Extremadura Bird Guide

If you are looking for a Extremadura bird guide (person), in this article you can find some key information. If you are looking for a Extremadura bird guide (in paper), here you can also find some valuable information. On the one hand, although this website is not an atlas or a bird guide, I try to give some tips to differentiate the most similar species. On the other hand, the option of hiring a bird guide in Extremadura can be very interesting. A guide knows the terrain in detail and will help you find the species you are looking for.

How to learn to identify the birds of Extremadura?

Rapaces de ExtremaduraIf we go to an area that we do not frequent or if we are just starting out in birdwatching, it is likely that we will have some difficulty in identifying birds. My recommendation is to buy a paper atlas or bird guide. It is very important that you invest time in familiarising yourself with the different species.

Birdwatching in their natural habitat is essential and we will have to spend many hours to be able to identify them with a certain accuracy… However, as difficult as it may seem, as the days go by and the hours accumulated, it will become easier and easier to do so. Simply by the position of the wings, the habitat in which they are found, the time of day, the season of the year… All this will give us clues as to which bird we are dealing with.

What are the best bird guides?

There are many very complete guides. I would recommend Aves de España by Eduardo de Juana and J. Valera and Svensson’s Guía de Aves de España, Europa y región mediterránea. However, there is a lot of high quality material on the market. They are guides to the birds of Extremadura and the whole peninsula, in fact the latter includes birds from all over Europe. I think it is important to take the time to look through the guide, read the information about each bird and of course look at the pictures and illustrations. It is always going to be much easier to identify a bird on paper than in the field…. But if we are not able to identify it from a photo, we will hardly be able to do so in reality.

On the other hand, there are several useful websites and APPs. The website of SEO Birdlife of course it is key but there are also more recent websites that can help you a lot like EBIRD.

I recommend always going to the field with either a paper or digital guidebook and every time you make a sighting and think you have identified a species, corroborate it with the guidebook. At first it can be a bit cumbersome but there will come a time when we will not need the guidebook. We will know “by heart” 95% of the birds we see on each outing.

Why hire a Extremadura bird guide?

Extremadura bird guide
Watching a group of black storks

When you have a limited amount of time to visit a particular area, you always want to make the most of it. Hiring a guide will always help you to make the most of this time, investing it in the most productive areas. They will also be able to show you spots that you would never discover on your own and, above all, know which are the best places to visit at any given moment.

For example, there may be an extraordinary area to see waterfowl in winter but not in spring. Many birds are migratory and if we do not know the seasonality of their movements we can waste our time looking for them. And of course, there are some very elusive birds that, without the help of a guide, would be very, very difficult to locate. All this is coming from a person who loves to investigate, to discover new areas by himself. I spend hours looking at google maps, searching for paths and trails to reach certain areas…

Extremadura bird guide
Black storks in the nest

Googling will always help us, but there is a lot of information, a lot of experiences, a lot of knowledge that we will never be able to find in google. This website focuses on the fauna of Extremadura, so if you need help, please do not hesitate to contact Birding in Extremadura and they will be delighted to help you. On this website you can also find an article with the best areas for birdwatching in Extremadura. I hope this article will serve you as a birding guide and that you will enter this exciting world. Once you get in, there is no way out…

Extremadura bird guide

In the last few years we have been able to observe birds in Extremadura on a regular basis that were not observed years ago. It is difficult to find them in many of today’s guidebooks. For this reason we have decided to make available to you this completely updated list with all the birds that we can observe in Extremadura today. If you click on each one you will find images and a brief description.


