The Falkland Island | A Birdwatcher’s Paradise
What does birdwatching mean to you? Is it the connection you feel to nature or the physical and mental benefits? Perhaps it’s simply the beauty of such amazing creatures. Watching how birds move, sing, and fly is a calming experience that people of all ages enjoy.
But, where is the best place to go birdwatching? The Falkland Islands is a birdwatcher’s paradise with more than 220 recorded species to observe! So let’s discover why the Falkland Islands are an excellent place to visit and how you can have a unique birdwatching experience.
Where are the Falkland Islands?
Located in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Falkland Islands is nearly 600 miles from the North of Antarctica and belongs to the “Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom,” although self-governing. There are little over 3,200 residents, and most are native-born Falkland Islanders of British descent.
With 4,700 square miles of exquisite land, the Falkland Islands are a popular destination for tourists. There are two main islands to visit, West Falkland and East Falkland, where rare birds have been known to congregate throughout many months of the year. You may even spot whales, penguins, or dolphins on your trip.
Birdwatching in the Falkland Islands
Seven hundred islands comprise the Falkland Islands. While you cant visit each one, many offer opportunities for bird watching. Create lasting memories with your favorite people by animal watching all over the islands. Some species that you can observe are:
- Cobbs Wren
- Great Shearwater
- Colonies of King
- Gentoo Penguins
You can bird watch from various locations throughout the islands, and you can get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures. If you want to catch sight of penguins, you should look for them when they are looking for fresh water. Their coats get salty, and they want fresh water to clean themselves.
Rare Birds in Falkland Island
In addition to penguins, rare birds settle in the Falkland Islands, meaning those quiet afternoons sitting on a chair with binoculars will be highly rewarding. There is a host of other rare bird species on Falkland Island, such as:
- Red-Backed Buzzards
- Turkey Vultures
- Black-Crowned Night Herons
- Striated Caracara
- Rock Cormorants, and many more!
For a unique experience, visit Steeple Jason. More than 70% of Black-Browed Albatrosses breed and nest in the Falkland Islands. Steeple Jason is a small, remote island that isn’t easy to travel to, but it will be well worth it if you are lucky enough to visit this rare site. Albatrosses can have an 11-12 foot wingspan, and you could see hundreds of thousands in one area.
The number of bird species on Falkland Island includes:
- 21 resident land birds
- 18 waterbirds
- 22 breeding seabirds
- 18 annual non-breeding migrants
- 140 occasional visitors species
Best Time to Visit Falkland Island
Thanks to the abundance of wildlife and perfect views of the Islands, many wildlife tours on the islands can take you to the most popular spots. So whether you are looking to stay in the capital, Stanley, or immerse yourself in nature by staying in camps, there is something for everyone. Also, many Antarctica expedition ships stop in Stanley during these months.
A prime time to visit the Falkland Islands is between November and February. The days are long and clear, and the wildlife will be rearing their young. However, since this is the busiest time of the year, you might want to book well in advance to save yourself the disappointment.
Most of the animals start to move on during March and April, but there is still an opportunity to see your favorite birds. The islands are generally quiet during this time of year, so you might end up on your own with all these rare species if you’re lucky. Winter is during May and September, offering plenty of rain and wind, while October is the start of spring and mating season.
Other Wildlife and Activities in Falkland Island
Birds might be the primary creatures in the Falkland Islands, but you could have an opportunity to observe seals, and sea lions, such as the southern elephant seals. So book a room at Sea Lion Island and immerse yourself in the wonders and beauty of these beautiful animals and scenery.
The beautiful Islands are well-known for the views at every turn. Adventurers will love hiking over hills or dunes, not knowing what awaits them when they reach the top. There aren’t many hiking trails, but that’s what makes this experience just as fun.
Let’s not forget the cuisine! Tickle those taste buds with traditional British cuisine and home-cooked meals.
The Falkland Islands are an excellent place for birdwatching. Whether you are going alone or with loved ones, expect to connect with nature and make wonderful memories. With more than 220 bird species on these islands, you won’t be disappointed.
It’s no wonder that 85% of students who leave the islands to study abroad choose to return. Everything about these beautiful islands is breathtaking. The islanders are welcoming, and the birds, wildlife, and views will excite all visitors. If you are love bird watching, then this is the place to visit!
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Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq. is co-Founder of World Footprints, a social impact travel storytelling content hub she runs with her husband, Ian, that has been recognized as Best Social Impact Travel Media Company by CEO Monthly. She is an award-winning travel and business journalist, global public speaker, and 3-time TEDx speaker. Tonya regularly shares her insights on career transitions, DEIA in travel and the transformative power of travel to audiences all over the world. Recognized as Black Travel Journalists of the Year—an honor she shares with Ian, Tonya contributes her time and leadership to several boards and commissions in the travel community including SATW, The Explorers Club (DC), North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) and JourneyWoman. Tonya recently was been appointed to the Maryland Tourism Development Board by Gov. Wes Moore.