Iberia boasts a diverse array of bird life, with over 600 individual species making it a top destination for bird enthusiasts and birdwatching in Spain. According to the Sociedad Española de Ornitología (SEO/BirdLife), 613 species were recorded in the wild as of 2019.
The region’s unique combination of landscapes and climate is a significant factor contributing to its rich avifauna. Situated at the westernmost point of Europe and in close proximity to Africa’s southern tip, many bird species pass through Iberia during their migrations.
In recent years, Spain has become a popular destination for birdwatching holidays, and numerous companies are dedicated to ornithology. Rather than presenting yet another species list for Spain (many of which can be found through a quick Google search for “Bird List Spain”), this page recommends some of the companies that can help you get the most out of your birdwatching holiday in Spain.
Additionally, this page provides links to dedicated articles occasionally written about birds and birdwatching in Spain.
A few books about birds and birdwatching in Spain
During the summer breeding season, a diverse selection of birds remain in Iberia. Conversely, another set of birds migrates to the region from the north and east to spend the winter season in warmer climes. As a result, there is a regular rotation of temporary bird populations in addition to those that are classified as residents.
There are birds that come only from Iberia and do not leave, such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) and the Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla teydea). Both of these have been declining in numbers and are on the endangered list to receive highest protection. There are other species such as the Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus) that suffered such losses across Europe that reintroduction programs in Spain are in place to ensure their continuation here.
Promo video for birdwatching and wildlife holidays in Spain
I suppose that this promotional video was created for a bird fair or some other tourism event. It intends to promote ornithology in Spain and was created by the Spanish tourism board.
A few more books about birds and birdwatching in Spain
Aragón Active Holidays “Birds of Northern Spain”
Aragón Active Holidays provide small group special interest & activity holidays with local, qualified mountain and wildlife guides. See some of Europe’s most spectacular birds from the mountains of the Bearded Vulture, to the Gallocanta plains of the migratory Grey Crane.
Read more about Aragón Active Holidays here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/aragon-active-holidays/
Birding, nature and wildlife tours in Andalucia
Located near Tarifa in Andalucia and putting you right at the epicentre of birding in The Strait of Gibraltar. With Inglorious Bustards you can experience the incredible event of bird migration.
Read more about Inglorious Bustards here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/inglorious-bustards
Wild Andalucia – Wildlife and Birdwatching
Wild Andalucia lead birding and wildlife tours in central and southern Spain, including classical destinations such as Extremadura, Doñana Natural Park and the Straits of Gibraltar, among many other renown birding spots such as the Sierra de Grazalema and mountains of Ronda.
Read more about Wild Andalucia here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/wild-andalucia-wildlife-and-birdwatching
Granada Wildlife offer guided tours in this wonderful and diverse area of Spain. Day tours are centered on the area to the West of the city of Granada, around the province’s second town, Loja.
Read more about Granada Wildlife here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/granada-wildlife
Wildlife Tours with John Muddeman
John Muddeman from Iberian Wildlife Tours offers guided natural history holidays that will take you in search of birds, butterflies and wildflowers in the stunningly beautiful surroundings of Andalusia (Andalucía), the Picos de Europa, the Spanish Pyrenees, Extremadura and Catalonia.
Read more about Wildlife Tours with John Muddeman here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/iberian-wildlife-tours
Spanish Birds and Birdwatching in Spain.
Spain has to rate as one of the best countries in in Europe for bird and wildlife watching. A destination with over 15 million hectares of protected areas and natural parks plus Spain is a strategic location on the avian migratory routes between Europe to Africa
A few articles about birds in Spain
The griffon vultures of Grazalema
Visible all year in the natural Park of Grazalema this bird is larger than an eagle, with a wingspan of up to 260 cm (8.53 Ft.)
Griffon Vulture – Gyps fulvus – Buitre Leonado
Bearded vultures of the high mountains
Only living in high mountainous areas, usually between 500 to 4000m, preferring ledges on steep cliffs. Bearded vultures can be seen soaring through valleys in search for food. This can be live prey, carrion or the better known habit of breaking bones by dropping them from a great height onto rocks. This exposes the nutrient rich marrow and splinters the bone into smaller pieces which are also eaten.
Bearded Vulture – Gypaetus barbatus – Quebrantahuesos
The Short toed eagle
This Eagle´s appearance and its habits make it a treat to watch, whether you are a seasoned birder, a casual nature lover or a walker who maybe has never seen an eagle before.
Short-toed Eagle – Circaetus gallicus – Aguila culebrera
Egyptian Vulture – Neophron percnopterus – Alimoche Común
Adults have a white body, white wings with black flight feathers and a white tail. They are globally endangered with 80% of the estimated remaining 1500 adult pairs using the Iberian peninsular as summer breeding grounds.
Egyptian Vulture – Neophron percnopterus – Alimoche Común
Imminent extinction for the Cantabrian capercaillie
Having been declared in danger of extinction in 2018, the latest survey reveals that there are less than 300 individuals left in the Cantabrian mountains and very few of these are reproductive males.
Tetrao urogallus cantabricus – Cantabrian capercaillie – Urogallo cantábrico
The Iberian Imperial Eagle: A Success Story in Conservation
The conservation efforts have been successful in keeping the Iberian Imperial Eagle, A Mediterranean endemic species, from extinction. Between 2021 and 2022, there were 821 pairs in Spain and 20 in Portugal, an increase of 53% since 2017. The Iberian Imperial Eagle: A Bird of Prey to Watch
The Caminito del Rey
Find tickets for the Caminito del Rey: https://www.caminodelrey.es/
Wildside Holidays – Spain
Take a trip on the Wildside! Discover the wildlife and nature of Spain, its Natural and National Parks and find the top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies.
Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!
Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.