Turismo Madrid


Sierra Norte de Madrid: birdwatching destination


Do you know what birdwatching is? It is an activity that consists in the observation, sighting and contemplation of wild birds. If this hobby catches your attention and you are also a nature lover, we have the perfect plan for you: take a trip to the Sierra Norte de Madrid to practice ornithological tourism and enjoy birdwatching. 

The Sierra Norte de Madrid has a multitude of different ecosystems and a large territory ranging from the peaks of the Guadarrama National Park to the countryside of the fertile valley of Jarama. These characteristics make it the wildest and most protected area of the Community and therefore an ideal destination for birdwatching. Below, we propose 6 perfect areas to enjoy routes where you can practice this unique activity.

High Mountains
From the summits of these mountains you will have the opportunity to see impressive species such as the golden eagle or the leopard vulture. The route through the Laguna de los Pájaros de Peñalara, the route of the lagunillas and the Nevero or the route of the Mina de Plata are optimal to see these birds of prey.

The Pine Forest
The goshawk or the black vulture can be observed in this area that is located between 1,500 and 2,100 meters above sea level. If you walk along the slope of Sanutil, walk the path of the Sestil del Maillo stream and the Mojonavalle slope or take the Pinar de Casasola route, you will have a good chance of encountering these species.

El Robledal
Routes such as the Callejas de Vallehermoso, the path through the centennial oaks, or the Dehesa Boyal de Montejo are ideal to try to see birds of prey such as the buzzard or the sparrowhawk; nocturnal birds such as the tawny owl or the scops owl and smaller birds such as the great tit, the red-backed shrike, the pied flycatcher, the blue tit, the tit, the goldcrest, the cuckoo or the oriole.

La Rampa Serrana or Piedemonte
This area is known for its holm oaks, it also has cleared areas for cultivation and undergrowth. It has several routes that you can do such as the route through the reservoir of El Villar, the adapted route of Redueña or the route through the dehesa boyal of El Berrueco where you will have the opportunity to see different types of eagles such as the booted eagle, the short-toed eagle or even the imperial eagle.

The Aquatic Environment
In this area the protagonist is the water. Between marshes or rivers such as the Jarama and Lozoya, mountains emerge that create a landscape that brings with it birds such as the wagtails, the dipper, the kingfisher, the nightingale or the wren. If you want to contemplate these species, take a walk along the banks of the Jarama, follow the natural path of the valley or take the route of the Cascada del Purgatorio waterfall.

The fertile valley of the Jarama
The main birds that inhabit this area are the Montagu's harrier, the Great Bustard, the European Roller, the Lesser Kestrel, the Black-bellied Sandgrouse or the Little Bustard. If you want to try to see them, we recommend the Mendochino trail or the route along the Carrabús Canal.


More information: Ornithology in the Sierra Norte de Madrid.

Image credits: Ornithology©Piruno_Shutterstock