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Birds of Doñana

By José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

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Marshes, cotos, dunes and beaches built Doñana on sandy and clay soils, weaving a complex net of ecosystems, supporting diverse plant and animal communities. Doñana has the largest and best preserved wetlands in Western Europe, also one of the last populations of Iberian Lynx and one of the most extensive stretches of unspoilt coastline in our country but if something makes Doñana really essential to continental level is its rich avifauna. In spring, its marshes and forests offer a perfect place for breeding; in winter an ideal refuge for northern species and during the migration season Doñana becomes a must for many species in our part of the world . So Doñana is not only important for our local birds, but even more, it is essential for Europe and World bird communities.

Early bird listings of Doñana date from the eighteenth century and is also remarkable the information provided in the famous books of Chapman and Buck (1893 and 1910). Back in the twentieth century we have the bird lists of Nicholson et al. (1957) which contained 135 species; Mountfort (1958) with 193 species; Valverde (1960) which does not include rare and accidental species and only register 125 species; Ree (1973) with 250 species; Fernández (1974) with 179 species; García et al. (1989) with 361 species and Llandres and Urdiales (1990) with 342 taxa.

But the best recent reference are the Anuarios Ornitológicos de Doñana (Doñana Ornithological Yearbooks), prepared by the Doñana Biological Station early in our century. We can find in them an useful comparison of data among the most important sources, including as area or research all Guadalquivir marshes whatever their condition, every scrubland and pine wood growing on sandy soils that go around them in the north and west and it also includes the sandspit , the upper part of the watershed of Arroyo de la Madre del Avitor (included in the Doñana Natural Park), the whole drainage basin of La Rocina, El Partido and La Major Streams, that of Pilas-Gato Stream south of the A-49 motorway and that of Guadiamar River downstream the villages of Pilas and Aznalcázar. Originally it was a project intended to be permanent in time but unfortunately has not been developed beyond the first two numbers. In them the number of species rises to 378 and 419 species respectively. Here you can consult these publications:
Anuario Ornitológico del año 2000.

The list of birds of Doñana can vary widely depending on the extent of the area of study and the parameters used to list the species. In our case we will offer a practical list based more on our field experience rather than in scientific studies, including areas of ornithological interest near the Doñana Natural Area, but excluding on purpose a number of occasional, accidental and rare species whose probability of being observed during your visit to Doñana is very low. A total of 271 species have been listed. You will also find spring and winter bird list in the corresponding pages of the web site. Names obtained from the AERC Western Palearctic list (December 2012).

