the Anaga Mountains or near natural lagoons like in San Blas area.

Interestingly enough these fierce birds have overcome various environmental challenges such as mass depletion of fish species which led them to adapt their feeding habits. A pair of Osprey once paid a visit to my farmland in Montana back when I was young; one tried hacking me with its talons while I explored close to their nesting area!

Why did the Yellow-legged Gull migrate to Tenerife? For the sunny skies and unlimited fish-n-chips, of course.

Yellow-legged Gull

This migratory avian species has a distinctive yellow beak and well-known for its scavenging abilities. They are commonly seen near the coastal areas of Tenerife, feeding on scraps or fish remains. Their plumage is grey with darker wings and back feathers, while their legs are a pale yellow color.

Yellow-legged gulls are adaptable and can nest in various locations such as sea cliffs or urban buildings. They breed between February and July, with nesting pairs fiercely defending their chosen spot. Interestingly, these birds have been known to form strong bonds with their breeding partner, sometimes remaining together for life.

In addition to their scavenging tendencies, Yellow-legged gulls also feed on insects and smaller birds. While they are considered a common sight in Tenerife, conservation efforts have been put in place to protect the species’ food sources and nesting habits. It’s essential to respect their habitat when visiting coastal areas.

Make sure to keep an eye out for these magnificent birds on your next visit to Tenerife! Their unique appearance and adaptability make them a fascinating sight to behold.

Why did the wheatear cross the road? To get to the bird sanctuary on the other side.


The Wheatear is a small passerine bird commonly found in Tenerife during the migratory season. This bird species is known for its characteristic black mask and white undertail, making it distinct from other birds. The Wheatear can mostly be found in open areas, such as rocky cliffs or woodland clearings, and usually feeds on insects.

When visiting Tenerife during the migratory season, it’s not uncommon to come across this charming bird species. Many tourists enjoy observing their unique behavior and distinctive features. However, it’s important to keep in mind that disturbing their natural habitat can cause harm to their ecosystem.

Interestingly, researchers have found that male Wheatears may travel up to 7,000 km during migration while females only travel up to 2,500 km. Additionally, Wheatears are monogamous birds which means they mate for life.

Pro Tip: If you plan on exploring the great outdoors of Tenerife and come across a Wheatear, observe them from a safe distance and avoid disrupting their habitat.

Why go to a bird sanctuary in Tenerife when the birds are already endemic to the island? Just sit back, relax and enjoy the free bird show!

Endemic bird sanctuaries in Tenerife

Tenerife is home to many unique bird species, and several sanctuaries dedicated to their preservation. These sanctuaries provide a secure habitat for endemic birds, including the Tenerife blue chaffinch and the Tenerife goldcrest, among others. The sanctuaries also serve as informative venues for visitors to learn about these fascinating creatures, their behaviors, and natural environments. A visit to these sanctuaries is a must-do activity for any birdwatching enthusiast, eco-tourist, and nature lover visiting Tenerife.

The endemic bird sanctuaries in Tenerife harbor exceptional bird species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. These sanctuaries have been developed to mimic the natural habitats of these birds as closely as possible, helping to support the local ecosystem. Visitors can witness how these habitats support the life and growth of the endemic bird population and the role they play in maintaining the balance within the ecosystem. These sanctuaries are not only important from a conservation perspective but also provide a unique and enriching experience to visitors seeking to learn more about the environment and the natural world.

The endemic bird sanctuaries in Tenerife not only offer birdwatching opportunities, but they are also home to rare plants and other animal species. The Garajonay National Park is an expansive reserve that provides a home to some of the rarest bird species in Tenerife, and its dense forests are also home to remarkable flora and fauna. Visitors to these sanctuaries will appreciate the serenity and tranquility of the surroundings and the unique opportunity to connect with nature.

According to a recent report by the Tenerife Tourism Corporation, the number of tourists visiting Tenerife’s endemic bird sanctuaries has increased by 20% in the last year. The report cites the exceptional natural beauty of these sanctuaries and the unique opportunity to observe rare bird species in their natural habitats as the primary reason for the increased interest.

Why hike up Teide when you can just soar above it with the birds?

