Birding in Extremadura Western Spain
Extremadura is well known and considered an important birding destination in Europe.
It is a wide region, larger than many european countries, but has a low population density. For centuries, Extremadura has had an agricultural and farming tradition, adapted to the natural habitats of this region, from high mountains in the north of Caceres to extensive pastures in the south of Badajoz.
The dehesa (wood pastures with holm oak trees) is the most representative habitat of Extremadura. And many species, including many birds, are closely associated with the dehesa.
Cranes in the dehesa near Llerena, Extremadura. Photo by dobroide (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Extremadura has incredibly beautiful cities as Merida (the ancient roman Emerita Augusta), Caceres (medieval town center), Trujillo (medieval town), Plasencia (medieval town), Zafra, Jerez de los Caballeros, Llerena.. Many places to visit.
.. And many birds to see:
About 75% of Extremadura has been included in the Important Bird Areas of Spain. So we can practice birdwatching at almost every place of Extremadura, including cities, as many towns have a rich population of Lesser Kestrel and many small birds.
Lesser Kestrel in an ancient wall. Ignacio García (CC BY-SA 2.0)
In Monfrague National Park (just one of the many Important Bird Areas of Extremadura) you’ll find about 400 pairs of Eurasian Black Vulture, Spanish Imperial eagle, Black Stork, and Egyptian Vulture. Griffon Vulture that makes up more than 600 pairs. In addition, you’ll find Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Bonelli’s Eagle..
Vultures in Pena Falcon, Monfrague. Vince Smith (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Every winter, about 75.000 cranes goes to Extremadura. This region is nowadays the main winter habitat for the european crane. Cranes cover in three weeks 3.000 kilometers from their nesting habitats in the North of Europe.
Fast Facts About Extremadura
- Located in Western Spain. Just 2-3 hours from Madrid
- Two big rivers Tagus and Guadiana
- Wide region, many natural habitats, low human population
- About 75% of Extremadura is Important Bird Area
- More than 300 species of birds
- About 190 wintering bird species
- Very important bird species such as Iberian Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture, Black Stork, Bonelli's Eagle, Lesser Kestrel or Great Bustard.
- About 75000 cranes (Grus Grus) in winter
- Monfrague National Park is the main destination for birdwatchers in Extremadura
Where to go for birding in Extremadura
- Monfrague National Park
- Plains of Trujillo
- Llanos de Cáceres (plains near the city of Caceres)
- Mountain area of Las Villuercas (east of Extremadura)
- Los Barruecos (near the city of Caceres)
- The steppes of La Serena (south of Extremadura)
- Gredos Mountains (north of Extremadura)
- Cornalvo Natural Park (near Merida)
- San Pedro Mountain Range (west of Extremadura)
Trips, guides and related info
Birding in Extremadura
Extremadura Government Birdwatching page with info about habitats, routes, list of species and so..
More info at: birdinginextremadura.com
Gertjan de Zoete and Elly Schipper
Guided tours and holiday-home rental.
More info at: extremadura-spain.co.uk/
Birding Extremadura - Martin Kelsey
Birdwatching trips and accommodation.
More info at: www.birdingextremadura.blogspot.com
Birdwatching trips including accommodation, transport and experienced guides.
More info at: birdwatchingextremadura.com
Eco tours, routes and birding guide mainly in Monfrague National Park.
More info at: monfraguevivo.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
Based in Alcantara (west Extremadura), just in the Tajo International Natural Park and near San Pedro Mountain Range. We specialise in catering for individuals and small groups of up to 4 people but we can happily arrange tours for any size group.
More info at: griffonholidays.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