The Iberian Peninsula forms a distinct geographical environment as the setting for many species of birds that are found nowhere else in Europe, and as the crossroads of the twice-annual migration between Europe and Africa. Over 500 species have been recorded in Spain, with some 270 breeding including several European-threatened species such as the quirky Purple Gallinule, the beautiful Golden Eagle and the endemic Spanish Imperial Eagle. This variety is attributed mainly to its geographical location, placed between Europe and Africa, having coasts on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and its landscapes which encompass an impressive range of habitats and climates. Areas where traditional farming practices such as the dehesa are still employed have also helped to enhance birdlife.
Birdwatching around the coastline of the Province of Cádiz benefits from the close proximity to the main migration routes which are centred around the Strait of Gibraltar. The Strait offers the shortest crossing from Europe to the African continent and its legendary landmarks, the twin pillars of Hercules – the Rock of Gibraltar and Mount Abyla in Morocco are obvious to migrating birds and millions of birds pass over here on passage between the two continents.
Inland there are a great diversity of habitats that harbour a wide variety of migrant species that include rivers, reservoirs, saltmarsh, wetlands , forests, mountains and areas of agricultural land.