Seychelles is renowned for being a bird lovers' paradise, with its diverse selection of many rare species that include sea birds, land birds and migrants. Among the vast numbers of beautiful and colourful birds found on the islands, 12 are officially classified as endemic.
1. Seychelles Warbler
One of the rarest species, the Seychelles Warbler (also known as Timerl Dezil) was almost extinct in the 20th century. In 1968, there were just 26 birds left in the wild, living in mangrove trees on Cousin Island. Conservationists brought it back from the brink of extinction and there are now around 3,500 birds, although the species is still classified as "vulnerable". It is found mainly on the islands of Cousine, Cousin and Aride.
2. Seychelles Magpie Robin
In the late 20th century, the Seychelles Magpie Robin came close to extinction as there were only 25 surviving birds on Fregate Island in 1970. Following conservation society Birdlife International's efforts to bring it back from the brink, it is still classed as the most endangered endemic bird, with 154 birds currently in existence on the islands of Fregate, Cousine, Cousin and Aride.
3. Seychelles Blue Pigeon
The Seychelles Blue Pigeon lives in woodland around the islands and unlike some endemic species, it is not considered as being threatened. A medium-sized bird, it lives in canopies of trees, eating fruit from the fig, ylang ylang, bwa dir and other trees.
4. Seychelles White-eye
Classed as "vulnerable", the Seychelles White-eye can be found in forests and gardens located above 300 metres at Cascade, La Misere and in a few locations on Mahé island. The population size is now said to be increasing, with more than 250 mature birds recorded.
5. Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher
Once common on Praslin and the surrounding islands, the population of this species began to decline until it was found only on La Digue. In 2008, 23 birds were moved to Denis Island to try and establish a new colony of birds there. As the breeding programme successfully established itself, the first chick was born in 2009.
6. Seychelles Sunbird
This beautiful, tiny bird is thriving in Seychelles and is one endemic species that is plentiful. Perhaps due to its intricate hanging nest, it lives successfully alongside predators such as cats and rats.
7. Seychelles Swiftlet
Another endemic species that is doing well, Seychelles Swiftlets spend most of their life in the air. They are accurate and fast, feeding on small insects that they catch as they are flying mid-air.
8. Seychelles Scops-owl
The Scops-owl is nocturnal and mainly found in the highland forests of Mahé. As it's active only at night and lives in the higher-altitude forests, it is rarely seen. It is a dark chestnut brown colour mottled with black and pale brown speckles.
9. Seychelles Bulbul
Unlike many endemic birds, the Seychelles Bulbul is not in any immediate danger of becoming extinct - experts say the population trend appears to be stable. Common in woodlands and forests at all elevations, the Bulbul is an omnivorous species.
10. Seychelles Kestrel
The Seychelles Kestrel is the only native day-flying bird of prey in the central islands of Seychelles. It is the smallest of the kestrel family, measuring only 18 to 23cm long and with a wingspan of 40 to 45cm. It lives in forests and on scrub and farmland.
11. Seychelles Fody
The Seychelles Fody is a small, yellow songbird that lives in forests and scrub habitats. It can be found on six islands - Cousine, Cousin, D'Arros, Frégate, Aride (reintroduced in 2001) and Denis (introduced in 2004).
12. Seychelles Black Parrot
The Black Parrot is not truly black. In fact, it is actually brown-grey in colour! Found on the second most populated island of Praslin, the population is said to be between 520 and 900 birds. Ideally situated for nature and wildlife lovers, the luxurious 5-star Savoy Resort and Spa on Mahé is truly the best resort in Seychelles.