1. Birding in Extremadura
  2. Extremadura and Birds
  3. Field Guide

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Field Guide


Alpine Accentor

Nombre Científico: Prunella collaris IE

Descripción:  It has a brown back with black markings, grey head and flanks streaked with reddish brown. It occurs at higher altitude than the Dunnock, breeding on the higher slopes of the Gredos and in winter being found on the ridge tops of the lower ranges. It has a similar diet to the Dunnock and is rather tamer.


Alpine Swift

Nombre Científico: Apus melva V

Descripción:  Larger than Common Swift and with white underparts. They usually nest in small colonies close to water, in bridges or rocky outcrops beside reservoirs or rivers. The species arrives from Africa to breed in Extremadura towards the end of March and leaves towards the end of October.



Nombre Científico: Recurvirostra avosetta IE

Descripción:  A pigeon-sized bird with very long legs, with a long fine, up-turned bill. It has a striking black-and-white plumage, It occurs in wetlands with shallow bodies of water, where it feeds on small invertebrates. It is seen mainly in autumn and winter and is uncommon.


Azure-winged Magpie

Nombre Científico: Cyanopica cyana IE

Descripción:  A Blackbird-sized bird with a very long tail. It has very attractive plumage with blue wings and tail, pinkish-toned body and black crown. It occurs in dehesas, orchards, valleys, pinewoods and olive groves. It practices cooperative breeding, with related birds, including older siblings, helping at the nest. During the breeding season they are insectivorous, whereas in late summer and autumn they feed mainly on fruit. They are present throughout the year.


Barn Owl

Nombre Científico: Tyto alba IE

Descripción:  Medium-sized owl that nests in churches and other large buildings. The striking plumage is yellowish with fine grey markings on the back and much whiter below. Its face has a white heart-shaped appearance with large dark eyes. Its principle prey is mice and voles, but some Barn Owls specialise in taking small birds that may be roosting in trees in urban parks.


Barn Swallow

Nombre Científico: Hirundo rustica IE

Descripción:  A common bird in rural areas. Its back, wings and tail are dark with a violet iridescence; it has a reddish throat and the underparts are rich cream in colour. It has a forked tail with very long outer tail feathers, which are longer in males and can be used to distinguish the sexes. They nest in abandoned buildings or farm buildings, stables and other buildings which are infrequently used. They feed exclusively on flying insects. It is a migratory species, arriving in Extremadura at the beginning of February and leaving in September.


Black Kite

Nombre Científico: Milvus migrans IE

Descripción:  Slightly smaller than the Red Kite, the plumage is darker and tail less deeply forked. It nests in trees and the nest is often adorned with pieces of cloth, paper and bags. It has a varied diet, including fish, rodents, amphibians, but above all carrion, especially road kills. It spends the winter in sub-Saharan Africa and returns to Extremadura in the spring to breed.


Black Redstart

Nombre Científico: Phoenicurus ochruros IE

Descripción:  A slender and elegant bird with dark grey, slaty plumage, with white patches on the wings and a prominent reddish-orange tail. It nests in rocky areas, as well as dehesas and livestock rangelands, making use of abandoned buildings, stables and old barns in which to nest. It feeds mainly on insects. In Extremadura it can be seen throughout the year, but is more widespread in the winter.


Black Stork

Nombre Científico: Ciconia nigra EE

Descripción:  Slightly smaller than the White Stork, with dark plumage with green and violet iridescence on the back and wings, with a white belly. The bill, legs and eye-ring are red. Unlike the White Stork, it is a shy and timid species, very difficult to watch in its natural habitat. It feeds on fish, snakes and crayfish. It arrives in Extremadura to breed towards the end of March, leaving for sub-Saharan Africa at the end of the summer.


Black Vulture

Nombre Científico: Aegypius monachus SAH

Descripción:  With its wingspan of almost three metres it is one of the largest birds in Eurasia. It has dark brown, almost black, plumage and nests in large trees on the slopes of undisturbed mountains. It has a very strong bill, able to tear the tough hides of mules or cattle. They are the dominant carrion-feeder and will displace Griffon and Egyptian Vultures and Ravens, which will then have to wait until the Black Vulture has finished feeding or becomes distracted before being able to feed.


Black Wheatear

Nombre Científico: Oenante leucura IE

Descripción:  The largest of the Iberian wheatears. It is slaty back with its unmistakeable white tail with the inverted black "T". It is found in rocky and stony places throughout Extremadura, where it can be seeing bobbing its tail from a perch before making a sally to take the large insects which form its diet. It is a resident species, remaining on its breeding territory throughout the year.


Black-bellied Sandgrouse

Nombre Científico: Pterocles orientalis SAH

Descripción:  A pigeon-sized bird with brown, buff and grey back, yellow-orange throat and grey head and breast. Its plumage enables it to be well camouflaged on the ground of the open plains in which it breeds. It feeds almost exclusively on seeds and is present year round in tree-less areas.


Black-crowned Night Heron

Nombre Científico: Nycticorax nycticorax SAH

Descripción:  A medium-sized heron with long yellow legs, grey back, white underparts and intensely red eyes, adapted for fishing at dusk. They feed on medium-sized fish, amphibians and snakes. They are colonial nesters, usually along with other species of heron.


Black-eared Wheatear

Nombre Científico: Oenante hispanica IE

Descripción:  A sparrow-sized graceful bird with striking plumage. It has black wings, mask and inverted "T" on the tail. The back is buff and the underparts white. It nests in open country throughout the region. It feeds mainly on small insects, spiders and caterpillars found on the ground.


Black-headed Gull

Nombre Científico: Larus ridibundus

Descripción:  A medium-sized gull of inland waters, with pale grey wings, white body and red legs. In the summer, the head is chocolate brown whilst in winter it is white with just a few dark markings on the side of the head and over the eye. It prefers large reservoirs, slow-flowing rivers, arable land and rice fields. It is common in the winter and there are also a few breeding records in Extremadura.


Black-tailed Godwit

Nombre Científico: Limosa limosa IE

Descripción:  A large wader with long dark legs and a fine bill which is orange at the base and black at the tip, found in shallow pools and rice stubble. It does not breed in Extremadura but the Guadiana floodplain rice fields are an important wintering and migratory stopover site for the species. They feed on invertebrates by probing in the mud with their long bills.


Black-winged Kite

Nombre Científico: Elanus caeruleus V

Descripción:  A small pigeon-sized bird of prey with bluish grey plumage and striking red eyes. It lives in open dehesas, pastures with isolated trees and extensive cereal fields. It mainly hunts rodents and small birds at dusk and dawn, although on cloudy days it can be active at any time. It can have several broods during the year if the food supply is available. Although not a migratory species, it will disperse to areas of high rodent abundance.


Black-winged Stilt

Nombre Científico: Himantopus himantopus IE

Descripción:  Like a miniature stork, with a very fine black bill and incredibly long red legs. The wings are dark and the body white. It occurs along the banks of rivers, reservoirs and on rice fields. It is noisy and territorial during the breeding season. It feeds on small invertebrates captured at the water's edge and on mud. It is common throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Turdus merula IE

Descripción:  The male is dull black with yellow bill and eye-ring. It is found in a variety of wooded habitats from town gardens, allotments, orchards, valleys and dehesas. It feeds mainly on earthworms, grubs and insects. In the autumn its diet is dominated by berries and fruits. In the spring it delivers its fine, fluty song. It is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Sylvia atricapilla IE

Descripción:  Similar is size to a sparrow but slimmer and more graceful. It has a brownish grey plumage, darker on the wings and tail. The male has a black crown, whilst the female has a chestnut crown. It is found in broad-leaved woodland, wooded valleys, orchards and gardens. In winter it is much more common and occurs also in town parks. Although mainly insectivorous, in autumn it will feed on blackberries and small fruits to prepare for migration. In Extremadura it is a breeding species with a large influx in the winter of birds from further north.


Blue Rock Thrush

Nombre Científico: Monticola solitarius IE

Descripción:  Thrush-sized with an attractive cobalt blue plumage, striking in good light. It occurs in ravines and rocky areas, close to ruins as well as around hilltop towns and villages, especially near castles and old walls. It feeds on small animals such as lizards, grasshoppers and caterpillars. It is resident throughout the year in Extremadura.


Blue Tit

Nombre Científico: Parus caeruleus IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a Great Tit with blue wings, tail and head with white cheeks and white ring around the crown. The underparts are yellow. It occurs in dehesas, pinewoods, wooded valleys and gardens. With its small bill it takes insects from under loose bark and leaves and is able to hang upside down to forage for them. It is a great friend to the organic farmer. It is present throughout the year in wooded areas in Extremadura.



