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After having visited the Azores in 2017, Madeira in 2021 (for the second time) and the Canary Islands in 2022/2023, I have decided to lump the pictures of birds of these archipelagos into a single page. All three groups of islands, together with the Cape Verde islands, form what is called Macaronosia. They have received that name from the ancient Greeks. The Greek geographers used it for the islands west of the Strait of Gibraltar, the meaning being “Isles of the Blessed”. It probably refers to “elysion”, which was thought to be a paradise in the westernmost part of the ocean surrounding the earth even before the Greeks. Macronesia means something different (“wide islands”) and is sometimes erroneously used.

This page was revised and amended in 2024 after a third visit to Madeira

All pictures © Ueli Huber

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