First ever atlas of Barcelona’s nesting birds

Birds enrich the ecosystem, generate wellbeing among many citizens and help keep insect populations under control. A new atlas now brings together detailed information on the 83 nesting species which can be found in Barcelona. The work will help promote the conservation of these species, an essential task in guaranteeing a healthy and habitable city.

Birds give the city added value and help control insect populations as they are a fundamental part of their diet. That means savings on fumigation campaigns and less contaminating substances. They also play a part play in the recreation, education and wellbeing of local residents, who can enjoy birdsong and birdwatching.

Promoting the conservation of birds is an essential task which helps guarantee the city as a healthy and habitable place. To this end, the first atlas of nesting birds in Barcelona has been created, an important tool in monitoring bird populations and providing data to be taken into consideration when planning how to green up public spaces. It also allows citizens to become more familiar with natural heritage and urban biodiversity, as well as being an educational resource for schools.

An example of citizen science

According to the current bird census there are 140,000 individuals belonging to 83 species which nest in the city, 10 of which are exotic and 73 autochthonous. The atlas includes detailed information on each species, as well as illustrations of the birds and their habitats, and maps showing where to find them.

Some species, such as the blackbird, inhabit all parks and gardens in the city, while others such as the green woodpecker and greater spotted woodpecker are more scarce and only found in Collserola and the upper parts of the city. Other notable conclusions include the detection of a colony of Audouin’s gull, a threatened species just a few years ago, as well as six different species of parakeets and a pair of white wagtail which nest in plant pots and flower boxes.

Promoted and coordinated by the City Council, the Catalan Ornithology Institute (ICO), the University of Barcelona and the Zoo, the atlas has been put together using different scientific methods based on the observation of nest and bird behaviour. Over a three year period, entities, institutions, experts and members of the public have worked together to produce a census of birds in a cross-cutting example of citizen science.

The Atlas of Barcelona’s nesting birds is published in Catalan, Spanish and English. You can find it in bookshops, and like all books published or co-published by Barcelona City Council it is also available in the Sala Ciutat, the municipal bookshop specialising in the city of Barcelona.