Birding in the Pyrenees

The Spanish Pyrenees stretch from west to east from Navarra, through Aragon and on to the northeast corner of Catalonia.

Birding in the high Pyrenees of Aragon

Approaching from the Bay of Biscay the Pyrenees rise gently but steadily in Navarra to Orhi, the first 2,000 m peak near the region’s eastern border with Aragón. Navarra’s beechwoods and mixed forests are home to White-backed Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker, while the high sierras and mountain passes are the migratory flyways of birds of prey, cranes and other species. Navarra also has some spectacular gorges and the westernmost populations of Lammergeier, Snow Finch and Citril Finch in the Pyrenees.

Aragón is the wildest and perhaps most spectacular part of the Spanish Pyrenees. It can lay claim to Spain’s first and one of its finest National Parks, Ordesa, and many unspoilt tracts of high mountain. Birding the Pyrenees of Aragon is a delight for the large numbers of birds of prey, especially Lammergeier, Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle and Booted Eagle, and for it having some of the more accessible areas with high mountain species like Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper and Snow Finch.

The Natural Park of Cadí in the Pyrenees of Catalonia

Capercaillie, Ptarmigan, Tengmalm’s Owl, Citril Finch, and Black Woodpecker are all species that can be less difficult to see when birding in the Pyrenees of Catalonia than in those further west. Catalonia also has its National Park, Aigüestortes, a land of lakes, peaks and black pine forests. The natural park of Cadí-Moixeró is one of the easternmost points of interest for the visiting birder, who with some luck can find a good variety of the mountain specialities, perhaps even a Wallcreeper.

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