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Birds of Spain
Introduction to the Birds of Spain Print E-mail
Birds of Spain

griffon-vulture.flightThe Penibaetic Range of mountains dips its toes into the Mediterranean on the eastern side of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic to Gibraltar’s western seaboard. From here the range strikes north and then eastwards, never far from the Mediterranean and has it’s ceiling in the Sierra Nevada with several peaks of over 3,000 metres. It is as dramatic as it is stunning. The Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema is situated amidst the limestone peaks, which lie south and west of the Sierra Nevada.

The area’s highest peak is Torrecilla at 1,919 metres. To the southwest of the Serranía the mountains are sandstone. The habitats of the area are varied and include sheer limestone cliffs, pine woods (P.sylvestris, P.pinaster), Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo), grasslands, scrub and oak (Q.rotundifolia, Q.suber) woods. Amongst the flora there are several species endemic to the area.

wallcreeperThe bird community is particularly rich and breeding birds include, to name but a few, Golden Aquila chrysaetos, Bonelli’s Hieraaetus fasciatus, Booted H.pennatus and Short-toed Circaetus gallicus Eagles, Griffon Gyps fulvus and Egyptian Neophron percnopterus Vultures, Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni, Eagle Owl Bubo bubo, White-rumped Apus caffer, Alpine A.melba and Pallid A.pallidus Swifts, Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius, Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis, Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura, Black Redstart Pheonicurus ochruros, Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia, Rock Bunting Emberiza cia and Crossbill Loxia curvirostra. The Serranía and its surroundings include three major natural parks, Sierra de las Nieves (declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1995), Sierra de Grazalema (declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977) and Los Alcornocales a richly wooded park and declared ZEPA reserve (zone of especial protection for the birds).

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