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Azores Birdwatching Marine Trip

Azores Birdwatching Marine Trip

Azores Islands Birding with Marine Biologists

A leisurely paced half-day Azores Birdwatching Marine Trip with marine biologists and naturalists that's available daily. It offers a unique opportunity to explore hidden places to observe sea birds and capture wild behaviour in coastal colonies from out at sea, with incredible ocean views.

Each year, thousands of seabirds come to the Azores to nest, raising their young in the relative safety and shelter of its cliffs and crags. The expert naturalists accompanying you on this Azores birdwatching marine trip can give insight into how different species know when it’s time to nest, how immature birds determine the location to raise their offspring and what methods scientists use to learn more about these beautiful creatures. Due to the secluded and inaccessible nature of these nesting sites, there is no better vantage point to observe their behaviour than from the ocean.

The Azores islands are a volcanic archipelago that sit on an oceanic plateau called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which forms a continuous mountain range from Greenland to West Africa. The archipelago is comprised of nine islands, three of which – Terceira, São Jorge and Graciosa – have been identified as world heritage sites by UNESCO.

The islands are home to the largest known colonies of Cory’s Shearwater, while other common breeding species are Barolo Shearwaters, Common and Roseate Terns, Yellow-legged Gulls, Bulwer’s Petrels, Wilson’s and Madeiran Storm-petrels, as well as unexpected surprises such as Bridled or Sooty Terns. Although they do not breed on the islands, other common sights are Great Shearwater and Leach’s Storm-petrels, Manx and Sooty Shearwaters, vagrant Northern Gannets, Arctic, Pomarine and Great Skuas, and shorebirds such as Buzzards, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Canaries, Little Egrets, Wagtails and Whimbrels.

Our professional guides are passionate about marine birds and they can't wait to share their enthusiasm. They will educate you on how to be a better birder, teach you how to identify different species and guide you in finding them throughout your Azores birdwatching marine trip. If you’re looking for a laid-back experience filled with interesting tidbits, fun facts and lots of laughs, you’ve come to the right place.

Azores Birdwatching Marine Trip highlights include:

  • The opportunity to observe hidden and inaccessible nesting areas and natural behaviour
  • Visiting the world's largest known colony of Cory’s Shearwaters, plus many other rare and unusual species
  • Insight from marine biologists and naturalists into the Azores' abundant birdlife and ecology
  • A relaxing marine trip with magnificent ocean views

If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Azores Whale Watching & Islet Boat Tour has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: Marine Birdwatching Expedition in the Azores


Day 1
Half Day Trip

Meet us at the Marina of Vila Franca do Campo for check-in, at the specified time.

The day starts with a short briefing introducing to bird species observed locally, migration and behavioral patterns, and onboard safety.

Follow the Guide and Skipper to your designated boat and go out to sea. The boat will travel the coast to observe known colonies, shorebirds, and wildlife at the off-coast nature reserve of the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo.

Then head out to sea looking to find seabirds and capture wild animal behavior. Lookouts high inland help locating, and provide directions via VHF Radio to where the boat may initially travel at high speed. Carefully approaching undetected distance, your Guide will keep you informed, collect field imagery and data for local research, and is available to provide information - feel free to ask!

Many Birds find oasis in the Azores Islands to breed and raise chicks, and as on-route refuge. Marine birds can be observed yearlong, peaking abundance in Spring and Autumn with the arrival of migrants and vagrants.

At 11:00 it is time to be at the Marina for check-out.

Know before you go:

● Eat light, and bring your personal water supply, sunscreen and chap-stick, and warm clothing. Light food is permitted, a camera is essential (pref. with zoom), binoculars are recommended - protect any personal equipment.

● NOT FOR anyone pregnant, with weak back, in wheelchair, in delicate health condition, or under the age of 4.

Some of the Wildlife species expected to see:

Cory’s Shearwater, Barolo Shearwater, Common Terns, Roseate Terns, Yellow legged Gulls, Bulwer’s Petrel, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel and Madeiran Storm-petrel, Bridled Terns, Sooty Terns, Great Shearwater, Leach’s Storm-petrel, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Northern Gannets, Arctic Skuas, Pomarine Skuas and Great Skuas, Buzzards, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Canaries, Little Egrets, Wagtails, Whimbrels and more…

What is included?

  • Opticron 8x42 Binoculars (or similar)
  • Knowledgeable Wildlife Guide
  • Experienced Skipper
  • Zodiac RIB Boat
  • Impermeable Full Suit and Life Vest
  • Insurance

What is not included?

  • Hotel Pickup and Drop-off (available separately)
  • Personal Water supply
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"

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Why book with Terra Azul?

Terra Azul is a 20+ years experienced marine Eco-tour operator in the Azores Islands, specialized in Whale Watching. All tours guided by Marine Biologists or Naturalists contributing towards wildlife research and education, with the the highest local conservation standards, and a deep rooting to the local Whaling culture, adopting the authentic azorean techniques used for Whaling until 1984, for an even better chance to see marine Wildlife.

The Best Time for Marine Birdwatching in Azores Islands?

Anytime – many Birds find oasis in the Azores Islands to breed and raise chicks, or as on-route refuge. Up to 400 species can be observed within the year. Marine birds can be observed yearlong, peaking in Spring with the arrival of migratory species, and in Autumn with rare american vagrant shorebirds.

The Best Time of the Day for Marine Birdwatching in Azores Islands?

Early Morning catches the worm, and fish! It is also a promise of calmer sea allowing better water travelling and photography.

Do I need to take protection for seawater and rain?

No. TERRA AZUL provides all equipment necessary. However, if you decide to bring any personals or equipment to sea, you are responsible for safeguarding your belongings from the water. We are experienced not to cause a splash, but when at sea, this can happen.

Is it always possible to see a specific species of Marine Bird?

Unfortunately not. As in any wildlife tour, it is not possible to guarantee that we will see any specific species at a specific time frame. We only go out when there is good chance for sightings, but even with our lookouts placed high inland, our friends move fast and it is not uncommon for them to disappear into the deep Ocean.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

0.5 Day

Price & Availability

EUR50 / per person
This tour is operated by: Terra Azul

Quick Enquiry Form

Tour Facts

  • Azores Islands, Portugal
  • Half Day Trip
  • Available Daily
  • Birds
  • 3 Hours
  • Leisurely
  • 4 to 12 pax
  • English, German, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian
  • +4 years
  • No
  • Ponta Delgada or Contact Us To Know
  • Ponta Delgada or Contact Us To Know