A very special type of landscape is the Dehesa, which covers most of northern Extremadura. The Dehesas had their origins in the Mediterranean forests, consisting of Holm Oak, Cork Oak and Pyrenean Oak. These forests were thinned out, because the wood was needed for construction during the Roman empire and also for building of the vessels of the conquistadors in the 15th and 16th century. You still find the same trees, but it has become a more open landscape, used for agricultural purposes.

It is in fact a cultivated landscape, but it contains a enormous variety of resident birds and migrants. For example, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Scops Owl, Black-shouldered Kite, Hoopoe, Bee-eater and Azure-winged Magpie and, the champion imitator of birds, Spotless Starling. Cranes from northern Europe come here in wintertime in huge numbers.

Because of the livestock that lives -and dies- on it, the Dehesas are an important foraging area for eagles and vultures.
The Dehesas are important not only for birds but also for many species of mammals, like Badger and Genet, that have their breeding grounds here.

 

Best places to observe:
You will encounter Dehesas throughout Villuercas Ibores Jara, on the less ondulating areas in the West and the South and on the hills South and Southeast of Guadaloupe and North of Alía along the road to La Calera for example.

Prime dehesas with a multitud of species that are so characteristic for this habitat are the Dehesa de los Campos de Ramos along the road between Retamosa and Aldeacentenera, the hills West of Cabañas del Castillo and Berzocana (CC-129 from Berzocana to Aldeacentenera) and last but not least, around Carrascalejo and Villar del Pedroso.

Beautiful Dehesa areas can be found South of Logrosán.
• Take the EX-102 from Logrosán to Zorita and turn left at the sign for Madrigalejo. Along this road are also some established tree-colonies of Storks.
Take the CC-22[6] from Logrosán to Obando and follow the sign “Presa Ruecas”. Don't hesitate to take some dirt roads at the left or right side of this road.
Both mentioned areas are excellent for observing crane families in their Dehesa habitat, from mid November till mid March.
 

 
Birds you may expect to see:

English name Scientific name Summer Winter passing
Common Pochard Aythya ferina x
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa x x
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix x
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis x x
White Stork Ciconia ciconia x x
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus x x
Black Kite Milvus migrans x
Red Kite Milvus milvus x x
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus x
Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus x x
Black Vulture Aegypius monachus x x
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus x
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis x x
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus x x
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo x x
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus x
Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus x x
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus x x
Hobby Falco subbuteo x
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus x x
Crane Grus grus x
Dotterel Charadrius morinellus x
Ruff Philomachus pugnax x x
Woodcock Scolopax rusticola x
Greenshank Tringa nebularia x
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus x x
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos x x
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus x x
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto x x
European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur x
Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius x
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus x
EuropeanScops Owl Otus scops x
Little Owl Athene noctua x x
Tawny Owl Strix aluco x x
Long-eared Owl Asio otus x x
Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus x
Red-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis x
White-rumped Swift Apus caffer x
Bee-eater Merops apiaster x
European Roller Coracias garrulus x
Hoopoe Upupa epops x x
Wryneck Jynx torquilla ¿?
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis x x
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major x x
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor x
Wood Lark Lullula arborea x x
Sand Martin Riparia riparia x
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica x
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis x
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis x
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes x x
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas galactotes x
European Robin Erithacus rubecula x x
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica x x
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra x
Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata x x
Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe x
Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica x
Blackbird Turdus merula x x
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris x
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos x
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus x x
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis x x
Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais opaca x
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla x x
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin x
Whitethroat Sylvia communis x
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata x
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita x
Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca  x
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus x x
Coal Tit Parus ater x x
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus x x
Great Tit Parus major x x
Nuthatch Sitta europaea x x
Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus x
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus x
Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis x x
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator x
Jay Garrulus glandarius x x
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyana x x
Raven Corvus corax x x
Starling Sturnus vulgaris x
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis x x
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs x x
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla x
Citril Finch Serinus citrinella ¿? x
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris x x
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis x x
European Siskin Carduelis spinus x
Linnet Carduelis cannabina x x
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor x x
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula x
Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes x x
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella x
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus x x
Hortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana x
Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra x x