Nombre Científico: Luscinia svecica V

Descripción:  A small insectivorous bird, with brown plumage on its wings, tail and back and a striking blue bib, bordered with reddish tones. It breeds on the highest mountain slopes in Extremadura, above 1800 metres above sea level and in the winter can be found in the wet areas of the Guadiana floodplain and at Arrocampo. It feeds mainly on insects, but whilst wintering may also eat small seeds and other plant matter.


Bonelli's Eagle

Nombre Científico: Hieraaetus Fasciatus SAH

Descripción:  A very agile species with spectacular flight. It has dark brown upperparts with a white patch between the shoulders and mottled white underparts. It occurs in rocky, hilly country at low altitude, cliffs near reservoirs and to a lesser extent wooded areas. They prey mainly on pigeons and other similar-sized birds in flight, as well as sometimes rabbits and lizards. They occur year-round in the vicinity of their breeding areas, defending the nest site against other eagles and vultures.


Booted Eagle

Nombre Científico: Hieraaetus pennatus IE

Descripción:  A small eagle but with powerful talons. It has a brown back with darker primaries. The underparts are paler and mottled. It has two plumage phases: a dark phase and the commoner pale phase. Although it winters in Africa, there are increasingly more individuals that stay throughout the whole year in Extremadura. It breeds in trees in forested areas. They feed on small birds, rodents and reptiles. Like the large eagles, its legs are feathered.



Nombre Científico: Fringilla montifringilla IE

Descripción:  The males have bluish-black heads, black and white backs, wings and tail and an orange breast. It is a seed-eating bird which appears some winters in Extremadura, sometimes occurring in large flocks in the dehesas, arable land and plains.



Nombre Científico: Pyrrhula pyrrhula IE

Descripción:  A bit bigger than a Greenfinch with a very short, thick bill, grey back, black tail and wings with a white wing bar and black crown, whilst the underparts are pink in the male and dull buff in the female. They occur in the shade of trees beside small streams, feeding on buds and small seeds. They are winter visitors to Extremadura.


Calandra Lark

Nombre Científico: Melanocorypha calandra IE

Descripción:  The biggest lark in Extremadura. It is sandy brown with pale underparts and a black mark on each side of the neck. It lacks a crest and its bill is stout. It prefers open country, fallow land, pasture or arable land. It can imitate the calls of other species and delivers its song in flight. It eats insects, grubs and worms as well as seeds and other plant matter. It nests on the ground and is present throughout the year.


Cattle Egret

Nombre Científico: Bubulcus ibis IE

Descripción:  A medium-sized heron has white plumage all of the year, apart from males which in the spring acquire buff feathers on the head and neck. They are often seen in large groups together with livestock in the dehesas and pasture. They breed in large colonies alongside other heron species. They are present throughout the year and the population is increasing.


Cetti's Warbler

Nombre Científico: Cettia cetti IE

Descripción:  A small, restless bird. It has reddish brown plumage on the upperparts and is greyer below. It is always found close to water, in gallery woodland, hedgerows and reed beds, along drains and in patches of brambles. It is difficult to see, but easily detected by its short explosive song. It feeds mainly on insects, but in autumn will also feed on berries, such as blackberries. It is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Fringilla coelebs IE

Descripción:  Sparrow-sized with males showing black and white wings and tail, a bluish-grey hood and orange buff below. The females have a duller plumage. They occurs in wooded areas like dehesas, oak woods, pinewoods and gardens where the males will be heard delivering their explosive song. It is a seed-eating bird which also eats other plant material. It is present throughout the year.


Cirl Bunting

Nombre Científico: Emberiza cirlus IE

Descripción:  Slightly bigger than a sparrow, with chestnut plumage., mottled with black on the back, yellow underparts and yellow head with black bands in the male, whilst the female has duller tones. They occur in deciduous woodland, feeding mainly on seeds, with insects given to their young. They are present throughout the year in Extremadura.


Collared Pratincole

Nombre Científico: Glareola pratincola SAH

Descripción:  Slightly smaller than a dove with an acrobatic flight like a swallow. Its upperparts are olive brown and underparts white, with a buffish-yellow throat with a black border. It nests on the ground on fallow land and the muddy banks of islands in lakes. They feed on insects captured on the wing.


Common Buzzard

Nombre Científico: Buteo buteo IE

Descripción:  A medium-sized bird of prey with a variety of different plumages, although most are dark brown with a pale half-moon-shaped patch on the breast. They nest in medium-sized trees in dehesas, river banks and agricultural land. They can be frequently seen perched on telegraph posts beside roads watching for mice and voles. They are resident throughout the year.


Common Chiffchaff

Nombre Científico: Philloscophus collybita IE

Descripción:  Very similar in size and appearance to the Willow Warbler, but rather duller in tone. It is a restless little bird, feeding close to the ground. They breed in woodlands on the mountains and in the valleys in the north of Extremadura, but can be found throughout region in the winter.


Common Coot

Nombre Científico: Fulica atra

Descripción:  Somewhat larger than a Moorhen, with matt black plumage with a white bill and shield. They occur in reservoirs, lakes and wetlands where they make a floating nest to incubate their eggs. After hatching the chicks will swim, following the female in search of aquatic invertebrates and vegetable matter. They occur throughout the year.


Common Crane

Nombre Científico: Grus grus IE

Descripción:  Similar is size and shape to a stork, with grey plumage and elongated tertials forming bulky plumes over the tail. The neck is black with white stripes on the side with a red patch on the crown. They arrive in the autumn and spend the winter in the dehesas, rice fields and lakes. They have not breed in Extremadura since the first part of the last century. They feed on acorns, on the stubble of rice and maize, bulbs and small invertebrates.


Common Cuckoo

Nombre Científico: Cuculus canorus IE

Descripción:  A dove-sized bird, with long bluish grey wings and tail. The breast and belly is pale with fine bars, similar in appearance to that of a Sparrowhawk. It lays its egg in the nests of other species and plays no further role in rearing the young. It feeds mainly on insects, especially caterpillars and may help to control infestations.


Common Kestrel

Nombre Científico: Falco tinnunculus IE

Descripción:  A small pigeon-sized falcon with long wings and tail, allowing the bird to hover in the air to search for its small prey, then dropping quickly to the ground to pounce. The diet comprises small mice, shrews, grasshoppers and crickets. They nest in trees and holes in buildings in cultivated land or in towns, preferring to hunt in dehesas and pasture with scattered trees. They are present in Extremadura throughout the year.


Common Quail

Nombre Científico: Coturnix coturnix

Descripción:  The smallest game bird, nesting on the ground amongst vegetation. Its plumage is brown with buffish and yellowish tones that make it very difficult to see on the ground. They occur in irrigated crops like alfalfa, soya or maize where they can be detected by their call. The chicks leave the nest upon hatching and follow the female searching for small insects that constitute their diet. The adults also feed on seeds.


Common Redshank

Nombre Científico: Tringa totanus IE

Descripción:  Its body is slightly smaller than a pigeon but has long legs and bill. Its back is brownish grey, diffusely mottled, and it has a pale belly. The base of the bill and the legs are red. It occurs in rice fields, the edges of reservoirs, temporary pools and so on. It feeds on aquatic invertebrates, although it can also capture small tadpoles and small fish. It is only present in the winter.


Common Redstart

Nombre Científico: Phoenicurus phoenicurus IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a sparrow and one of the most attractive birds of the region. Its back is ashy grey, its throat is black and it has dull orange underparts and tail. It is a slender and elegant bird, which frequently bobs when perched, allowing its colours to be well sported. It feeds on insects and is a summer breeding visitor.


Common Sandpiper

Nombre Científico: Actitis hypoleucos IE

Descripción:  Similar to a Green Sandpiper, but smaller and paler, with shorter legs. It also frequents shallow water edges and muddy banks and shows a similar bobbing movement with its body. It occurs in winter, heading north to breed in the spring.


Common Snipe

Nombre Científico: Gallinago gallinago

Descripción:  Like a small Woodcock, but found in wetlands. Like the Woodcock, it is a winter species. It hunts for small invertebrates in muddy areas, as well as rice fields. When flushed, they fly rapidly away in a zigzag flight, giving a characteristic alarm call.