001.- Snow goose. Very uncommon regular wintering species.
002.- Greater white-fronted goose. Uncommon regular wintering species.
003.- Lesser white-fronted goose. Very uncommon regular wintering species.
004.- Bean goose. Very uncommon regular wintering species.
005.- Pink-footed goose. Uncommon regular wintering species.
006.- Greylag goose. 50.000 – 60.000 of them visit us every winter.
007.- Bar-headed goose. Very uncommon regular wintering species.
008.- Canada goose. Very uncommon regular wintering species.
009.- Barnacle goose. Very uncommon regular wintering species.
010.- Brent goose. Very uncommon regular wintering species.
011.- Common shelduck. Regular winter bird.
012.- Ruddy shelduck. Uncommon winter bird.
013.- Mallard. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
014.- Gadwall. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
015.- Northern pintail. Uncommon breeding and common wintering species.
016.- Northern shoveler. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
017.- Eurasian wigeon. Uncommon breeding and common wintering species.
018.- Teal. Uncommon breeding and wintering species.
019.- Green-winged teal. Uncommon breeding and very common wintering species.
020.- Garganey. Common migrant and uncommon breeding species.
021.- Common pochard. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
022.- Red-crested pochard. Abundant resident species.
023.- Ferruginous duck. One of our most difficult rarities.
024.- Tufted duck. Regular winter visitor.
025.- Common scooter. Regular and common winter bird.
026.- Red-breasted merganser. Very uncommon wintering species in Doñana; easier at Odiel.
027.- White-headed duck. Uncommon breeding and wintering species.
028.- Red-legged partridge. Very abundant resident species
029.- Common quail. Abundant breeding species.
030.- Black-necked grebe. Abundant resident species.
031.- Little grebe. Very abundant resident species.
032.- Great-crested grebe. Common breeding and not so common wintering species.
033.- Cory’s shearwater. Uncommon regular wintering species.
034.- Balearic shearwater. Regular winter bird normally uncommon.
035.- European storm petrel. Uncommon regular wintering species.
036.- Leach’s storm petrel. Uncommon regular wintering species.
037.- Northern gannet. Common winter bird.
038.- Great white pelican. Very uncommon winter bird.
039.- Great cormorant. Very abundant winter bird.
040.- Eurasian bittern. Uncommon resident species.
041.- Little bittern. Regular breeding and occasional wintering species.
042.- Black-crowned night heron. Very common resident species.
043.- Cattle egret. Very abundant resident species.
044.- Squacco heron. Regular breeding and very uncommon wintering species.
045.- Western reef egret. Annual regular sightings.
046.- Little egret. Very abundant resident species.
047.- Great egret. Very common wintering species.
048.- Grey heron. Very abundant resident species.
049.- Purple heron. Common breeding and very uncommon wintering species.
050.- Black stork. Very common resident species.
051.- White stork. Very common resident species.
052.- Glossy ibis.Very common resident species.
053.- Eurasian spoonbill. Rather common resident species.
054.- Greater flamingo. Very common resident species.
055.- Griffon vulture. Common all year from their colonies in the mountains.
056.- Cinereous vulture. Specially in winter from the near Sierra Pelada breeding colony.
057.- Egyptian vulture. Mainly during migration.
058.- Osprey. Regular wintering species.
059.- Spanish imperial eagle. Resident. Some 10 pairs in Doñana at present.
060.- Spotted eagle. Very uncommon wintering individuals.
061.- Short-toed snake eagle. Easy from March to September.
062.- Booted eagle. Common resident and uncommon wintering individuals.
063.- Bonelli´s eagle. Very uncommon sightings.
064.- Red kite. Very uncommon breeders and very common wintering birds.
065.- Black kite. Very common in breeding season.
066.- Eurasian marsh harrier. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
067.- Northern harrier. Common winter species.
068.- Montagu´s harrier. Common breeder.
069.- Common buzzard. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
070.- European honey buzzard. Difficult on migration.
071.- Eurasian sparrowhawk. Uncommon migrant and wintering species.
072.- Northern goshawk. Uncommon breeder, migrant and wintering species.
073.- Black-winged kite. Common resident expanding.
074.- Eurasian kestrel. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
075.- Lesser kestrel. Common resident species.
076.- Eurasian hobby. Uncommon breeder and migrant.
077.- Peregrine falcon. Uncommon resident species.
078.- Merlin. Uncommon winter species.
079.- Water rail. Common resident.
080.- Spotted crake. Uncommon and difficult resident species easier on migration.
081.- Little crake. Uncommon and difficult resident species easier on migration.
082.- Baillon’s crake. Uncommon and difficult resident species easier on migration.
083.- Eurasian moorhen. Very common resident species.
084.- Eurasian coot. Very common resident species.
085.- Red-knobbed coot. Rare resident.
086.- Purple swamphen. Very common resident species.
087.- Common crane. Common winter bird.
088.- Little bustard. Uncommon wintering species.
089.- Eurasian oystercatcher. Uncommon wintering species and common migrant.
090.- Pied avocet. Common resident species.
