Griffon Vultures nesting in the old cliff rocks of La Muela Mountain, Golden Eagles flying over the plains of María and Bee-eaters, Golden Orioles and Shrikes in the vicinity of Cortijo la Estrella.

Whether you are a keen ornithologist or just someone who enjoys nature and wildlife, the region of Los Vélez offers the visitor the opportunity to enjoy not only beautiful landscapes with mountains, valleys, pine forests and vast plains but also the chance to see some of the impressive raptors and steppe birds that are present in the region,

It is impossible to describe the landscape of Los Vélez in one single catch-phrase. Around every corner or behind each mountain you'll find a completely different landscape. From the pine forests near María to the dry desert-like mountains around Vélez Blanco. The plains, the mountains and the valleys all support different ecosystems and habitats that in turn have preserved a wide and varied fauna.

The area of Los Vélez has a vast population of steppe birds and raptors with the largest gathering of birds of prey per square kilometre in the whole of Andalucía. Out of the 27 typical species found in the Iberian Peninsula, 22 have been seen here including the Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonellis Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Eagle Owl, Little Bustard, Golden Eagle, and the only colony of lesser kestrel that exists in the Province of Almería. All the nocturnal species are found in the area except the Boreal Owl.

Thanks to the restoration project the Griffon Vulture (Gyps Fulvus) has returned to nest in the old cliff rocks of La Muela Mountain.

The geology of the region is very diverse and offers many important ecosystems that support many species of birds.

Some species that can be seen in the vicinity of Cortijo la Estrella include Hoopoe, Bee-eaters, Woodchat Shrike, Grey Shrike, Scops Owl, Nightjar, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Blackcap, Orphean Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Merlin, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Stock Dove, Green Woodpecker, Wryneck, Magpie, Greenfinch, Redwing, Song Thrush, Fieldfare, Roller, Golden Oriole, Black Redstart, Black Wheatear, Spotless Starling, Swallow, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Barn Owl, Swift, Pallid Swift, Merlin and many more.

Some areas of the Natural Park may only be visited with a qualified guide so as to protect and conserve these areas further and to minimize the disturbance of the animals living and breeding in these areas.

We can offer our guests the use of this 'Guide to the Birds of the Region of Los Vélez'' written and illustrated by two local guides with a passion for wildlife and nature. Ángel Montalbán and Elisa Expósito Torres, in Spanish, English and German. The book provides information on the physical and biological environment of the region of Los Vélez together with descriptions and beautiful hand drawn illustrations of the birds found in each particular area of the region.

Guided tours can be arranged for individuals, couples, families or groups.

There is also the opportunity to enjoy a day in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park or in Europes only natural desert area of Tabernas. You can find out more details by visiting Indalodeoz.com or email Jesus Contreras for more information.