Birding Apennines – mountains through the Mediterranean
The “Appennini” are spectacular mountains that arise from the very heart of Italy, with their highest summits reaching 3000 meters, or 9800 feet. Nature, history, and thousands of years of culture combine here to create a uniquely magical landscape. This mountain chain is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the entire Europe.
Gentle peaks alternate with steep cliffs, interspersed with deep gorges, plateaus, and scree fields. The diversity of exposures and slopes here creates the conditions for an astonishing variety of habitats, from lakes and alpine grasslands to forests many of which are centuries-old and probably among the oldest in Europe . The landscape shows the signs of the millenary human presence: medieval villages, sanctuaries, hermitages, ancient fortresses and mule tracks are scattered in the mountains.
The traditional activities have produced a remarkable increase of biodiversity, through the creation of secondary habitats, to which numerous rare species of flora and fauna are linked.
The Apennines are preserved in a series of natural parks, running north to south through Italy and famous throughout the world as a model of conservation and environmental protection. The many highlight birds to be seen here include Rock Partridge, Goshawk, Eurasian Honey-buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Eagle Owl, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Wallcreeper, Alpine Accentor, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Snowfinch, and Alpine Chough. The vast beech and fir forests are the home of the highly sought-after White-backed and Black Woodpeckers.
The Apennines run from he western edge of the Alps to the southern tip of the boot passing through some of the most renowned regions of Italy as Liguria, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Umbria, Marche, Lazio and Abruzzo. The mountains are easily accessible from Florence, Lucca, Perugia, Arezzo, Pisa, Assisi, and Rome.