If you're a nature lover and enjoy birdwatching, Mallorca is an ideal destination for you. Located on the migratory route of Western Europe, the largest of the Balearic Islands is the perfect place for birdwatching.
Playa de Muro, in the north of the island, is one of the best places to practice this pastime. In the area you will find several exceptional sites, including s'Albufera de Mallorca, the largest wetland in Mallorca, harboring more than 300 different species of birds.
At Playa de Muro you will find a birdwatching paradise in Mallorca: the S’Albufera Natural Park.
This natural site, featuring 2,036 hectares of salt marshes and dunes, is known to be the largest wetland in Mallorca, and home to more than 303 species of birds. In the winter months there are about 10,000 birds, including ducks, herons and starlings, among others. Various routes and observatories in S'Albufera will allow you to enjoy the presence of migratory birds like swallows and cranes.
Comú de Muro is the name given to the protected area of s'Albufera next to the sea. An extension of pines, dunes and shrubs where you will find a while multitude of bird species, often observable from the beach itself.
Nearby, in the area of Son Bosc, you can also practice birdwatching, enjoying the presence of birds like the black-headed warbler and the Eleonora's falcon. In the dunes of Son Bosc you can also spot the nests of the European bee-eater.
In the center of the Bay of Alcudia is the Finca Pública de Son Real, public land boasting some of the greatest heritage elements on the island of Mallorca.
Its landscapes are totally undeveloped, so you will be able to appreciate the area's rich biodiversity. Many ornithologists flock to this natural site to see various birds on Mallorca, such as the turtledove, the partridge, and the various types of warblers typical of the Balearic Islands.
A few kilometers from Playa de Muro is the s'Albufereta Nature Reserve, another of the island's most important wetlands. This natural site full of tamarisks, ponds, reefs and dunes is home to hundreds of migratory birds.
Here you can enjoy the area's great ornithological value through various routes, equipped with hides, little wooden houses specially designed for bird watching.
Hiking is one of the best ways to practice birdwatching. You can reach the Cala Bóquer by taking one of the favorite excursions of ornithology lovers who visit the island.
Another highly recommended excursion is that of Talaia d'Albercutx. Did you know that this is the best site in Mallorca to see birds of prey? Around 500 birds of prey pass by this lookout every year. In the months of March and June you can join some local ornithologists who take advantage of the location to log their numbers.
In the northeast of the island, half an hour from Playa de Muro, is the Natural Park of the Llevant Peninsula. This 1,671-hectare nature reserve is perfect for birdwatching, as it has been declared a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds.
Mallorcan birds such as the common Balearic crossbill, the booted eagle, the peregrine falcon and the Egyptian vulture nest every year in the mountains of Artà.
Of all the spots we have mentioned, there is one that deserves special attention: the Albufera de Mallorca, a genuine mecca of birdwatching on the island.
In the s'Albufera Natural Park you will find 8 bird observatories, 11 observation platforms, exceptional landscapes and an impressive ornithological variety.
Many birdwatching enthusiasts from all over the world visit the island just to discover the secrets of the Albufera. Although the best periods for birdwatching are in the spring and autumn, winter is also a good time to visit the area.
During the winter months the northern shoveler, also known as Anas clypeata, migrates to southern Europe. In Mallorca you can hear the characteristic singing of the Botaurus stellaris, or Eurasian bittern, consiting of a striking fog-horn sound.
February is the perfect month to observe the Acrocephalus melanopogon, or moustached warbler, which migrates to the Mediterranean during the late winter. The Circus aeruginosus (western marsh harrier) also takes advantage of the wetlands in the area to spend this season.
During the month of March, and with the arrival of spring, you can spot one of the island's native species: the Balearic warbler, or Sylvia baleárica You can also see the smallest bird of the Motacillidae family, the famous Motacilla flava, or white wagtail.
In the middle of spring, the Squacco heron (Ardeola ralloides) takes centre stage.The common nightingale, or Luscinia megarhynchos will delight you with its unmistakable song.
In May the common tern (Sterna hirundo) migrates to the island, characterized by its red beak. You can also see the red-crested pochard, or Netta rufina, standing out as the largest diver of its kind.
In summer you will find one of the most curious anatidae, due its appearance, between a duck and a goose: the Tadorna tadorna, or common shelduck. June is the beginning of the breeding period of the Eleonora's falcon, which travels to the coastal areas of the Mediterranean.
In July you will find the marbled duck, or Marmaronetta angustirostris, which you can distinguish it by its ponytail on the back of its neck and its black mask. You can also spot one of the most striking birds of the fauna: the Merops apiaster, or European bee-eater, known for its colorful plumage and unmistakable song.
In Mallorca you can see one of the few specimens of the red-knobbed coot or Fulica cristata, which is distinguished by its crest and its red protrusions. In August you'll hear the distinctive cry of the Himantopus himantopus, also known as the black-winged stilt.
With the arrival of autumn we can see the Gallinago gallinago, or common snipe, which takes advantage of the island's wetlands to breed. Mallorca is also home to the barn swallow, or Hirundo rustica, popularly known for its metallic blue plumage.
Mallorca is one of the only places in Spain where you can witness the reproduction of the osprey, or Pandion haliaetus. In October, the characteristic Kentish plover, or Charadrius alexandrinus, inhabits the wetlands and beaches of the island
In the Natural Park of s'Albufera we can see one of the largest and most spectacular European rails: the western swamphen or Porphyrio porphyrio. At the end of autumn, the common crane, aka Grus grus, graces the skies of s'Albufera.
During the first month of winter the Eurasian hoopoe, or Upupa epops, is a favorite among ornithologists for its distinctive ochre plumage. At night, when other birds are resting, the black-crowned night heron, or Nycticorax nycticorax, begins to fish.
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