Spain general

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Spanish online bird encyclopedia

Spanish online bird encyclopedia

Under the coordination of SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain) experts and volunteers have worked together for more than two years to create the first online encyclopedia of Spanish birds, aimed at introducing people to the wonders of the birds’ world.
This massive work has been created by SEO/BirdLife - with the support of the Fundación BBVA – and covers 563 species, of which 363 regularly occurring birds have detailed factsheets. In addition, there are more than 4,000 webpages with 1,600 photos, 1,200 paintings, 370 bird songs, 200 videos and 400 maps. SEO/BirdLife has allowed 60,000 copies to be distributed freely throughout Spain, including education centres and schools.
“By using the digital world to bring the joys of birds to people of all ages this Encyclopedia represents a major milestone for Spain and for SEO/BirdLife”, said Josefina Maestre, Editor of the Encyclopedia.
The online encyclopedia allows people to become more familiar with the birds of Spain through many interactive and multimedia tools such as videos and maps. The accompanying book also describes the avian conservation work being done by environmental organisations like SEO, and outlines how people can get involved.
People can easily access the encyclopedia through its website and explore the different sections. Here they can find detailed information about the birds, their distribution and threats, and also interactive games on how to recognise them. In the last section dedicated to bird protection, visitors have the opportunity to get involved in conservation actions organised by SEO/BirdLife.
“The Encyclopedia of birds of Spain is one of the most complete digital ornithological work created so far in the world, in a time when it is more and more evident that birds are one of the most important indicators of how climate change affects biodiversity and our lives”, noted Josefina.
Click here for the Encyclopedia

An atlas of Spain's migratory birds

An atlas of Spain's migratory birds

Reserve Ornitológica "El Planerón"

Belchite, Zaragoza, (Aragón)
Habitat: Aragón steppe
Birds & wildlife: Stone-curlew, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Lesser Short-toed Lark and Dupont's Lark.
Visiting & access: Open to the public, guided visits, nature trails. Contact SEO/Aragón.

El Clot / Ebro Delta

Size: 7 hectares.
Habitat: all rice land which SEO is managing to marsh.
Birds & wildlife: Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, different ducks, Purple Swamp-hen, Black-winged Stilt.
Visiting & access: The reserve is open all year. The reserve does not have hides.
Riet Vell / Ebro Delta
Size: 55 hectares.
Habitat: all rice land which SEO is managing to marsh.
Birds & wildlife: Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, different ducks, Purple Swamp-hen, Black-winged Stilt.

Visiting & access: The reserve is open all year. The reserve does not have hides.

Mas de Cirugeda

Perales de Alfambra, Teruel (Aragón). Size: 700 hectares, 1200m. altitude
Habitat: Crops on dry land, natural steppe, some Mediterranean woodland, and cliffs.
Birds & wildlife: Steppe birds e.g. Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Dupont's Lark, Stone-curlew, Montagu's Harrier. You can also see Eagle Owl, Golden Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Peregrine Falcon.
Visiting & access: Ask for permission from Regional SEO/Aragón Office.

Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands


SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain) have purchased a 209 hectare reserve to protect the globally threatened Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

The reserve consists of 209 hectareas of well-preserved steppe habitat. 16 Houbaras were counted in the winter 2004/05 census. Other interesting species recorded in the reserve are Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis, Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor, Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus insularum (endemic race), Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens polatzeki (also endemic), Berthelott's Pipit Anthus berthelotii, Great Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis koenigi, Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus, Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata, and a single pair of Fuerteventura Chats Saxicola dacotiae.

The population of the endemic Canary Islands race of Houbara fuertaventurae was placed at 527 in the mid-1990s, with 18 on La Graciosa, 268 on Lanzarote and 241 on Fuerteventura. Numbers are thought to have declined subsequently, although there is evidence that they now on the rise again, particularly on Lanzarote.
Birdlife International.

La Cañada de las Norias

El Ejido, Almería (Andalucía). Size: 130 hectares (80 of which are flooded)
Habitat: Close to an urban area, created by an abandoned sand exploitation, which was re-covered by natural vegetation. Partially flooded.
Birds & wildlife: Breeding of White-headed Duck (134 chicks fledged in 1994) and Marbled Teal (3 pairs).

Visiting & access: Open to the public.

Reserva Ornitológica "Los Charcones de Miguel Esteban"

Miguel Esteban ,Toledo (Castilla-La Mancha). Size: 110 hectares

Habitat: Wetland created from the water treatment plant of the village.

Birds & wildlife: Breeding and wintering site for many waterfowl species including White-headed Duck, Common Shelduck, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Black- necked Grebe, Kentish Plover, Savi's Warbler and Bearded Tit.
Visiting & access: Open to the public.

La Marisma Blanca

Location: The White Swamp lies at the south of Santader Bay between the confluence of two rivers (Solía and Boo) and in the District of El Astillero, which has a high population density and a very strong industrial presence.
Habitat: This is a fresh-water lagoon (but slightly salty) with gentle slopes and shallow water, which has allowed the increase of a vast area of marsh vegetation. Among the most important plants are the reed (Phragmites australis), cat-tail (Typha latifolia) and grasslands of rushes and sedge.
The White Swamp is divided in two by a central dam, which delimits the area at the north with an area of shallow water, and another to the south where there is the biggest area of open water.
Birds & Wildlife: The most interesting group, from the wildlife point of view, is the aquatic birds, which include the species that depends on a certain kind of wet land area. 34 species of different waterbirds have been recorded so far in the lagoon. This is a high number considering the area where this is located and the density of the population nearby.
It is the most important refugee in this area for aquatic birds. This is due to the vast area of marshy vegetation, composed of reeds and cat-tails that surrounds it and to the large number of aquatic plants, which provide a good quality place for many aquatic bird species that visit the wetland.
Even though the lagoon gives shelter to birds during the whole year, it is during the winter when the number of bird species is highest. The reason for this is the rigour of winter in Central Europe, which the Waterbirds are fleeing from to find food and a refuge in this area. In spring and summer the swamp is used as a nesting ground for at least eleven species. In autumn is possible to observe large groups of Swallows that use the reedbed as a roost.

Birds & wildlife: 60 different species in total can be observed throughout almost all the year, the most important being the Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Marsh Harrier, and other more frequent visitors such as the Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, and Coot.
Other birds which can be seen in the area are the Reed Bunting, the Yellow Wagtail, the Great Reed Warbler, the Fan-Tailed Warbler, and Cetti's Warbler.

Wintering of Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus in Spain:

The population of Kentish Plover wintering in Spain. Around 85% of the population wintering in Western europe (Alberto& Velasco 1988) - is distributed mainly (more than 80%) in coastal areas, although some individuals are also found inland.Kentish Plover in Spain for the Atlantic coasts of the south and for the Mediterranean, and its scarcity in Cantabria and Galicia.

Click here for a free Pdf Guide...

Phenology and distribution of waders ringed in Spain

Phenology and distribution of waders ringed in Spain from the
scheme Madrid Museo de Ciencias. Text in English
Click here for a Free Pdf Guide

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