Common Swift

Nombre Científico: Apus apus IE

Descripción:  A greyish-brown bird with a whitish throat. It has very long, slender wings and a short forked tail. Swifts are great fliers, capturing tiny insects in flight and indeed roosting on wing at great height. They nest in holes in building and occasionally in palm trees. They are summer visitors.


Common Whitethroat

Nombre Científico: Sylvia communis IE

Descripción:  Similar in size to most other Sylvia warblers, the males have a striking bluish-grey crown, brown wings, white throat and pinkish breast. In Extremadura, they only breed in scrubby areas on the higher mountains in the north, whereas on migration they can be seen almost anywhere. They feed on small insects.


Corn Bunting

Nombre Científico: Miliaria calandra IE

Descripción:  Larger than a sparrow with brown, mottled plumage on the upperparts and buffish underparts. It has a strong bill and occurs in open country where it often sings from fence posts or dead trees. It feeds mainly on seeds, although also on insects in the breeding season. It is very abundant and is present throughout the year.


Crag Martin

Nombre Científico: Ptyonoprogne rupestris IE

Descripción:  Similar to Sand Martin, but larger and stouter. Its upperparts are dull brown with paler brown underparts and it lacks the breast band. It nests in rocky outcrops, ravines and cliffs. It feeds on small insects captured in flight. It occurs throughout the year in Extremadura.


Crested Lark

Nombre Científico: Galerida cristata IE

Descripción:  Bigger than a Skylark with earth-brown plumage that camouflages it very well on the ground on the plains and arable land in which it occurs. It also occurs along tracks, roadsides and open dehesas. It has a characteristic crest and long legs with short toes and a very long hind-claw. The song can be heard from a long distance and is very beautiful. It feeds on plant matter and small insects and is present throughout the year.


Crested Tit

Nombre Científico: Parus cristatus IE

Descripción:  Similar in size to a Blue Tit with a brown back and pale underparts. It has a finely marked black and white head, with a spiky crest. It is mainly found in pinewoods, but also occurs in cork oak and Holm oak groves, especially where there is undergrowth. It feeds on insects such as caterpillars, spiders, mites and is helpful in reducing the impact of infestations. It is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Numenius arquata IE

Descripción:  A medium sized bird, with long legs and bill, which is curved downwards. Its plumage is mottled brown. It feeds in muddy pools and rice fields on aquatic invertebrates. In Extremadura it is a scarce winter visitor, which leaves in the spring to breed in Central Europe.


Dartford Warbler

Nombre Científico: Sylvia undata IE

Descripción:  It has a very small body with a very long tail that it holds cocked. The plumage is dull blue on the back, wings and tail with reddish-brown underparts with a bright red eye-ring. It is strongly associated with dense Mediterranean scrub. It feeds on insects and in autumn and winter may also feed on small fruits and seeds. It is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Cinclus cinclus V

Descripción:  A thrush-sized bird, plump and stocky with a very short tail. It is dark brown with a prominent white bib. It lives along fast-flowing streams in northern Extremadura, where it preys on aquatic invertebrates whilst foraging under water. It usually perches on boulders in the stream, bobbing with its white bib showing well. It occurs in its breeding areas throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Calidris alpina IE

Descripción:  A small wader with slender legs and a long bill which feeds on the muddy banks of pools and reservoirs in search of invertebrates which form its diet. It generally occurs in small flocks, often seen flying fast and low from one bank to another along with other waders. In Extremadura it occurs in the winter.



Nombre Científico: Prunella modularis IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a sparrow with brown back, finely streaked with black and with chestnut streaking on the flanks and a lead-grey head and throat. It nests in scrub on mountainsides and in winter descends to lower ground. It feeds mainly on insects, grubs and spiders. In Extremadura breeding occurs on the high mountains whilst it can be found almost anywhere in the winter.


Eagle Owl

Nombre Científico: Bubo bubo IE

Descripción:  The largest European owl with warm brownish plumage, "ear" tufts and large orange eyes that make it unmistakeable. It is usually found on hillsides with Mediterranean woodland and rocky outcrops, but can travel long distances at night to feed. It has a varied diet including mice to even foxes, medium to large birds, including other raptors. It is present throughout the year.


Egyptian Vulture

Nombre Científico: Neophron percnopterus V

Descripción:  It is the smallest vulture. Its plumage is unmistakeable: white with a pale ochre stain and black primaries. The head is bald with bright yellow skin. It nests on cliffs, and will travel large distances searching for carrion. It is one of the very few tool-using birds, taking stones to break open ostrich eggs to get food. It is a summer visitor to Extremadura.


European Bee-eater

Nombre Científico: Merops apiaster IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a dove and the most colourful of all Spanish birds. Only red is missing from the plumage, but Nature places this in the colour of its eyes! It feeds on insects caught in the air during its acrobatic flight. It nests in large colonies in holes excavated with its bill in sandy banks, often close to rivers. They arrive in the spring to breed and leave in late August or early September.


European Nightjar

Nombre Científico: Caprimulgus europaeus IE

Descripción:  It is dove-sized but with larger wings and tail. The plumage is greyish-brown, mottled with buffish-yellow making it almost impossible to see on the ground, where it nests. It is an insectivorous bird, feeding at dusk and at night, taking its prey in flight with its enormous gape. It does not usually perch in trees, spending its time either in flight or on the ground. It is a summer breeding visitor to Extremadura.



Nombre Científico: Regulus ignicapillus IE

Descripción:  A tiny bird, probably the smallest in Extremadura, it has mossy green upperparts, whitish underparts, with a pale buff diffusion, and a bold white supercilium, bordered by black. The centre of the crown has an orange-yellow patch. It has a short, fine bill adapted to find insect larvae in the cracks of bark. It breeds in pinewoods and oak woods in the north of Extremadura, whereas in the winter they can also be seen at lower altitudes throughout the region.



Descripción:  The same size as Mallard, the male is grey with a brown back and black stern. The female is dull brown, similar to a Mallard, but with a white speculum instead of a metallic blue one. They occur on open and still water bodies, feeding on aquatic vegetation. They are resident in Extremadura.


Golden Eagle

Nombre Científico: Aquila Chrysaetos V

Descripción:  The largest European eagle, strongly built with dark brown plumage and a golden nape. It breeds on cliffs or in large trees and is resident in Extremadura. Its prey includes rabbits, pigeons, large lizards and even foxes.


Golden Oriole

Nombre Científico: Oriolus oriolus IE

Descripción:  A thrush-sized bird, the males have bright yellow plumage with black wings, whilst the females are duller with a more greenish tone. Its fluty song is very beautiful and betrays their presence in the trees. It is closely associated with deciduous woodland such as oak, poplar and ash. They feed on small grasshoppers, crickets and caterpillars, switching to fruit such as figs and blackberries by late summer. In Extremadura they are summer visitors.


Golden Plover

Nombre Científico: Pluvialis apricaria IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a partridge with brownish-yellow plumage in winter, short bill and stocky appearance. It only occurs in the winter, in large groups on fallow land and open plains, or muddy places. It feeds on small insects, snails, slugs and worms.



Nombre Científico: Carduelis carduelis

Descripción:  A very common finch, distinguished by its red face and white and black bands on the head. It has black wings with a bold yellow band, which is especially visible in flight. It has a very pleasing song which tempts people to capture it to keep in a cage. The conical bill allows access to thistle seeds, a particular preference for the species. It is present throughout the year.


Grasshopper Warbler

Nombre Científico: Locustella naevia IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a sparrow, with dark greenish-brown mottled plumage on the upperparts, with a more yellowish breast and whiter belly. It is associated with marshy vegetation and river valleys. It feeds on small invertebrates such as spiders and insects. In Extremadura it is present only on migration and is very hard to detect because of its camouflaged plumage and the dense vegetation in which it occurs.


Great Bittern

Nombre Científico: Botaurus stellaris EE

Descripción:  A large member of the heron family, with plumage which makes it very well camouflaged in marshy vegetation beside pools and lakes. Its scientific name is derived from its booming call which can sound a bit like the bellowing of a bull and can be heard from a great distance. It is very scarce in Extremadura, breeding has not yet been confirmed, but is likely to be before long. It feeds on fish and amphibians.


Great Bustard

Nombre Científico: Otis tarda SAH

Descripción:  A huge bird, the heaviest in Extremadura, with the size and appearance of a long-legged turkey, with a stout bluish-grey neck, brown back delicately vermiculated with orange stripes and white underparts. They occur on treeless plains and extensive arable land, rain-fed as well as irrigated. They feed on vegetable matter such as young plants, bulbs and seeds as well as large insects like grasshoppers and crickets. In Extremadura they are present throughout the year.


Great Cormorant

Nombre Científico: Phalacrocorax Carbo

Descripción:  Larger than a duck, the adults have black plumage which shows iridescent green and violet tones. It occurs on reservoirs and the larger slow-flowing rivers. They feed on fish, captured whilst diving and they can remain underwater for long periods. Lacking an uropygial gland (used by birds for waterproofing feathers), they are often seen perched on branches or on the bank with wings outstretched to dry their plumage.


Great Reed Warbler

Nombre Científico: Acrocephalus arundinaceus IE

Descripción:  The largest warbler in Spain, larger than a sparrow. It has greyish or olive brown upperparts and is paler below. Like the Reed Warbler, it occurs close to water where there is abundant vegetation. It has a powerful, somewhat peculiar croaking song which is far-carrying and enables detection of the bird. It is a summer visitor to Extremadura.


Great Spotted Cuckoo

Nombre Científico: Clamator glandarius IE

Descripción:  Larger than a cuckoo with its upperparts, wings and tail grey mottled with white. The belly is white and the throat and breast toned yellow. It has a small grey crest. It arrives in the spring and lays its eggs in Magpie nests, with the host then rearing the young. They can be frequently seen being chased by Magpies, making their loud ringing call.


Great Spotted Woodpecker

Nombre Científico: Dendrocopos major IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a Green Woodpecker with black upperparts with large white patches on the wings. The breast is pink with the belly and a nape patch (males only) intense red. It occurs in riverine forest, pinewoods, dense dehesa and other wooded areas. It eats insects living in trees and sometimes will predate the nests of small birds. Present throughout the year.


Great Tit

Nombre Científico: Parus major IE

Descripción:  Slightly smaller than a sparrow and rather slimmer. Despite is colourful plumage it can blend well into the foliage. It has a black head, with large white cheek patches. The underparts are bright yellow with a black stripe running down the centre of the belly, with bluish green upperparts. The short, fine bill is adapted for feeding on insects, although it will also feed on fruit and seeds. It has a large repertoire, able to sing up to 50 different songs. It is present throughout the year.


Great-crested Grebe

Nombre Científico: Podiceps critatus IE

Descripción:  A duck-sized diving bird which swims low in the water, showing only its back, neck and head. They have a characteristic crest and long chestnut-coloured feathers on both sides of the face, which get darker towards the tips. Like the Little Grebe, it builds a floating nest and will often carry its chicks on its back whilst swimming. They feed on small amphibians and young fish and are present in Extremadura throughout the year, being more numerous in the winter.


Green Sandpiper

Nombre Científico: Tringa ochropus IE

Descripción:  A small wader with dark brown upperparts and head, a finely-marked breast and a white belly. The bill is long and thin, adapted for catching invertebrates on the edges of the shallow water. Its legs are long and greyish green. As it moves it gently bobs its body and tail, as if balancing itself. It is a winter visitor, arriving in late summer and present until the spring.


Green Woodpecker

Nombre Científico: Picus viridis IE

Descripción:  Larger than a thrush with dull-green back, greenish-grey underparts and striking red crown. It occurs in dense woodland, cork oak groves and oak woods, including dehesas. The nest is excavated by the in the trunk of a tree. It eats insect larvae, extracted by its long tongue from holes made by the bill. Present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Carduelis chloris

Descripción:  Larger and stouter than a Goldfinch, with a stronger bill. It has bright green plumage with yellow patches on the wings and tail, the females are similar but duller. The strong bill is able to break hard seeds. They occur in woodland, dehesas and town gardens. It is common and present throughout the year in Extremadura.


Grey Heron

Nombre Científico: Ardea cinerea IE

Descripción:  Slightly smaller than a White Stork, with grey plumage, it flies with its neck retracted, separating it from a crane, with long legs and toes, well adapted for wading in water. It feeds alone in shallow water close to the bank on medium-sized fish. It will nest both in colonies with other herons or White Storks, as well as on its own.


Grey Lag Goose

Nombre Científico: Anser Anser

Descripción:  This migratory wild goose arrives in Extremadura at the start of the winter cold and leaves as temperatures rise in February. It is greyish-brown with orange-pink stout bill and legs. It can be seen on maize and rice stubble, reservoirs and lakes, feeding on bulbs, grain and young shoots.


Grey Wagtail

Nombre Científico: Motacilla cinerea IE

Descripción:  A strikingly plumaged bird, with upperparts, wings and tail ashy bluish grey and the underparts bright yellow, with a black throat in the male. This wagtail is closely associated with faster flowing water and is therefore commonest in northern Extremadura. It feeds on insects and other invertebrates that it captures whilst searching the water's edge. It occurs throughout the year in the breeding areas, whilst birds from further north are found throughout Extremadura during the winter.


Griffon Vulture

Nombre Científico: Gyps fulvus IE

Descripción:  Very large with a wingspan greater than two and a half metres. It has a long neck covered by whitish down which often becomes soiled because of its feeding habits. It has tawny brown plumage with primaries and tail somewhat darker. They nest on cliffs and they will fly many kilometres in search of carrion on which they feed. Their strong gastric juices protect them from infection by killing pathogenic bacteria or viruses which may have been responsible for the death of the animal concerned.


Gull-billed Tern

Nombre Científico: Gelochelindon nilotica SAH

Descripción:  A pigeon-sized bird, with long slender wings, with white plumage and crown, bill and legs black. It frequents reservoirs where there are islands without vegetation, such as Sierra Brava, Los Canchales and Orellana. It will eat mice, lizards, small birds or insects, sometimes far from water, in cereal crops. It occurs in Extremadura from mid-April until mid-September.



Nombre Científico: Coccothraustes coccothraustes IE

Descripción:  About twice the size of a Goldfinch, with a very powerful, heavy bill, dark brown back and bluish black wings and tail with a bold white wing bar and band on the tail. The underparts are buff. It occurs in wooded areas where there is undergrowth, feeding on different types of seed and fruits with hard casings. In Extremadura they are present throughout the year.


Hen Harrier

Nombre Científico: Circus cyaneus SAH


  Smaller than the Marsh Harrier. The male is pale grey and the female dark brown with buffish marked underparts. They can be found in open country. In Extremadura there a few breeding records in the Llanos de Cáceres, La Serena and Campiña Sur, but they are much more widespread in winter. They feed on small birds, rodents and insects captured in flight.



Nombre Científico: Falco subbuteo SAH

Descripción:  Kestrel-sized but with longer wings. Its upperparts are slaty grey, the underparts white with bold streaks and with bright reddish "thighs". The head has a distinctive bold dark moustache. It has a very rapid and aerobatic flight which allows it to hunt birds like swifts and swallows, although they will also hunt dragonflies and bats. In Extremadura they are summer visitors, arriving from their African wintering grounds towards the end of April.


Honey Buzzard

Nombre Científico: Pernis apivorus SAH

Descripción:  About the same size as the Common Buzzard and rather similar in plumage, and can be confused when seen flying. Its iris is a characteristic yellow and the bill has a distinctive shape, being rather longer and finer than Common Buzzard. They nest in trees in dense woodland, with a diet typically based on bees and wasps (the larvae, pupae and adults) and can be seeing carrying parts of wasps nest or honey combs in their talons. They also take reptiles and small birds. They breed in Extremadura and migrate across the Straits of Gibraltar in September.



Nombre Científico: Upupa epops IE

Descripción:  Slightly smaller than a dove, with a long slender curved bill and a large crest, that can be raised and flattened. The wings, tail and tips of the crest are black and white, whilst the rest of the body is buffy pink. It nests in holes in trees or walls and occurs in cultivated dehesas and spaces with few trees. It feeds exclusively on insects and spiders that it picks up with its bill on the ground. It is resident throughout the year.


House Martin

Nombre Científico: Delichon urbica IE

Descripción:  The most urban of the swallows. It nests under the eaves of buildings, often in colonies, building mud nests in the form of a closed cup with a small entrance hole. It has very dark back, wings and tail, with some bluish iridescence on the back, with a white rump and underparts. It feeds on insects generally taken on high altitude flight. It returns from Africa each spring to breed in Extremadura and leaves again in September.


