Bird-watching in Morocco: Where and when to go

White Storks in Marrakech, (photo by Ming Tang Evans)
White Storks in Marrakech

Morocco lies under one of the two major migratory routes for European birds wintering in Africa.

Storks, ibis and flamingos are seen in the wetlands of river estuaries and coastal lagoons. Eagles and falcons sometimes wheel high in a semidesert sky. It's little surprise that the country is a haven for birders and twitchers from across the globe resulting in several tour companies offering dedicated bird-watching holidays; their expertise will help determine the place and time to go. Mid-March and mid-October are some of the best times to head out with binoculars in hand as this coincides with the birds passing over during mid-migration.


Particularly good areas include:

Oualidia, where the lagoons and salt pans attract flamingo, blackwinged stilt, avocet, audoin’s and slender-billed gulls

Islands off Essaouira, where a colony of eleonora’s falcon breed

Oued Massa for crested coot, pale crag martin, osprey and the rare bald Ibis

Souss Valley for moussier’s redstart, bush and great grey shrike,lanner falcon and chanting goshawk

Anti-Atlas for long-legged buzzards, cream-coloured courser and black wheatear

Jebel Saghro for desert sparrow, trumpeter bullfinch, brownnecked raven, rat-rumped wheatear and larks 


A number of tour operators provide dedicated ornithological packages, try:

Naturetrek for bird-watching and botanical tours in southern Morocco or the High Atlas Mountains. 

Heather Lea also offer package birding breaks. 

BirdQuest feature holidays covering the country.


Find out more about Morocco 


For practical travel advice on planning your trip, check out our online trip planner page. And don’t leave without one of our fantastic Morocco travel guides.


How to haggle in Morocco


When's the best time to go to Morocco?


Taking perfect photographs in markets and souks


 Staying in a restored riad


Exploring the souks of Marrakech


A brief guide to Moroccan food


 Experience a traditional Moroccan hammam


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