top of page

Photographing the Beautiful Nature of São Miguel Island, Azores

Nature fascinates me since I can remember and most of my childhood was spent in the woods right next to my house, exploring what it had to offer. That curiosity for the natural world was important to define what would become my professional activity. Today I’m a wildlife biologist and nature photographer, always eager to learn about and photograph new locations and new species.

I’ve always heard amazing things about the Azores and it was in my bucket list for a while. The Azores is an archipelago of volcanic origin, isolated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This characteristic allowed the development of a unique fauna and flora, which together with the geological features resulted in the incredible and unique nature, nowhere else found in the world. With so many islands to choose from, I thought I should start from the most obvious destination, the biggest and most diverse island, São Miguel. So, I start preparing my one week trip.

When the plane landed was already late night, but I had a mission to accomplish: explore and photograph as much as I could this amazing place. The next morning, I woke up quite early and left to the Sete Cidades lagoon. After passing the village, I followed a small road that follows the lagoon. Being in a crater of volcano is something special and even if it’s a dormant one you feel small and humble. After just a few minutes I realized that the grassy fields right by the lagoon were full of birds, some searching for food in the ground, others singing in the trees.

The most common bird in this location was the Azorean chaffinch, a subspecies of the common chaffinch, that can only be found in the archipelago. Finally, after some time waiting for an opportunity and with some patience and persistence, one of the birds approached me and I was able to take some photos. When I shoot wildlife I like to include part of the habitat they leave in, contextualizing the image and giving information about the biology of the species.

A bird of São Miguel Island, Azores

Later a European robin also came close and I posed for a close-up image: