A checklist for the Birds of Andalucía

The species list includes all birds known to occur or have occurred in Andalucía in the natural state during historical times. There are notable exceptions, in particular some subspecies and exotica as explained later. All species are recognised and accepted by national and regional lists, also all rarities are included only if they have been accepted by the Association of European Records and Rarities Committee. The list deals only with the autonomous region of Andalucía. Have a look at the Checklist

Nomenclature and sequence are that favoured by Frank Gill’s IOC bird listing revised 07.2020. For continuity’s sake I have stuck with this order, but not without some misgivings. For instance, Gill’s list places some members of the family Sylviidae as being in the new genus ‘Curruca’ formally known as and replacing ‘Sylvia’, whilst Cornell University’s Clements list retains them as ‘Sylvia’. There are other differentials between these two most popular bird lists, so in the end I have opted for continuity. Names are given for all species English and scientific names, followed by Spanish names (these are those used by Gutiérrez et al in the Lista de aves de España 2012).

I have consulted various bird lists, local and national here in Spain, also world bird checklists. The number is extensive, and no doubt will become more so in the future. In addition, I also consulted many reference works, breeding and wintering bird atlases, some monographs and local/regional bird reports etc. Of course, I have also used the old ABS Checklist as a source and take this opportunity to revise and completely update it.

During the time spent compiling this bird list, occasions arose where I could exercise what I term as ‘author’s choice’. And those choices will no doubt attract some attention. I have for instance excluded some subspecies, prime examples being the Yellow Wagtail complex and certain gull species. Yet, in what might appear contradictory, I have included some others such as the two subspecies of White Wagtail occurring in our region. I include these in the hope of encouraging observers to pay particular attention to White Wagtails in winter and on passage so we may encourage more reports on these subspecies. I have excluded many exotica, especially where observations were few and obviously involved escaped individuals or small groups. In my opinion these have no worth in terms of increasing our knowledge of local avifauna. However, I have included those escaped/introduced species that now have sustainable breeding populations, clearly, they are now part of our local avifauna.

My thanks to the following for reviewing several drafts of the list and correcting errors.

Manuel Morales, Javi Elorriaga, Manuel Mojarro, Jose Luis Sánchez Balsera, Antonio Pestana, Juan Martín Bermúdez, Mick Richardson, Vicente Malagon, Frank Hair, Luis Alberto Rodriguez, Laury Grenon, William Haworth, Simon Tonkin, Niki Williamson, Neil A Hill, Yeray Seminario.

Key to symbols used

Categories (National):

I use the classification system used by different countries at European level, the AERRC. The meaning is as follows:

The categories that have been given to each species refer to their situation in Spain. The official list of birds consists only of categories A, B, C, D and E1.

A – Species that have been cited in an apparently natural state at least once since January 1, 1950.

B – Species that have been recorded, at least once in an apparently natural state, from January 1, 1800 to December 31, 1949, but not after the latter date.

C – Exotic species that, having been deliberately or accidentally introduced by man, have established regular reproductive populations that remain self-sufficient, independent and stable, or else increase their demography by manifesting invasive characteristics. Also included are those exotic species that, without reproducing regularly in our country, are established in neighbouring countries from where specimens arrive on a regular basis.

D – Species that cannot be safely assigned to categories A or B because there is a reasonable possibility that all their records come from birds of non-natural origin.

E – Exotic species, deliberately or accidentally introduced by man, that do not have established populations. Only species classified as E1 are included in this list.

E1 – with populations that reproduce regularly and are considered close to being established.

E2 – species that have been found to reproduce occasionally or irregularly, but there is no indication that they are in the process of establishment.

E3 – species observed only occasionally, without having verified their reproduction.

Categories (Andalucía):

Here the keys used are with the necessary adaptations to the Andalusian territory shown in the above national criteria. Here I suggest how to interpret the keys used.

The categories used here are meant to act as a guide only and refer to the status of each species within the territory of Andalucía. Anomalies will inevitably occur i.e. Booted Eagle, Barn Swallow and House Martin have been assigned with the keys S,M meaning summer migrants, but all do have small populations in the region during winter.

It should also be born in mind, many species resident here are joined by birds of the same species during winter, moreover many of these winter birds will continue their migration south as well as staying here for the winter months. So the terms used here R,W resident and also winter populations, could equally include M for migrant.

Status and rarity categories in the Andalusian bird list.

L – Meeting some of the national criteria but are localised in their distribution within the territory.

M – Migrant in both spring and autumn. Birds that travels from one place to another at regular times often over long distances and are transitory in the region.

R – Resident i.e. Birds that are present throughout the year.

S – Birds that are migrants and settle to breed here during our summer months. Birds spending summer here, then they – and their new young – return south in autumn.

V – Vagrant. A bird that is considered vagrant if it strays far outside of its expected breeding, wintering, or migrating range. It can be a bird seen only once, or on several occasions within our territory. The key is applied for birds that continue to be a rarity in Andalucía, but this is a category that requires constant review.

W – Winter. The most common types of migration are those carried out by birds in the spring and the autumn. In the autumn, they travel from breeding grounds in the north to wintering grounds in the south, and vice versa in the spring. Here we have resident populations also joined by northern populations in winter i.e. Blackcap et al.

? – For two species, Slender-billed Curlew now thought to be extinct and Common Buttonquail for whom the status is unknown.


The idea behind this checklist is to give the latest information on the birds recorded in the region. Any checklist of this nature is sure to attract some critiques, whether for those species and subspecies omitted or even for some of the species included. I have done my best to portray the status for each species as accurately as possible and after very extensive research. It should be remembered, that both the species account and the status for species will change in the future. Hopefully, updates to this list will appear regularly on the main ABS Website.

Finally, the compilation and research done in producing this checklist is my own and any errors within this checklist is my responsibility and not that of the Society.

Peter Jones

Main References
ABS Checklist 2008, AERC TAC WP Bird List (July 2015), Seo/Birdlife 2019
Reservoir Birds 2020
Avibase 2020
BirdLife International 2020 www.birdlife.org
IOC (now IOU) World Bird List July 2020 version 10.2