House Sparrow

Nombre Científico: Passer domesticus

Descripción:  A bird closely associated with man since time immemorial. The males are brown, streaked with black on the back with a grey belly and black bib. The females are duller and more greyish-brown. They feed on insects in the spring whilst rearing young, and on fruit and seeds for the rest of the year. It is common in towns, seen on rooftops, parks and squares and in Extremadura is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Corvus monedula

Descripción:  Larger than a pigeon with black plumage and a grey neck with a pale eye. They tend to breed in large colonies in buildings like churches, towers and old large houses. They feed on insects, small reptiles, rodents and fruit. They are present throughout the year in Extremadura.



Nombre Científico: Garrulus glandarius IE

Descripción:  Wood Pigeon-sized bird, with chestnut-coloured body with beautiful blue feathers on the wings and a long blackish tail. It is strongly associated with woodland, where it is often seen in pairs, which mate for life. They feed on small reptiles, rodents and fruit, depending on the season. They can mimic many sounds, including the miaow of cats. They are present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Alcedo Atthis IE

Descripción:  Sparrow-sized, but more stocky with a short tail and a long strong bill. It has very striking plumage: brilliant blue wings, tail and back with the breast and belly an intense orange. It feeds exclusively on small fish and tadpoles captured whilst diving from a perch into water. It nests in a hole excavated in a riverbank. It is present throughout the year.


Lesser Black-backed Gull

Nombre Científico: Larus fuscus

Descripción:  A large gull with dark grey wings, white head and body. Its bill is yellow with a red spot on the lower mandible. It occurs on reservoirs, rubbish tips and arable land in large flocks, often displacing other birds. It feeds on fish, rodents, worms, insects and scraps from fishing boats or found at refuse dumps. It does not breed in Extremadura, but is very common in the winter.


Lesser Kestrel

Nombre Científico: Falco naunanni SAH

Descripción:  Smaller than the Common Kestrel. They tend to nest under roof tiles and in other holes in churches and other buildings, often in competition with Jackdaws, although they hunt over open country and arable land close to the towns and villages. They also hover as a hunting technique, but are more insectivorous than the Common Kestrel.


Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Nombre Científico: Dendrocopos minor V

Descripción:  The smallest of the woodpeckers in Extremadura, only about the size of a sparrow. Its plumage is black and white on the back, wings and tail, with the underparts whitish with a slight pinkish tinge with blackish streaks. The male has a red crown. It makes its nest in holes excavated by its bill in tree trunks. It feeds on insects in the timber and below the bark of braches. It is present throughout the year.


Little Bittern

Nombre Científico: Ixobrychus minutus SAH

Descripción:  A small, pigeon-sized heron, with long yellow legs and a long, fine, orange-yellow bill. It occurs beside lakes and slow-flowing rivers with abundant fringing vegetation, where it can occur unnoticed, only being detected when in flight from one side to another or by its call. It feeds on small aquatic animals. In Extremadura it is common spring and summer, with few records during the winter.


Little Bustard

Nombre Científico: Tetrax tetrax SAH

Descripción:  Somewhat bigger than a partridge, its plumage on the upperparts is light-brown with darker stripes, making it well camouflaged on ground with little vegetation, and white underparts, with long stout legs. The male has a characteristic black collar. In flight, a whistling sound is produced thanks to a flight feather being shorter than the others. It occurs on arable plains and tree-less steppes, feeding on seeds, tubers, small plants and, to a lesser extent, small invertebrates. It is present throughout the year in Extremadura.


Little Egret

Nombre Científico: Egretta garzetta IE

Descripción:  Somewhat bigger than a Cattle Egret with white plumage and black bill and legs. The feet are bright yellow as is the iris. They occur in wetlands with shallow edges where they feed alone on small fish, invertebrates and amphibians. They nest in waterside trees and occur throughout the year.


Little Grebe

Nombre Científico: Tachybaptus ruficollis IE

Descripción:  A small water bird which feeds on aquatic invertebrates by diving under water, where it can remain submerged for several minutes. It has two plumages: a winter plumage and brighter breeding plumage. Breeding takes place in pools and other water bodies, wherever there is floating vegetation. They also occur on reservoirs in the winter.


Little Owl

Nombre Científico: Athene noctua IE

Descripción:  A small owl, with greyish brown back, mottled white and a brown-barred pale belly. It lacks "ear" tufts and its eyes are large and yellow. It occurs in olive groves, open dehesas and arable land where it takes small prey items such as grasshoppers, crickets and small amphibians. It is present throughout the year, remaining close to its nesting area.


Little Ringed Plover

Nombre Científico: Charadrius dubius IE

Descripción:  A small bird with wings, tail and crown brown, white underparts, a dark collar, mask and fore-crown blackish, complete with a bright yellow eye-ring. It tends to run along the muddy banks of pools and small rivers searching for invertebrates. It is present throughout the year.


Little Tern

Nombre Científico: Sterna albifrons SAH

Descripción:  With its small body, very long wings and forked tail, this species is well adapted to fish from the air. It will be seen flying over water a few metres above the surface in search of small fish. It nests on the ground in small colonies on pebbly islands in lakes and reservoirs such as Alange and Los Canchales, usually until midsummer.


Long-eared Owl

Nombre Científico: Asio otus V

Descripción:  A medium-sized owl with large "ear" tufts and orange-yellow eyes. Its plumage of brown with buffish markings allows it to blend in perfectly with the trunks of large trees where it nests. It tends to use the old nests of Magpies or other crows in which to breed, in isolated Holm oak trees, riverine ash trees or tall pines close to cultivation. It feeds on voles and mice and sometimes also small birds. In winter, it will often roost socially in large numbers in tall trees.


Long-tailed Tit

Nombre Científico: Aegithalos caudatus IE

Descripción:  Its body is a tiny ball of pinkish feathers below and darker above, joined to a long tail of white-edged black feathers. It usually moves in family groups of between 8 to14 birds in woodland where there is ample undergrowth. It has a tiny, fine but strong bill, adapted for finding insects hidden in cervices in bark or on buds. It is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Pica pica

Descripción:  Larger than the Azure-winged Magpie, with a long tail and short, rounded wings. Its plumage appears black and white, but at close range one can see that the black plumage is in fact a beautiful iridescent violet-green. It has a very varied diet, from mice, lizards and carrion, to fruits and the eggs of other birds. It occurs in dehesas, woodland in valleys, parks and roadside trees. It is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Anas Platyrhynchos

Descripción:  The commonest of all the wild ducks that occur in Extremadura and indeed will sometimes become tame and mix with domestic ducks in parks and gardens. The male has a dark iridescent bottle-green head, chocolate brown breast and brownish-grey back. It can be found on almost any water body, as well as irrigated cereals. In winter, the population increases with migrants from colder areas in the north.


Marsh Harrier

Nombre Científico: Circus aeroginosus SAH

Descripción:  Like other harriers, it has long wings and tail and very long legs. It frequents wetlands, rice-fields and arable land close to marshy vegetation. It is a ground-nester and is the largest of the Spanish harriers, feeding mainly on birds like Moorhen, ducks, water voles and even fish. It is a resident species and its population is growing.


Meadow Pipit

Nombre Científico: Anthus pratensis IE

Descripción:  Sparrow-sized with a short, fine bill, brown plumage marked with darker streaks on the back with dark streaks on a white background on the breast. It is usually seen on irrigated cultivated land, meadows and open country. It is quite unobtrusive, feeding quietly on small insects, grubs and spiders, captured on the ground. It is a winter visitor.


Melodious Warbler

Nombre Científico: Hippolais polyglotta IE

Descripción:  A slim, graceful bird with subdued plumage of greyish and brownish tones above and greenish yellow below. It occurs in river valleys, hedgerows, allotments, generally in moister areas with dense vegetation. It has a melodious song, which can contain some mimicry. It feeds on small invertebrates such as insects, spiders and caterpillars. It is present in Extremadura from spring to the end of summer.



Nombre Científico: Falco columbarius IE

Descripción:  This is the smallest of the falcons found in Extremadura, the size of a dove. The male is bluish grey above with darker wings and tail, with the underparts rather orangey mottled with brown. They feed on small birds, hunting in open country. They are winter visitors to Extremadura.


Mistle Thrush

Nombre Científico: Turdus viscivorus

Descripción:  Larger than a Song Thrush, with duller upperparts and lacking the yellowish tones on the breast. It has bolder and more rounded dark spots on the underparts. It can be found in oak, cork oak, pine and chestnut woods as well as dehesas. It is rather shy but delivers a beautiful song on spring afternoons, particularly after storms. It feeds on snails, as well as worms and insects. It is present throughout the year.


