Watching birds connects us with nature from a privileged point of view; it grabs you from the first instant. Ravines, vegetation, viewpoints, all gathered to be part of this experience. It is an activity that can be done by people of all ages, as it does not require any special physical effort besides the leisurely walk and patience. It is an unpredictable activity that promises us a great number of surprises.
The variety and good conservation status of La Gomera ecosystems, allows a great presence and variety of birds, both that live throughout the year and those that use the island as a transit one or rest in their migratory journeys. Some, like seabirds, force us to go out to sea. An excellent opportunity to see them is in the marine excursions for watching cetaceans or the visit to Los Órganos. You can see the Osprey nesting in cliffs. While the boat trip between Tenerife and La Gomera it is also very common to see many species of seabirds.
In the islands there are a variety of protected areas that ensure a high level of respect for the environment, since most of the protected areas are in general outstanding places where the best bird populations are found. Within these spaces are the zones called ZEPA Special Bird Protection Area: These are protected areas that ensure the conservation of the avifauna threatened with extinction.
- Costa de Majona, El Águila y Avalo
- Acantilados de Alajeró, La Dama y Valle Gran Rey
- Los Órganos
- Barranco del Cedro y Liria
- Parque Nacional de Garajonay
Setting the activity
A basic principle in ornithological observation is to prevail tranquillity of birds over our interest we can have. To locate the best watching point of unique species in Garajonay National Park, is advisable to check the guide-informants at the Juego de Bolas Visitor Centre or at the information point of La Laguna Grande.
Bringing a bird guide is just perfect for those who start in this activity. It will allow you to easily recognize them. Also some binoculars and camera to record your observation are recommended.
It is interesting to write down what we see in a notebook, either for our good memories or if you want to collaborate with BirdLife SEO in the magazine Ardeola. It will include the observation in the Ornithological Newsletter (at the end of this article we expand information for the shipment).
Two unique species:
Two unique endemic species can be seen in La Gomera: The rabiche dove and the turqué one.
Rabiche dove: It inhabits steep areas where monteverde forest is abundant and also in small redoubts of thermophile forest (zone between coast and monteverde), even in some areas of pine forest and lower cultivation areas, occasionally in low areas close to the coast. It usually breeds between March and September, laying several eggs.
Turqué dove: Another Canary endemism. It lives preferentially the well-populated monteverde areas. It breeds on trees between October and July, laying a single egg but they can repeat several times in the same season.
Ornithological newsletter of Ardeola magazine (Spanish Society of Ornithology official scientific journal). It is recommended to send the data in Word format, indicating the name of the species, island, municipality, location, date, observers and the details of the observation: number of birds, etc. Send the document by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will contribute to increase a database that will not only serve to know the patterns of occurrence and distribution of species, but will collaborate with conservation actions, as well as to periodically update different databases of programs and working groups of SEO / BirdLife.
Data source: www.seo.org/citas-de-aves/