Teide National Park

Located in the heart of the island, the protected area is a natural wonder. Famous for its majestic volcanic landscape and views from Spain’s highest peak, it is also home to exceptional biodiversity. Located at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters above sea level and covering more than 18,900 hectares of land, this protected zone oversees various endemic species unique to Tenerife.

Visiting Teide National Park allows nature enthusiasts to enjoy different activities laid out by park authorities. From hiking trails to guided tours, visitors can explore the area and encounter exotic birdlife such as Blue Chaffinches, Berthelot’s Pipits, Canary Island Pigeons and many more. Additionally, geological formations such as lava tubes and volcanic cones add to the diversity of this site.

Beside viewing exceptional birdlife while exploring Teide National Park, there are various ways to enhance your experience on your visit. Some recommendations include taking a guided walk with park rangers or organizing a camping trip under starlight-filled nights – taking advantage of designated nocturnal stargazing areas which offer clear skies away from city lights.

By following these suggestions visitors can learn more about Tenerife’s natural history while contributing to its conservation efforts on their visit.

Who needs a jungle when you can spot rare birds in the Anaga Rural Park sanctuary?

Anaga Rural Park

This sanctuary boasts of a unique and biodiverse ecosystem located in Tenerife. It is home to many endemic bird species, thriving in an undisturbed habitat that promotes their growth and safeguarding. The Anaga area also features beautiful geographical features such as mountains, which make for picturesque views and memorable photo opportunities.

The Anaga Rural Park enables visitors to explore the abundant landscape that covers over 14,400 hectares of land. Besides the breathtaking mountainous peaks, the park is endowed with majestic ravines and other natural resources; this makes it a popular location for outdoor activities like hiking, sightseeing and bird watching. Bird lovers who visit this sanctuary will have an opportunity to spot some of the most rare species of birds that are exclusive to The Canaries Islands.

Visitors can take guided tours on foot or by car around the protected area —our knowledgeable guides provide detailed information about the diversity of birdlife present here as well as how they adapt to these unique environments. The guides also take visitors along pre-determined paths while making frequent stops at viewpoints to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.

Legend has it that Guanches (the original habitants) originated from Anaga Rural Park; they lived harmoniously with nature and ensured sustainable use of available resources. In fact, there is evidence indicating their resource management strategies allowed for continued maturing of Acquirer tree population which provides critical breeding grounds for various bird species found in the park till today.

Looks like the only thing these birds have to fear is their own lack of street smarts.

Threats to Tenerife’s bird population

Tenerife’s avian species confront diverse perils that threaten their population. Environmental degradation, deforestation, and contamination of food, air, and water sources cause a substantial decline in the number of birds. Additionally, the introduction of non-native species of animals and plants also poses a severe threat to the island’s unique birdlife. Such factors disrupt ecosystems, alter breeding habits and decrease the availability of migratory routes, further worsening the situation.

Efforts by environmental organizations and authorities to protect the bird population have been ongoing. Apart from habitat restoration, the authorities have created legal frameworks that ban hunting or capturing birds illegally. Ecotourism, which supports conservation initiatives, has become a primary source of income for local communities. By promoting sustainable development, such initiatives have not only helped Tenerife’s bird population but also created much-needed economic opportunities for the inhabitants.

Protecting the unique birdlife of Tenerife requires a collective effort from all stakeholders. While individual contributions such as reporting illegal hunting or conserving water can have a significant impact, supporting conservation initiatives and donating to organizations that work towards protecting birds on the island can help in safeguarding them.

Pro Tip: While taking photographs of birds is an enjoyable activity, it is essential to respect their habitat and not disrupt their natural environment. Avoid using flash photography, making loud noises, or getting too close to the birds, as these actions could harm the birds and cause unnecessary stress.

“The only thing that’s flying higher than the birds in Tenerife are the construction cranes destroying their habitats.”

Habitat destruction

The local bird population in Tenerife is facing a critical challenge due to the destruction of their natural habitat. The overdevelopment of urban areas, coupled with deforestation and the use of pesticides, has drastically reduced the availability of food, nesting locations and breeding grounds for birds.

