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Mallorca's urban bird guide

Not just for twitchers

There's a new guide just been published which makes it really easy to identify a whole raft of birds which can be seen in Mallorca's urban areas without having to go hiding in the bullrushes by a swam or camouflaged on a precipitous cliff face!

The booklet is called 'A small guide to the urban birds of Mallorca' and it's published in four languages – Spanish, Catalan, English and German. It's been funded by the Tourism authority and its aim is threefold; to inform Mallorcans about the island's wealth of birds, to reinforce their conservation awareness, and to give information to visiting tourists that visit about the environment.

The guide's authors Cati Artigues, whose drawings I've reproduced here, and Toni Muñoz are keen to point out that because of its geographical location on many migratory routes, Mallorca is a great place for birdwatching. They add that we don't have to go far, in fact not even leave the house, to see many species of birds – in the garden, on the terrace or roof – by merely being more observant. Just as an example, you can actually see the beautiful bird of prey, the Peregrine Falcon, nesting on the 'cliffs' of Palma Cathedral in the heart of the city.

There are around 60 beautifully drawn illustrations in the booklet with very simple easy to understand information about the birds. Arranged in geographical order; coast, torrents, urban lagoons, copses, and the urban area and its periphery, the booklet makes it easy to find the bird you've just seen.

The guide has been specifically designed for those who have a passing interest in the natural world around them rather than those who already have an unbridled passion for twitching so it's just a bit strange that the Mallorca Consell has chosen to distribute the publication at Birdfair, a specialist birdwatching tourism fair. Surely the tourist information offices in Mallorca would have been more appropriate?