091.- Black-winged stilt. Very common resident species.
092.- Eurasian stone curlew. Common resident species.
093.- Collared pratincole. Common breeder.
094.- Little ringed plover. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
095.- Common ringed plover. Common migrant and wintering species.
096.- Kentish plover. Common resident species.
097.- Grey plover. Common regular migrant.
098.- Eurasian dotterel. Uncommon migrant.
099.- European golden plover. Very common wintering species.
100.- Northern lapwing. Very common wintering bird and uncommon breeder.
101.- Knot. Uncommon migrant and wintering species.
102.- Sanderling. Uncommon wintering species.
103.- Ruddy turnstone. Rare in Doñana but common at Odiel all year.
104.- Dunlin. Very common wintering species.
105.- Curlew sandpiper. Very common wintering species.
106.- Temminck´s stint. Uncommon regular migrant.
107.- Little stint. Regular and common winter species.
108.- Wood sandpiper. Common migrant and uncommon wintering species.
109.- Green sandpiper. Common resident species.
110.- Common sandpiper. Very common non breeder resident and migrant.
111.- Common redshank. Non breeder resident species specially common in winter and on migration.
112.- Spotted redshank. Non breeder resident species specially common in winter and on migration.
113.- Common greenshank. Non breeder resident species specially common in winter and on migration.
114.- Marsh sandpiper. Uncommon migrant.
115.- Black-tailed godwit. Common non breeder resident, very common in winter.
116.- Bar-tailed godwit. Rare in Doñana but common at Odiel all year.
117.- Eurasian curlew. Regular migrant and uncommon wintering species.
118.- Whimbrel. Regular migrant and uncommon wintering species.
119.- Eurasian woodcock. Uncommon wintering species.
120.- Common snipe. Very common wintering species.
121.- Jack snipe. Uncommon wintering species.
122.- Red-necked phalarope. Very uncommon migrant.
123.- Ruff. Common non breeder resident, very common in winter.
124.- Great skua. Very uncommon non breeder resident.
125.- Pomarine skua. Very uncommon non breeder resident.
126.- Arctic skua. Very uncommon non breeder resident.
127.- Black-headed gull. Very common resident species, specially in the rice area.
128.- Slender-billed gull. Common breeder resident.
129.- Yellow-legged gull. Very common non breeder resident.
130.- Audouin´s gull. Common non breeder resident and very common wintering bird.
131.- Great black-backed gull. Uncommon wintering species.
132.- Lesser black-backed gull. Very common non breeder resident.
133.- Black-legged kittiwake. Uncommon wintering species.
134.- Little gull. Very uncommon resident.
135.- Little tern. Common breeder.
136.- Sandwich tern. Common resident.
137.- Gull-billed tern. Common breeder.
138.- Common tern. Uncommon migrant.
139.- Arctic tern. Very uncommon migrant.
140.- Caspian tern. Uncommon but regular resident.
141.- Lesser crested tern. Uncommon migrant.
142.- Black tern. Very uncommon breeder and uncommon migrant.
143.- White-winged tern. Uncommon migrant.
144.- Whiskered tern. Very common breeder.
145.- Razorbill. Uncommon but regular wintering species.
146.- Pin-tailed sandgrouse. Common resident species.
147.- Stock dove. Uncommon wintering species.
148.- Common wood pigeon. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
149.- Eurasian collared dove. Very common resident species.
150.- European turtle dove. Uncommon breeder and common migrant.
151.- Eurasian eagle owl. Very uncommon resident.
152.- Long-eared owl. Uncommon resident species.
153.- Short-eared owl. Common wintering species.
154.- Tawny owl. Common resident species.
155.- Barn owl. Common resident species.
156.- Little owl. Very common resident species.
157.- Eurasian scops owl. Migrant very difficult to detect.
158.- Great spotted cuckoo. Common early breeder, very difficult from April on.
159.- Common cuckoo. Common breeder and migrant.
160.- Eurasian nightjar. Uncommon migrant.
161.- Red-necked nightjar. Very common breeder.
162.- Common swift. Very common breeder and migrant.
163.- Pallid swift. Very common breeder and migrant.
164.- Alpine swift. Uncommon migrant.
165.- Hoopoe. Common breeder and uncommon wintering bird.
166.- Common kingfisher. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
167.- European bee-eater. Very common breeder.
168.- European roller. Observable only on migration.
169.- Eurasian green woodpecker. Common resident species.
170.- Great spotted woodpecker. Common resident species.
171.- Lesser spotted woodpecker. Uncommon species but expanding.
172.- Eurasian wryneck. Uncommon resident easier to observe in winter or on migration.
173.- Skylark. Very common wintering species.
174.- Crested lark. Very common resident species.
175.- Thekla lark. Common resident species.
176.- Woodlark. Very common resident species.
177.- Greater short-toed lark. Very common breeder.
178.- Lesser short-toed lark. Very common resident species.
179.- Calandra lark. Very common resident species.
180.- Sand martin. Breeding colonies not known in the Natural Site.
181.- Barn swallow. Very common breeder and regular but rare wintering species.
182.- Red-rumped swallow. Common breeder and rare but regular wintering species.
183.- Common house martin. Very common breeder and regular but rare wintering species.
184.- Tawny pipit. Uncommon wintering and migrant, easier during postnuptial migration.
