The Iberian Peninsula is one of Europe's most ornithologically varied regions offering a host of regional specialities. It includes famous birding hotspots such as the Coto Donaña wetlands, mountainous areas such as the Picos de Europa and the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean cork and holm oak forests of the southwest, the migration crossroads of the Strait of Gibraltar and the steppe-like plains of Extremadura and Alentejo. Large numbers of birders from around Europe visit the region to see this wealth of winged wildlife, but to date there has been no comprehensive regional avifauna in English.
The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula is a national avifauna that fills this gap in the ornithological literature. Full-colour throughout, The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula begins with authoritative introductory chapters covering subjects such as geography, climate, habitats, the history of Iberian ornithology and the composition of the avifauna. The species accounts then cover every species recorded in mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra, including the many vagrants. For each species there is detailed treatment of distribution – with maps of breeding and wintering ranges – habitat selection, population trends, historical and current status, migration and conservation.
1. Preface 4
2. Acknowledgments 5
3. A brief history of Iberian avifaunal studies 6
4. Iberia: geography and climate 9
The Iberian Peninsula and its islands 9
The geography of mainland Iberia 10
The Balearic Islands 12
Other peninsular archipelagos 12
The Bioclimatic Zones. Temperature and Precipitation 13
Climate change 15
5. Habitats 16
Mediterranean evergreen plant communities 16
Eurosiberian plant communities 17
Other natural habitats 18
Man-made habitats 22
6. The Iberian avifauna 25
Breeding species 25
Breeding birds of the Iberian climatic regions 27
Recent changes in the Iberian breeding avifauna 27
Wintering species 32
Migrants and migration 34
Migrant species 34
Seabird movements 36
Trans-Pyrenean movements 38
Landbird migration at the Strait of Gibraltar 38
7. Introduction to the species accounts 40
8.The Systematic List 51
9. Category D species 608
1. Category E1 species 614
2. Breeding species of conservation concern 615
3. Scientific names of animals and plants mentioned in the text 617
4. List of Spanish regional bird reports 618
5. List of Spanish and Portuguese rarity reports 620
Eduardo de Juana is one of Spain's best-known ornithologists. He is currently President of the SEO.
Ernest Garcia is an author and editor from Gibraltar. Co-founder of the Gibraltar Natural History Society and current editor of the Gibraltar Bird Report, his previous books for Helm include the two Where to Watch guides to Spain. Ernest has been a member of the Sociedad Española de Ornitología since the early 1970s, and he is a former member of the Iberian Peninsula rarities committee.
"[...] a landmark work, occupying a publication niche that is vacant thus far, from which both professionals and amateurs can profit, and whose format and scientific quality are outstanding in the growing recent regional, subregional, and local avifaunal accounts."
– Manuel B. Morales, The Auk, Volume 132, 2015
"[...] There is no doubt that a huge amount of effort has gone into this book and while I have been critical of some inconsistencies there is also no doubt that it is a tremendous improvement on what is currently available. Perhaps some of the inconsistencies are the result of that lengthy gestation period. Despite cutting back the text and reducing the typeface size to allow about 900 words on each page, the publishers have still ended up with a book that weighs in at a hefty 1.9 kg! This is an impressive book in many ways and deserves to be on the bookshelf of every travelling birder in Europe."
– Keith Betton, British Birds 108(9), September 2015
"[...] books of this nature are a labour of love and a heavy burden, requiring years to compile and edit, and the two authors deserve to be warmly congratulated for producing the first modern work of this sort. It will serve as a fundamental resource for those wishing to undertake research into both old and modern records, as well as laying down the gauntlet for a truly encyclopaedic work on the peninsula’s birdlife, so eagerly wanted by the region’s ornithologists and birdwatchers."
– John L. Muddeman, Ibis Volume 157(4), September 2015
"As the title suggests this volume is dedicated to Iberian avifauna up to 2013. It appears more than a decade after Aves Ibericas vol I and II, its predecessor, which was published only in Spanish. This is the first time such a comprehensive publication, covering the whole of Iberia, has been written in English. [...] This is an overdue update of the previous publication of its kind. It will be of interest to any regular visitor to sunny Iberia, or for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge about the birds in Spain and Portugal. However, don't expect beautiful photographs – it is more a source of detailed information produced by two of Spain's most respected birders.
– Diana De Palacio, BTO News, issue 314