Spanish name (link) Latin name English name
Abejaruco Común
 Merops apiaster European Bee-eater
Abejero europeo
 Pernis apivorus European honey buzzard
 Upupa epops Hoopoe
Acentor Alpino
 Prunella collaris Alpine Accentor
Acentor Común
 Prunella modularis Dunnock
Agachadiza Chica
 Lymnocryptes minimus Jack Snipe
Agachadiza Común
 Gallinago gallinago Common snipe
Agateador Común
 Certhia brachydactyla Short-toed Treecreeper
Águila Culebrera Europea
 Circaetus gallicus Short-toed Eagle
Águila Imperial Ibérica
 Aquila adalberti Spanish Imperial Eagle
Águila Pescadora
 Pandion haliaetus Osprey
Águila Real
 Aquila chrysaetos Golden Eagle
Águila-azor Perdicera
 Hieraaetus fasciatus Bonellis Eagle
Aguililla Calzada
 Hieraaetus pennatus Booted Eagle
Aguilucho Cenizo
 Circus pygargus Montagus Harrier
Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental
 Circus aeruginosus Marsh Harrier
Aguilucho Pálido
 Circus cyaneus Hen Harrier
Aguilucho Papialbo
 Circus macrourus Pallid harrier
Aguja Colinegra
 Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit
Alcaraván Común
 Burhinus oedicnemus Stone-curlew
Alcaudón Común
Lanius senator Woodchat Shrike
Alcaudón Dorsirrojo
 Lanius collurio Red-backed Shrike
Alcaudón Meridional
 Lanius meridionalis Iberian Grey Shrike
Alcotán Europeo
 Falco subbuteo Hobby
Alimoche Común
 Neophron percnopterus Egyptian Vulture
Alondra Común
 Alauda arvensis Sky Lark
Alzacola Rojizo
 Cercotrichas galactotes Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin
Anade Friso
 Mareca strepera Gadwall
Anade Rabudo
 Anas acuta Northern pintail
Anade Real
 Anas platyrhynchos Mallard
Andarríos Bastardo
 Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper
Andarríos Chico
 Actitis hypoleucosCommon Sandpiper
Andarríos Grande
 Tringa ochropus Green Sandpiper
Ánsar Comun
 Anser anser Greylag Goose
Archibebe Claro
 Tringa nebularia Greenshank
Archibebe Común
 Tringa totanus Common Redshank
Archibebe Fino
 Tringa stagnatilis Marsh Sandpiper
Archibebe Oscuro
 Tringa erythropus Spotted Redshank
 Garrulus glandarius Eurasian Jay
Autillo Europeo
 Otus scops Scops Owl
Avefría europea
 Vanellus vanellus Peewit
Avetorillo Común
 Ixobrychus minutus Little Bittern
Avetoro Común
 Botaurus stellaris Great Bittern
Avión Común
 Delichon urbicum House Martin
Avión Roquero
 Ptyonoprogne rupestris Crag Martin
Avión Zapador
 Riparia riparia Sand Martin
Avoceta Común
 Recurvirostra avosetta Avocet
Avutarda Común
 Otis tarda Great Bustard
Azor Común
 Accipiter gentilis Northern Goshawk
 Scolopax rusticola Eurasian woodcock
Bengali rojo
 Amandava amandava Red avadavat
 Panurus biarmicus Bearded Tit
Bisbita Alpino
 Anthus spinoletta Water Pipit
Bisbita Arbóreo
 Anthus trivialis Tree Pipit
Bisbita Campestre
 Anthus campestris Tawny Pipit
Bisbita Pratense
 Anthus pratensis Meadow Pipit
Búho Campestre
 Asio flammeus Short-eared Owl
Búho Chico
 Asio otus Long-eared Owl
Búho Real
 Bubo bubo Eagle Owl
Buitre Leonado
 Gyps fulvus Griffon Vulture
Buitre Negro
 Aegypius monachus Monk Vulture
 Cisticola juncidis Zitting Cisticola
Busardo Ratonero
 Buteo buteo Common Buzzard
Buscarla Pintoja
 Locustella naevia Grasshopper Warbler
Buscarla Unicolor
 Locustella luscinioides Savi’s Warbler
Calamón Común
 Porphyrio porphyrio Purple Swamp-hen
Calandria Común
 Melanocorypha calandra Calandra Lark
Camachuelo Común
 Pyrrhula pyrrhula Common Bullfinch
Canastera Común
 Glareola pratincola Collared Pratincole
Cárabo Europeo
 Strix aluco Tawny Owl
Carbonero Común
 Parus major Great Tit
Carbonero Garrapinos
 Parus ater Coal Tit
Carraca europea
 Coracias garrulus European Roller
Carricerín Común
 Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Sedge Warbler
Carricero Común
 Acrocephalus scirpaceus Reed Warbler
Carricero Tordal
 Acrocephalus arundinaceus Great Reed Warbler
Cerceta Carretona
 Anas querquedula Garganey
Cerceta Comun
 Anas crecca Eurasian teal
Cernícalo Primilla
 Falco naumanni Lesser Kestrel
Cernícalo Vulgar
 Falco tinnunculus Common Kestrel
Charrán Común
Sterna hirundo Common Tern
Charrancito Común
 Sterna albifrons Little Tern
Chochín Común
 Troglodytes troglodytes Wren
Chorlitejo Chico
 Charadrius dubius Little Ringed Plover
Chorlitejo Grande
 Charadrius hiaticula Great Ringed Plover
Chorlitejo Patinegro
 Charadrius alexandrinus Kentish Plover
Chorlito carambolo
 Charadrius morinellus Eurasian dotterel
Chorlito Dorado
 Pluvialis apricaria European Golden Plover
Chorlito Gris
 Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover
Chotacabras europeo
 Caprimulgus europaeus European Nightjar
Chotacabras cuellirrojo
 Caprimulgus ruficollis Red-necked Nightjar
Chova Piquirroja
 Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax Red-billed Chough
Cigüeña Blanca
 Ciconia ciconia White Stork
Cigüeña Negra
 Ciconia nigra Black Stork
Cigüeñuela Común
 Himantopus himantopus Black-winged Stilt
 Coturnix coturnix Common quail
Cogujada Común
 Galerida cristata Crested Lark
Cogujada Montesina
 Galerida theklae Thekla Lark
Colimbo grande
 Gavia immer Common loon
Colirrojo Real
 Phoenicurus phoenicurus Common Redstart
Colirrojo Tizón
 Phoenicurus ochruros Black Redstart
Collalba Gris
 Oenanthe oenanthe Northern Wheatear
Collalba Negra
 Oenanthe leucuraBlack Wheatear
Collalba Rubia
 Oenanthe hispanica Black-eared Wheatear
 Philomachus pugnax Ruff
Cormorán Grande
 Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant
Corneja negra
 Corvus corone Carrion crow
Correlimos Común
 Calidris alpina Dunlin
Correlimos de Temminck
 Calidris temminckii Temmincks Stint
Correlimos Gordo
 Calidris canutus Red Knot
Correlimos Menudo
 Calidris minuta Little Stint
Correlimos Tridáctilo
 Calidris alba Sanderling
Correlimos Zarapitín
 Calidris ferruginea Curlew Sandpiper
Críalo Europeo
 Clamator glandarius Great Spotted Cuckoo
Cuco Común
 Cuculus canorus Common Cuckoo
Cuervo grande
 Corvus corax Common raven
Curruca Cabecinegra
 Sylvia melanocephala Sardinian Warbler
Curruca Capirotada
 Sylvia atricapilla Blackcap
Curruca Carrasqueña
 Sylvia cantillans Subalpine Warbler
Curruca Mirlona
 Sylvia hortensis Western Orphean Warbler
Curruca Mosquitera
 Sylvia borin Garden Warbler
Curruca Rabilarga
 Sylvia undata Dartford Warbler
Curruca Tomillera
 Sylvia conspicillata Spectacled Warbler
Curruca Zarcera
 Sylvia communis Common Whitethroat
 Taeniopygia guttata Zebra finch
Elanio Común
 Elanus caeruleus Black-shouldered Kite
Escribano Hortelano
 Emberiza hortulana Ortolan Bunting
Escribano Montesino
 Emberiza cia Rock Bunting
Escribano Palustre
 Emberiza schoeniclus Reed Bunting
Escribano Soteño
 Emberiza cirlus Cirl Bunting
 Falco columbarius Merlin Esmerla
Espátula Común
 Platalea leucorodia Eurasian Spoonbill
Estornino negro
 Sturnus unicolor Spotless starling
Estornino pinto
 Sturnus vulgaris Common starling
Faisán vulgar
 Phasianus colchicus Common pheasant
Flamenco común
 Phoenicopterus roseus Greater Flamingo
Focha común
 Fulica atra Eurasian coot
Fumarel Cariblanco
 Chlidonias hybrida Whiskered Tern
Fumarel Común
 Chlidonias niger Black Tern
Gallineta común
 Gallinula chloropus Common moorhen
Ganga Ibérica
 Pterocles alchata Pin-tailed Sandgrouse
Ganga Ortega
 Pterocles orientalis Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Ganso del Nilo
 Alopochen aegyptiaca Egyptian goose
Garceta Común
 Egretta garzetta Little Egret
Garceta Grande
 Egretta alba Great White Egret
Garcilla Bueyera
 Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret
Garcilla Cangrejera
 Ardeola ralloides Squacco Heron
Garza Imperial
 Ardea purpurea Purple Heron
Garza Real
 Ardea cinerea Grey Heron
Gavilán Común
 Accipiter nisus Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Gaviota cabecinegra
 Ichthyaetus melanocephalus Mediterranean gull
Gaviota cana
 Larus canus Common gull
Gaviota patiamarilla
 Larus michahellis Yellow legged gull
Gaviota reidora
 Chroicocephalus ridibundus Black-headed gull
Gaviota sombría
 Larus fuscus Lesser black-backed gull
Golondrina Común
 Hirundo rustica Barn Swallow
Golondrina Dáurica
 Hirundo daurica Red-rumped Swallow
Gorrión Chillón
 Petronia petronia Rock Sparrow
Gorrión Común
 Passer domesticus House sparrow
Gorrión Molinero
 Passer montanus Tree Sparrow
Gorrión Moruno
 Passer hispaniolensis Spanish Sparrow
 Corvus monedula Jackdaw
Grulla Común
 Grus grus Common Crane
Halcón Peregrino
 Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon
Herrerillo Capuchino
 Parus cristatus Crested Tit
Herrerillo Común
 Parus caeruleus Blue Tit
 Carduelis carduelis European goldfinch
Lavandera Blanca
 Motacilla alba White Wagtail
Lavandera Boyera
 Motacilla flava Yellow Wagtail
Lavandera Cascadeña
 Motacilla cinerea Grey Wagtail
Lechuza Común
 Tyto alba Barn Owl
 Carduelis spinusSiskin
Martín Pescador
 Alcedo atthisCommon Kingfisher
Martinete Común
 Nycticorax nycticorax Night Heron
Milano Negro
 Milvus migrans Black Kite
Milano Real
 Milvus milvus Red Kite
Mirlo Capiblanco
 Turdus torquatus Ring Ouzel
Mirlo Común
 Turdus merula Blackbird
 Cinclus cinclus Dipper
 Aegithalos caudatus Long-tailed Tit
Mochuelo europeo
 Athene noctua Little Owl
Morito Común
 Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis
Mosquitero Común
 Phylloscopus collybita Common Chiffchaff
Mosquitero Ibérico
 Phylloscopus ibericus Iberian Chiffchaff
Mosquitero Musical
 Phylloscopus trochilus Willow Warbler
Mosquitero Papialbo
 Phylloscopus bonelli Bonelli’s Warbler
Obispo coronigualdo
 Euplectes afer Yellow-crowned bishop
 Oriolus oriolus Golden Oriole
Pagaza Piconegra
 Sterna nilotica Gull-billed Tern
Pájaro Moscón
 Remiz pendulinus Penduline Tit
Paloma bravía
 Columba livia Rock dove
Paloma torcaz
 Columba palumbus Common wood pigeon
Paloma zurita
 Columba oenas Stock dove
Papamoscas Cerrojillo
 Ficedula hypoleuca Pied Flycatcher
Papamoscas Gris
 Muscicapa striata Spotted Flycatcher
Pardillo común
 Linaria cannabina Common linnet
Pato Colorado
 Netta rufina Red-crested Pochard
Pato Cuchara
 Spatula clypeata Northern shoveler
Lucinia svecicaBluethroat
Perdiz roja
Alectoris rufaRed-legged partridge
Petirrojo Europeo
 Erithacus rubecula Robin
Pico de coral
 Strilda astrild Common waxbill
Pico Menor
 Dendrocopos minor Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Pico Picapinos
 Dendrocopos major Great Spotted Woodpecker
 Coccothraustes coccothraustes Hawfinch
Pinzón Real
 Fringilla montifringilla Brambling
Pinzón Vulgar
 Fringilla coelebsCommon Chaffinch
Piquituerto Común
 Loxia curvirostra Common Crossbill
Pito Real
 Picus viridis Green Woodpecker
Polluela Bastarda
 Porzana parva Little Crake
Polluela Chica
 Porzana pusilla Baillons Crake
Polluela Pintoja
 Porzana porzana Spotted Crake
Porrón Europeo
 Aythya ferina Common Pochard
Porrón Moñudo
 Aythya fuligula Tufted Duck
Porrón pardo
 Aythya nyroca Ferruginous Duck
 Gypaetus barbatus Bearded vulture
 Cyanopica cyanus Azure-winged Magpie
Rascón Europeo
 Rallus aquaticus Water Rail
Reyezuelo Listado
 Regulus ignicapilla Firecrest
Reyezuelo Sencillo
 Regulus regulus Goldcrest
Roquero Rojo
 Monticola saxatilisRock Thrush
Roquero Solitario
 Monticola solitarius Blue Rock Thrush
Ruiseñor Bastardo
 Cettia cetti Cetti’s Warbler
Ruiseñor Común
 Luscinia megarhynchos Rufous Nightingale
Serín verdecillo
 Serinus serinus European serin
Silbón Europeo
 Anas penelope Eurasian wigeon
Sisón Común
 Tetrax tetrax Little Bustard
Somormujo Lavanco
 Podiceps cristatus Great Crested Grebe
Tarabilla Común
 Saxicola torquatus Common Stonechat
Tarro blanco
 Tadorna tadorna Common shelduck
Tarro canelo
 Tadorna ferruginea Ruddy shelduck
Tejedor común
 Ploceus cucullatus Village weaver
Terrera común
 Calandrella brachydactyla Greater short-toed lark
 Jynx torquilla Eurasian wryneck
Tortola común
 Streptopelia turtur European turtle dove
Tortola turca
 Streptopelia decaocto Eurasian collared dov
 Lullula arborea Woodlark
Trepador azul
 Sitta europaea Eurasian nuthatch
 Miliaria calandra Corn bunting
 Pica pica Eurasian magpie
Vencejo cafre
 Apus caffer White-rumped swift
Vencejo común
 Apus apus Common swift
Vencejo pálido
 Apus pallidus Pallid swift
Vencejo real
 Apus melba Alpine swift
Verderón común
 Chloris chloris Greenfinch
Zampullín común
 Tachybaptus ruficollis Little grebe
Zampullín cuellinegro
 Podiceps nigricollis Black-necked grebe
Zarapito real
 Numenius arquata Eurasian curlew
Zarcero políglota
 Hippolais polyglotta Melodious warbler
Zorzal alirrojo
 Turdus iliacus Redwing
Zorzal charlo
 Turdus viscivorus Mistle thrush
Zorzal común
 Turdus philomelos Song thrush
Zorzal real
 Turdus pilaris Fieldfare

Helping insectivorous birds (nest boxes)

Nest box for insectivorous birds
Multilevel nesting box

Since I was a child I have been lucky enough to have a small plot of land full of trees: oaks, pines and fruit trees, where many insectivorous birds naturally nested. Even so, with my father’s help we have always tried to facilitate these breeding tasks, especially for the insectivorous birds so beneficial to our fields.

These insectivorous birds often feed on insects considered “pests”, which attack both fruit trees and pines (the processionary caterpillars). In addition to the processionary caterpillars, another “pest” has appeared in recent years, the western conifer seed bug, which is avidly devoured by these small birds. Therefore we have generated a symbiosis in which we enjoy the presence and activity of these birds, and the birds find safe areas to nest.

Placement of nest boxes for insectivorous birds

Insectivorous birds
Nuthatch coming out of the nest box

The main purposes of the construction of these habitats are 2. On the one hand to prevent predators from gaining access to the nest and taking the eggs or chicks. On the other hand to try to condition them so that they can only be used by insectivorous birds (mainly small birds), as there are other much more abundant birds such as sparrows that could also use them.

Although neither my father nor I are particularly skilled at photography, I am happy to receive emails in which he passes me photos of the various tenants. For work reasons I have been several hundred kilometres away from my village in recent years… However, these photos make my day when I see that these little birds continue to breed year after year on the plot.

nest box and camera support
Nesting box + support for phototrapping camera.

Firstly, the location is key. We need to put it high enough so that no terrestrial predators can get in, and of course in places where they want to. A good option is to place them on a tree trunk, so that we can observe the birds from a distance or even place a camera to take pictures of them.

It is important not to disturb these small birds in their tasks of incubation and feeding their chicks. Therefore, photo-trapping cameras, even if they are not of the best quality, will always be a good option.

Nesting box made of a block

Secondly, we have to consider the material. Normally we use “recycled” materials such as pieces of wood or plastic left over from some small works we do on the plot of land. We can also take pieces of blocks or any other material that can be used to create a habitat in which the birds are safe. Many times it is not necessary to make a big investment but it is enough to use the materials we have at hand.

nest box
Nesting pumpkin, Manuel Martín

We can also make individual houses or composed of several rooms as in the first picture. Another interesting option we can try is to empty a pumpkin by making a small hole in it. The idea is from my friend Manute and the truth is that it is a very elegant and appealing home. What do you think?

Insectivorous birds
Blue Tit coming out of the box

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we must build an entrance of the exact size so that only the birds we want can access it. Here we can only prevent larger birds from entering than we would like. However, it may also be the case that smaller birds enter. Generally all small birds are insectivores, so we would still be able to meet the objective, which is to make their breeding tasks easier.

In fact, it does not matter if a great tit, a eurasian blue tit, a eurasian nuthatch or a short-toed treecreeper uses this box, the important thing is that they find it useful. In the worst case nobody will use the box but at least we will have tried. I hope that if you have the time and space you will be encouraged to try it. The simple fact that a wild bird decides to “accept” our help and make its breeding work easier is something that any nature lover will be pleased with.

Wildlife watching

Passion for animals

Wildlife watchingIn addition to being in love with sport fishing, I am passionate about nature and love to spend time wildlife watching. Since I was a kid, I started “devouring” books, videos and everything related to nature… I remember a collection by Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente with which I learned a lot about what I know today.

However, the important thing was to experiment, whenever I could I took the bike and got lost on the roads of my village to investigate its forests, plains, streams, lagoons… If someone came with me, great, but if I didn’t leave just until the night brought me back.

Wildlife Watching, Why Extremadura?

My village is Lumbrales, a small town in the west of Salamanca, located in the Arribes del Duero. A town I am very proud of, also located in a beautiful area that, fortunately or unfortunately, is very uninhabited. I encourage you all to visit it one day. I lived here until I was 18 and of course I still go there quite often. Later on, the university stage arrived and I moved to Salamanca. There, among other very good people, I met my good friend Manuel from Cáceres, who is passionate about sport fishing and nature just like me.

Grus grus

I’ll remember all my life that first day I went to Extremadura to fish for black bass with him. We went to a small reservoir, near Monfragüe, where I was lucky enough to see for the first time the imperial eagle. On the way (we went a few times) we also always saw deer, fallow deer, black vultures, other eagles… and many more animals that I was not fortunate enough to see frequently. Since then, I started to visit Extremadura quite often, taking advantage of bridges and holidays…

And little by little, I fell in love with both its rivers and reservoirs in terms of sport fishing, and its different ecosystems in terms of wildlife watching.

I would like to share with all of you a few lines about each of the animals that live here. I have been lucky enough to see almost all the animals here, and I hope that all this information will help you to enjoy the biodiversity of Extremadura as I have.


The majority of species of carnivores of the Iberian Peninsula, are also carnivores of Extremadura, we can find here 11 species. Their activity is mainly nocturnal, although occasionally they can be seen during the day, mainly at dawn and dusk.

American mink Mustela vison
Mustela vison
American mink

It’s an introduced mammal from farm escapes. Currently there is a population settled in the northeast of the community, always linked to aquatic environments. We can find it in the northern basin of the Tajo (Ambroz, Jerte and Tiétar). There it impacts negatively on the populations of the Pyrenean desman. It feeds on all types of vertebrates present in river ecosystems.

Badger Meles meles
Carnivores of Extremadura

Widely distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula, also in Extremadura. Its presence is easily detected by the “tejoneras”, big burrows that it digs in the ground. It leaves them almost exclusively at night to feed on everything it finds: fruits, cereals, plants, small rodents, invertebrates…

Beech marten Martes foina
Martes foina
Beech marten

A small carnivore widely distributed throughout Extremadura, its populations are clearly expanding. Its diet is omnivorous, taking advantage of fruits such as blackberries or around fruit plantations in spring. The areas of Mediterranean forest and scrub are its favourites. On many occasions it approaches rural areas: stables, barns, cattle sheds, henhouses… Of clearly nocturnal habits, it is frequent to see specimens run over on the roads, mainly of young specimens in dispersion.

Common genet Genetta genetta
Genetta genetta
Common genet, Fernando Mostacero

It is the most agile carnivore in Extremadura, typical of the Mediterranean forest, it needs wooded areas to be comfortable. It finds its ideal habitat in the Mediterranean forest, be it oak, holm oak, cork oak or pine. Its presence is easily detected because it accumulates excrement in latrines. Mostly nocturnal, it is difficult to see, although we can surprise them by crossing a road.

Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon
Herpestes ichneumon
Egyptian mongoose

More diurnal than other carnivores of Extremadura, their populations are expanding towards the north of the country. It has long been present throughout the region. It has a predilection for areas of scrubland, in which we can surprise it by looking for small rabbits, reptiles, rodents or invertebrates.

European polecat Mustela putorius
Mustela putorius
European polecat

This mustélid is not particularly abundant but is widely distributed throughout the region, always associated with aquatic ecosystems. It is difficult to see it in broad daylight except during the mating season, when we can surprise it by sunbathing. Like the American mink, it feeds on all kinds of vertebrates present in the rivers and nearby ecosystems.

European wildcat Felis silvestris
Carnivores of Extremadura
European wildcat

Its populations in Extremadura are important, we can find it throughout the region, in areas of forest and Mediterranean scrub. It tends to flee from human settlements, although it can occasionally hybridise with the domestic cat. Very elusive and mostly nocturnal habits, by day usually rest on top of some holm oak or sheltered in thick bushes. Although it is not abundant, we can find it all over the region, especially in mountains far from towns or cities.

Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus
Carnivores of Extremadura
Iberian lynx, Ángel Cañones

It is probably the best known Iberian mammal, unfortunately because of its delicate state of conservation. Fortunately its populations are beginning to recover and in Extremadura the population is already around 100 specimens. They are distributed mainly in the valleys of Matachel, Hornachos-Alange, Valdecigüeñas, Ortiga and Valdecañas-Ibores.

Their sighting is very complicated due to the shortage of individuals. The juvenile specimens are more active during the day than the adults. However, in winter and on rainy days, both juveniles and adults have higher activity rates. In the summer, on the other hand, they are much more nocturnal and take advantage of this to rest during the day.

