Where to go birding in Spain

So, we’ve decided: we’re going on a bird tour to Spain. But where in Spain exactly?

There’s no easy answer to that! Let’s start by separating the Canary Islands (eg Tenerife), and the Balearic Islands (eg Mallorca), from mainland Spain, and focus on the latter.

Map of best birding regions in Spain

The most popular birding destinations in mainland Spain are Extremadura, Andalusia, northeast Spain (Catalonia, Aragon and Navarra), and the Cantabrian mountains, especially the Picos de Europa.


  • Extremadura has steppes, inland waterways, lots of raptors and above all the Monfragüe National Park.
  • Andalusia – has the Coto Doñana National Park (currently struggling with drought and lack of water due to agricultural activities), the south coast around Tarifa, and the Sierras north of Sevilla.
  • Northeast Spain has the Pyrenees mountains, the Ebro Delta wetlands, the Ebro valley plains and quite a lot of forest.
  • The Cantabrian mountains are best known for access to high mountain species, but also as the home of Brown Bears and Iberian Wolves.

So what are the special birds of each region?

Spanish Imperial Eagle

Extremadura – Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Iberian Magpie, Black Stork, White-rumped Swift, Great Bustard, Black-winged Kite…

Andalusia – Northern Bald Ibis, Little Swift, Marbled Teal, White-headed Duck, Red-knobbed Coot, Collared Pratincole, Rüppell’s Vulture…

Northeast Spain – Wallcreeper, Bearded Vulture, Alpine Accentor, Citril Finch, Dupont’s Lark, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Audouin’s Gull…

Of course there are many interesting bird species common to two or more of these regions, and a birding tour of ten days or so at the peak period of early to mid-spring should take you to over 200 bird species.

AVE, the fast train service in Spain

It’s also worth thinking of doing a bird tour which includes two of these different regions say, for example, the south of Spain (Andalusia) connected with the northeast (Navarra, Aragón, Catalonia). It’s a long drive from Sevilla or Málaga to Barcelona, Lleida or Zaragoza, but it’s only several hours by the fast train service. Our Spring Across Spain tours offer the visiting birder that very possibility. Think about the possibilities.

Birding In Spain spring bird tour: Spring across Spain

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