Ilha da Corva

The smallest of the nine Azores islands, Corvo emerged as a volcanic cone from the sea depths 730,000 years ago. It later collapsed to form a caldera with several cinder and spatter cones and small lakes, with peat bogs and islets. The sheer western cliffs rise 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level while to the south, ancient lava flows reach the sea. The warm Gulf Stream gives the island mild temperatures and high humidity with an almost permanent fog on the mountain top. These are great conditions for a lush vegetation.

At times, Corvo both supported and was a victim to pirates. One recorded battle at the island’s settlement occurred in 1632 when attacking Barbary Coast pirates were met by shepherds throwing rocks from the cliffs. The Corvo people repelled the pirates and victory was put down to the local vicar carrying a small statue of the Virgin Mary into the battle. Today, the statue is in the local church. Corvo and nearby Flores are renowned amongst ornithologists for spotting birds rarely seen in Europe. In autumn, migrating North American birds are sometimes blown off course to the islands. After a rest and a feed, they continue on their way. Corvo means crow and Azore means goshawk. Neither bird was ever here, so explorers needed better binoculars. But there are resident birds, including Azores Grey Wagtail, Azores Blackbird and Azores Chaffinch. Look for the Atlantic Canary, wild ancestor of the domestic yellow canary. At the Azores they sing the same but look better in the wild.

tour Caldeirão Hike and Birdwatching

Begin the trail near the viewpoint of Caldeirão and enjoy the view towards the interior of the crater where, according to local culture, the lake and the few volcanic cones remind a representation of the nine islands of the Azores. The road unwinds into the interior of the crater along the flora dominated by peat moss (Sphagnum sp.). During your walk, there will be many chances for bird watching. Some of the species we might encounter are Cory's Shearwater, Little Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Common Tern and Roseate Tern. And also, due to its privelled location, Corvo is the island of American vagrants. It is a favorite amongst Western Palearctic birders due to the high possibility of spotting Neartic vagrants, nearly impossible to find elsewhere in Europe. Take a tour around the crater before getting back to the starting point.

On to Santa Cruz dea Flores, Azores

Cruise Lisbon to Buenos Aires