185.- Richard’s pipit. Very uncommon migrant and wintering species.
186.- Water pipit. Uncommon migrant and wintering species.
187.- Meadow pipit. Very common wintering species.
188.- Tree pipit. Uncommon migrant and breeder.
189.- White wagtail. Very common wintering species.
190.- Yellow wagtail. Very common breeder and rare winter bird.
191.- Grey wagtail. Uncommon wintering species.
192.- Dunnock. Uncommon wintering species.
193.- European robin. Rare breeder and very common wintering bird.
194.- Common nightingale. Very common breeding species.
195.- Rufous-tailed scrub robin. Common breeding species.
196.- Bluethroat. Common wintering species.
197.- Common redstart. Very common on both migrations.
198.- Black redstart. Very common wintering species.
199.- Northern wheatear. Very common migrant specially during postnuptial migration.
200.- Black-eared wheatear. Uncommon breeder and migrant.
201.- Whinchat. Very common migrant.
202.- European stonechat. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
203.- Song thrush. Very common wintering species.
204.- Redwing Uncommon wintering species.
205.- Fieldfare. Uncommon wintering species.
206.- Mistle thrush. Uncommon resident species.
207.- Eurasian blackbird. Very common resident species.
208.- Ring ouzel. Very uncommon wintering species.
209.- Common rock thrush. Very uncommon migrant.
210.- Garden warbler. Very common migrant.
211.- Eurasian blackcap. Uncommon breeder but very common wintering species.
212.- Common whitethroat. Uncommon migrant.
213.- Western orphean warbler. Observable mainly on migration.
214.- Sardinian warbler. Very common resident species.
215.- Spectacled warbler. Uncommon resident, easy only during postnuptial migration.
216.- Subalpine warbler. Very uncommon breeder, easy only during prenuptial migration.
217.- Dartford warbler. Resident species whose number increases significantly in winter.
218.- Sedge warbler. Very common migrant in late winter.
219.- Aquatic warbler. Very uncommon and very difficult to detect migrant.
220.- Zitting cisticola. Very common resident species.
221.- Common grasshopper. Warbler Uncommon and very difficult to detect migrant.
222.- Savi´s warbler. Uncommon breeding species.
223.- Cetti´s warbler. Very common resident species.
224.- Eurasian reed warbler. Very common breeding species.
225.- Great reed warbler. Very common breeding species.
226.- Western olivaceous warbler. Abundant breeding species in particular habitats.
227.- Melodious warbler. Abundant breeding species.
228.- Willow warbler. Very abundant migrant.
229.- Wood warbler. Uncommon and very difficult to detect migrant.
230.- Western Bonelli’s warbler. Uncommon and very difficult to detect migrant.
231.- Common chiffchaff. Very common wintering species.
232.- Iberian chiffchaff. Very common breeding species.
233.- Common firecrest. Very uncommon resident species.
234.- Goldcrest. Uncommon resident species.
235.- Winter wren. Very common resident species.
236.- Spotted flycatcher. Very uncommon breeding species but very abundant on migration.
237.- European pied flycatcher. Very uncommon breeding species but very abundant on migration.
238.- Great tit. Very common resident species.
239.- Eurasian blue tit. Very common resident species.
240.- European crested tit. Common resident species.
241.- Long-tailed tit. Very common resident species.
242.- Eurasian penduline tit. Common resident species.
243.- Short-toed treecreeper. Very common resident species.
244.- Southern grey shrike. Common resident species.
245.- Woodchat shrike. Very common breeding species.
246.- Iberian magpie. Very common resident species.
247.- Eurasian magpie. Very common resident species.
248.- Eurasian jackdaw. Very common resident species.
249.- Common raven. Resident species specially common in winter.
250.- European starling. Very common resident species.
251.- Spotless starling. Very common wintering species.
252.- Eurasian golden oriole. Uncommon breeding species easier to get on migration.
253.- House sparrow. Very common resident species.
254.- Spanish sparrow. Very common resident species.
255.- Eurasian tree sparrow. Common resident species.
256.- Rock sparrow. Uncommon breeding and wintering species.
257.- Black-crowned bishop. Common resident species, easier to observe in summer.
258.- Common waxbill. Common resident species, easier to observe in summer.
259.- Black-rumped waxbill. Uncommon resident species.
260.- Common chaffinch. Very common resident species.
261.- Eurasian linnet. Very common resident species.
262.- European goldfinch. Very common resident species.
263.- European greenfinch. Very common resident species.
264.- Eurasian siskin. Uncommon regular wintering species.
265.- European serin. Very common resident species.
266.- Eurasian bullfinch. Uncommon wintering species.
267.- Hawfinch. Uncommon breeding and regular but uncommon wintering species.
268.- Reed bunting. Uncommon regular wintering species.
269.- Ortolan bunting. Uncommon breeding and migrant.
270.- Cirl bunting. Uncommon resident, breeding and migrant species.
271.- Corn bunting. Very common resident species.

About José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

José Antonio Sánchez se licenció en Biología por la Universidad de Sevilla en 1985. Más tarde, durante varios años, se dedicó a organizar y guiar rutas de senderismo y naturaleza ...

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