Montagu's Harrier

Nombre Científico: Circus pygargus SAH

Descripción:  Smaller than the Hen Harrier, but similar in appearance. The male has dark barring on the wing. They breed in cereal fields and farmers have an important role in their conservation in Extremadura. They feed on rodents, small lizards and small birds which are surprised by their low flight. They are only present in Extremadura in the breeding season, leaving in August for Africa.



Nombre Científico: Gallinula chloropus

Descripción:  Partridge-sized, appearing almost black at a distance, but actually the plumage is very dark blue, becoming dark brownish on the back, with a bright red bill and shield. The long legs and toes are an intense green with a reddish garter at the top of the thigh. They swim in slow-flowing water where there is plenty of vegetation, although they also can be found in rice fields. They are present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Luscinia megarhynchos IE

Descripción:  Sparrow-sized, with brown upperparts, head and wings, whilst the tail is rufous-brown and the underparts paler. It is found in thick vegetation, with its plumage making it rather unobtrusive, so its makes it presence known by its loud and striking song. Possible the song is the most beautiful of all European songbirds and is often heard at night. It feeds mainly on insects and in the autumn also on small fruit and berries. It breeds in Extremadura, spending the winter in sub-Saharan Africa.



Nombre Científico: Accipiter gentilis IE

Descripción:  Similar in appearance to the Sparrowhawk but larger and more heavily-built with stronger legs. It is a medium-sized raptor associated with forests where it can hunt prey from the size of sparrows to that of hares, taking prey both from the ground as well as in the air. They nest in trees in mature forest and are present throughout the year.


Northern Lapwing

Nombre Científico: Vanellus vanellus

Descripción:  A partridge-sized bid with a prominent crest. Its back and wings are dark, almost black, but in sunlight show an iridescent green and violet. The belly is white. It is seen running in open-country, especially in muddier places, looking for grubs, worms and slugs. It is most commonly seen in winter, but in recent years a few pairs have started nesting in wetland areas in Extremadura.


Northern Wheatear

Nombre Científico: Oenante oenante IE

Descripción:  A small, graceful and elegant bird which appears in a variety of plumages, depending on whether it is a breeding or non-breeding male or female. Generally the male has a grey back, darker wings with a black mask, buff throat and white belly with the characteristic inverted black "T" against white background on the tail, visible in flight. It is found in open mountainous areas, with scrub and stony areas, where it feeds on insects taken on the ground or on short aerial sallies. In Extremadura it nests on the high altitudes in the north, whereas on passage it can be found almost anywhere.



Nombre Científico: Sitta europaea IE

Descripción:  Slightly larger than a sparrow, with a short tail and a strong, hatchet-shaped bill. It has a blue back and orangey underparts. It can be seen climbing and descending tree trunks, head up or head down, in search of invertebrates. They nest in holes, usually reducing the diameter of the entrance with mud to protect it better. It is present throughout the year in Extremadura, favouring mature woodland.



Nombre Científico: Pandion Haliaetus V

Descripción:  A medium-sized bird of prey which specialises in catching fish. It has particularly coarse scales on its feet to improve its grip of slippery prey. It has dark brown plumage on the upperparts with a dark mask and yellow eyes and is white below. It does not breed in Extremadura, occurring on passage and wintering in extensive wetlands, large rivers and reservoirs.


Penduline Tit

Nombre Científico: Remiz pendulinus IE

Descripción:  Similar to a Goldfinch in size, with grey head and a bold black mask, with reddish brown back and pale pinkish-orange underparts. It occurs beside brooks and rivers with abundant marshy vegetation throughout the Guadiana floodplain as well as at Arrocampo, feeding mainly on Typha (reed mace) seed heads, often hanging upside down to collect the seeds. It is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Falco peregrinus SAH

Descripción:  A medium-sized bird of prey with slaty grey upperparts, a dark moustache and white underparts barred with dark grey. It is the fastest of all birds, able to reach 300 kph in a stoop. It nests on cliffs and will chase off other raptors from the vicinity. For hunting they choose open country, taking pigeon-sized birds, but sometimes even Little Bustards and ducks. They tend to stay close to their breeding sites throughout the year, although northern birds also arrive in Extremadura to spend the winter.


Pied Flycatcher

Nombre Científico: Ficedula hypoleuca IE

Descripción:  A plump bird, with a fine bill and almost continuous flicking of the tail. In the breeding season the males is black on the head, wings, tail and back with a white wing marking, white underparts and forehead. During the rest of the year, the male adopts a female-type plumage, with the black being replaced by brown. They breed in woodland above 1000 metres above sea-level on the slopes of the Gredos mountains, but during passage they can occur almost everywhere. They feed on insects captured on the ground or on aerial sallies from exposed perches.


Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

Nombre Científico: Pterocles alchata SAH

Descripción:  Pigeon-sized with buffish upperparts, with blackish marks, white belly and a "half-moon" of orange-yellow on the breast. It occurs on the steppes and in arable land, where it nests on the ground, with cryptically marked eggs, It feeds almost exclusively on seed and other plant matter.



Nombre Científico: Anas Acuta

Descripción:  The same size as Mallard and Gadwall, the male is perhaps the most elegant of all ducks with its bluish bill and long tail. The plumage shows a variety of grey tones, white and black, as well as creamy patches. Its speculum is metallic violet. It feeds on aquatic vegetation and small invertebrates. It is a winter visitor.



Nombre Científico: Aythya ferina IE


  A diving duck with a grey body, black breast and tail, and males show a chocolate- brown head, with an intense red iris. The female, as with almost all ducks, is duller in plumage. They prefer water bodies with abundant bank-side vegetation, feeding on invertebrates captured whilst diving. In Extremadura they only breed in the La Albuera lakes, the Llanos de Cáceres and the Vegas Altas of the Guadiana river. They are much more widespread in winter.


Purple Heron

Nombre Científico: Ardea purpurea SAH

Descripción:  Slightly smaller than the Grey Heron with a more slender and longer striped neck, which helps to camouflage it well in reed beds, where it is detected only if it moves. It requires well-vegetated banks where it feeds on small or medium-sized fish. It breeds in the Guadiana floodplain and in Arrocampo, migrating in the autumn.


Purple Swamphen

Nombre Científico: Porphyrio porphyrio SAH

Descripción:  Larger than a partridge, with intense dark blue plumage with brilliant iridescence and legs, bill and shield bright red. They are associated with large water bodies with abundant marshy vegetation on the banks and water lilies. They feed mainly on aquatic vegetation but can also take small animals. They only breed at Arrocampo, but are also seen in the Guadiana floodplain.



Nombre Científico: Corvus corax

Descripción:  Very large with black plumage, which at close quarters has iridescent patches of metallic blue. The Raven is an aerial acrobat, often flying as if for pleasure and making complicated tumbles and pirouettes in mid-flight. It is found in rocky areas, dehesas, oak woods and open country with the occasional scattered large tree, sometimes even nesting on electricity pylons. They feed on small animals, fruit and carrion. They pair for life and can be long-lived, reaching more than 40 years. They are present throughout the year in Extremadura.


Red Kite

Nombre Científico: Milvus milvus V

Descripción:  Medium-sized bird of prey with long rusty-coloured wings and tail, pale head and yellow iris. Its buoyant flight gives it its name "kite". In Extremadura, the Red Kite is present all year round, nesting in dense woodland. The breeding population is declining, but is augmented in the winter by visitors from central Europe. It feeds mainly on carrion but sometimes also on rodents and small birds.


Red-crested Pochard

Nombre Científico: Netta rufián V

Descripción:  The male is very attractive with a large rounded, brownish head, flushed orange on the crown, with an intense pink bill and eyes. The breast and stern are black, the back brownish grey and flanks white. It is a diving duck feeding on aquatic vegetation in unpolluted water. It breeds on a few wetlands in Extremadura such as the Orellana, Portaje and Morantes, although in winter is rather more widespread.


Red-legged Partridge

Nombre Científico: Alectoris rufa

Descripción:  A game bird with very attractive plumage and with a characteristic call, forming a key part of the food chain in the ecosystem of Extremadura. It occurs in cultivated land, open country with scattered trees, nesting on the ground in shrubby borders or low scrub close to cereal fields. They prefer to walk than fly, only taking to the wing when flushed. They feed on seeds, young shoots and insects (the latter being important for the chicks which leave the nest upon hatching).


