Bird Watching Gran Canaria, Spain

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Ever found yourself daydreaming about your next birdwatching excursion to Gran Canaria, but feel a little overwhelmed on where the best spots might be? You’re not alone – I’ve felt exactly the same way during my own planning.

Fired up by an unmatched enthusiasm for our avian amigos, I embarked on comprehensive research into this ecological gem. This article is set to share my findings with you, including highly recommended locations for birdwatching, ideal seasons to visit and some intriguing species you could encounter.

We’ll even explore some exciting tours available. Prepare yourself: Gran Canaria’s incredible diversity in habitats makes it nothing short of paradise for us bird lovers!

Overview of Bird Watching on Gran Canaria

Are you a birdwatching enthusiast looking for the best spots to observe diverse bird species on Gran Canaria? I understand your quest, as I have embarked on my own journey to discover the hidden gems of this stunning island. In my in-depth research, I’ve uncovered valuable information about notable bird species, prime birdwatching seasons, and top locations that will make your experience unforgettable. Join me as we delve into the world of birds and uncover the best bird watching opportunities on Gran Canaria!

Common Bird of Gran Canaria

I love seeing the many bird types on Gran Canaria. It is a joy to see them in their own homes. Here are some of the birds you can find here.

  • The Blue Chaffinch: This bird calls the pine trees its home.
  • The Canary: It sings so well, and it’s known worldwide.
  • Houbara Bustard: This big bird likes dry places like flat desert lands.
  • Bulwer’s Petrel: Look for this one near rocky cliffs by the sea.
  • Laurel Pigeon: You will find them in Laurel forests.
  • Cory’s Shearwater: They make loud noises at night but fly out at sea during the day.
  • The African Blue Tit: With a blue and yellow body, this bird stands out in any place.

Gran Canaria Bird Wathing

You will see a lot of birds on Gran Canaria during migration times. These happen in spring and fall. Many kinds of birds fly over the Canary Islands as they go between Africa and Europe.

So, it’s a good time to watch birds.

Birds also breed here in spring and summer. You can see them better because there are less leaves on trees during these seasons. In winter, you could spot aquatic birds at the coast too!

Top Birding Gran Canaria, Spain

I am here to tell you about some of the top birding spots in Gran Canaria. You will love these places.

  1. La Charca de Maspalomas: A lagoon where you can see many water birds. It is a peaceful place, not too busy with tourists.
  2. Tamadaba Nature Park: This park has such a diverse range of birds! You can find both local and migrating birds here.
  3. Pilancones Nature Park: This nature park is also great for birdwatching. It’s full of trees that draw in lots of different birds.
  4. Reserva Natural Especial de los Marteles: This spot is known for its wide range of bird species. You’ll be amazed by the variety.
  5. Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua: If you want to see rare birds, this is the place to go!

La Charca de Maspalomas


La Charca de Maspalomas is an incredible birding spot on Gran Canaria, with a diverse range of species to observe. The site is easily accessible and offers a variety of terrain and habitats for birdwatching enthusiasts to explore.

Common Birds in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is a beautiful island known for its diverse bird species. It’s not very crowded, so it’s perfect for a peaceful birdwatching experience. One of the best spots to visit is La Charca de Maspalomas, an ecological brackish lagoon in the southeast.

You can see aquatic birds there, surrounded by tamarisks and reeds. The circular trail allows you to explore the area easily, and there’s even a birdwatching hide/platform where you can observe birds up close.

Gran Canaria also offers other nature parks like Tamadaba and Pilancones, where you can find more birdwatching opportunities. Don’t forget that migration seasons are the best time to visit as many species pass through on their journeys between Africa and Europe.


Getting to the birdwatching sites on Gran Canaria is easy and convenient for tourists. The island has a well-developed transportation system, including buses and taxis, that make it accessible to visitors.

From the main tourist areas, such as Maspalomas or Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, you can easily reach the birdwatching spots by public transportation or private car.

For example, La Charca de Maspalomas is located in Maspalomas, which is a popular tourist resort area. You can take a short taxi ride or hop on a bus to get there. Once you arrive at La Charca de Maspalomas, there are clear signs directing you towards the circular trail and birdwatching hide/platform.

Similarly, other birding sites like Tamadaba Nature Park, Pilancones Nature Park, Reserva Natural Especial de los Marteles, and Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua are also easily accessible from major tourist areas.

Terrain and habitat

Gran Canaria has a diverse terrain and habitat that is perfect for birdwatching. The island has everything from coastal areas to mountainous forests, providing a wide range of ecological diversity.

One popular spot for birdwatching is La Charca de Maspalomas, a brackish lagoon surrounded by tamarisks and reeds in the southeast of the island. This area attracts many aquatic birds and provides a beautiful backdrop for observing them.

Another great thing about Gran Canaria is that it offers various nature parks where you can explore different habitats and encounter even more bird species. So whether you’re interested in coastal birds or those found in mountainous forests, Gran Canaria has something to offer every bird enthusiast.

