Bird Watching Tours of Morocco – Northern Morocco & the Biannual Raptor Migration

On our Berber Treasures Morocco tours and bird watching holidays in Morocco you can choose to experience some of the bird watching delights of northern Morocco.  On your Morocco travel adventure you can witness the biannual spectacle of hundreds of thousands of raptors migrating between Morocco and Europe across the Straits of Gibraltar, follow the route of Palearctic birds plying the east Atlantic Flyway along Morocco’s Atlantic coastline to the famous and fabulous Merja Zerga wetlands and explore the bird rich Rif Mountains.  The birds of Morocco are a rich blend of indigenous and migratory birds.  You can enjoy birding in Morocco any time of the year with one of Berber Treasures Morocco tours of Morocco.

In this article I will concentrate on some of the many amazing Morocco bird watching opportunities you can enjoy on our Berber Treasures Morocco tours of northern Morocco.   In future articles  I will explore in more detail particular Morocco bird watching highlights including the incredible Moroccan Sahara Desert, the southern Morocco Atlantic coast, Morocco’s Atlas Mountain chains,  Morocco’s northern Atlantic and Mediterranean migratory and resident birding hotspots and more.  In my earlier article I provided a general overview of the diverse bird habitats in Morocco.

Morocco Travel Bird watching toursOne of the many highlights for bird watching tours of Morocco is the biannual migratory crossing of the Straits of Gibraltar.   During the Northern Hemisphere spring huge populations of birds mass along Morocco’s Mediterranean coastline reading themselves for their journey northward into Europe and beyond, only to return in the autumn seeking the warmer northern African and Southern Hemisphere climate.   The biannual raptor migration crossing the Gibraltar Straits between Morocco and Spain is spectacular.  During favourable weather conditions in the peak migratory periods the sky over the Gibraltar Straits and Morocco’s Mediterranean coastline seem literally crowded with raptors, storks and other soaring birds as well as seabirds, waders and countless passerine species.   The rocky headland of Cape Spartel to the west of Tangier provides sheltering woodlands that serve as a respite haven for migrating birds and the thermal currents critical to the migratory crossing between Morocco and Europe.

Complementing the thrill of witnessing this natural phenomena are the marvellous interesting landscape, towns and villages, culture and cuisine of far northern Morocco.   Berber Treasures Morocco bird watching tours of Morocco can showcase the diversity of northern Morocco from the old Barbary coast pirate port of Asilah, the beautiful Rif Mountains town of Chefchaouen which became a sanctuary for Muslim and Jewish refugees during the European exodus caused by medieval Spanish Inquisition, to Tangier whose strategic Mediterranean location on the Gibraltar Straits has been recognised and sought after by seemingly every ancient and modern world power from the Phoenicians, Carthaginians Vandals and Romans to Great Britain, France, Spain and the USA.

Close to Chefchaouen in the rugged Rif Mountains is the proposed Talassemtane Natural Park.  More than 100 species of birds habitat this area which is particularly known for its raptor populations.

Bird watching tours of MoroccoLocated roughly half way between Rabat, one of Morocco incredible imperial cities, and charming Asilah is wonderful Merja Zerga – one of Morocco’s many natural treasures.   This important wetland site is a crucial point on the East Atlantic Flyway connecting northern breeding grounds from northern America, the Arctic Circle and Northern Europe to wintering ground in Western Europe, Morocco and Western Africa.  In addition to providing a haven for migratory birds, Merja Zerga has over a rich diversity of resident Moroccan birds and is a vital breeding ground for the critically endangered Moroccan Mash Owl.  On our Berber Treasures Morocco tours you will witness the bio-diversity of this wonderful wetland exploring Merja Zerga by boat with local expert bird guides.  Please note in order to protect the Marsh Owl you cannot approach the Marsh Owl breeding roosts during the breeding season (February – May).

Morocco’s Merja Zerga is also the last known wintering ground for the extremely rare Slender-billed Curlew – regrettably the rarest bird in Europe and the Western Palearctic.   On our Berber Treasures Morocco bird watching tours of Morocco we encourage you to keep an eye out for this critically endangered bird and report any sightings to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – there hasn’t had a reported confirmed sighting here since 1995 and the last verified sighting of it anywhere was in 2001 in Hungry.  Our Berber Treasures Morocco tours to Merja Zerga will provide you with the RSPB and AEWA factsheets to assist in identification.  We encourage you to visit the RSPB’s dedicated webpages at www.slenderbilledcurlew.net.

Morocco has fantastic birding opportunities. Join us on our Berber Treasures Morocco bird watching tours of Morocco and you can explore Morocco’s wonderfully diverse birding environments as well as medieval cities and souks, old pirate ports, ancient desert camel caravan oasis towns, traditional mountain and desert Berber villages, the famous Morocco kasbahs and so much more. Our Berber Treasures Morocco tours include special group bird watching tours of Morocco with different itineraries focusing of Morocco’s birding highlights.

Berber Treasures Morocco tours of Morocco including our bird watching tours of Morocco are conduct throughout the year. Our Morocco group bird watching tours focusing on migratory birds operate in February through April and August through October. If you have questions about Morocco travel at particular times or want to know more about our bird watching tours of Morocco please ask us. Contact us now for more details of all our Morocco tours.

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