Towns and villages
Recommended Seasons: SPRING
Many towns and villages in Extremadura are excellent places for bird watching as they offer perfect places for nesting which are close to sources of food. At times historic buildings (churches, palaces and castles) are the sits chosen by birds to build nests because of the niches and supports for them.
The huge nests of the white stork in the bell-towers of churches in Extremadura have become a typical image of the region and are evidence of the coexistence of man and birds.
Old buildings are home to large colonies of lesser kestrels which at times exceed 50 pairs. In the same area coexist jackdaw, pallid swift, common swiftand barn-owls.
On the great bridges, some dating back to Roman times, the alpine swift settles where, in places such as Mérida the population reaches 70 birds.
The urban stretches of the River Guadiana passing through Mérida and Badajoz have been chosen by herons for their noisy breeding colonies completely oblivious to the human activity around them. These colonies can reach up to 2,500 pairs making a great spectacle for ornithologists as well as other inhabitants. Equally showy are house martin colonies on many buldings and bridges sharing their urban space with barn swallow and, in more northern villages, with crag martin.
Extremadura is one of few regions to designate SPA's in urban areas of 17 towns and villages, protectedbecause of their importance to the birds especially the lesser kestrel. Visits are recommended to Cáceres, Trujillo, Llerena and Zafra which have much to offer to tourists. There are also important kestrel colonies in the historic buildings of Almendralejo (Iglesia de la Purificación, Purificación Church), Acedera, Brozas, Belvis de Monroy, Fuente de Cantos, Garrovillas, Guareña, Ribera del Fresno, San Vicente de Alcántara, Saucedilla and Jaraíz de la Vera.