Otter Lutra lutra
Lutra lutra
Otter, Fernando Mostacero

Like the majority of carnivores of Extremadura, it was once threatened by being considered a “vermin” and was the object of great hunting pressure. Currently its populations are clearly expanding, being present in most rivers and reservoirs. Although it seems incredible, the cities of Merida or Badajoz are 2 great spots to see it. Always associated with aquatic ecosystems, it is common to see them in broad daylight swimming along the banks.

Red fox Vulpes vulpes
Carnivores of Extremadura
Red fox, Isaac Fdez Galisteo

This canid has an enviable capacity to adapt and we can observe it in practically all the ecosystems of the community. Mainly nocturnal and twilight habits, it can also be seen by day in areas where it has little discomfort. He is a great opportunist and is able to take advantage of any power source. Mainly small rodents, eggs of ground nesting species, fruits… But he’s also capable of hunting larger animals like rabbits and hares. A tip for observing it in the warmer months is to be near a water point at sunset, as as soon as night falls they come to drink water before starting their excursions.

Weasel Mustela nivalis
Mustela nivalis

It is the smallest of the carnivores in Extremadura and is widely distributed throughout the region, both in forests and in fields and meadows. Sometimes it gets very close to small populations, as rodents make up most of its diet. It is active during the day and can be seen in the typical stone walls near cereal crops, a typical habitat for mice and voles, its main source of food. Despite its small size (less than 250 grams) it is capable of hunting prey the size of an adult rabbit.

Thanks to Ángel Cañones and Fernando Mostacero for the pictures.


I have decided to group all species of insectivores of Extremadura in this group. In the region we have species present from 3 families: Erinaceae (1 species), Talpidae (2 species) and Soricidae (6 species).


European hedgehog Erinaceus eurapaeus
Erinaceus europaeus
European hedgehog, Alex Fabra

It is the only representative of the erinaceae family in Extremadura. Its habits are mainly nocturnal. It lives mainly in forests, pastures and crop areas, feeding on all types of invertebrates. In the most Mediterranean areas it looks for the most humid areas. Every year there are a significant number of deaths by road traffic. Even so, its populations remain fairly stable and it is distributed throughout the region.


Pyrenean desman Galemys pyrenaicus
Galemys pyrenaicus
Pyrenean desman

Present only in the north of the community, in well preserved rivers and streams of the central system. In them it feeds on small invertebrates associated with the aquatic environment. Its presence is conditioned by the state of water conservation, it requires very clean water, and therefore it is threatened. It can be found in the Jerte, Ambroz and Vera valleys. The presence of the american mink is a threat to their populations.

Spanish mole Talpa occidentalis
Talpa occidentalis
Spanish mole

It mainly inhabits soft soiled grasslands, where it digs its galleries. It can also live in forests with well-formed soils of a certain depth. Most of its life is underground so it has hardly developed its sense of sight. They have a predilection for garden areas in which they find a lot of food. It feeds on invertebrates (mainly worms) and some roots, and is widely distributed throughout the community.

Soricidae, insectivores of Extremadura

Etruscan shrew Suncus etruscus
Suncus etruscus
Etruscan shrew

Weighing less than 3 grams, this tiny animal is the smallest mammal on the peninsula and therefore the smallest of the shrews of Extremadura. It typically inhabits Mediterranean areas, being especially abundant in olive groves, vineyards, oak groves, cork oak groves and abandoned crops. It feeds on insects, molluscs, worms and spiders and needs to ingest twice its weight daily.

Eurasian pigmy shrew Sorex minutus
Sorex minutus
Eurasian pigmy shrew

It is present in the northeast of Cáceres in the highest peaks of La Vera, Jerte and Ambroz valleys. This tiny shrew does not weigh more than 6.5 grams. Its diet is totally insectivorous and its populations are very scarce and unknown.

Greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula
Insectivores of Extremadura
Greater white-toothed shrew

It is the most common shrew in the peninsula and is distributed throughout the region. Its weight varies between 7 and 14 grams and its food consists mainly of insects, worms and spiders. It has a good capacity of adaptation and we can find it in multiple ecosystems, emphasizing the forest and the Mediterranean scrub, although it is also frequent in crops.

Iberian shrew Sorex granarius
Insectivores of Extremadura
Iberian shrew

It does not exceed 8 grams, and it is also a rather scarce species. Its populations are concentrated north of Cáceres, both in Gredos and Gata. Complicated to locate, it is distributed between 500 and 2000 meters of altitude, always linked to forest environments. We can find it in beech, pine, oak or holm oak forests, and it feeds on small invertebrates.

Lesser white-toothed shrew Crocidura suaveloens
Crocidura suaveloens Insectivores of Extremadura
Lesser white-toothed shrew

It lives only north of Cáceres in the Gata and Gredos mountains. It feeds on small invertebrates and very rarely on tiny vertebrates and its populations are quite scarce. The nocturnal raptors are its top predators and it’s very difficult to differentiate from the grey shrew.

Mediterranean water shrew Neomys anomalus

It is the only species adapted to the aquatic environment and also the largest of the shrews of Extremadura, normally weighing between 9 and 16 grams. Its coat is very dense with a black back and a practically white belly. It feeds on aquatic invertebrates but also on fish fry and tadpoles. It mainly lives in rivers and streams in the north of Cáceres, although there is also a small population in the south of the province of Badajoz.


If lagomorphs are a key order for Extremadura’s ecosystems, no less so are the rodents, which serve as food for all kinds of predators, large and small, whether reptiles, birds of prey or mammals. Below are the most relevant species of rodents in Extremadura.

Algerian mouse Mus spretus
Mus spretus
Algerian mouse

Small mouse (<20 grams), with rounded snout and small ears. Also present throughout the region, differs from Mus musculus by the flatter snout and shorter tail, in addition to size. It is a typical wild species of Mediterranean environments: scrubland, meadows, pastures, fields … Like its congeners, its diet is more granivorous than insectivorous, although it takes advantage of all sources. It has an important ecological role as an acorn disperser.

Cabrera’s vole Microtus cabrerae
Microtus cabrerae
Cabrera’s vole

It is a large, robust vole that can weigh up to 60 grams. We can also found it in the northern half of the province of Cáceres, occupying wetlands in the Mediterranean environment. It eats green grass all year round so its populations are very much linked to this humidity. Reedbeds, green pastures and to a lesser extent humid woods form its main habitats.

European snow vole Chionomys nivalis
Rodents of Extremadura
European snow vole

It is the largest of the vole in Extremadura (from 45 to 70 grams) and the only one of the rodents in Extremadura that lives in the high mountains. This vole is present in the Gredos area and is rather scarce. It occupies altitudes above 1000 metres, prefers rocky areas and south-facing slopes. Eminently herbivorous, it sometimes supplements its diet with some insects. Its populations are rather scarce and hardly interconnected.

