Birdwatching in Seychelles

Birdwatching in Seychelles

The Seychelles is a disparate group of islands - some granitic; some coralline - scattered around the equatorial Indian Ocean, over a range of a thousand of kilometres or so. Come birdwatching in the Seychelles to see a handful of rare endemics that evolved here, plus some huge colonies of ocean-going birds.

Excluding the remote and hard to visit Aldabra group of islands, the Seychelles has 12 endemic bird species: the Seychelles black parrot (the national bird of the Seychelles); Seychelles blue pigeon; Seychelles black paradise flycatcher; Seychelles magpie robin; Seychelles warbler; Seychelles scops owl; Seychelles white-eye; Seychelles sunbird; Seychelles fody (also referred to as 'Tok Tok'); Seychelles kestrel; Seychelles swiftlet; and Seychelles bulbul. Some sources also recognise the Seychelles turtle dove as being endemic, whilst others question if it has interbred with the Madagascar turtle dove.

Its location in the Indian Ocean makes the Seychelles an important winter stop-over for many palearctic migrant birds. Whimbrels, sandplovers, and unusually large flocks of crab plovers spend their whole non-breeding season on the islands.

In the interior of the islands, the bright Madagascar fody (or 'Red Cardinal fody'), Indian myna, and zebra dove (or 'barred ground dove') are the most commonly seen birds. Beautiful red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds, and dazzling white fairy terns are other spectacular species to look out for when birding in the Seychelles.

Bird Island is definitely the highlight for birdwatching in the Seychelles. In 1986 the owners of the island declared it a wildlife sanctuary, notably for its huge breeding colony of sooty terns. Now there are also spectacular opportunities for birders to observe sea, shore and land birds here which breed on the island in tremendous numbers.

For some of the best lodges and camps for birdwatching in the Seychelles, see our ideas below.

Our favourite places for birdwatching in the Seychelles