Red-necked Nightjar

Nombre Científico: Caprimulgus ruficollis IE

Descripción:  About the same size as the European Nightjar, but with a more reddish tone to the plumage to the belly and neck. Many nightjars are killed on the road when they are resting on the surface. It is a summer breeding visitor to Extremadura.


Red-rumped Swallow

Nombre Científico: Hirundo daurica IE

Descripción:  Similar to a Barn Swallow but with underparts, neck and rump an orange-buff. It is less common than the Barn Swallow and nests under bridges, in buildings and overhangs making a mud nest with a long tubular entrance. It feeds on insects captured in its acrobatic flight. It is a summer breeding visitor to Extremadura.


Reed Warbler

Nombre Científico: Acrocephalus scirpaceus IE

Descripción:  A rather non-descript bird but with an attractive song. It occurs along rivers and creeks with abundant vegetation, where it virtually disappears, only making its presence known to other Reed Warblers with its loud song. In Extremadura it is a summer visitor and breeds mainly in the floodplains of the Guadiana.



Nombre Científico: Erithacus rubecula IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a sparrow, with brown back and an orange red breast. It moves on the ground in short hops and its jerky actions show off well its orange breast. It is mainly insectivorous, but will also eat small seeds and fruit. In winter it is common throughout Extremadura, but breeds only in the northern third of Extremadura, including Monfragúe, Canchos de Ramiro and in the southern third.



Nombre Científico: Emberiza cirlus IE

Descripción:  Similar in size to a sparrow, it has reddish brown upperparts, mottled with black, a reddish buff belly and grey head and breast, with three black stripes across the head. It is found on rocky, scrubby hillsides with scattered trees. It feeds on seeds, shoots and, to a lesser extent, insects. In Extremadura it is present throughout the year and is common in suitable habitat.



Nombre Científico: Coracias garrulus V

Descripción:  A pigeon-sized bird with an intense blue body of various tones and a warm brownish back. It occurs in open areas with few trees, using holes in walls, old buildings and, if available, artificial nest boxes. They feed on crickets, grasshoppers and to a lesser extent lizards and amphibians. This is a summer visitor to Extremadura, present in the spring and summer only.



Nombre Científico: Philomachus pugnax IE

Descripción:  Partridge-sized with a rounded body and long legs and bill. During winter, its plumage is greyish with dark markings on the back and pale below. It occurs in wetlands and the sides of reservoirs, feeding on aquatic invertebrates. They are winter visitors.


Rufous Bush Robin

Nombre Científico: Cercotrichas galactotes V

Descripción:  Similar in size to a sparrow, with rufous-brown plumage and an orange-toned tail, which is usually cocked. It can be found in olive groves, vineyards, almond or fig orchards. It feeds mainly on insects, but also takes spiders, worms and caterpillars. It arrives at the end of April and having raised its brood, will return to Africa at the end of August or early September.


Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush

Nombre Científico: Monticola saxatilis V

Descripción:  Thrush-sized with very vivid colours, a brilliant blue head and back, orange underparts and tail, brown wings with a white patch in the middle of the back. It is found on high altitude rocky areas, where its mossy nest is built in crevices. It feeds on a variety of small animals from caterpillars to small salamanders, found amongst the stones. It is present only in spring and summer


Sand Martin

Nombre Científico: Riparia riparia SAH

Descripción:  The smallest member of the swallow family, nesting in large colonies in sandy river banks. Its back, wings and tail are dull brown with white underparts apart from a brown breast band. It feeds exclusively on flying insects, captured in the air. It is a summer visitor to Extremadura.


Sardinian Warbler

Nombre Científico: Sylvia melanocephala IE

Descripción:  Grey plumage, darker on the back and tail. The male has a black head with a striking red eye-ring and a whitish throat. The female is duller, with a grey head and brown back. It occurs in scrubby areas, brambles, gardens and hedgerows. It feeds mainly on insects, supplemented by berries and small fruit. It is present throughout the year in Extremadura.


Scops Owl

Nombre Científico: Otus scops IE

Descripción:  The smallest Iberian owl, smaller than a dove. It is greyish brown and blackish mottling, making it almost impossible to see against the trunks of trees. It is mainly a forest species, but can also be found in large urban parks. It eats almost exclusively insects such as crickets, mole crickets, moths and dragonflies. It arrives in spring to breed, leaving Extremadura in mid-September.


Short-eared Owl

Nombre Científico: Asio fammeus IE

Descripción:  A medium-sized owl with deep yellow eyes, a dark-rimmed facial mask and small "ear" tufts. Its brownish-buff upperparts and buff mottled with brown underparts can make it difficult to see on fallow ground. It nests on the ground in cereals or in marshy vegetation. It feeds on voles or mice, sometimes hunting together with harriers. In Extremadura it is usually seen in the winter, although a few breeding records exist.


Short-toed Eagle

Nombre Científico: Circaetus gallicus IE

Descripción:  A large raptor, with a particularly large head and frontal vision which gives it an almost owl-like appearance. Its plumage is brown above with white underparts, finely marked with brown. Its large eyes are yellow or orange, able to locate snakes or lizards on which they feed. They return to Extremadura each spring from their wintering grounds in Africa, raising just one young. They nest in trees in forested areas, but prefer to hunt over open ground.


Short-toed Treecreeper

Nombre Científico: Certhia brachydactyla IE

Descripción:  A tiny bird with a long, fine decurved bill and stiff tail. It climbs up tree trunks to small boughs in a spiral route. It can often go unnoticed because of its mottled brown plumage which has the same tone as the bark. It feeds on tiny insects, larvae and mites hidden under the bark, using its extraordinary bill to probe. It occurs in generally dense woodland in Extremadura and is present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Anas clypeata

Descripción:  A duck with a characteristic shovel-shaped bill, the male's plumage is very striking, with green head, black and white back and brown belly. The female is brownish, similar in tone to other female ducks. It is associated with large water bodies and has bred only in the Orellana, Valdecañas and Vuluengo reservoirs, as well as the La Albuera lakes. However it is a very common winter visitor to wetlands throughout Extremadura. It feeds on aquatic vegetation and invertebrates, filtered with its bill.



Nombre Científico: Alauda arvensis IE

Descripción:  Sparrow-sized with pale brown plumage that matches well the colour of the earth. It has a short crest that can be raised or flattened depending on its behaviour. It nests on the ground in open country. It has a very melodic song. It feeds on small insects, seeds and other vegetable matter. It is present throughout the year but much more common in winter.


Song Thrush

Nombre Científico: Turdus philomelos

Descripción:  A stocky bird with a warm brown back, buffy yellow breast and whitish belly, boldly speckled. It occurs in wooded areas, chestnut groves, oak woods, gallery forest and can often be heard giving its fluty song. It feeds on snails, slugs, grubs and worms. In Extremadura it breeds in only a few places, but is very common and widespread in winter.


Southern Grey Shrike

Nombre Científico: Lanius excubitor IE

Descripción:  Thrush-sized with a long tail, grey head and back, with black and white wings and tail, black mask and rosy-flushed breast. It has a large, powerful, hooked bill able to catch small birds, lizards and mice. It imitates many calls in order to attract prey which it sometimes subsequently hoards on thorny branches. It is present all year round. In the Middle Ages it was used in falconry for hawking in the large halls of castles and palaces.


Spanish Imperial Eagle

Nombre Científico: Aquila adalberti EE

Descripción:  Unique to the Iberian peninsular, it is one of the world's scarcest raptors. It is slightly smaller than the Golden Eagle, and can be distinguished by its white shoulders and nape. It breeds in large trees in Mediterranean woodland, feeding on rabbits, pigeons and partridges. It does not migrate, although young birds disperse widely in search of territories in which to settle.



Nombre Científico: Accipiter nisus IE

Descripción:  A small forest raptor with short rounded wings and long tail. This shape allows it to hunt in dense woodland, manoeuvring between trees. Its diet is based almost exclusively on small birds captured in flight. They nest in trees with ample undergrowth and in winter migrate to Africa, although Sparrowhawks from Central Europe occur in Extremadura during the winter.



Nombre Científico: Platalea leucorodia V

Descripción:  Smaller than a stork, with white plumage and blackish bill and legs. Its bill is distinctively-shaped, giving the bird its name, being narrow for much of its length and wider and rounded at its tip. Thanks to this extraordinary shape, the Spoonbill can feed along the muddy banks of pools and reservoirs. It nests in colonies in large trees along with other herons and storks.


