Visiting the islands of the Azores – discover the flora and fauna

Picazuro Pigeon, ©Lip Kee/Flickr

Picazuro Pigeon, ©Lip Kee/Flickr

The Azores Islands are very rich in unique plants and animals. All nature lovers and enthusiasts will have plenty of exploring and discovering to do when visiting this wonderful set of islands. The Azores are covered in beaut

iful green pastures which are colored by all kinds of flowers. Discover and admire the several endemic plant species which are dotting the landscapes of the Azores. The islands are also a popular stop for migratory birds which is why if you visit in the right season you can go bird watching on the coastlines and lakesides and catch a glimpse of them.

Dominant plant species &co.

Among most common and interesting plant species of the Azores are the cedar, English holly, morello wild cherry, sheepberry, scotch heather, wildberry, piccona azorica or in other name Pau Branco and the spurge-flax daphne. Other species enriching the flora of the region are the macronesia, brazilien mahogany, laurel tree, dogwood and tamujo. In order to make the countryside even more beautiful some species from outside the island were introduces such as the Japanese cryptomeria which was brought to the Azores about a century ago.

Japanese cryptomeria, ©Skakerman/Flickr

Japanese cryptomeria, ©Skakerman/Flickr

The island is also rich in several sub-shrub species and large trees that function as ornaments and shelter from the wind, hence protecting the vineyards, cultivated lands and fruit farms.

Decoration elements

Flowers and other plants are often used as decoration. Such pretty flower is the hydrangea which adds a natural and colorful touch to the garden walls. The azaleas and the camellias also serve similar purposes. Some tree species such as the bead tree, aroids-jarra, belladonna and agapanthus also add to the beauty of the island’s landscape.

Hydrangea, Flores island, Azores, ©unukorno/Flickr

Hydrangea, Flores island, Azores, ©unukorno/Flickr

Cão de fila – watchdogs

In the region of São Miguel you can see the very common animal species, notably watchdog, the cão de fila. The tough and strong cão de fila are unfailing in their duty as watchdogs as they shepherd the sheep or cattle herds. These animals are extremely intelligent and loyal. They grow large at size with short hair, strong jaws and muscular legs.

Bird species

The Azores Islands might just be the paradise of birdwatchers as there are several bird species to be found all over the islands. There are several migratory birds which stop by the islands for a rest between Europe and American continent. Pack your binoculars and camouflage clothes and get ready for some bird watching. Among the most commonly seen birds we can mention the priôlo, the milhafre eagle, canary-like finch, cagarro, picazuro pigeon, cliff pigeon, crow, common tern or the gull.

Picazuro Pigeon, ©Lip Kee/Flickr

Picazuro Pigeon, ©Lip Kee/Flickr

Fish and other animal species

There are several hedgehogs and ferrets to be found on the island. A very commonly met animal is the wild rabbit which are cultivated mostly for sport hunting. Visit the rivers and lakes and check out the common trout, rainbow trout, old world pike, yellow perch and red gurnard.

 

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