The birds of Fuerteventura
The birds of Fuerteventura

The birds of Fuerteventura

The volcanic mountain origin of the Canary Islands, with heights above 3,000 meters; the influence of the cold sea currents of the Canaries; the humid trade winds, originated by the anticyclone of the Azores; the proximity to the African continent and another series of additional environmental parameters, have favored that the islands possess a rich and varied diversity of climates and environments, which with the passage of time different species of flora and fauna, have been colonizing, and in which they have evolved, isolated and differentiated from their continental ancestors, creating new life forms among which six species of seven exclusive, such as the dove rabiche (Columba junoniae), the turquoise pigeon (Columba bolli), the blue finch of Tenerife (Fringilla teydea), blue finch of Gran Canaria (Fringilla polazetkii), Canary mosquito net (Phylloscopus canariensis), wren of Tenerife (Regulus teneriffae) and the Canarian stonechat (Saxicola dacotiae), which only lives in Fuerteventura.

Contrary to what many people think, Fuerteventura has a rich and varied birdlife, with habitats and species unique to the European Union. For these ornithological values ​​the island has become a dream destination for thousands of European and North American birdwatchers.

The coastal areas of Majorera harbor a great diversity of seabirds, some of them with small populations at European level. The navigation between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria or Lanzarote during the summer months or observation with telescope from coastal headlands or outposts, for example Punta de Jandia or El Cotillo, can give us pleasant surprises in the form of gray shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea borealis), shearwaters macaronesicas (Puffinus baroli) and pardelas pichonetas (Puffinus puffinus). In addition to Bulwer’s petrels (Bulweria bulwerii) and several species of paiños, such as the Madeira (Oceanodroma castro), common paiño (Hydrobates pelagicus) or the sparse pechialbo paiño (Pelagodroma marina), which only breeds on the northern islets of Lanzarote.

In recent years, with the warming and tropicalization of the marine environments of the islands, some species of birds of tropical waters have frequently begun to be observed, among them the rabijunco etéreo (Phaethon aetereus), which has recently begun to reproduce on the island.

In semi-desert environments, especially in the plains of the interior of the island appear areas formed by wide stony or sandy plains, with little vegetation, low rainfall and a high degree of insolation; They are the habitat of hubaras (Chalmidotys undulada), corridors (Cursorius cursor), trumpeter bullfinches (Bucanethes githagineus) and black-eye (Burhinus oedicnemus). The best areas to observe these mimetic birds are the plains of Tindaya and the Jable de Jandia.

The ravines of medium and large have been modeling the orography of the island, these places are populated by some species of great interest to the bird watcher. Thus, the ravines of La Torre and Río Cabras are ideal for observing the cinnamon jar (Tadorna ferruginea), small plover (Charadrius dubius), common stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and the Senegalese turtledove (Streptopelia senegalensis), as well as the rare stonechat Canarian, exclusive endemism of Fuerteventura. The gorge of Ajuy and Betancuria give refuge among the dense forests of palm trees and tarajales, to some of the few pairs of the blue tit of the eastern islands (Cyanistes teneriffae degener).

The most rugged areas of the island are home to several pairs of tagarote falcon (Falco peregrinoides), the North African variety of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), which extends from Pakistan to the Canary Islands. In addition to the threatened “guirre” (Neophron percnocterus majorensis) one of the scarcest birds of the archipelago, which was about to disappear and that with great effort has been recovered.

 

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