Squacco Heron

Nombre Científico: Ardeola ralloides EE

Descripción:  Similar in size to a Cattle Egret with white wings and breast, and a buff-coloured back. Long lax feathers from the neck are striped black and white. They occur in wetlands with abundant vegetation where they feed on aquatic invertebartes, small fish and amphibians, always on their own. Breeding occurs in the Montijo reservoir and at Arrocampo. They can sometimes been seen in the floodplains of the Guadiana.


Stone Curlew

Nombre Científico: Burhinus oedicnemus V

Descripción:  The size of a large pigeon with bill, iris and legs bright yellow. The plumage is wonderfully cryptic, camouflaging well into the surroundings. It is found on extensive arable land and open plains. Its fluty call is heard at dusk and dawn. It feeds on beetles, crickets, grasshoppers and slugs.



Nombre Científico: Saxicola torquata IE

Descripción:  Smaller than a sparrow, with brown mottled plumage on the back, orange breast and large white patches on the side of the neck. It is very common along tracks, open dehesas, and clumps of trees and bushes. It perches on bare twigs to wait for small insects on which it feeds. It is present throughout the year in Extremadura.


Tawny Owl

Nombre Científico: Strix aluco IE

Descripción:  A nocturnal medium-sized owl with brownish or greyish plumage with buffy patches and whitish markings which makes it hard to see against the trunk of a tree. It is found in forests, wooded valleys and town parks. It feeds mainly on mice, but will also take small birds and insects. It is present throughout the year and its hoot can be heard at great distance at nightfall.



Nombre Científico: Anas crecca

Descripción:  The smallest duck that occurs in Extremadura and one of the most attractive. Like other dabbling ducks it is common on reservoirs, lakes and dams. It feeds on vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. It has a very agile flight with rapid wing beats. It is abundant in winter. but does not breed in Extremadura, although some birds stay well into the spring.


Turtle Dove

Nombre Científico: Streptopelia turtur

Descripción:  A small pigeon with a rosy grey body and buffy wings with black markings. Previously much more common than nowadays, being much harder to find in places where it used to be common. It occurs in cultivated land, dehesas and valleys. Its preferred diet is sunflower seeds or cereals. It arrives in the spring to breed, making a thin platform nest of twigs in the fork of a branch where it lays two eggs.


Water Rail

Nombre Científico: Rallus aquaticus IE

Descripción:  A partridge-sized water bird related to the Moorhen. Its back is brown, mottled with black with metallic dark blue underparts. It has a long red bill and its legs are long with slender toes adapted for moving in aquatic vegetation. It occurs in wetlands with abundant vegetation, as well as rice fields, ditches and drains filled with marsh plants. They feed on aquatic invertebrates, amphibians and small mammals. They are resident throughout the year.


Western Orphean Warbler

Nombre Científico: Sylvia hortensis IE

Descripción:  The largest Sylvia warbler in Extremadura, it has greyish plumage with a blackish mask, dark grey crown and striking pale eye. It prefers Holm oak dehesas and open woodland at lower altitudes, where it can be difficult to see but easy to detect by its song. It feeds on insects in spring and small berries and fruits in the autumn. It breeds in Extremadura, leaving in mid-September to spend the winter in Africa.



Nombre Científico: Saxicola rubetra IE

Descripción:  Similar in size to a Stonechat, with a rather stocky stance and nervous movements. Its back and head is mottled brown, it has a buff breast and whitish belly. It has a whitish supercilium. It feeds on small insects taken close to its perch. In Extremadura it is a passage bird seen on its way from and to Africa.


Whiskered Tern

Nombre Científico: Chlidonias hybridus SAH

Descripción:  It has a body smaller than a dove, but with very long wings, generally pale grey plumage with black cap and red bill and legs. It feeds on insects and other aquatic invertebrates that are captured in flight. Often they hunt in small groups of up to five birds. They build floating nests in wetlands. They are present in Extremadura in spring and summer.


White Stork

Nombre Científico: Ciconia ciconia IE

Descripción:  A large bird with white plumage with black-tipped wings and bright red bill and legs. It is widespread, occurring in dehesas, wetlands and pastures, nesting on almost any tall building such as churches, large houses, as well as pylons, masts and tall trees. Its diet is varied including fish, snakes, amphibians, rodents and grasshoppers. Although they used to migrate to Africa in the winter, each year more and more have become resident in Extremadura.


White Wagtail

Nombre Científico: Motacilla alba IE

Descripción:  Sparrow-sized with black and white plumage, along with intermediate grey tones. It has a very long tail which it wags up and down to balance as it walks. It occurs along river banks, the edges of reservoirs and in arable land. It feeds on small insects, grubs and spiders that it collects mainly from the ground. It is present throughout the year, but is more abundant in the winter. In recent years it has started to form large roosts in city centres.


White-rumped Swift

Nombre Científico: Apus cafer V

Descripción:  Smaller than a Common Swift, dark in colour with a white bar across the rump and also with a white throat. They usually nest in the abandoned nests of Red-rumped Swallow or House Martin. They are very scarce in Extremadura and are one of the latest summer migrants to arrive, in the second half of May. There appears to be two return migrations: some leaving in August and others towards the end of October.



Nombre Científico: Anas Penélope

Descripción:  A very attractive wintering duck. The male has a characteristic whistling call and is distinguished by its chocolate brown head with a creamy match from the bill over the crown to the nape. The breast is pinkish and the rest of the body is greyish with a white and black stern. The female is duller in tone. Both sexes have grey bills with black tips. They occur on reservoirs and lakes.


Willow Warbler

Nombre Científico: Phylloscopus trochilus IE

Descripción:  Very small, not more than half the size of a sparrow. It has yellowish green plumage on the upperparts and is paler below, It occurs in gardens, valleys, hedgerows and dehesas. It feeds exclusively on small insects and helps to prevent pest infestations in orchards and gardens. It does not breed in Extremadura and is common on passage.


Woodchat Shrike

Nombre Científico: Lanius senator IE

Descripción:  A shrike with black and white plumage with a chestnut crown. It has a characteristic large, hooked bill, adapted for capturing prey. It occurs in dehesas, woodland and valleys hunting for grasshoppers, small lizards and birds. It sometimes uses thorny branches or barbed wire to impale its prey as a form of storage. It can also imitate birds to attract them close in order to attack them. It is a summer visitor.



Nombre Científico: Scolopax rusticola

Descripción:  Its body is the size of a Wood Pigeon with a very long bill and short tail. Its plumage is a cryptic mixture of brown and buff tones that provide a perfect camouflage against dry leaves or grasses. It is very hard to see as it will crouch close to the ground and only fly when one is almost stepping on it. It is a winter visitor, preferring damp woodland to open spaces. With its long bill it finds worms, grubs, slugs and small insects in the soil.



Nombre Científico: Lulula arborea IE

Descripción:  Sparrow-sized with warm brown plumage on the back and pale buff below. It is the most woodland-loving of the larks, occurring in dehesas and clearings. Its song is unmistakeable, very melodic and commonly heard in the spring. It nests on the ground and feeds on plant matter and small insects. It occurs throughout the year in Extremadura.



Nombre Científico: Troglodites troglodites IE

Descripción:  A tiny mottled brown bird, with paler underparts. It usually moves swiftly and restlessly with its tail cocked. It is found in woods, especially in rocky areas. It is quite difficult to see, but has a powerful and loud song that carries a long distance. It is widespread and present throughout the year.



Nombre Científico: Jynx torquilla IE

Descripción:  Thrush-sized with brownish-grey plumage mottled with black which matches well with the bark of tree trunks. Its name comes from its defensive habit of moving its head from one side to another, in a snake-like fashion to alarm potential attackers. It occurs in valleys and orchards, dehesas and other woodland but it is difficult to detect. It is wholly insectivorous and is recorded in Extremadura throughout the year.


Yellow Wagtail

Nombre Científico: Motacilla flava IE

Descripción:  Very attractive plumage with olive yellow back and bright yellow underparts and a striking blue grey head. It occurs in wetter areas, irrigated land and river banks. It feeds on small insects and spiders captured close to the water's edge. It is usually seen on migration, although a few pairs do breed in Extremadura.


Zitting Cisticola

Nombre Científico: Cisticola juncidis IE

Descripción:  A very small warbler, one of the lightest birds in Spain. It has sandy-brown plumage with dark streaking, with paler plain underparts. It is found in marshy areas, in arable crops, irrigated areas and the edges of streams and rivers. It feeds on small insects, spiders and other invertebrates. It has a characteristic undulating song flight, with a "zit" note delivered on each ascent. It is present throughout the year.