Field vole Microtus agrestis
Rodents of Extremadura
Field vole

It is a medium-sized vole, abundant in the northern third of the peninsula, but we can also find it in the north of Cáceres. It has a predilection for meadows and thick grasses, although we can also find it on the edge of forests and bushes. This vole feeds on sprouts and tender stems of herbaceous plants and some seeds.

Garden dormouse Eliomys Quercinus
Eliomys Quercinus
Garden dormouse, Ángel Cañones

The dormouse is a peculiar rodent that is characterized by its black mask, is eminently nocturnal and hibernates several months of the year. It lives in forests and rocky areas, taking refuge among the rocks themselves or in the hollow trunks of trees. It is present throughout the community but its population has been declining in recent decades. This dormouse feeds mainly on nuts and cereals, although it can also eat invertebrates. It is part of the diet of almost all nocturnal birds of prey as well as other predators.

House mouse Mus musculus
Mus musculus
House mouse

It is the typical mouse that we can find in towns and cities, small size, usually does not exceed 30 grams. Present throughout the region, has a great capacity to adapt, can adapt to all types of environments. Although it is usually linked to the human environment, sometimes we can find remote populations on the banks of farmland. In humanized environments they feed on any type of organic matter, in the wild especially on seeds, fruits and invertebrates.

Lusitanian pine vole Microtus lusitánicus
Rodents of Extremadura
Lusitanian pine vole

Iberian endemism that inhabits the northern third of the province of Cáceres, but has also been detected in the municipality of San Vicente de Alcántara. It is herbivorous and of underground habits, being a good excavator of galleries, although not as much as the Mediterranean vole. It prefers humid areas and clayey soils and can be found up to 2000 metres above sea level.

Mediterranean pine vole Microtus duodecimcostatus
Microtus duodecimcostatus
Mediterranean pine vole, Alfonso Roldán Losada

It is a slightly larger vole than the Lusitanian, typical of Mediterranean scrub and open areas. Very subterranean in habit, it has small eyes and reduced ears to better adapt to this environment. One of the most common rodents of Extremadura, we can find it at practically any altitude, and its ecological role is fundamental as a prey species.

Southwestern water vole Arvícola sapidus
Arvícola sapidus
Southwestern water vole

A rodent that looks like a vole but is much larger in size, it is a typical inhabitant of aquatic ecosystems: rivers, streams and lakes. Their populations are distributed throughout the region, although they are not usually very abundant. In addition to water, it requires a dense vegetation cover to take refuge from its predators. It feeds mainly on aquatic plants visible on the surface such as reeds and sedges, although it also eats herbaceous species present on the banks.

Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus
Rodents of Extremadura
Wood mouse

Similar in size to the house mouse, although it can reach up to 40 grams in some areas. Present throughout the Iberian Peninsula and therefore in Extremadura, it is characterised by its reddish colour in adults. Its habitat is made up of bushes and cultivation areas, but it can also be found in parks and gardens. Its diet is more granivorous than insectivorous, although it can vary depending on availability.

Thanks to Ángel Cañones and Alfonso Roldán Losada for the pictures.


Extremadura is also one of the communities with the greatest biodiversity of chiropters. Nowadays, there are 23 species of bats of Extremadura, we will mention here the most outstanding ones.

Their essential conservation problems are the limited availability of refuges and the loss of quality of their main habitats. Their main predators are the nocturnal raptors. However, when they are hibernating in caves, other predators such as cats or snakes may also appear from time to time.

Cave bats

Common bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii
Miniopterus schreibersii
Common bent-wing bat

This species is more frequent in the province of Cáceres than in that of Badajoz. Its conservation status is delicate, although it is not currently endangered. Medium sized, it is easy to identify by its flat snout and tiny ears. It uses underground shelters in which groups of hundreds of individuals can be concentrated in a huddle.

Common pipistrelle and Soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus y Pipistrellus pygmaeus
Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Common pipistrelle

They are two very similar species that were separated at the end of the 20th century. Both are very small bats of Extremadura, not exceeding 5 cm in length and have a smooth brown coat. Pipistrellus pygmaeus usually has a lighter snout. Both are distributed throughout Extremadura, including urban environments, in which Pipistrellus pygmaeus is more abundant. Both species feed on insects, mainly diptera, and take refuge in small cracks, both in buildings and in tree holes.

Daubenton’s bat Myotis daubentonii
Myotis daubentonii
Daubenton’s bat

It is another bat of the genus Myotis of medium size and that can present 2 types of colorations: one with brown back and whitish belly and another blackish with grayish belly. Daubenton’s bat is distributed throughout the region, although it is scarce to the south of Badajoz and feeds on a great variety of invertebrates. It is a species closely linked to river courses, both rivers and streams and reservoirs, as it feeds near the surface of the water.

European free-tailed bat Tadarida teniotis

Large bat (between 22 and 55 grams) that is characterized by its large rounded ears. In nature it takes refuge in rocky cracks, but it has adapted very well to urban centres, taking refuge in human constructions. It is the bat with the least capacity for manoeuvre, which is why it settles in easily accessible shelters and usually hunts at several hundred metres above ground level. It is distributed throughout Extremadura.

Geoffroy’s bat Myotis emarginatus
Myotis emarginatus
Geoffroy’s bat

It is a medium-sized bat (weighs between 7 and 15 grams) that has a notch on the edge of the ear. It is also characterized by its woolly coat and yellow / red on the back. Geoffroy’s bat lives preferably in woods and riverbank copses, as it has a slow flight but is very manoeuvrable. It feeds on all types of arthropods which it captures mainly in flight. It is not particularly abundant but it is not seriously threatened either and its main populations are to the north and east of Cáceres.

Greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum
Rhinolophus ferrumequinum
Greater horseshoe bat

This bat, considered sensitive to habitat alteration, is distributed throughout the region. It feeds on flying insects and forms numerous colonies. Of medium size (15 to 30g) it usually hibernates underground. The rest of the year it is located in very varied shelters: attics, cavities, tunnels…

Greater mouse-eared bat Myotis myotis
Myotis myotis
Greater mouse-eared bat

This species, sensitive to habitat alteration, is still distributed throughout the region, mainly at its extremes. Its size is “large”, these bats can weigh from 20 to 35 grams. They are also cavemen, although we can also find them in bridges and some buildings.

Lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros
Rhinolophus hipposideros
Lesser horseshoe bat

In the vulnerable category, its population is not very abundant, but it is distributed throughout the region. It is practically a miniature replica of the large horseshoe bat, one of the smallest bats in Extremadura (4 to 9 grams). It takes refuge in caves, mines and human constructions and prefers forest or bush areas with a certain degree of humidity.

Lesser mouse-eared bat Myothis blythii
Bats of Extremadura
Lesser mouse-eared bat

Also sensitive to habitat alteration, its populations are very rare. We find the main strongholds to the west and northwest of the region. It shares habitat with the big bat, but its size is slightly smaller and its populations much more reduced.