Good birding season

Birdwatching in Gran Canaria is best during the migration seasons when birds are passing through the Canary Islands. These seasons offer a great opportunity to see a wide variety of bird species as they travel between Africa and Europe.

The island’s location makes it an important stopover for many migratory birds, so you’ll have plenty of chances to spot different species. Whether you’re interested in aquatic birds, rare sightings, or birds of prey, the migration seasons provide the best time for birdwatching on Gran Canaria.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Gran Canaria for birdwatching is during the migration seasons. Many bird species pass through the Canary Islands, including Gran Canaria, on their journeys between Africa and Europe.

These migration seasons provide a great opportunity to spot a wide variety of birds in the area. Whether you’re interested in observing migratory birds, stragglers, or shorebirds, visiting during these times will increase your chances of seeing different species.

So plan your trip accordingly and get ready for an amazing birdwatching experience on Gran Canaria!

Circular trail

One of the best features of La Charca de Maspalomas is the circular trail that takes you around the lagoon. Here are some key points about the circular trail at La Charca de Maspalomas:

  • The circular trail provides a great opportunity to explore the different habitats around the lagoon, including the tamarisks and reeds.
  • As you walk along the trail, keep an eye out for various bird species that inhabit these areas.
  • The trail is well – marked and easy to follow, making it suitable for all skill levels.
  • Along the way, you’ll find informative signs that provide interesting facts about the local birdlife and ecosystem.
  • The circular trail offers beautiful views of the lagoon and its surroundings, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in nature.
  • Take your time while walking the trail and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. You never know what bird species you might spot along the way!
  • Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and camera to enhance your birdwatching experience on the circular trail.

Birdwatching hide/platform

One of the key features at La Charca de Maspalomas is the birdwatching hide/platform. This specially designed structure allows visitors to observe birds without disturbing them. From the hide, you can get a closer look at various species of aquatic birds that inhabit the brackish lagoon.

The hide provides a comfortable and elevated vantage point, giving you a better chance to spot and photograph these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. It’s an excellent spot for birdwatching enthusiasts who want to experience Gran Canaria’s diverse avian life up close and personal.

Other Birding Sites in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria offers a variety of other birding sites for nature enthusiasts, including Tamadaba Nature Park, Pilancones Nature Park, Reserva Natural Especial de los Marteles, and Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua.

Tamadaba Nature Park

Tamadaba Nature Park is a beautiful and diverse nature park located on Gran Canaria. It covers a large area of the island and is known for its lush mountainous forest. The park is home to a wide variety of bird species, including both resident birds and migratory species that pass through during certain times of the year.

It’s a great place for birdwatching enthusiasts to explore, with plenty of opportunities to spot rare and unique birds. The park offers picturesque hiking trails that take you through different habitats, providing ample opportunities to observe birds in their natural surroundings.

So if you’re visiting Gran Canaria and love birdwatching, don’t miss out on the chance to explore Tamadaba Nature Park!

Pilancones Nature Park

Pilancones Nature Park is another great birdwatching spot on Gran Canaria. This park offers a different habitat compared to other locations on the island, with its mountainous forest and rugged terrain.

As you explore the park, keep an eye out for various bird species that call this place home or pass through during their migration journeys.

One of the unique features of Pilancones Nature Park is its ecological diversity. You can expect to see a variety of birds here, including some rare sightings. The park provides a peaceful and tranquil setting for birdwatching, away from the bustling tourist areas.

While there may not be specific guided tours or trails dedicated solely to birdwatching in Pilancones Nature Park, it’s still worth exploring if you’re interested in observing birds in their natural habitat.

Remember to bring your binoculars and be respectful towards nature as you enjoy your time at this beautiful park.

Reserva Natural Especial de los Marteles

One of the birdwatching spots on Gran Canaria is the Reserva Natural Especial de los Marteles. This nature reserve is located in the southeast of the island and offers a unique habitat for various bird species.

The reserve covers an area of approximately 700 hectares and is characterized by its mountainous forest and rocky terrain. It is home to a wide variety of birds, including raptors, passerines, and waterbirds.

The best time to visit this reserve for birdwatching is during the spring and autumn migration seasons when many migratory birds pass through the Canary Islands. Birdwatchers can enjoy exploring the trails within the reserve while observing different species of birds in their natural habitat.

Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua

Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua is another excellent birdwatching spot on Gran Canaria. This nature reserve covers an area of approximately 3,000 hectares and is located in the central part of the island.

It is known for its diverse range of habitats, including mountainous forests, ravines, and open plains. The reserve is home to a variety of bird species, including birds of prey like buzzards and kestrels, as well as songbirds like canaries and warblers.

With its scenic landscapes and tranquil atmosphere, Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua offers a wonderful opportunity to observe birds in their natural habitat.