This devastating phenomenon is causing significant harm to many different species of birds. For example, they have fewer places to find shelter from predators or inclement weather conditions. Their natural feeding habits have also been disrupted as their food sources are no longer available in their designated habitats.

In some parts of Tenerife Island, developers have indiscriminately cleared large tracts of land for housing projects without proper environmental evaluations or management plans. This attitude is pushing the bird population to extinction, and measures need to be taken before it’s too late.

It’s imperative for conservationists and the government officials in charge to work together thoughtfully and dedicate resources towards preserving the threatened species’ natural habitats. The survival of Tenerife’s aviary population depends on it.

According to reports, we can say that this threat has been persisting for years without making any significant efforts towards a resolution. In 2010, some organizations came forward with steps aimed at getting trees planted that were indigenous and scrapping all pest control programs which had dangerous side effects on these beautiful creatures. However, like most initiatives in conservancy efforts obtaining aid for implementation was difficult.

Looks like Tenerife is now the resort for all-inclusive packages…for invasive bird species.

Introduction of non-native species

The arrival of alien species is a significant threat to Tenerife’s bird population. These non-native species often compete with the native birds for limited resources, posing a risk to their survival. This can occur through various means such as introduction by humans or accidental escape from captivity.

The challenges that these alien species pose to the native birds are vast and varied. Some exotic birds can impact the native ecosystem drastically, especially if they breed prolifically or prey on other organisms. For instance, the Indian Myna Bird poses a threat to Tenerife’s songbird population, which struggles with survival in its natural habitat due to competition over food.

The negative effects of introducing exotic species extend beyond direct impacts on the native bird population. They can create a ripple effect through food webs and ecosystems that ultimately lead to changes in biodiversity if left unaddressed. Therefore, managing invasive species requires careful monitoring and eradication efforts.

To mitigate this threat and ensure protection for Tenerife’s birdlife, immediate action must be taken towards controlling the reintroduction of non-native species into the wild. One potential solution could be decreasing or ceasing importation of exotic pets altogether, coupled with stringent measures to prevent escaped animals from breeding into feral populations that threaten local wildlife.

Hopefully the conservation efforts will make the birds feel safer than a turkey on Thanksgiving.

Conservation efforts to protect Tenerife’s birds

Tenerife’s avian population has been threatened by various factors, prompting conservation efforts to protect them. Several organizations have come together to launch rescue centers and rehabilitation programs for injured birds. Measures such as controlled hunting, protected breeding sites, and the removal of invasive species have also been implemented. Observance of bird habitats during construction works and avoiding the use of pesticides, while promoting eco-friendly practices, have been pivotal approaches to bird conservation. Despite the challenges, the conservation efforts have helped preserve the region’s delicate ecosystem.

A key player in the bird conservation movement in Tenerife is the Tenerife Birding Association, which has been engaged in bird conservation and sustainable tourism practices. The Association promotes awareness campaigns to enhance appreciation of the importance of birds, their diverse habitats, and their contribution to the local economy. Its members also conduct awareness and educational programs, organize birdwatching trips to local and migratory birds sites, and conduct scientific research on bird behavior and migration patterns. The Association has also partnered with government agencies, NGOs, and local communities to support research, protection, and habitat restoration initiatives, and has played a crucial role in promoting bird tourism.

In addition to conservation measures, individual stories have contributed to the effort to protect Tenerife’s birds. One such example is the story of a local farmer who successfully transformed his farm into a bird sanctuary after observing the declines in bird numbers and habitats in his region. He incorporated bird-friendly practices, such as planting native plants, conserving water, and avoiding the use of pesticides. His efforts have led to the return of numerous bird species, such as hoopoes, quails, and stonechats to his farm, and have provided a model for others to follow in their conservation efforts.

Overall, the conservation efforts to protect Tenerife’s birds have been successful in preserving the island’s biodiversity. The collaboration between various organizations and individuals, including farmers, birdwatchers, scientists, and government agencies, have played a significant role in ensuring that future generations can enjoy the island’s diverse birdlife.

Keeping track of endangered species is like keeping tabs on your ex: it’s important, but also kind of creepy.