Mediterranean horseshoe bat Rhinolophus euryale
Bats of Extremadura
Mediterranean horseshoe bat

In danger of extinction, most of its populations are found in the northwest of Cáceres, southwest of Badajoz, west of the region in the Tajo Internacional area and in the Villuercas. Also caveman, its average size is from 8 to 18 grams and it is easily confused with the medium sized horseshoe bat.

 Mehely’s horseshoe bat Rhinolophus mehelyi

Another endangered species, with a distribution almost identical to that of the Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat. Its size is also very similar (10 to 18 grams). Both species tend to stay away from rural areas, as they are not comfortable with human presence.

Savi’s pipistrelle Hypsugo savii

Small bat, slightly larger than Pipistrellus pipistrellus and associated with large mountain areas. It is characterized by a long and lustrous coat, in variable colors from brown to blond, having the areas devoid of blackish hair. This bat usually takes refuge in rock fissures, although it can also take refuge in buildings. It feeds on winged insects, both in the valleys and on the mountainsides, even reaching the mountain meadows on the summits. We can find it in the mountains of Gata, Gredos and Villuercas.

Serotine bat and meridional serotine Eptesicus serotinus y Eptesicus isabellinus
Eptesicus serotinus
Serotine bat

Until a few years ago they believed themselves to be one species, as their differences are tremendously subtle. Both are bats of good size, between 13 and 24 grams, with variable coloration, between reddish brown and blond. The specimens of Eptesicus isabellinus usually have a lighter coloration. Both take refuge in human constructions, rock fissures and even trees. Their habitat is very varied, from agro-livestock areas to forest edges, river courses, even parks and gardens. They feed on large insects and are distributed throughout Extremadura.

Forest bats. Bats of Extremadura

Bechstein’s bat Myotis bechsteinii
Bats of Extremadura
Bechstein’s bat

Another of Extremadura’s endangered bats. It is present mainly in the province of Cáceres, both in the north and in the east and west, being more scarce in the centre. Medium sized and with large ears, it is very dependent on mature deciduous forests. Here it feeds on small flying invertebrates.

Brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus
Bats of Extremadura
Brown long-eared bat

This species of bat is characterized by its large eyes and ears. Similar to the grey eared bat, it differs from it in its golden coloration on the back and whitish belly. Very scarce in the region, there are only a few fragmented populations in the forests of northern Cáceres, both in Gata and Gredos. It lives in mountain deciduous forests, especially above 900 metres. It feeds on both flying and terrestrial invertebrates.

Greater noctule bat Nyctalus lasiopterus
Murciélagos de Extremadura
Greater noctule bat

It is the largest of the European bats, normally weighing between 40 and 75 grams. It has a shiny reddish-brown coat and short, wide ears. This bat lives in mature forests, with good-sized trees and good availability of holes in which it takes refuge. It feeds on large prey, becoming capable of catching small birds. There is an important reproductive nucleus in the area of Hervás and it is catalogued as a vulnerable species.

Grey long-eared bat Plecotus austriacus
Bats of Extremadura
Grey long-eared bat

Very similar to the brown long-eared bat, in addition to other subtleties is different in the coloration, having the back grey and being darker in general. We generally find it associated with rural areas in which it takes advantage of holes in buildings for shelter. It lives in areas where we can find mosaics of crops and not very thick trees. The grey-long eared bat feeds mainly on winged invertebrates and is relatively common. It is present in different areas of both the province of Cáceres and that of Badajoz.

Kuhl’s pipistrelle Pipistrellus kuhlii
Kuhl’s pipistrelle

A little more robust than the rest of the bats of the genus Pipistrellus, its coloration varies between reddish brown and light brown. With a fissure-like habit, it spreads throughout the region thanks to its good capacity to adapt and its population is considered abundant. It feeds on flying invertebrates in all types of biotopes and is common in pastures, rural environments and riverbanks.

Lesser noctule Nyctalus leisleri

Medium sized bat, similar in appearance to the large native bat that inhabits the medium and high sierras of Extremadura. It hunts in semi-open wooded areas, above the tree canopy, mainly flying insects such as butterflies or beetles. This noctule takes refuge in tree holes and also uses the shelter boxes when they are present. It is considered frequent in deciduous forest stands and is not particularly threatened at present.

Western barbastelle Barbastella barbastellus
Bats of Extremadura
Western barbastelle Ján Svetlík

Very rare species in the community, we found some individuals north of it in the area of Hervás, Baños de Montemayor, La Garganta… Of medium size, its “square” ears and dark fur give it an unmistakable appearance. It shows a preference for cool areas, mainly mature forests of oak, chestnut and pine.

Whiskered bat Myotis mystacinus
Myotis mystacinus
Whiskered bat

It’s one of the smallest bats in Extremadura. It has a long, frizzy coat and its colour can vary from reddish-brown to greyish-brown. Its distribution in Extremadura is very restricted, being present only in large reliefs north of Cáceres. The valleys of Ambroz, Jerte and Vera are home to its main populations, although it is also present in the most northwestern part of Gata.


In this order we only have 2 species in the community (rabbits and hares), which are nevertheless key pieces in their ecosystems. The populations of many predators both terrestrial and birds of prey depend on these two leporidae.

European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus

The regression of european rabbit populations in recent decades is one of the greatest ecological problems facing Extremadura’s ecosystems. The high mortality rate due to disease, together with excessive hunting and/or predatory pressure means that today it has disappeared from a large number of territories, with very few populations in others.

Rabbits and hares
European rabbit, Isaac Fdez Galisteo

It has an incredible reproductive capacity so its populations are recovering in some areas. These areas are those where hunting pressure or predation is limited. Examples of this are the slopes of railways and highways, semi-urban areas, around large towns and cities…

Many efforts have been made to recover this species: habitat modification, repopulation, vaccination, predator control… Almost always with scarce results, which is why its distribution is very irregular. Even so, it is present in most of the region.

Iberian hare Lepus granatensis
Lepus granatensis
Iberian hare

Its ecological importance is less than that of its relative the rabbit, although it is increasing. Hare populations have not been so reduced, so it has been gaining importance in the diet of many predators, which used to eat rabbits and hares and now they do not find rabbits in many areas. Its large size and greater speed, however, do not make it an easy prey. Present in pastures, grasslands and other open spaces, it adapts to both large treeless plains and the typical Mediterranean forest, although it always prefers areas with not very dense trees.

With an exclusively herbivorous diet, it is capable of reproducing more than once a year if there is enough food. It is very typical to observe it on dirt roads, especially at sunset, as its habits are more nocturnal than diurnal.


In this order we find the large herbivores of Extremadura, some of them really abundant in the community.

Barbary sheep Ammotragus lervia
large herbivores of Extremadura
Barbary sheep, Ángel Cañones

Originally from North Africa, this species of bovid, also known as Mouflon of the Atlas, is present today in some big game hunting areas, where it has been introduced. The impact that its population may have on the ecosystems of Extremadura is still unknown, as it has a very high reproductive capacity. In Sierra de Pela there are several hunting grounds where this species has been released.

