Posted by Carter | Under the Outdoors
Friday Nov 13, 2015
Ultimate Guide to Birding Extremadura, Spain
Extremadura in Spain is one of the best bird watching spots in Europe. Located just south-west of Madrid, Extremadura is the ultimate location for bird watching in Spain and attracts enthusiasts from all over the world. The sparse landscape has some of the rarest and most impressive birds in the world, from the Golden Eagle to the Azure-winged Magpie. The region has an excellent road system, connecting the best spots and making them easy to reach.
Here’s our guide to birding in Extremadura:
One of the Best Bird Watching Locations in the World
Extremedura is enormous, covering over 16,000 square miles of woodland, river valleys, reservoirs and grassland. Around 75% of Extremadura is catalogued as Important Bird Area (that’s over 11,000 square miles) and is the highest proportion of anywhere in Europe. The region has almost all existing ecosystems except for coastline and seashore, this includes mountain ranges that are over 8,000 feet, highlands, wide steppe areas, rice fields, Mediterranean jungles, and Cork forests. What’s more, the landscape has hardly changed in generations and is a preserved and vital breeding and feeding area for a number of birds.
Birds of Prey
Extremadura is famous for its high numbers of birds of prey, such as the Golden Eagle, the Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, the Short-toed Eagle and the Booted Eagle. It is also home to a number of vultures, including Griffon vultures, Black Vultures, and the Egyptian Vulture.
Extremadura is home to a unique species of bird called the Azure-winged Magpie. These birds that can only be found in the Extremadura region and you have a good chance of spotting them here as they are very social and common.
Thousands of Common Cranes and raptors use Extremadura as breeding ground, as well as Grey Lag Geese and Dabbling ducks, which usually arrive in the winter.
Where to Find Birds in Extremadura
La Serene Steppes
Montagu’s Harriers, Lesser Kestrels and Collard Pranticoles, and Sandgrouse can be found at the unforgettable La Serene Steppes, with its huge grass plains and large steppes.
Black storks, raptors, Hawks and Kites, can be found in the Dehesa Woodlands, where abandoned houses are also home to European Rollers, Hoopoes, Thrushes and Wheatears.
Monfrague Natural Park
The Monfrague National Park is a sanctuary for birds and is home to some of the rarest and most endangered birds in the world. Discover the Monk Vulture’s largest breeding colony in the world, the Spanish Imperial Eagle, and Bonelli’s Eagle. The park is also said to be the best area in the world to see the Black Vulture.
Vegas Atlas of the Guadiana River
Spain’s most extensive collection of rice fields is found here, as are thousands of Common Cranes, Herons, Egrets, Ducks, Plovers, and Raptors, as well as Merlins and Black-Shouldered Kites.
The extensive mountains and forests of this region attracts warblers, passerines and forest birds, as well as European Honey- buzzards, Black and Red Kites, Short-toed eagles and Eurasian Griffon Vultures.
Planning Your Birding in Extremadura Trip
With so much to see and explore while birding in Extremadura, it’s a good thing the region is connected with a well-maintained road system, making it easy to travel by car. Book a cheap car rental in Spain and explore to your heart’s content without breaking the bank! When you’re planning your trip to go bird watching in Spain, remember that Kemwel offers the best travel deals and specials on everything from comfortable hotels to affordable airfare. Browse our rates online or give us a call, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668.