Bird watching in Spain. Monfrague National Park
Monfrague is located in Extremadura (west of Spain), near the beautiful city of Plasencia.
In Monfragüe a wide variety of ornithological species nest. It's the perfect place to practice birdwatching.
Fast Facts About Monfrague
- Located in Extremadura, Western Spain. North of Trujillo and south of Plasencia
- Runs from the east to the west of the Tagus River
- A protected area until 1979
- Has a long ridge of mountains
- Has an impressive rock face known as Peña Falcon or Salto del Gitano
- Monfrague is the home to thousands of birds of prey
- Has been recognized a National Park since 2007
Monfrague National Park: A Paradise for birding
About 280 species of the most significant animals of Spain inhabit the park.
Tagus and Tiétar rivers surround Monfrague, and their waters carve in the quartzite rocky outcrops where tawny vulture colonies settle. On the riverside and watercourses live kingfishers, cormorants, or nightingales, as well as animals that live in the water such as the otter.
You’ll find about 400 pairs of Eurasian Black Vulture, Spanish Imperial eagle, Black Stork, and Egyptian Vulture. Of all these birds of prey, the most magnificent one is the Griffon Vulture that makes up more than 600 pairs. In addition, you’ll find Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and Bonelli’s Eagle.
Eurasian Black Vulture
Apart from these impressive birds, you will find other species such as the Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Short-toed Eagle, and Booted Eagle. There is also the Black Kite which is pretty common in Monfrague, or the Black-winged Kite and the Northern Goshawk which are rare to see.
Vultures in Pena Falcon, Monfrague. Vince Smith (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Other Bird Species to Find
It’s not all about birds of prey for Monfragüe bird watching in Spain but also for other interest birds such as…
- Red-billed Chough
- Black Redstart
- Red-rumped Swallow
- Rock Sparrow
- Black Wheatear
- White-rumped Swift
- Blue Rock Thrush
- Common birds in the Extremadura including Iberian Chiffchaff, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Western Orphean Warbler, and Eurasian Bullfinch
- Birds such as Thekla Lark, Black-eared Wheatear, Sardinian Warblers, and Subalpine are in treeless environments
Monfragüe National Park Climate
It is normally hot, especially in the summer time where temperature during the day does not go down even after the sun sets.
In Extremadura, you can experience the continental climate that usually has damp winters and hot summer. It’s hot in June while the temperature may go back at average levels in September. Only a small portion of the Extremadura freezes.
When to Come to Monfragüe National Park for birding
To see black kite, booted eagle, white-rumped swift, roller, subalpine warbler, black Stork, and red-rumped swallow, you should come in summer. You have to keep in mind that summer in Extremadura (july and august) could be very very hot, so only periods near the sunrise or sunset are goods for birding.
On the other hand, you can go in spring, from the months of March to May, if you want to see the Spanish Imperial Eagle as well as most bird species.
Spring and Autum are good not only for birding, but also to see beautiful landscapes in Monfrague and surrounding areas.
Nonetheless, birdwatching in Spain, particularly Monfrague, won’t fail you. In fact, the National Park is one of the best places for birding among ornithologists, tourists, and birders alike.
FIO, the International Ornithological Tourism Fair or commonly knows as Extremadura Birdwatching Fair is on the last weekend of February, into the Monfrague National Park.
More info about FIO:
Trips, guides and related info
Not only Monfrague, but all the zones for birding in Extremadura
Birdwatching trips including accommodation, transport and experienced guides.
More info at: birdwatchingextremadura.com
Vina las Torres
Rural guesthouse located near of Trujillo, a beautiful town in the province of Caceres, a few kilometers from Monfrague.
More info at: vinalastorres.com
Guided visits for birding in Extremadura. Week-long visit from Sunday to Sunday. In addition to the week-long visit we can accommodate shorter or longer stays. Group size: 3-6 guest.
More info at: extremadurabirding.co.uk