List of birds of Madeira

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The Trocaz pigeon is endemic to Madeira.

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Madeira. The avifauna of Madeira include a total of 286 species, of which two are endemic, two have been introduced by humans and 203 are rare or accidental. The two listed species that are extinct and the one that is extirpated are not included in the species count. Eighteen species are globally threatened (twelve near-threatened, two vulnerable, three endangered and one critically endangered).

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition.[1] The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Madeira.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

  • (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Madeira
  • (E) Endemic - a species endemic to Madeira
  • (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Madeira as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
  • (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Madeira although populations or other subspecies may exist elsewhere
  • {Extinct} Extinct globally - a species that no longer exists


Table of contents

See also        References        External links

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 21 species which occur in Madeira.

Pheasants and partridges[edit]

Common quail

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madeira.

Loons[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Gaviidae

The loons or divers are a group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Eurasia (Europe, Asia and debatably Africa). All living species of loons are members of the genus (Gavia), family (Gaviidae) and order (Gaviiformes). There are 5 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madeira.

Grebes[edit]

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

  • Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madeira.
  • Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis (A)
  • Horned grebe, Podiceps auritus (A)
  • Eared grebe, Podiceps nigricollis (A)

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Zino's petrel or Freira is an endangered species, and a breeding endemic to Madeira

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.

Storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.

Tropicbirds[edit]

Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madeira.

Storks[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madeira.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madeira.

Cormorants[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madeira.

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madeira.

Osprey[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor and a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

  • Osprey, Pandion haliaetus (A)

Hawks, kites and eagles[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are 62 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Madeira.

Bustards[edit]

Order: Otidiformes   Family: Otididae

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays. There are 26 species worldwide of which 1 species occurs in Madeira.

Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers. There are 12 species which have been recorded in Madeira.

Cranes[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Cranes (Gruidae) are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide of which 1 species occurs in Madeira.

Thick-knees[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Burhinidae

The thick-knees (Burhinidae) are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are 9 species worldwide of which 1 species occurs in Madeira.

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 66 species worldwide of which 10 species occur in Madeira.

Oystercatcher[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers (Haematopodidae) are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide of which 1 species occurs in Madeira and 2 species are either extirpated or extinct.

Avocets and stilts[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide of which 2 species occur in Madeira.

Sandpipers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 32 species have been recorded in Madeira.

Pratincoles and coursers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide, of which 2 species occur in Madeira.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.

Skuas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large sea birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide of which 4 species have been recorded off the coasts of Madeira.

Auks[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Alcidae

Auks (Alcidae) are a family of seabirds which are superficially similar to penguins with their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits but which are able to fly. There are about 23 species worldwide, of which 6 are recorded in Madeira.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide of which 5 species occur in Madeira. The Madeiran wood pigeon (Columba palumbus maderensis), an endemic subspecies, is extinct.

Cuckoos[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide of which 2 species occur in Madeira.

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium-sized to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are about 16 species worldwide with 1 in Madeira.

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disc. There are about 199 species worldwide, of which 2 have been recorded in Madeira. There is also one endemic species, known only from fossil remains, that probably became extinct following human settlement of the island.

Nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide of which 2 have been recorded in Madeira.

Swifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide of which 4 species occur in Madeira.

Kingfishers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madeira.

Bee-eaters[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Meropidae

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide, 1 of which occurs in Madeira.

Typical rollers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Coraciidae

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide of which 1 species occurs in Madeira.

Hoopoes[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Upupidae

Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head. There are 2 species worldwide, 1 of which occurs in Madeira.

Woodpeckers[edit]

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.

Shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 31 species worldwide, 2 of which occur in Madeira.

Old-World orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Oriolidae

The Old World orioles are colourful medium-sized passerine birds. The beak is slightly curved and hooked, and, except in the figbirds, as long as the head. The plumage of most species is bright and showy, although the females often have duller plumage than the males. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide of which 1 species occurs in Madeira.

Crows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. There are 120 species worldwide of which 3 species occur in Madeira.

Larks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide of which 3 species occur in Madeira.

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide, 6 of which have been recorded in Madeira.

Wrens[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous.

Kinglets[edit]

Firecrest (R. i. madeirensis)

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Regulidae

The kinglets, also called crests, are a small group of birds often included in the Old World warblers, but frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. There are 7 species worldwide, 1 of which occurs in Madeira.

  • Firecrest, Regulus ignicapilla (Regulus ignicapilla madeirensis)

Phylloscopidae[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Phylloscopidae

Phylloscopidae is a newly described family of small insectivorous birds formerly placed in the Old World warbler family. Its members occur in Eurasia, ranging into Wallacea and Africa (and the Arctic warbler breeding east into Alaska). Most live in forest and scrub and frequently catch food on the wing. There are 75 species worldwide, 5 of which occur in Madeira.

Acrocephalidae[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Acrocephalidae

Acrocephalidae (the marsh- and tree-warblers or acrocephalid warblers) is a family of oscine passerine birds, in the superfamily Sylvioidea. Most species are rather plain olivaceous brown above with much yellow to beige below. They are usually found in open woodland, reedbeds or tall grass. There are 55 species worldwide, 7 of which occur in Madeira.

Locustellidae[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Locustellidae

Locustellidae is a newly recognized family of small insectivorous songbirds ("warblers"), formerly placed in the Old World warbler family. It contains the grass-warblers, grassbirds, and the Bradypterus "bush-warblers". The species are smallish birds with tails that are usually long and pointed. Most live in scrubland and frequently hunt food by clambering through thick tangled growth or pursuing it on the ground. There are 55 species worldwide, 2 of which occur in Madeira.

Old World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. They mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 75 species worldwide,[1] of which 8 species occur in Madeira.

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Madeira.

Thrushes and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Madeira.

Starlings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madeira.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Madeira.

Calcariidae[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Calcariidae

The Calcariidae are a small family of passerine birds. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madeira.

New World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

A group of small, often colourful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal and insectivorous. There are about 118 species worldwide, 2 of which occur as vagrants in Madeira.

Buntings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

The emberizids are a family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. There are 9 species worldwide[1] of which 1 species occurs in Madeira.

Finches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide of which 11 species occur in Madeira.

Sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide, 2 of which occur in Madeira.

Waxbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns. There are 141 species worldwide, 1 of which occurs in Madeira.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Clements, J.F.; Schulenberg, T.S.; Iliff, M.J.; Sullivan, B.L.; Wood, C.L. (2010). "The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, Version 6.5" (xls). Cornell University Press. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 

External links[edit]