Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species, formerly known as the National Catalogue of Endangered Species, was created by the Public Administration’s Law 4 / 89 in its Article 30.1 for species subspecies, or populations that require special measures for their preservation.
Below is the category of bird species that are covered by the law and included the number of taxa:
Special interest: 250
We have included few examples of these endangered bird species in our top ten birds in Spain, but I’ll begin this list with high-flying birds that have gotten bird watchers and ornithologists going wild, especially in Andalusia.
1. European roller (Coracias garrulous)
This bird has striking mixed colors; however, it is appropriately described as a blue and orange-brown bird. You will find the European roller across Southern Europe during warm weather, but it migrates south to Sub-Saharan Africa as winter approaches.
Its Spanish name is from its distinctive raspy sound – it is translated as ‘ratchet.’ Its high-flying aerobatic maneuvers define its English name.
2. Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax)
Because of its perfect camouflage due to its golden-brown plumage in grassland habitat, you may need excellent eyesight to spot this bird. Should you find it, you can distinguish the mature male by black-and-white bands on its neck. However, don’t expect to see it in flight; even when scared, it rarely flies.
3. Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti)
This Spanish Eagle is a large raptor and, undoubtedly, the most notorious bird native only to the Iberian peninsula. Hence, it is an endemic species. Although some reports have also placed some sightings in Northern Morocco, these are unconfirmed reports.
So endemic is the species that it was almost declared extinct in the 1970s but has since recovered to a slightly higher status – threatened species. As the name suggests, the Spanish Eagle is as majestic, and Andalusia is one of the favorite areas to find and watch this royal bird.
About 150 couples live in the country, breeding in Madrid, Montes de Toledo, Donana, Sierra Morena, and Extremadura. More specifically, in these places, you will find them habitats such as hills with plenty of scrub and woodlands of cork, alluvial plains and dunes, and mountains where Resinera and Scots pine are the dominant vegetation.
4. Pardela pichoneta balear (Puffinus mauretanicus)
These species are endemic to the Balearic Islands. According to estimations, they are not more than 4,000 couples across all the four main islands, especially in Formentera.
In other areas like La Palma and Tenerife’s deep wallsTenerife’s deep walls, where they dig nests in the ground, and the Pinochet nests in the Canary Islands, their population is not more than 2,000 pairs.
5. Cerceta pardilla (Marmaronetta angustirostris)
In recent times, this particular threatened bird species have continually declined in population across the globe. Its only breeding space in Europe is Spain, which is due to its abundance of rain. 80% of the bird’s population (specifically in Europe) is located in the Parque Natural Hondo (Alicante).
They have been the most abundant bird species in the Guadalquivir marshes in the last century; they love to settle in water with shallow depth and permanent submerged, emergent vegetation.
6. House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus)
The House sparrow is one of the most common birds in Spain, but the rate at which its population is declining is alarming. It is noteworthy that it is the best passerine species that is known. The more spectacular gender in appearance is the male with its shiny black or brown head. The female and young ones, on the other hand, are homogenous brown.
Do you have any idea how common these birds are? If not, look out the window. You’ll most probably find one.
7. Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Due to its peculiar (or unique, if you like) head and beak, the hoopoe is an unmistakable bird. Its beak is black and thin while its head is made of erectile feathers, which are never opened.
The hoopoe has a plumage with a color that ranges from pink-brown to reddish cinnamon. Another noteworthy feature is its precision with habitats. Also, it is migratory, territorial, and diurnal. With its striking erratic flight, you can’t miss it when in sight.
8. Magpie (Pica pica)
This is another bird that is unmistakable because of its color of the black and white patterns. The Magpie’s chest and part of its wings are white in color; its wings and tail are metallic hues, although the density still depends on the incidence of light.
There is no difference between the genders except in the greater corpulence of males. Its rough chirping distinguishes it, and it’s attracted to bright and colorful objects.
The Lammergeier is an example of a bird of prey. Spain boasts as the country in Europe with the largest bird population, which has also been named Bearded Vulture. You can easily find it in Cazorla – Andalusia and along the Pyrenees.
10. White-headed Duck
This bird is unique compared to its counterparts (that is, Spanish ducks). A prominent blue bill distinguishes the males. Although now raised to stability in the Southern and Central Spain, it almost ran into extinction in the 1970s.