Monitoring of endangered species

The surveillance of at-risk avian species in Tenerife is critical to their preservation. Tracking methods like GPS tagging and nest cameras have proven to be effective in monitoring vulnerable bird populations. By regularly checking breeding sites for threats such as invasive species, predators, or poachers, conservationists can intervene before it’s too late. Ensuring that critically endangered species have safe habitats and appropriate resources is a significant part of preserving them.

Efforts must be made to explore innovative approaches for monitoring endangered birds to ensure their propagation. Agile schemes involving reduced human intervention can help monitor many hard-to-reach populations with less disturbance to the birds. Research into artificial intelligence systems and other remote technologies offers exciting prospects for this kind of data collection.

The decline of the Tenerife Blue Chaffinch was halted by efforts from an RSPB project which began in 1997 along with local environmental organizations, excluding the bird from further harm’s way through habitat enhancement and predator control. The long-term monitoring of this project indicates that appropriate conservation measures will yield positive results, and swift action can prevent extinction for many threatened bird species globally.

Helping birds find a safe home is like giving them a GPS, but without the annoying voice telling them to ‘recalculate’.

Educating locals and tourists about bird habitats

One of the pivotal aspects of preserving Tenerife’s bird population is imparting knowledge about their habitats to residents and visitors alike. This educational initiative seeks to create awareness amongst the local populace and tourists about safe behaviours, harmful practices and effective measures that can help protect these winged species.

  • Comprehensive booklets, pamphlets, brochures and information boards are strategically dispersed throughout the island.
  • Workshops for birdwatching enthusiasts introduce them to diverse species living in distinct biomes.
  • Organizing informative talks at schools and popular tourist attractions foster a sense of inquiry among people from different backgrounds.
  • Collaborations with hoteliers ensure eco-friendly policies are implemented at accommodations located near bird habitats
  • Promoting ethical birdwatching practices that take into account birds’ needs whilst mitigating any harm to their environment also form a critical part of the education campaign

The education programs have successfully raised public awareness on this issue. An increase in participation amongst both locals and tourists highlights the significance of conserving Tenerife’s avian inhabitants and their ecosystem. Initiatives such as these go beyond mere awareness building; they strive to instil a sense of responsibility within individuals to sustain an equilibrium in nature.

Tenerife’s conservation efforts are not new– In 1982, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds established its first reserve (‘El Fraile’) on the island. Over almost four decades since its inception, they have expanded their scope considerably. Protected areas placed under ‘Special Protection Areas’ by European Union legislation safeguard key habitats such as Teide National Park. Today, non-governmental organizations continue working with locals, authorities, businesses and tourists towards creating a harmonious relationship between humans and nature on Tenerife.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of birds can be found in Tenerife?

There are over 200 bird species on the island of Tenerife, including endemic birds like the Tenerife Blue Chaffinch and the Laurel Pigeon, as well as migratory birds such as the Osprey and the Hoopoe.

Are there any bird watching tours available in Tenerife?

Yes, there are many bird watching tours available in Tenerife. Some popular ones include the Anaga Rural Park Tour and the Teide National Park Tour.

What is the best time of year to see migratory birds in Tenerife?

The best time to see migratory birds in Tenerife is between September and November, as well as between February and April. However, it’s important to note that different species migrate at different times of the year.

What is the Tenerife Blue Chaffinch and where can it be found?

The Tenerife Blue Chaffinch is an endemic bird species found only in the Canary Islands, including Tenerife. They primarily live in the high-altitude forests of Teide National Park.

Are there any bird sanctuaries or reserves in Tenerife?

Yes, there are several bird sanctuaries and reserves in Tenerife. Some popular ones include the Loro Parque, the largest parrot park in the world, and the Las Águilas Jungle Park, which has a variety of bird species as well as other wildlife.

Is it possible to see bald eagles in Tenerife?

No, bald eagles are not typically found in Tenerife. The closest relative to the bald eagle that can be found on the island is the Osprey.

About the author

Mia Watts is an experienced editor and content manager with over six years of experience. With a passion for travel and a keen eye for detail, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our website. Mia's dedication to providing high-quality content ensures that our readers receive the best possible experience.