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Abruzzo National Park - BirdForum Opus

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In the central Appenines, Abruzzo is one of Italy's most famous national parks and the last stronghold of several mammals now extremely rare or extinct elsewhere in Italy.

Although best known for its mammals Abruzzo has a good selection of mountain and forest birds in an area with good tourist facilities. The park covers more than 400km2 at altitudes between 700 and 2,200m.

Habitats vary but this is very much an upland area with ancient beech forest mixed with Black Pine on the lower slopes and Dwarf Mountain Pine and Juniper at higher altitudes. Higher still there are meadows and the higher peaks are generally bare of vegetation.


Notable Species

The birds of the higher area include Peregrine Falcon, Golden Eagle and Common Buzzard, Eurasian Dotterel, both choughs and Northern Raven and passerines such as Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper and Snow Finch.

The beech forests are extremely rich in birds with Eagle, Long-eared and Tawny Owls, Northern Goshawk and Eurasian Sparrowhawk and woodpeckers including, Green, Great, Middle and Lesser Spotted and the lilfordi race of White-backed. In addition there are Hawfinch, Western Bonelli's Warbler and Firecrest as well as more widespread species such as Common Jay, Woodpigeon and Marsh Tit.

In the more open area there are birds such as Hoopoe and Wood Lark, Tawny Pipit, Northern Wheatear and buntings and Rock Sparrow breeds in meadows just outside Pescasseroli.

The many streams have breeding Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and Common Dipper and where the River Sangro forms a lake, Lago de Barrea, east of Villetta Barrea, Black Kite, Great Crested Grebe and Common Sandpiper can be seen. Wood and Green Sandpiper occur on passage.


Birds you can see here include:

Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Mallard, Black Kite, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Rock Partridge, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Common Cuckoo, Great Eagle Owl, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Wryneck, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Eurasian Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Common Dipper, Alpine Accentor, Black Redstart, Northern Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Orphean Warbler, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Firecrest, Collared Flycatcher, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Common Jay, Alpine Chough, Red-billed Chough, Northern Raven, White-winged Snow Finch, Rock Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, Eurasian Linnet, Common Crossbill, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Yellowhammer, Cirl Bunting, Ortolan Bunting

Other Wildlife

Abruzzo is famous for its small population of Brown Bear, belonging to the race Ursus arctos marsicanus, and the now extremely rare Appenine Wolf . More frequently seen are the Abruzzo race of Chamois and reintroduced Red Deer and Roe Deer.

Also present in the park are Wildcat, Badger, Red Fox, Pine Marten and Beech Marten and Otter and nearly thirty other species of mammal as well as thirty reptiles.

In the grassland above the forest there is a wide range of flowers especially impressive in May and June. These include Alpine Pasqueflower, Appennine Edelweiss and the spectacular Martagon Lily and Venus Slipper Orchid. Iris marsica is an endemic iris, only recently discovered.

Site Information

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

To do

Access and Facilities

Pescasseroli, in the centre of the park, has been developed as a ski-resort and has plentiful accommodation as well as the park headquarters. Opi has a campsite and Civitella Alfedena has a hotel. The park can be reached on the S83 or Marsicana road which can be taken from the Pescina exit of the A25 motorway linking Rome and Pescara. Abruzzi can be reached on public transport, by train from Rome to Avezzano then by bus to the park, or directly from Rome by bus.

In some areas, e.g. Forca Resuni, visitors must keep to the path but access is open over most of the park. A visit to Valle di Rose in August requires booking at the musum in Pescasseroli because so many tourists come to view the Chamois.

Contact Details

To do

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve


ruggiel's review The author failed to mention the Griffon Vulture, breeding just outside the NP borders and regularly moving aorund in search of carcasses Best sites to watch Griffons are Scanno and Petrella Liri areas. Pros

  • lovely landscape
  • one of the few sites in Europe where you can encounter the bear