Spain Birding Tours
The Kingdom of Spain (“Spain” hereafter) forms the bulk of the Iberian Peninsula and is one of the principle bird watching countries of the western palearctic. It is a large country by European standards of some 195,360 square miles (505,990 square kilometers), which makes it larger than the US state of California. It has a population of 47.43 million people and with a population density of 243.5 people/square mile is considered to have a fairly low population density. Spain borders Portugal on its west side, France and Andorra to the northeast, and shares a border with Gibraltar, a United Kingdom overseas territory, near the southern tip of the country. The Mediterranean Sea envelops the east and south sides of Spain, while sections of its west coast (north of the Portugal border) are met by the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, it is only a stone’s throw to the south, across the Straits of Gibraltar (8 miles/14 kilometers) to the North African country of Morocco.
Spain’s capital, Madrid, is in the center of the country and has a population of 6.79 million people. It is a city of culture and history, ripe for exploration. Spain was established as a kingdom in 1516 AD from the union of the crowns of Castille and Aragon. Prior to this, Spain and its original Iberian people had been controlled by many factions, such as the Greeks, Carthaginians, Germanic Goths, and Islamic Arabs of North Africa, between the 9th century BC and the 15th century AD. In modern times the Spanish Empire conquered huge areas of the Earth, especially in the New World, before gradually losing them over the next 400 years. It was during this period that they conquered the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and the African based enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla which have remained under Spanish control to this day. In the 20th century AD, Spain remained neutral during the First World War before seeing its own civil war from 1936-1939 between the Republicans and Francisco Franco’s nationalist movement which ended with Franco seizing power (1939-1975) before the transition to the rule of King Juan Carlos thereafter. Spain officially joined the European Union in 1993.