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Bluethroat Watching

Because of the frequent and loud chirping, these little birds are called "one hundred songs"


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The Bluethroat is a beautiful small bird from the thrush family distinguished by its bright blue throat plumage (that refers males only) and likewise bright vocals. Locals say that a Bluethroat has a bell in its throat and that it can sing one hundred different songs. During wintertime, they prefer to stay around wetlands, whereas for summer breeding season they choose mountainous areas of Sierra de Guadarrama and Sierra Norte.

The beginning of their breeding season must be the best time for a colourful bluethroat watching experience. The first to arrive in the mountains are males. They are spotted there already in March, though most come in early April. Shortly after the arrival, they are to occupy areas for nesting, and they fight for the best places for themselves. That's when you can hear their loud performances announcing that a certain area is already occupied.

In fact, spring is limited to male bluethroat watching. After mating, females remain discrete, throughout spring they are occupied in the nesting. They finally reveal themselves when they start hunting for their newly hatched chicks. Generally, they are not as easily spotted—unlike males, they don't have blue colouring on the throat.

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