This was our second run of this bird-rich loop through Oaxaca. In a sense this tour follows the footsteps of the Swiss naturalist François Sumichrast, who arrived in Veracruz in 1855 and spent many years collecting specimens in Mexico for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. From his starting point in Veracruz, Sumichrast worked his way south eventually arriving at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec where he met his wife Rosita, and described the first Rose-bellied Bunting, which he named after her: Passerina rositae. The Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow and Sumichrast’s Wren both bear the name of the intrepid naturalist who spent his final years around the isthmus collecting reptiles, birds, and plants before he died of cholera in the little town of Juchitan. On the tour we actually had lunch in Juchitan, but, thankfully, none of us got cholera!
Starting in Oaxaca City we drove out of the arid Central Valley to the fog-enshrouded town of San Jose del Pacifico where we birded a pine/oak forest full of “Mano de Mono” Trees (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon). The flowers of these trees have eerie red hand-shaped stamens and are hugely popular among the wintering orioles and warblers. We birded the side roads around the town and saw Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, numerous Bumblebee Hummingbirds, Tufted Flycatchers, a Northern Pygmy-Owl and heard some White-throated Jays but, unfortunately, they did not come out from the dense understory. The next day we explored the more humid cloud forest lower in elevation near Pluma Hidalgo and saw Ruddy Foliage-gleaners, Golden Vireos, Tropical Parulas, a cooperative Fan-tailed Warbler, Red-headed Tanagers, and the endemic Blue-capped Hummingbird before continuing all the way to Huatulco.
This year was an El Niño year, so warmer water temperatures meant lower ocean productivity, but we still saw a good diversity of seabirds on our boat trip despite this. Among the droves of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were a handful of Pink-footed and Black-vented Shearwaters, Black and Least Storm-petrels, and Sabine’s Gulls fattening up before their epic journey north to Alaska. We also saw a good number of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, leaping Devil Rays, Spinner Dolphins, and “Spinner” Marlin that were also leaping out of the water.
Next, we birded the dry forest around Huatulco seeing several West Mexican specialties like Colima Pygmy-Owl, Lilac-crowned Parrot, an ultra-cooperative Lesser Ground-cuckoo, and the Long-crested form of Northern Cardinal, which is strikingly different from the ones up north. The pair of Russet-crowned Motmots also put on a show. On a short night excursion around Huatulco, we saw a close Mottled Owl and a pair of Pacific Screech-Owls.
Working our way east, we reached Tehuantepec and spent the afternoon birding the Laguna Superior, which was packed full of birds. Picture vast mudflats dotted with Black Skimmers, Least Sandpipers, Collared, Semipalmated and Snowy Plovers, Gull-billed Terns, and Roseate Spoonbills. We also witnessed a migratory pulse of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Orchard Orioles, and a surprise Red-winged Blackbird singing away on a telephone wire. Heading back to the hotel that afternoon, we found a couple Double-striped Thick-knees out in a weedy field.
The final days of the tour we birded the Gulf Slope in the vicinity of Tuxtepec and Valle Nacional, one of my favorite areas to bird in all of Mexico. Our first morning out of Tuxtepec we explored the karst lowlands, our primary target being Sumichrast’s Wren, which sneaks around in the limestone walls. Besides the wren, we saw an additional 98 species that morning including Northern Bentbill, Mealy Parrots, Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher, Lesson’s Motmots, and both Black-headed and Gartered Trogons. The following days we worked our way up in elevation enjoying vast views of the cloud forest ringing with the songs of Slate-colored Solitaires and Black-headed Nightingale-Thrushes. Other cloud forest highlights were Tody Motmot, Eye-ringed Flatbill, Unicolored and Azure-hooded Jays, Blue-crowned Chlorophonias, Spotted Woodcreeper, and a White-naped Brushfinch singing from a narrow gully.
We wrapped up the tour by driving back to Oaxaca City, stopping to eat at a wonderful little restaurant up in the mountains with Gray-barred Wrens and Collared Towhees right off the balcony, then a quick foray to La Cumbre where we saw a flock of Dwarf Jays in the high elevation conifer forest. Dan and I would like to thank all of you for joining us on this loop through Oaxaca. It was great fun birding with all of you and we look forward to our next adventures together!
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
Heard in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
SLATY-BREASTED TINAMOU (Crypturellus boucardi)
Heard in the humid forest above Valle Nacional.
