This tour offers excellent birding in an area of Mexico with a high concentration of endemic species. With features including a city with a rich archaeological and cultural heritage, short drives to numerous birding areas, and the possibility of seeing more than twenty Mexican endemics, it's one of our perennial favorites.
The beautiful city of Oaxaca might itself be considered old were it not for the fact that the scenic semi-arid valley in which it stands is studded with the truly ancient cities of the pre-Columbian Zapotec culture. The imposing ruins of Monte Alban, overlooking the present-day city of Oaxaca, and Yagul, in the giant cactus forest southeast of the city, are reminders that a complex and advanced civilization flourished here millennia before the arrival of European conquistadors. The present-day Zapotecs, many still clothed in colorful traditional dress, are living testimony to the concurrent existence of several different and distinctive cultures in modern Oaxaca.
The city is located at the crossroads of several major biogeographic regions of Mexico, and its bird life is influenced by all of these. Among the resultant mixture are two-dozen species endemic to Mexico, including West Mexican Chachalaca, Boucard's and Gray-barred wrens, Dusky and Beautiful hummingbirds, Bridled and Oaxaca sparrows, Gray-breasted Woodpecker, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Red Warbler, and Slaty and Dwarf vireos. We'll look to see them against Oaxaca's rich backdrop of culture and ruins.
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