Birds seen by Daniel

Daniel Macia writes:

After three years of wandering the Road to Andorra, it is the first time that I got to do this section from the river Sallent -near the farmhouses of Nargó- up to the valley of Cabó. If there is anything I would highlight in this section, it would be the splendid scenery that we saw throughout the H

ike. Along the same lines as the previous summaries, I have chosen two species of those that I observed: the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) and the crested tit (Parus cristatus).

Below, I will recount the main features of each of these species, the habitat they occupy, their conservation status and other information that may help us to know them better.

The bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), can be recognized because it has a light colored head and a characteristic black spot from the eye to the beak. The upper parts are dark and the lower is ocher. Its beak is gray. One thing that helps us to identify it and avoid mistaking it for a griffon vulture when we see it flying, is the shape of its tail. The bearded vulture has a wedge-shaped tail.We find bearded vultures mostly in mountainous areas at altitudes between approximately 600 and 2,800 meters. It nests on cliffs that are always far from human presence. They build their nests on the walls of the cliffs making for few suitable sites. And they must compete for space with the griffon vulture, which also occupy these areas for nesting.
It is a non-migratory species, so we can see it throughout the year.
Their diet is based mainly on carrion and bones. Listed as endangered species, conservationists are currently proceeding with their re-introduction in various parts of Spain. An example of this is the re-introduction of the first bearded vultures in the Picos de Europa last July 9, 2010.

The second species that I will discuss today is much more common: the crested tit (Parus cristatus). They are very easy to observe and identify because of their characteristic sharp crest in black and white colours. The upper parts are greyish and the lower are whitish. Bib, eyebrow and necklace are black. They mainly occupy the coniferous forests (pines), although they also can be observed in other areas. The tits diet is mainly based on insects and during autumn and winter they augment their diet with pine nuts and berries. It is one of the species that often occupy nest boxes. This is not an endangered species at present and, in fact, there has been an increase of its population, due to the expansion of forest areas. Although as expected, forest fires affect its distribution greatly.As a non-migratory species we will again be able to observe it throughout the year.

Note :
The day of the Hike (January 8, 2011) we observed and/or listened to a total of 14 different bird species.
If anyone is interested in knowing what species we observed, simply ask for the information via the comments section of this article.