Best time to visit Malta

Birdwatching in Malta 2024

No need to be an ornithologist to watch birds and have fun in Malta!

Best time: September–November | March–May

Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Birdwatching

The Maltese islands have only 12 endemic species of birds but a wide variety of birds can be seen here during the spring and autumn migrations. In fact, the Maltese islands are situated between the African and European continents which is one of the important migration routes. A great number of migratory birds cross the Mediterranean Sea and stop on the Maltese islands in April-May and September-November.

At the Għadira Nature Reserve in winter, you can also see kingfishers, warblers, robins, and finches. The Is-Simar Nature Reserve is famous for migrating waterbirds and is home to nesting reed warblers, herons, rails, and kingfishers. The natural habitat of Foresta 2000, Buskett Woodlands is the best place to watch migrating raptors in autumn, especially during September. The Chadwick Lakes are home to shy warblers in winter. A bird sanctuary in the Salina Saltpans is the ideal habitat for wading birds and one place to even spot flamingos. Rdum tal-Madonna and Natura 2000 are breeding colonies for yelkouan shearwaters, spotted pipits, and wheatears, as well as Malta’s national bird the blue rock thrush. Comino is a famous bird sanctuary and a popular spot for migratory birds. Dwejra is a one more ideal bird-watching spot, and a significant bird breeding and nesting site, especially on the high cliffs where it harbours several rare and endemic species such as wagtails, flycatchers, and gulls.

Practical info

When should one plan a trip to Malta for birdwatching?

The best time to plan a trip to Malta for birdwatching is during the spring and autumn migrations, which occur between April to May and September to November. This is because a significant number of migratory birds stop on the Maltese islands during these times. Another great time is during the winter season when various bird species such as kingfishers, warblers, robins, and finches can be spotted. Show more

What are some excellent spots for birdwatching in Malta and what kind of birds can be seen there?

Malta has several excellent spots for birdwatching, each offering a unique set of bird species to observe. The Għadira Nature Reserve is perfect for watching kingfishers, warblers, robins, and finches. Is-Simar Nature Reserve, a breeding ground for waterbirds, is ideal for observing nesting reed warblers, herons, rails, and kingfishers. Foresta 2000, Buskett Woodlands is known for migrating raptors in autumn. Rdum tal-Madonna and Natura 2000 are home to Malta's national bird, the blue rock thrush, yelkouan shearwaters, spotted pipits, and wheatears, and are both breeding colonies for these species. Show more

What are the endemic species of birds that are found in Malta?

Malta is home to only 12 species of endemic birds. These include the Maltese swallow, the blue rock thrush, the Maltese subspecies of the common chaffinch and blue tit, and the Spectacled Warbler. Although the endemic birds of Malta are vital for its ecosystem, they are also an integral part of the country's culture and heritage. Show more

How to reach the Għadira Nature Reserve, and what kind of birds are usually seen there?

The Għadira Nature Reserve, accessible via public transport, is at a walking distance from the Bugibba Bus Terminus. Besides being an ideal location for a nature walk, it is perfect for birdwatching. Kingfishers, warblers, robins, and finches are among the bird species commonly spotted during winter months. The reserve is a great location to relax and soak in the beauty of the natural surroundings. Show more

Where can the national bird of Malta, the blue rock thrush, be found?

The blue rock thrush, Malta's national bird, has its breeding ground in the Rdum tal-Madonna and Natura 2000 on the Maltese islands. While Rdum tal-Madonna is a natural habitat for yelkouan shearwaters, spotted pipits, wheatears, and blue rock thrush, Natura 2000 is an excellent location for bird species found only in Malta. Show more

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