The checklist has a total of 414 species, including 38 new species.
Almost half of the species and subspecies that occur in the Azores have a Palearctic origin, the remaining ones being essentialy Nearctic and Holarctic species. São Miguel is the island with the highest number of bird species, followed by Terceira, Corvo and Flores islands.
Keywords: Azores, birds checklist, species distribution
Birds (Vertebrata: Aves) are some of the most iconic animals. They play important roles in the ecosystem, and since they are abundant and diverse in most urban and rural areas, humans have established a good long-lasting relationship with them (e.g., birdwatching, photography). However, amongst the ca 10.000 bird species which have been living on Earth since the appearance of modern humans, many species were regionally lost or extinct, or are endangered, especially on islands (Sax et al. 2002, Elphick et al. 2010, Rando et al. 2013, Alcover et al. 2015). Updating a list of birds from remote oceanic islands represents an important step towards an improved knowledge of colonization mechanisms and migratory patterns by animals and a contribution towards the conservation and management of insular taxa and their natural habitats.
The Azores Archipelago is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, between 36°55’ and 39°43’ N, and 24°46’ and 31°16’ W, about 1500 km from mainland Europe and 1900 km from North America (Fig. (Fig.1).1). The Azores is a volcanic oceanic archipelago consisting of nine islands and several islets of recent volcanic origin (0.25 to 8.12 My old), which are spread over >600 km along a northwest-southeast transect (França et al. 2003). The oceanic distribution of these islands and, as a consequence, their relative positions, has led to the formation of the following groups: (i), a western group, comprising the islands of Flores and Corvo; (ii), a central group, with the islands of Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Terceira and Graciosa and (iii), an eastern group, made up of the islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria.