Kingdom of Spain

Short-Toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus ©J M Garg Website
Birding Spain

The impressive abundance of birds that can be found in Spain is due both to its geographical location (it is a natural route between the European Continent and Africa) and its varied landscapes and climates. Over 456 different species of birds are quoted – 285 breeding – some of them having here their last European strongholds. This is the case with Purple Gallinule (3,500 pairs); White-headed Duck (1,164 individuals) and Marbled Teal (250 pairs); and they are on the increase in most of the Iberian wetlands. Other species, like raptors, are also recovering: Lammergeier (+80 cc.); Griffon Vulture (16,590 cc.); Golden Eagle (+1,200 cc.).

For local places to stay, organisations, reserves, reading etc. see the Spanish regional pages below…

Top Sites
  • Top Sites

    Most Spanish regions offer some wonderful birding locations whether it be the Albufera of Mallorca or Cota Donana in Andalucia. See the individual regional pages for the best places to go birding.
Contributors
  • SpainBirding

    | spainbir@suport.org

  • Marcial Yuste Blasco

    | myb@provicom.com

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 586

    (As at May 2019)
  • Number of bird species: National Bird

    Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 7

    Dark-tailed Laurel-pigeon Columba bollii, White-tailed Laurel-pigeon Columba junoniae, Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis, Balearic Warbler Sylvia balearica, Fuerteventura Stonechat Saxicola dacotiae, Tenerife Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea, Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch Fringilla polatzeki, One bird breeds exclusively in Spain: Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus
Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist - Spain

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • Birds of Spain

    | By Eduardo de Juana & Juan M Varela Simó | Lynx Edicions | 2017 | Hardback | 257 pages, ~1000 colour illustrations, 300+ colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9788416728022 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Spain

    | By James Lowen & Carlos Bocos Gonzalez | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2019 | Paperback | 144 pages, 250 colour photos | ISBN: 9781472949271 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula

    | by Eduardo de Juana & Ernest Garcia | Bloomsbury | 2015 | Hardback| 688 Pages | 32 plates with 64 colour photos | 216 b/w illustrations | b/w distribution map See Fatbirder Review ISBN: 9781408124802 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where the Birds are in Northeast Spain

    | By Steve West | Steve West | 2004 | Paperback | 269 pages, Colour photos, colour illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9788460915997 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where to Watch Birds in Northern & Eastern Spain

    | By Ernest FJ Garcia & Michael Rebane | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2017 | Edition 3 | Paperback | 384 pages, 30 b/w illustrations, 125 b/w maps | ISBN: 9781472936752 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where to Watch Birds in Southern & Western Spain

    | By Ernest FJ Garcia & Andrew ‘Andy’ M Paterson| Christopher Helm | 2008 | Edition 3 | Paperback | 400 pages, b/w illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9780713683158 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where to Watch Birds in Spain

    | By José Antonio Montero | Lynx Edicions | 2006 | Paperback | 341 pages, colour photos, maps | ISBN: 9788496553040 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Wild Spain: A Traveller's Guide

    | by Frederic V Grunfeld | Sheldrake Press | Jul 1999 | Edition: 3 | Paperback | 225 pages, Colour photos, maps | ISBN: 9781873329320 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Museums & Universities
  • Museo National de Cienias Naturales CSIC

    Bird List, Atlas etc
Organisations
  • Grupo de anillamiento Pit-roig

    Website
    Grupo ornitol
  • Proyecto AVIS

    Website
    Sistema de registro y consulta de citas de aves en Pen
  • Sociedad Espa

    Website
    Melquiades Biencinto 34, E-28053 Madrid. + 34 91 4340910 seo@seo.org
  • Spanish Rarities Committee

    Website
    It is the working group of SEO / BirdLife that is responsible for collecting, collating and publishing birds observed in the Spanish territories. We accredit those species and subspecies to be included in the List of Rare Birds of Spain.
  • Txepetxa

    Website
    Association for the Scientific Bird Ringing
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • National Parks

    WebsiteSatellite View
    A total of 1,226 square kms. of the 500,000 that make up Spain have been set aside as National Parks
  • National Parks

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Brief pieces on many of the parks
  • Wetlands

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Spain currently has 75 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 304,564 hectares.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • Birdwatch-Spain

    Mailing List
    An English language list about bird watching in Spain. Fledgling birders to rabid twitchers - all welcome. If your bird is in Spain this is your list.
  • Rare Birds in Spain

    Rare Bird News
    Rare birds in Spain is the personal homepage of Ricard Gutiérrez. It provides updated information on the most recent bird sightings in Spain thanks to sightings from collaborators.
  • Territorio Natural

    Mailing List
    Ornitología,Medio Ambiente y Naturaleza en general – Spanish Bird Forum…
Guides & Tour Operators


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Anytime Tours

    Tour Operator
    Fatbirder's very own birding tours offered to a number of areas of Spain
  • Aviantours

    Tour Operator
    Aviantours promises to teach the art of bird photography & digiscoping as well as offering birdwatching tours in Spain, Morocco & Gibraltar
  • Axarquia Birding Tours - Guided Bird Walks

    Website
    Guided Bird Walks in the Axarquia area of Málaga and immediate surrounds. Bob Wright, based in the stunningly beautiful mountains above Lake Vinuela, is able to provide accompanied Bird Walks/Tours in the area to the east of Malaga and to other great neighbouring sites for a wide variety of bird species.
  • Barcelona Birding Point

    Tour Operator
    Barcelona Birding Point is your gateway to birding and nature in South Europe. This project was created in 2010 as a means of promoting birding tourism as well as the protection and enjoyment of birds and their environments…
  • BirdDayTrip

    Tour Operator
    BirdDaytrip is run by Málaga resident Luis Alberto Rodriguez and although the focus is on that province trips are also run to Osuna, the Straits and elsewhere. Come and discover our beautiful sites and birds! An Andalucía Bird Society approved guide.
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Spain has long been an extremely popular destination for birders, offering as it does a wide range of typical Mediterranean habitats, along with easy, safe, and excellent birding. Many sites are in beautifully scenic settings, featuring Romanesque architecture and ancient, fortified hilltop villages. Much of interior Spain is very rural and way off the tourist trail. This is the finest region to sample a large array of southern European species and is especially good for raptors, with 23 species possible.
  • Birding Trekking & Nature

    Tour Operator
    Our team it’s formed by experts in outdoor and mountain activities, which feel a special attraction, love and knowledge of the natural environment…
  • Birding in Spain

    Tour Operator
    In Birding in Spain you'll find all kinds of information about birds, both common and rare, and plenty of reasons for birding in northeast Spain. Also featured are Books by Steve West who has birded this region extensively since 1988. Consider, if you like, the possibility of contracting him as a guide or ground agent for a birding tour, or simply follow his advice and study the carefully selected itineraries to enjoy some of the best birding experiences that the region has to offer
  • Boletas Birdwatching - Birding in North East Spain

    Tour Operator
    BOLETAS (Egyptian Vulture in the local language) was formed in 1994, a stroke of luck enables us to live our long-awaited dream; install ourselves in the peaceful rural village of Loporzano, in the midst of one of the best birding areas in the Iberian Peninsula dedicating ourselves exclusively to our interest in birds
  • Corax Adventures Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Birding Tours in Northeast Spain
  • Iberian Wildlife Tours

    Tour Operator
    We are all British, freelance, natural history tour leaders who have been living in our respective regions of Spain for many years. Our experience of leading wildlife holidays in Spain and Portugal dates from 1989, both with established wildlife tour companies and a tailor-made basis for independent groups
  • Natura Indomita

    Tour Operator
    Guided Birding & Natural History Tours in Central & Southern Spain. A great variety of habitats in a very short distance: Mediterranean Forest, the best Wetlands inland Spain, the unique Volcanic Lagoons found in Western Europe and the best Steppes in all the Iberian Peninsula. All of them teeming with an impressive and rich wildlife. Tours in the land of the Iberian Lynx, the Spanish Imperial Eagle, the White-Headed Duck and the Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse…
  • Oretani Wildlife

    Tour Operator
    Oretani Wildlife offers tailor made birding and wildlife tours and all inclusive packages in Castilla la Mancha and central Spain. Experience the Sierra, Steppe and Wetlands of this exciting region with some of the best birding and wildlife available
  • Oriole Birding

    Tour Operator
    A UK-based company specialising in bird watching tours of Norfolk and Wales, and a wide range of other UK destinations, a comprehensive programme of tours worldwide. Neil Donaghy and Ashley Saunders have over nineteen years experience between them, running their own companies Celtic Bird Tours and Oriole Adventures, before merging the two to create this new venture which offers complete bird tour packages. Value for money, genuinely small groups and great birds.
  • Rockjumper Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Spain has long been an extremely popular birding tours destination, offering a wide range of Mediterranean habitats along with safe, easy and excellent birdwatching.
  • Spain Birds

    Tour Operator
    SPAINBIRDS is a small company which efforts are appointed to organize ornithology tours over all spanish geography. Its expert leader, Santiago Villa, has a deep knowledge about iberian birds. Natural Parks as Do
  • Walks in Spain

    Tour Operator
  • Wingspan Bird Tours

    Tour Operator
    WINGSPAN BIRD TOURS offer a range of exciting bird-watching holidays and Bird Tours throughout Spain, Morocco, Lesvos and Portugal. Our Bird-watching breaks range from day trips in Andalucia to 10 days in Morocco. We cater for beginners and accomplished birders alike, we offer good value, good company and great birding
Trip Reports


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • 2011 [05 May] - Alan Jack - Spanish Pyrenees

    Report
    …We found there had been a bit of a fall , as the woods held a good selection of migrant passerines, including two Wood Warblers, Redstarts, Pied and Spotted flycatchers, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warbler, as well as Golden Oriole, Green Woodpecker, Coal Tit and Short toed Treecreeper…
  • 2013 [07 July] - Graeme Pegram

    PDF Report
    …This was a classic compromise holiday with the girlfriend. I had two target birds: Red-necked Nightjar which was not difficult and White-rumped Swift…
  • 2013 [09 September] - Kathie Claydon

    Report
    …We had several days of impressive migration movement and many days with good numbers of raptors, storks and Bee Eaters passing through. On clear days birds were passing very high but on days when they could not cross the Strait because of strong winds and poor visibility (many raptor species will not cross if they cannot see the Moroccan coastline) …
  • 2013 [11 November] - Ashley Powell

    Report
    …After lunch, our afternoon was spent visiting El Hondo Natural Parc visitor centre. The main part of the reserve is currently only allowing public access on Saturday mornings for a few hours. Usually it is open on Wednesday mornings as well, which is when we had planned to take Jeff and Kay, to give them an increased chance of seeing Greater Spotted Eagles. Within the Parc boundary, an elevated observation platform serves to provide views of a tree line where the Eagles perch regularly. There have been confirmed sightings of three individual birds, with possibly as many as four birds. Unfortunately, we were out of luck this time; although numerous Marsh Harrier and at least 12 Booted Eagle were a welcome substitute for our main quarry species. We had seen the GSE from this venue a couple of days before Jeff and Kay arrived, and so were not overly concerned at their lack of presence….
  • 2014 [11 November] - Mike Neale

    PDF Report
    ...Other species seenincluded Black-bellied Sandgrouse, and large flocks of larks and finches. The area was very good forbirds of prey with more Griffon Vultures, many Marsh and Hen Harriers, Merlins and Kestrals.Attempts to find DuPont’s Lark were not successful....
  • 2015 [05 May] - Chris Benesh & Godfried Schreur - La Mancha, Coto Donana & Extremadura

    Report
    ...From there we headed north toward Extremadura, with stops along the way for Cercotrichas galactotes (known by various common names, e.g., Rufous Bush Robin, Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin), and a productive visit to Alange, where we picked up Black Wheatear and Bonelli's Eagle among others. We spent the late afternoon exploring the hilltop city of Trujillo. The next day we were out on the pseudo-steppe west of town tracking down sandgrouse and bustards, along with some harriers.
  • 2015 [05 May] - David Erterius

    PDF Report
    ...Continuing our drive, we enjoyed great scope views of our first European Bee-eaters, and two European Turtle Doves showed well on a ploughed field by the road. A family group of Southern Grey Shrikes, feeding their newly fledged young, were thoroughly enjoyed, and a little later we found ourselves searching an area for the localized Black-winged Kite.
  • 2015 [06 June] - Stijn Raymaekers & Carlo Vanderydt - Mallorca – Spain – Corsica

    PDF Report
    Mostly an annotated list.
  • 2015 [06 June] - ZARAGOZA STEPPE, SPANISH PYRENEES & PICOS DE EUROPA

    PDF Report
    ...So we walked slowly to the now famous rock-face where a pair of Wallcreepers havebred for the last umpteen years. Along the way we heard both Green and Black Woodpecker and we sawMistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Red-billed Chough, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures.
  • 2015 [07 July] - Byron Palacios - Wolves & Bustards in Rural Spain

    PDF Report
    ...We were enjoying watching them when all of a sudden, anIberian Wolf was found by Byron in his spotting scope…and there she was, a beautiful healthy female standingby a bush and giving us full views when she stepped out onto the yellow field, staring at us as though she knewwe were there watching her!
  • 2016 [03 March] - Lisle Gwynn - Southern Spain

    PDF Report
    Although it has largely been overlooked by North American birders, birding in Spain remains almost a right ofpassage to European birders, with many cutting their world birding teeth in the Iberian Peninsula. This should beno surprise, as with fantastic birding, varied landscapes and habitats, great infrastructure, comfortableaccommodation and superb food it has everything one needs for a great birding trip.
  • 2016 [05 May] - Mark Beevers & Alberto Bueno

    PDF Report
    ...Our first scheduled stop was at Navahonda Hermitage where after quite a bit of searching weeventually found a Hawfinch, which was our target here. We also secured great looks at a Nightingale,a species which we were to hear singing frequently during the tour. Eurasian Nuthatches wereparticularly common here, giving great views, whilst further Mediterranean species included RedrumpedSwallow and European Serin....
  • 2016 [10 October] - Mark Graham - Bay of Biscay

    Report
    ...the last of the Cory's Shearwater and several were seen in diminishing numbers. The last of the Sooty Shearwater were seen around lunchtime by which time a serious number of Gannets appeared - in their hundreds and mainly adults, further south most had been juveniles. It had been a great voyage for seeing Sooty Shearwater. It wasn't a bad day for Great Skuas, all close to the boat....
  • 2016 [11 November] - Mike Neale - Pyrenees etc

    PDF Report
    Illustrated list
  • 2017 [04 April] - NE Spain

    PDF Report
    ...A Sardinian Warbler drew our attention, as well as several Greenfinches, SpotlessStarlings and Serins. From there we drove higher up into the Serra de Rodes, basically the but one lastpart of the Pyrenees, before Cap Creus. This road is numbered GI-P-6041. There is a monastery (St. Perede Rodes) there, with two turnoffs, where we were exposed to the wind again. But it gave us MistleThrush and Rock Bunting, all observations were short, as if the birds were blown into the bushes. Wemay have missed Blue Rockthrush, because of such weather. The drive continued, via La Selva de Marand then south again towards a well-earned dinner on the boulevard. With a sunset belying thetumultuous weather today, we enjoyed some seafood in one of the few restaurants open this season....
  • 2017 [11 November] - Pau Lucio

    Report
    Our first stop is in the boarding walks and hides where we get a good number of Ruffs, Black-tailed Godwits, Black-winged Stilts, Greater Flamingos and other shorebirds. We notice that one of the Godwits has colour and flag rings and Pau points out that it must be a bird from Netherlands. Hundreds of these birds overwinter in the Albufera.
  • 2018 [01 January] - Niki Williamson

    PDF Report
    Of course our eyes immediately settled on the larger star birds! Many Eurasian Spoonbills, Glossy Ibis and Greater Flamingoes were wading in the expansive waters of the newly-refreshed lagoon. Around them scooted Northern Shovelers, Eurasian Teal, Greylag Geese (the wild kind!), Northern Pintail and a veritable army of Common Coots! Black-tailed Godwits, Black-winged Stilts, Northern Lapwing and some striking Common Snipe paddled and probed the shallows, while overhead we had views of a couple of Red Kites and Marsh Harriers. On the far side of the lagoon, a few Red Deer grazed cautiously amongst the undergrowth.
  • 2018 [02 February] - Valentin Moser

    PDF Report
    However, mammal life, as well as birds are entertaining: Iberian Green Woodpecker, Azure-winged Magpies, Red-legged Partridge, Southern Grey Shrike, Dartford Warbler, Red-billed Chough as well as raptors such as Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle and Black and Griffon vultures can be expected.
  • 2018 [05 May] - Rob Williams

    PDF Report
    Spain is a fantastically diverse country, and we travelled from the dehesas of Extremadura through the plains of La Mancha to the Mediterranean coast, then north to the Ebro delta and inland through the steppes of the Ebro valley and finally to the Pyrenees.
  • 2018 [05 May] - Yeray Seminario

    PDF Report
    ...it was here where we saw our first raptors: Cinereous Vulture, Eurasian Griffon, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Red and Black Kite and Common Buzzard. Other interesKng birds were Iberian Magpie, DarVord Warbler, Northern Wheatear, Blackeared Wheatear, Dunnock and Rock Buntng.
  • 2018 [10 October] - Laura Benito

    PDF Report
    In our walk we enjoyed Lesser Kestrel, Crag Martin, Western Jackdaw, and amazing views of Griffon Vultures flying quite close frome us. Down the canyon we set up our picnic near to the River Pisuerga where we saw Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Dipper and to our surprise a Bat (Myotis family) flying over the river, very active in the daylight.
  • 2018 [11 November] - Niki Williamson

    PDF Report
    s. We were immediately greeted by an extraordinary number of Black Redstarts, perhaps 40 or more, which showed off their fizzing song and characteristic quivering stance.
  • 2018 [12 December] - Laura Benito

    PDF Report
    After lunch we went for a nice walk in a beautiful ancient oak forest. During our walk we saw Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Marsh Tit. We found some fresh evidences of Wild Boar...
  • 2019 [01 January] - Byron Palacios

    PDF Report
    The afternoon weather was lovely sunshine, perfect to give us great views of Glossy Ibis, Grey Herons, White Storks, Common and Red-crested Pochard, Northern Shoveler, Black Stork, Western Marsh Harrier, Greater Flamingos and Northern Lapwings, amongst others.
Places to Stay


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Boletus Birdwatching Centre - Pyrenees

    Accommodation
    Birdwatching Centre in the Spanish Pyrenees, we inform birders where to go and we organize tours in the northeast of Spain
  • Lonely Birder

    Accommodation
    Where to eat & sleep when you are birding in Spain & the World
Other Links
  • Ardeola

    Website
    Ardeola is the scientific journal of the Spanish Society of Ornithology (Sociedad Espa
  • Birding in Spain

    Website
    Birds and Birding Tours in northeast Spain: Plan your Birding trip to Catalonia, Aragon and Navarra..
  • Birds in Spain

    Website
    Around 337 birds breed in Spain out of the total of 520 for Europe. More than 500 species are present at some time during the year. Officially (according to SEO) there are some 557 species listed for Spain (and rising). However, many of these are occasionals, vagrants or exotics. 250 odd are regular nesters
  • Carduelis carduelis

    Website
    Pictures of birds taken around Spain
  • Enciclopedia virtual de los vertebrados Espanoles - Museo National de Cienias Naturales CSIC

    Website
    Lista de las aves de Espa
  • Group of banding bird in Spain

    Website
    Birds migration and banding birds in South Spain
  • Iberia Nature

    Website
    A guide to the environment, geography, climate, wildlife, natural history and landscape of Spain. Includes A-Z Spanish-English nature dictionary, dozens of articles on everything from the history of malaria in Spain to the status of wolves, checklists of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc
  • Isocero

    Website
    Birding and weather relationship
  • Rare Birds in Spain

    Website
    It contains information on the activities of our Rarities Committee despite this it`s not its official web page. It also features monthly abstracts of the best bird sightings here
Blogs
  • Alejandro Sanj. Car - Pico y Plumas

    BLOG
    Lover of Nature and photography. And with many birds in the head. It must be said that this blog is only provisional until the official page is finished
  • Alfonso Rodrigo - Extreme Birding Espa

    BLOG
    Vivencias de un pajarero que ejerce en toda Espa
  • Alfonso Rodrigo - Extreme Birding Espana

    BLOG
    Last updated 2011
  • Andy Paterson - Guiri-Pajarero-Suelto

    BLOG
    Spanish language birding blog
  • Aroximacio a l'Ornitologia

    BLOG
    Last updated 2015
  • Aves de Aqu

    BLOG
    Last updated 2010
  • Aves de España

    BLOG
    Photoblog of birds in spain…
  • Birding the Costa

    BLOG
    Last updated 2016
  • Carmen Azahara - Only Birds

    BLOG
    Photo Blog from Carmen Azahara
  • César Vidal Rodríguez - Aves do Val Minor

    BLOG
    Last updated 2012
  • Inaki Oliveros - Hegaztiblog

    BLOG
    Birding photoblog
  • Joan Goy - Fent l'aleta

    BLOG
    Welcome to this corner. My intention is to share and disseminate experiences that these winged beings cause to bird lovers. I love birds and nature and enjoy watching it, knowing it and sharing it…
  • Lluc Semis Gasol - Tierra de Aves (Land of Birds)

    BLOG
    Last updated 2015
  • Miguel Angel Andre - DBicheros

    BLOG
    I am Miguel Angel Andres, amateur bird watchers and nature photographer . From this page I will try to contribute my bit to the conservation and promotion of natural values ​​and putting an interest in birds, those wonderful flying creatures.
  • Noroeste ibérico

    BLOG
    Last updated 2014
  • Ricardo Rodriguez - Aves

    BLOG
    Blog de las aves vistas y fotografiados Ricardo Rodrigues
  • Steve West - Birding In Spain

    BLOG
    Steve West, hailing from Hampshire, has been living in northeast Spain (Lleida, Catalunya) since 1988 and has birded the region intensilively and extensively since then. Apart from his own book, Where the Birds are in Northeast Spain, based largely on his own experiences of the region, he has also made significant contributions to other bird-related publications such as the Catalan Bird Report
  • Victor Ortega - A través del Telescopio

    BLOG
    En este blog tambi
Photographers & Artists
  • Bird Photography Spain - Nathan Boxem

    Website
    Having recovered one of the hobbies of my youth, ornithology, I have now the pleasure to combine it with other hobby, photography. Little by little I will leave memories of my experiences in the field. For descriptions of the different species...
  • Frank Droge

    Gallery
  • Gallery - ASEDI

    Gallery
    Digiscoping Gallery of Spanish bird photography
  • Gallery - Fotografia de Aves y Otros Seres Vivos

    Gallery
    Photographs of birds from around the world. Mainly from Spain, although there are now also some from Iceland and Sardinia.
  • Gallery - Quedada Natural

    Gallery
    Fotograf
  • Photographer - Daniel Meraviglia

    Gallery
    Bird photographs

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