The municipality of Villena, the second largest in the province, stands out for the great variety of bird species that we find throughout the year, these being the objective of a sustainable nature-friendly tourism discipline: that related to Birding or Birdwatching.

Good proof of the environmental importance of the municipality of Villena is the high percentage of special protection areas (SPAS) included in the European Union Natura 2000 network, through 4 protection bodies: SPAB (Special Protection Areas for Birds), SCI (Site of Community Importance), Micro-reserves of Flora and Wildlife Reserves, where the main habitats found are the following:


With regard to bird watching, Villena has the best areas of steppe and cereal fields in the province of Alicante, particularly the Valley of the Alhorines. It was here that, at the beginning of the century, the Lesser Kestrel was reintroduced with remarkable success, using the roofs of old buildings to raise and fly over the adjacent fields. We also find other species such as the pin-tailed sandgrouse, little bustards and stone curlews, Montagu’s Harriers, Northern Wheatears, Calandra larks, corn buntings or more sporadically, the black-bellied sandgrouse and the incredible Great Bustard.


The Peña Rubia, the Picachos de Cabrera, the Morrón or the Sierra de Salinas stand out, the latter is of great importance due to its good state of conservation and where we find the highest point of the municipality, 1,238 metres in La Capilla. These areas of pine forests and holm oaks of great beauty, often with terrace crops associated with them, host a wide variety of species among which the majestic Golden Eagle or the Eagle Owl along with Jays, the little Wrens, Black Wheatears, Sub-Alpine Warblers, Golden Orioles, the short-toed tree creeper or another of our nocturnal raptors, the Tawny Owl.

Salt Flats

The salt flat areas, apparently barren, nevertheless contain an interesting environmental heritage due to both the species of birds present and the uniqueness of the plants that grow in these areas. The ancient lagoon of Villena, once valued for its large population of waterfowl and now dried up, allows the observation of different species throughout the year, such as Little-Ringed Plovers, Black-winged Stilts, Fan-tail warblers, Great Grey Shrikes, Lesser short-toed larks, Black-eared Wheatears or Bee-eaters.