Did you know that Menorca is a bird watcher’s paradise? Tens of thousands of tourists come to Menorca every year to enjoy its beaches, climate, food and culture. So too do many different species of birds, some of them quite rare, flock to the island during their migrations for much the same reasons (but maybe not the culture). |
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Menorca is home to many different eco-systems and habitats which encourages a varied and diverse plant and animal population. So important is the island’s natural diversity that it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with strict regulations protecting both indigenous and migratory species.
Many avid ornithologists regularly rent a villa in Menorca to use as a base for finding and observing some of the 20 magnificent species of birds of prey that live on or transit through Menorca. When you use a villa as a base camp, it gives you the freedom you need to come and go at all hours and to store the equipment you may need on your adventure (hides, special camera lenses, extra clothing, maybe even climbing gear).
What Can You Expect to Find During Your Menorcan Bird Watching Trip?
The Red Kite is a magnificent bird of prey that can be seen throughout the year. For a greater chance of spotting it, try the Algendar Gorge or El Prat de Son Bou where you can often spot the kite from a distance as it rides the thermals seeking to gain height before it plummets down on its prey.
The Egyptian vulture stands out with its white and hackled neck plumage, a yellow-orange face, and a wedge-shaped tail. It can often be found, even late in the season, in the Algendar Gorge. What makes the Egyptian vulture special is that it is a tool-using bird – it picks up small stones and pebbles and uses them to break and eat eggs it finds in nests.
This medium-sized eagle (about 46 cm in length with a wingspan of 120 cm) has thick plumage on its legs (hence the name). It also has bright white patches on its wings making it easier to spot. S'Albufera des Grau Natural Park is an excellent place to look for this bird which hunts small animals and rodents up to 5 times its own weight.
For many, this is the emperor of birds of prey. A fierce-looking bird, it can reach speeds of over 200 mph as it dives to catch its prey. Due to its looks, its speed and its accuracy when hunting, the Peregrine Falcon has been valued as a trained hunter for centuries and is even a status symbol in many societies. Look for the falcon in Algendar Gorge or Salinas de Montgofre.
Make the Most of Your Stay
Ornithology is an arduous hobby. It can involve hours of walking across fields, through woods or climbing rocky hills. You have to be prepared to brave all types of weather and keep unconventional hours. That’s why renting a villa in Menorca for your bird watching holiday is a no-brainer. You can come and go as you please, make our own food, prepare a thermos of tea or coffee and have somewhere to wash and dry your dirty clothes. All this would cost you extra in a hotel.
But regardless of whether you rent a rent a villa in Menorca or stay at a hotel – be prepared to have an amazing time and see some brilliant examples of this small island’s rich and diverse avian life.
Brenda Jaaback, Managing Director of Bartle Holidays, is a renowned Menorca expert. From its history to its people and from its wildlife to its cuisine - no secret of the island remains hidden to her. Personally selecting the finest properties for her clients, Brenda is the go-to person for anyone looking for a villa in Menorca for a relaxing holiday. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
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