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Bird-watching in Navarre


High Mountain

In general

High mountain is considered those areas located above 1,700 m., at the so-called Subalpine and Alpine levels.

These altitudes, and consequently this habitat, can only be found in Navarre in the extreme north-east. Deforestation on the summits and higher parts of lower mountains, has, however, created an environment similar to that of the high mountain, a good number of the species proper to these climes establishing themselves. Such is the case of Urbasa, Andia, Aralar and some of the mountains on the "divide".

The open-pasture landscape may be peppered with willow, yew, juniper and savin juniper, rhododendrons, roses and a few species of bush. Crags and rocky outcrops are also an important part of the landscape.

These areas are almost permanently snowbound in the winter.


Not many species live in these areas. Those that do, however, are of interest, their being fairly exclusive to these environments. As one can imagine, the densities are rather low.

The Water Pipit, Sky Lark, Alpine Accentor, Ring Ouzel, Northern Wheatear, Black Redstart, Rock Thrush, Yellow-billed Chough, Common Raven, Citril Finch and Snowfinch are characteristic species worthy of note. The Wallcreeper and, above all, the Ptarmigan are rarer.

The livestock which grazes on the mountainsides attracts carrion birds like the Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture and the Lammergeier.