1. Birding in Extremadura
  2. Extremadura and Birds
  3. The Mediterranean Forest

The Mediterranean Forest


Bosque Mediterráneo

Recommended Seasons: SPRING AND WINTER

The Mediterranean forest is considered to be the habitat most closely resembling that which covered Extremadura thousands of years ago. The activities of mankind throughout history have brought about change to the forest towards other kinds of vegetation which are also of value such as the grazing-lands, the heaths and pastures.

The best preserved Mediterranean forests are to be found on the slopes and upper parts of certain mountain ranges as well as in certain river valleys. The dominant species are the evergreen oaks, the holm or cork oaks and the deciduous oaks, which are so densely populated that their branches become entwined. They tend to grow alongside shrub and bush species which sometimes grow so thickly that they become an impenetrable jungle of vegetation.

Some of the Iberian Peninsula's most threatened bird species such as the black vulture, Spanish imperial eagle and the black stork use this habitat for nesting, choosing the highest trees and seeking the protection which the dense vegetation of the mountain slopes offers.

Often the forest is made up exclusively of trees, the shrubs and bushes having been almost completely overwhelmed where the bird species are typically forest dwelling such as: jay, great spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, wryneck, nuthatch, short-toed treecreeper, redstart, crested tit, long-tailed tit, chaffinch and hawfinch. In the oak forests also is to be found western bonelli's warbler.

Where bushes and shrubs are abundant robin, nightingale, wren and blackcap nest. This is also a perfect habitat for birds of prey such as honey buzzard -especially in the oak forests- sparrowhawk, goshawk, little owl and tawny owl.

The SPA most typical of this type of vegetation are the 'Sierra de San Pedro'(San Pedro Range), Monfragüe and the surrounding dehesas, 'Sierra de Villuercas (Villuercas Range) and Valle del Guadarranque (Guadarranque Valley)' and 'Internacional Tajo River and its banks'.