Bird watching in Extremadura: a real experience
Detail of a griffon vulture’s head
Group of vultures
- Autonomous region: Extremadura
Why not enjoy a fascinating spectacle? Watch hundreds of species of birds, some endangered, in their natural habitat. You can live this experience in Extremadura. This inland region of Spain is an ideal place to go birdwatching. The requirements are simple: a basic pair of binoculars, love of nature and respect for the environment.
Spain is one of the European countries with the greatest diversity of bird life. And what better place to go birdwatching than in Extremadura: 75 percent of the Region is considered as Important Bird Area (IBA). Each year, the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz are the chosen destination for numerous species of birds to nest and raise their young, and also to rest on their migratory routes. Come and see these feathered animals from up close, and discover nature areas of great ecological value.
Spring is the ideal time of year to go birdwatching. Birds are easy to spot during these months, when they are raising their young. Get yourself some binoculars or a suitable telescope, a good bird guide, and get ready to live a unique experience.
Extremadura has many places of interest for bird watching. One of the most outstanding is the Monfragüe National Park, which has the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation. This immense Mediterranean forest is not to be missed. Here you will find endangered species such as the Iberian imperial eagle, the black stork and the golden eagle. Furthermore, did you know that this is home to the world's largest colony of black vultures, with more than 250 pairs? You can see them in flight from some of the viewpoints and observatories dotted around Monfragüe. Another good way to discover this bird life is to go on one of the signposted trails that cross the reserve. Remember not to leave the marked route, and to always look from a distance so as not to disturb the animals. Be sure to visit the Nature Visitor Centre, vital if you are to understand the reserve's importance.
In Extremadura there are also 69 ZEPAs, areas of special protection for birds. The La Serena region, the Cáceres plains and the Brozas plains are good places to see great bustards and white storks, amongst other species. Different types of eagle, black stork and vulture, and Egyptian vulture take refuge in the Cornalvo Nature Reserve, the Sierra de San Pedro Mountains and the Dehesas de Jerez area. The same can be said for cranes, kites, ducks and a host of water birds, in the Moheda Alta area and on the Orellana Reservoir. Make for the region's tourist offices, where they will give you more information on routes, guided itineraries and activities related with this beautiful way of enjoying free time and the countryside.