Zino's Petrel Pelagic Expedition

Three afternoons at sea chumming to ID and photograph Zino's, Fea's and Bulwer's Petrels, White-faced, Madeiran and other Storm-petrels. The ultimate Western Palearctic pelagic trip!

  • Madeira Island, Portugal

    Close views and excellent photo opportunities of Zino's, Desertas and Bulwer's Petrels, White-faced, Madeiran storm-petrels, Cory's shearwaters and other seabirds on a Madeira offshore pelagic!

    • Schedule

      Only run on the scheduled dates and after a minimum of 4 bookings. Please check the dates and contact us before you book your flights!

    • Itinerary

      The trip departs from Machico harbour wall, in Machico and rides towards a different area each day. Approx. 7 hours trip each day.

    • Price

      540 EUR per person
      Minors (below 18) are only allowed if accompanied by parent

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    Great and close views of Petrels, Storm-Petrels and Shearwaters
    High chance of whales and dolphins sightings.

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    Enough chum for 3 to 4 hours drifting
    Shock-mitigation seats
    Good photo opportunities E-mail us for a detailed information kit

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    Meeting point

    By Machico harbour wall, in Machico city (Southeast Madeira, VR1 Dual carriageway, exists 25 and 26). Easy parking by the harbour.

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    Group size

    Minimum people to run the trip: 6
    Maximum group size: 10
    Staff to Guest ratio: 2/10

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    Friendly advice

    Pack warm, waterproof clothing (trousers, jacket, and shoes), a hat, sunscreen, and water. Get a good night's sleep and eat well before heading out to sea. Consider staying in Machico and for an extra day in Madeira after your pelagic expedition dates, as bad weather may cause delays. And don't forget: rough seas are the best for spotting petrels!

  • biotech


    The crew are ornithologists dedicated to the conservation of Zino's Petrels
    Trips developed from the research of Hadoram Shirihai and Wind Birds


Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira, Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta, Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, Macaronesian Shearwater Puffinus baroli, Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Cory's Shearwater Calonectris borealis, Scopoli's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii, Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus, Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis, Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus


Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro (winter & summer populations), European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, Swinhoe's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma monorhis, Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus, Leach's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina, Black-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta tropica (1st Record for the Western Palearctic)

Laridae, Stercorariidae

Sabine's Gull Xema sabini, Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, Lesser black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis, Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus, Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus, Great Skua Stercorarius skua, Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus, Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus, South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki, Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus

Scolopacidae, Sulidae

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius, Northern Gannet Morus bassanus, Brown Booby Sula leucogaster


Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus monachus, Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus, Bryde's Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus, Northen Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, Cuvier's Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris, Blainville's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris, Gervais' Beaked Whale Mesoplodon europaeus, Short-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala macrorhynchus, Common Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus, Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Stenella frontalis, Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba, Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis

This is a package of three long afternoons of a pelagic adventure on the Western North Atlantic Ocean, around Madeira Island. An ultimate birdwatching experience aiming to observe at a very close range the greatest number of tubenoses on the Western Palearctic and some close encounters with whales and dolphins too.

These are real pelagic trips run by birdwatchers for birdwatchers and where the participants learn how to distinguish Zino's from Desertas Petrels! Three days of ultimate pelagic expedition focused on Petrels, Storm-petrels, Shearwaters and any other vagrant bird species that might be around the North Atlantic Ocean.

Since 2008 Madeira Wind Birds, together with Hadoram Shirihai, have been researching Madeira sea to find the hotspots for seabirds as Zino's Petrels, Fea's/Desertas Petrels, Madeiran Petrel and White-faced Storm Petrel. During these long days at sea, they developed the chum technique and found the right and safest boat for this kind of trips. So now Catarina and Hugo, owners of Wind Birds, are the most experienced team to organise and run deep sea pelagic trips in the North Atlantic and the 11-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat, Oceanodroma, is the best boat ever used for this kind of sea expedition.

On the first two afternoons of this pelagic expedition around Madeira Island, we will search for different bird species at different areas, being one day for Zino's Petrels and Madeiran Storm Petrels while on the second pelagic trip we look for Fea's Petrels and White-faced Storm Petrels. The third afternoon at sea is kept for missing species or to increase the sightings of seabird species. Every day we will look for cetaceans, and if we spot any whales or dolphins, we will spend some time watching them.

Before booking your flights contact us, availabilty is always changing, with several clients pending.

2024 Trips Accepting Bookings

June 27, 28, 29 (confirmed trip, 1 place available) 🇺🇸 🇬🇧
July 18, 19, 20 (confirmed trip, 1 place available) 🇫🇷 🇮🇹 🇳🇱 🇬🇧

2025 Trips accepting bookings (requires at least 6 bookings to confirm trip)

May 21, 22, 23 (needs 4 bookings to confirm trip)

May 16, 17, 18; May 21, 22, 23; May 27, 28, 29; June 1, 2, 3; June 6, 7, 8; June 12, 13, 14; June 25, 26, 27; July 11, 12, 13; July 17, 18, 19; July 23, 24, 25; July 29, 30, 31; August 6, 7, 8; August 15, 16, 17; August 21, 22, 23

Other dates available by request. The flags represent the birdwatchers nationalities already booked.

  • Madeira Pelagic Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma Castro
  • Madeira Pelagic Zinos Petrel Pterodroma Madeira
  • Madeira Pelagic White Faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma Marina Hypoleuca
  • Madeira Pelagic Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma Castro
  • Madeira Pelagic Oceanodroma Castro Bulweria Bulwerii
  • Madeira Pelagic Fea Petrel Pterodroma Feae Deserta
  • Madeira Pelagic Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma Castro
  • Madeira Pelagic White Faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma Marina Hypoleuca
  • Madeira Pelagic Barolo Shearwater Puffinus Baroli
  • Madeira Pelagic Wilson Storm Petrel Oceanites Oceanicus
  • Madeira Pelagic Sperm Whale Physeter Macrocephalus
  • Madeira Pelagic Sabine Gull Xema Sabini

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have other questions, please contact us.

  • What should I take for this sea birding pelagic?

    We recommend bringing a warm, waterproof jumper, hat or cap, sun protection lotion, and a bottle of water. Do not bring walking boots; sandals or tennis shoes are preferable.

  • What type of payment do you accept?

    On this particular trip, we accept bank wire, iDEAL and UK BACS. Cash payments are not accepted. EUR, GBP and USD are accepted currencies.

  • Can I book just one day of pelagic?

    No, we only offer these pelagic expeditions as a package of three consecutive afternoons. This is the only way to observe all the targeted species.

  • Am I fit for this pelagic expedition?

    These pelagic expeditions can be pretty rough, and although we have shock-mitigation seats, we expect people to be fit enough to climb up or jump down a 0.5 meters (1.7 feet) step.

  • When is the best time for this pelagic expedition?

    April is a great time to observe all breeding seabird species, except for Desertas Petrel and some migratory species. From the end of May to the end of July, all breeding species are still present, although the chances of seeing Barolo's Shearwater decrease during this period. August is an excellent month to observe migratory and breeding seabirds, although White-faced Storm Petrels are no longer present.