Texel is an exceptional bird island. Hundreds of species can be found here and, regularly, rare species from the endangered species list have been spotted. That makes Texel popular with ornithologists and birdwatchers. You will see them in several places, mostly half hidden behind enormous telephoto lenses. Do you know why there are so many birds on Texel?
Texel is for many birds an ideal place for a layover or to breed. Many birds dislike flying over the open sea and in their yearly migration follow the coastline of North-western Europe as much as possible. With the nutrient-rich Wadden area next to Texel it is a perfect place to refuel for the far, exhausting journey. Furthermore, several nature areas are closed during breeding season to make sure the breeding birds can nest in peace and natural enemies like the fox are absent.
You can watch birds almost anywhere, even during breeding season. Bird observatories can be found in various spots or, along interesting bird areas, screens are placed with peepholes offering a great view on breeding or foraging birds. You will find here a comprehensive overview. You will also find information on the accessibility of the viewpoint. Also nice: information on what has been seen per observatory will be mentioned. Always wanted to see a gadwall? Then, check out the website to you see at which location you will have the best chance to see this species.
You can just see all kinds of birds on your bike! From the ferry to the lighthouse you will pass the most beautiful bird areas of Texel. Admire the different species up close by bike. A beautiful route of 32 kilometers from Natuurmonumenten takes you along the nicest and most beautiful places to watch birds. View the route Vogelboulevard Texel here.
Binoculars are essential for birding. Experienced birdwatchers probably bring their own good binoculars, but for the incidental birdwatcher, the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds has established a binocular rental service on Texel. In the vicinity of the best bird areas, you can borrow binoculars for free (on payment of a deposit of 50 euros). You can also buy binoculars at the Bird information centre.
Bird watching excursions are frequently organized on Texel. The Forestry Commission and the Society for preservation of nature monuments take interested parties with them into their areas, but also the Bird information centre, Birding Texel and Calidris (owned by Klaas de Jong - winner of TV show “Looking for the Condor”) in De Cocksdorp organise bird excursions and safaris. All trips are accompanied by experienced guides, so you are guaranteed to see some beautiful things flying!
The breeding season on Texel runs from 1 March to 1 September. During this season, some footpaths are closed and dogs must be kept on a lead.
On Texel, it’s possible to find every kind of landscape you can find elsewhere in the Netherlands. Explore the 40 or so nature reserves yourself