Top Parks in Gran Canaria for Bird Watching

Gran Canaria offers several parks that are perfect for bird watching. Here are the top parks to explore:

  1. Tamadaba Nature Park: This park is located in the northwest region of Gran Canaria and boasts beautiful mountainous forests. It is home to a variety of bird species, including birds of prey.
  2. Pilancones Nature Park: Situated in the southwest region, this park features diverse landscapes with ravines, valleys, and pine forests. It provides an ideal habitat for many bird species.
  3. Reserva Natural Especial de los Marteles: Located near Aguimes, this nature reserve offers unique flora and fauna, making it a great spot for bird watching. Look out for rare bird species during your visit.
  4. Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua: Situated in the center of the island, this nature reserve is known for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes. Many bird species can be spotted here.
  5. La Charca de Maspalomas: This brackish lagoon in the southeast is a haven for aquatic birds and surrounded by tamarisks and reeds. Visit during the right season to observe a wide variety of water-loving birds.

Birding Trips and Tours in Gran Canaria

If you’re a birdwatching enthusiast visiting Gran Canaria, you’ll be happy to know that there are birding trips and tours available on the island. These tours provide expert guidance and the opportunity to spot a wide variety of bird species in different habitats.

Whether you prefer exploring on foot or taking a guided tour, there are options for everyone.

During these trips and tours, experienced guides will take you to the best birdwatching spots on Gran Canaria, where you can see a mix of endemic species and other birds found in the Canary Islands.

They will share their knowledge about the local birdlife, their behaviors, and how to identify them by sight and sound.

Birding trips and tours also offer an excellent chance to meet fellow birdwatchers from around the world who share your passion for birds. It’s a great way to learn from each other’s experiences and exchange tips on spotting elusive species.

So if you want to make the most of your birdwatching experience in Gran Canaria, consider joining one of these exciting trips or tours. You’ll have an unforgettable time exploring the diverse ecosystems of this beautiful island while observing its fascinating feathered inhabitants.

Photography Tips for Bird Watching on Gran Canaria

If you want to take great bird photos on Gran Canaria, here are some tips:

  • Bring a zoom lens to capture birds from a distance.
  • Use a fast shutter speed to freeze the bird’s movement.
  • Look for good lighting conditions, like early morning or late afternoon.
  • Find a hide or lookout point to get closer to the birds without disturbing them.
  • Be patient and observe the bird’s behavior before taking your shot.
  • Focus on capturing interesting poses or behaviors of the birds.
  • Experiment with different angles and compositions to create unique photos.

Checklist of Birds to Look Out for on Gran Canaria

While you’re exploring the bird-watching sites on Gran Canaria, there are some bird species you shouldn’t miss. Here’s a little checklist to help you identify some of the more common birds you might encounter during your trip.

Common Name Scientific Name Description
Atlantic Canary Serinus canaria Sports a yellow-green plumage with brown streaks on the back. Known for its loud, melodious song.
Berthelot’s Pipit Anthus berthelotii Small, brownish bird with a long, thin beak. Found in open areas like fields and cliffs.
Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis Small, olive-green bird that often flits around in the foliage. Recognizable by its song, a repeated ‘chiff-chaff’ sound.
African Blue Tit Cyanistes teneriffae Small, colorful bird with a blue cap, white cheeks, and yellow underparts. Prefers wooded areas.
Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis Small, long-tailed dove with a pinkish hue and black collar. Often seen in parks and gardens.

These are just a few of the bird species you might see in Gran Canaria. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or a beginner, you’re sure to enjoy the variety and beauty of the birds on this island.

Useful Resources for Birdwatching on Gran Canaria

When planning your birdwatching adventure on Gran Canaria, here are some useful resources to help you make the most of your experience:

  • Gran Canaria Bird Guide: A comprehensive guidebook that provides information about the different bird species found on the island, their habitats, and behavior. It also includes maps and recommended birding spots.
  • Local Birdwatching Tours: Joining a guided birdwatching tour is a great way to explore the best birding locations on Gran Canaria. These tours are led by experienced guides who have extensive knowledge of the local avifauna and can help you spot rare birds.
  • Canary Islands Birdwatching Association: This association promotes birdwatching activities in the Canary Islands and offers resources such as maps, checklists, and information on upcoming events and workshops.
  • Online Forums and Social Media Groups: Join online communities of birdwatchers who visit or reside on Gran Canaria. These forums and groups provide a platform for sharing sightings, tips, and recommendations. They can also help you connect with local birders who may be able to offer insider knowledge about the best spots to visit.
  • Local Nature Centers or Visitor Centers: Make sure to stop by any nature centers or visitor centers on Gran Canaria. They often have informative displays, brochures, and knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance on the best places to go birdwatching.
  • Bird Identification Apps: Download a reliable bird identification app that covers the Canary Islands region. These apps allow you to quickly identify birds based on their appearance, songs, or calls. Some apps also have interactive maps that show where specific species have been sighted recently.
  • Binoculars and Field Guides: Bring a good pair of binoculars with you for optimal viewing of birds in their natural habitats. Also pack field guides specific to European or Mediterranean birds so you can easily identify the species you encounter.