Birding in Spain. Birdwatching suggestions at Picos de Europa National Park. Enjoy a wide range of wildlife on the North shore of Spain.

If you are planning to travel somewhere in the world to enjoy birding, Spain has many different places declared of ornithological interest. Among them, there´s the Picos de Europa National Park (part of the UNESCO network of biosphere reserves), located on the North shore of Spain.

It´s a magic place where the green of the mountains and the blue of the ocean almost touch each other, a perfect place to enjoy birdwatching as well as relaxing moments.

Here are some suggestions and the different flying wildlife you will be able to watch.


Eagles and Vultures

The mountain ranges below the Picos de Europa national park, are amazing areas to enjoy the viewing of raptors such as Griffon Vulture, Aegyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, Busard, Short-toed Eagle and more. All of them can be watched in both ways, flying and also in their nests.

Golden Eagle

The mountains around the little village called Oceño and the valley of the Tajadura and Rubó rivers are the home of huge nesting colonies of Griffon Vulture and also not so big nesting places of Aegyptian Vulture and Golden Eagle.

Aegyptian Vulture
Griffon Vulture

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The Bearded Vulture

The Bearded Vulture is one of the most incredible birds that can be watched in the Iberian Peninsula. It was declared extinct in mid 20th century and ever since, it could only be found at the Pyrenees.

From 2005, the Bearded Vulture Foundation (FCQ) is reintroducing this majestic bird in the mountains of the Picos de Europa National Park. The result of this project finished with the release of the three first young Bearded Vultures in these mountains. Their names are Deva, Leoncia and Atilano.

Deva, one of the three young Bearded Vultures

We suggest to visit the Centre for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development “Mountains of the Beared Vulture” in Benia de Onís, where it´s possible to make a tour.

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The Forest Birds.

If you like woodpeckers, in this mountain range it´s possible to observe two different kinds: the Black Woodpecker and the Middle Spotted Woodpecker.

Black Woodpecker
Middle Spotted Woodpecker

Their ideal habitat are forests populated by old oaks and beeches where it´s also possible to see other small forest birds. You must be quiet and have patience because they are all quiet elusive: buntings, shrikes, finches, short-toed treecreeper, Eurasian nuthatch, coal tit, great tit, crested tit and many more.

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Alpine Birds.

If you go to the high mountain pastures, more than 4900 ft. above sea level, on the walls of the highest mountains it’s possible to observe some of the most interesting alpine birds, like snowfinch, alpine accentor, yellow-billed chough, red-billed chough, and wallcreeper.

Snowfinch
Alpine Accentor
Wallcreeper

The highest area in the south side of Peña Olvidada, more than 6500 ft. above sea level, is the best environment of Picos de Europa to watch these alpine birds.

Journey around the mountain range protected landscape of El Cuera.

This protected landscape is located between the Cantabrian Sea and the first peaks of the Picos de Europa national park. The altitude can vary between 1300ft. and 4300ft. It´s only less than 1 mi & 400 yd away from the sea.

From here Vultures and other birds of prey are abundant but you can also see little birds like pipits, accentors, wheatears and others adapted to the severe climatic conditions.

Northern Wheatear

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You sure will need more than one day to visit all this places. Around the Picos de Europa National Park, there are three of our privately owned boutique hotels, where the owners will orientate you on your birding tours. All the owners know about places impossible to reach with normal travel guides, it´s one of the values in our boutique hotels family to provide even more than what´s expected and treat the guest personally.

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Here are our recommended hotels:

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Hotel Palacio de Cutre

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Hotel Jardín de Carrejo

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Hotel Casona de Suesa

Hotel Casa del Rector

 

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If you want to know more about our family, you are welcome to visit our website.

See you in Spain!

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The information and pictures were taken from a blog about birding tours: http://birdwatchingasturias.blogspot.com.es/2010/10/picos-de-europa-tour.html