Boar Sus scrofa
Sus scrofa
Boar in the forest

Very abundant in the whole region, it is adapted to all types of ecosystems, including the most anthropized ones as cultivation areas (vineyards, cornfields…). It is a mammal that feeds on everything it finds: plants, fruits, bulbs, carrion, eggs, small mammals… Very abundant throughout the region, its habits are mainly nocturnal, although rainy days may have some activity during the day.

Fallow deer Dama dama
Dama dama
Young male of fallow deer

A species in expansion in the community, favored by the release in big game reserves for hunting. Males are characterized by webbed horns and white spots on the body. Like the deer, it is another large herbivore whose sighting is more likely in pasture areas at dawn and dusk. Sierra de San Pedro or the vicinity of the Alcántara lake are good options for observing him both from the car and walking.

Mouflon Ovis gmelini
Ovis musimon
Mouflon, Ángel Cañones

Introduced into the community for hunting purposes, it is now present in a good number of big game hunting areas. This “wild sheep” also has a diurnal habit and likes to graze on the steep slopes of Mediterranean forests and pastures. The males are very showy with a large curved antlers. The banks of the Alcántara reservoir are once again a good area to observe it, as many hunting estates border the water.

Red deer Cervus elaphus
Cervus elaphus
Young male deer

It is the most abundant deer in the region where it is widely distributed through all types of ecosystems: Mediterranean forest and scrubland, pastures, mountainous areas… Easy to observe in many dehesas during the twilight, the best way to do it is from a low speed vehicle on dirt roads. Monfragüe or Sierra de San Pedro have very high densities but we can observe them in most of the mounts and meadows of Extremadura. Late summer / early autumn is the best time to do it, coinciding with the rutting season.

Roe deer Capreolus capreolus
large herbivores of Extremadura
Roe deer

We generally find it in forest ecosystems, being the smallest of the large herbivores of Extremadura. It is in clear expansion, both in the community and in the rest of the country, although in Extremadura it is not as abundant as for example in the two Castillas. As their populations grow, their ecological importance is greater, forming part of the diet of some predators such as the Iberian lynx. Present mainly in the east of the community, we can see it almost always associated with wooded areas. The ecotones between the mount and the zones of grass are favorable zones to sight it.

Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica
large herbivores of Extremadura
Spanish ibex, Ángel Cañones

This species of goat is present in the north of the community, in the most mountainous zones of the mountain range of Gredos and the Hurdes. The specimens present in the community belong to the subspecies Capra pyrenaica victoriae. Of diurnal habits, we will be able to observe it in the pastures and bushes of the highest zones of the mentioned mountain ranges.

Thanks to Mariano Cordero and Ángel Cañones for the pictures

Nocturnal raptors

Here you will find all the nocturnal raptors of Extremadura

Eurasian eagle-owl Bubo bubo
Bubo bubo
Eurasian eagle-owl, Ángel Cañones

Of all the nocturnal raptors of Extremadura, this is the largest. It has terribly strong claws and can wipe out prey the size of a rabbit or a hare in seconds. The eagle owl lives on the slopes of Mediterranean forests with the presence of stone cuttings where it usually nests. It makes long journeys in its nights of hunting in which it captures all kinds of animals, even diurnal raptors or small foxes. Like all super predators, its densities are not high, but Extremadura has some very interesting populations. The best areas to observe it being the Sierra de Tiros, central mountains of Badajoz, San Pedro, Orellana, Villuercas, Llanos de Cáceres, Monfragüe, Canchos de Ramiro and Tajo Internacional.

The Canal de las Dehesas that borders  Orellana lake is an excellent place to spot it.

Long-eared owl Asio otus
Asio otus
Long-eared owl, Ángel Cañones

Medium sized nocturnal bird of prey, with large ear-like plumes, nests on large tree trunks. Exclusively nocturnal, it feeds mainly on mice and voles but occasionally on small birds as well. It is a forest bird and is present in forests of all species: holm oaks, cork oaks, oaks, conifers, riverside forests… In winter many Central European individuals migrate to Extremadura, grouping together in roosts, despite being normally solitary individuals. Present throughout the community, we could highlight the meadows of La Campiña Sur and La Albuera, and the forests of Sierra de Gata for their difficult sighting.

Short-eared owl Asio flammeus
Nocturnal raptors of Extremadura
Short-eared owl, Isaac Fdez Galisteo

Also of medium size, it stands out for the intense yellow color of its eyes. With very different habits to the previous ones, it mainly inhabits cereal fields and marshy vegetation areas, nesting on the ground. It feeds mainly on small rodents and sometimes starts hunting at sunset, which is the best time to observe it. Some individuals reproduce in the region although the bulk of the population winters. Their populations are very fluctuating as they move around quite a bit depending on the voles’ population explosions.

Wester barn-owl Tyto alba
Tyto alba
Wester barn-owl, Ángel Cañones

A very cosmopolitan bird of prey, probably the most abundant of the nocturnal raptors of Extremadura, it usually nests in churches, farmhouses and other buildings. It usually feeds on small rodents but can also hunt small birds in their sleep. Present throughout the region, its populations have been clearly declining for decades. This regression is mainly due to modern agricultural practices (monoculture, use of pesticides, etc). Active from dusk onwards, the best places to see it are the populations themselves, especially those with large stone buildings and located in cultivated areas.

Tawny owl Strix Aluco
Nocturnal raptors of Extremadura
Tawny owl, Ángel Cañones

Similar in size to the barn owl, but with much more mimetic colours to the forests in which it lives. All kinds of forests, wooded banks and even urban parks are its habitat, although it is less linked to human presence than the barn owl. It feeds mainly on rodents but also on small birds or invertebrates and denotes its presence by its characteristic wailing at nightfall. It is abundant in Dehesas de Jerez, the area of La Albuera, Villuercas, San Pedro, Gata, La Vera and Valle del Jerte.

Little owl Athene noctua
Athene noctua
Little owl mating, Hilary Hoe

Small-sized bird of prey, mainly nocturnal but also twilight habits. We can observe it in oak groves, olive groves and cultivation areas where it mainly feeds on invertebrates. It is often seen in dry trees, semi-ruined buildings from which it starts its nocturnal excursions. Relatively abundant, we can also locate it by its characteristic song at nightfall. It is present throughout the region all year round.

Scops owl Otus scops
Nocturnal raptors of Extremadura
Scops owl, Ángel Cañones

The Scops Owl is the smallest of the nocturnal raptors of Extremadura, and its plumage blends in perfectly with the trunks of the trees in which it lives. It’s very woodlander, although we can also find it in large urban parks. It feeds on small invertebrates such as grasshoppers, crickets, moths… and we can detect their presence by their song. Present in Extremadura in spring and summer, it migrates to Africa in the coldest months. Although we can find it all over the region, the area of Valle del Jerte stands out for its populations.

Thanks to Ángel P. Cañones, Isaac Fernández Galisteo and Mariano Cordero for the pictures.