THICKET TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinnamomeus) [*]
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta)
We saw one in the marsh near Juchitan.
PLAIN CHACHALACA (Ortalis vetula)
The Chachalacas around Valle Nacional.
WEST MEXICAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis poliocephala) [E]
The chachalacas we saw around Huatulco.
CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens)
We saw a pair in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
LONG-TAILED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (Dendrortyx macroura) [E*]
NORTHERN BOBWHITE (Colinus virginianus)
Way to go Carla for spotting these along the road near Juchitan! The birds in this region show elements of the Masked Bobwhites of Chiapas and the and the "Pectoralis" form of Veracruz.
SPOTTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus guttatus) [*]
We heard them in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
A few puttered around the marsh near Juchitan.
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris)
Common along the Gulf Slope.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) [*]
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto)
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)
COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina)
RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
We saw many coming down to drink at the spring near Juchitan.
GRAY-HEADED DOVE (Leptotila plumbeiceps) [*]
WHITE-FACED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon albifacies) [*]
Heard in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
PHEASANT CUCKOO (Dromococcyx phasianellus)
We saw one near Bethania and heard some above Valle Nacional.
LESSER GROUND-CUCKOO (Morococcyx erythropygus)
One of the highlights of the tour! We watched one sneak through the understory in the dry forest near Huatulco.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae)
We had fun watching one in at the cabins at San Jose del Pacifico.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)
The magnificent swifts we saw near Valle Nacional.
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris)
We had a couple sightings near Valle Nacional.
MEXICAN HERMIT (Phaethornis mexicanus)
One zipped by us while we birded near Pluma Hidalgo.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)
We saw one at a lek near Bethania.
MEXICAN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus)
RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens)
We saw a couple at San Jose del Pacifico. One was nectaring at the Aloe flowers at the cabañas!
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)
The starthroat we saw near Pluma Hidalgo.
AMETHYST-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis amethystinus) [*]
BLUE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis clemenciae)
The enormous hummers coming to the feeders at the Colibri Restaurant.
BEAUTIFUL HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax pulcher)
We saw a female near Juchitan, right at the limit of its range.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris)
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus) [*]
BUMBLEBEE HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus heloisa) [E]
One of the smallest hummers in Mexico! We saw some near San Jose del Pacifico and above Valle Nacional.
TURQUOISE-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus doubledayi) [E]
The common hummer of the dry forest near Huatulco and Tehuantepec.
WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Basilinna leucotis)
In the pine/oak forest around San Jose del Pacifico.
BLUE-CAPPED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupherusa cyanophrys) [E]
We had nice looks at both males and females in the humid forest below San Jose del Pacifico.
AZURE-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Saucerottia cyanocephala)
We saw one in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD (Saucerottia beryllina)
CINNAMON HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia rutila)
We ran into this species a number of times around Huatulco.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl)
We saw a few in the forest right above Valle Nacional.
WHITE-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorestes candida)
Seen at close range near Bethania.
RUSSET-NAPED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides albiventris)
One jumped out of the marsh during the afternoon we birded in Veracruz.
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
We scoped some in the marsh in Veracruz.
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus)
We saw a pair in a field near Tehuantepec right at dusk.
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
On the mudflats at Xadani.
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris)
One of my personal highlights was seeing these along the beach at Xadani.
SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus)
We scoped a few at Xadani.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)
The following shorebirds we saw at Xadani on north end of Laguna Superior.
LONG-BILLED CURLEW (Numenius americanus)
MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)
We saw a few zip by on our boat trip off of Huatulco.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
POMARINE JAEGER (Stercorarius pomarinus)
A dark morph shot past our boat off the coast of Huatulco.
SABINE'S GULL (Xema sabini)
We enjoyed watching several flocks of these oceanic gulls off the coast of Huatulco.
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
Several were offshore from Huatulco.
FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
We saw a few of these migrants on our boat trip and at Xadani.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)
We scoped one on the mudflats at Xadani.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
Some flew by at Xadani.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
ELEGANT TERN (Thalasseus elegans)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)
We saw a huge flock lift off the mudflats at Xadani.
BLACK STORM-PETREL (Hydrobates melania)
The larger of the two dark storm-petrels we saw on our boat trip.
LEAST STORM-PETREL (Hydrobates microsoma)
The tiny storm-petrels we saw zip by from our boat off the coast of Huatulco.
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Ardenna creatopus)
We saw only a couple of these bulky shearwaters on our boat trip.
WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER (Ardenna pacifica)
By far the most abundant shearwater of the boat trip.
SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea)
Dan spotted one on our Huatulco pelagic.
GALAPAGOS SHEARWATER (Puffinus subalaris)
We saw just a couple of these compact contrasty shearwaters on our boat trip.
BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (Puffinus opisthomelas)
Smaller and flappier than the more common Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. We saw a handful on our boat trip and even saw some sitting on the water.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Dan spotted some soaring near the town of Bethania.
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens)
BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY (Sula nebouxii)
One flew right past our boat along with a brown booby.
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
We saw some in the Veracruz marsh.
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)
REDDISH EGRET (Egretta rufescens)
We watched some foraging on the mudflats at Xadani.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
The distant ibis we saw at the marsh in Veracruz were either White-faced or Glossy. It's hard to say at such a distance and difficult light conditions.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
Stuart spotted one along the road near Juchitan.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)
There were a couple flying low over the marsh in Veracruz.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens)
It was awesome to watch one flying over the forest at Bethania.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)
WHITE HAWK (SNOWY) (Pseudastur albicollis ghiesbreghti)
Nice! We saw one in the forest above Valle Nacional.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) [*]
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)
A small migratory kettle circled over Valle Nacional.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
PACIFIC SCREECH-OWL (LAMBI) (Megascops cooperi lambi)
The screech-owl we saw near Huatulco.
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (MOUNTAIN) (Glaucidium gnoma gnoma)
We saw one in the pine forest near San Jose del Pacifico.
COLIMA PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium palmarum)
It was satisfying to finally see one after hearing one the previous night in Huatulco. Great views!
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)
Dan spotted one getting mobbed by some Banded Wrens near Huatulco.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata)
Absolutely incredible! We couldn't have had a better look at this handsome owl near Huatulco. It flew in and sang above us for several minutes.
BLACK-HEADED TROGON (Trogon melanocephalus)
The yellow-bellied trogon with the powder blue eyering we saw above Valle Nacional.
CITREOLINE TROGON (Trogon citreolus) [E]
The dry forest trogon we saw near Huatulco and Juchitan.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus)
The yellow-bellied trogon with an orange eyering that we saw near Valle Nacional.
MOUNTAIN TROGON (Trogon mexicanus)
Seen around San Jose del Pacifico.
COLLARED TROGON (XALAPA) (Trogon collaris puella)
The trogon we saw near Pluma Hidalgo and in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula)
Estupendo! After a couple tries we found this diminutive motmot in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
RUSSET-CROWNED MOTMOT (Momotus mexicanus)
We saw one in the dry forest near Huatulco.
LESSON'S MOTMOT (Momotus lessonii)
The third motmot species we saw on the tour. These were in the forest near Bethania.
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
The northernmost jacamar! We saw one near Valle Nacional.
NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (WAGLER'S) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus wagleri)
The Pacific form of Emerald Toucanet. We saw some near Pluma Hidalgo.
NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (EMERALD) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus prasinus) [*]
Heard above Valle Nacional.
COLLARED ARACARI (COLLARED) (Pteroglossus torquatus torquatus)
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
We had multiple looks at this iconic toucan above Valle Nacional.
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)
The ones in the cloud forest near Pluma Hidalgo seemed out of place but I guess there were oaks around.
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani)
We had outstanding looks at a male and female pecking at a trunk near Valle Nacional.
GOLDEN-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes chrysogenys) [E]
The Melanerpes in the dry forest around Huatulco.
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes aurifrons)
We began to see this species around Tehuantepec and also around Valle Nacional.
LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER (Dryobates scalaris)
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus)
We saw one on the side road near San Jose del Pacifico.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Dryobates fumigatus)
We saw one in the forest near Bethania.
PALE-BILLED WOODPECKER (Campephilus guatemalensis)
Stuart spotted one during our morning of birding near Huatulco.
CHESTNUT-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus castaneus)
One zipped over the road at Bethania, but unfortunately it didn't land out in the open.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus)
We had one in view at Bethania. Also heard in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) [*]
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)
Nice! Joe spotted one out at the Veracruz marsh. It was so picturesque in those pink flowers.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
We saw one sitting on a ridge above Valle Nacional.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) [I]
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis)
The parrots that flew by while we were birding the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
WHITE-CROWNED PARROT (Pionus senilis)
A pair flew over us on the road above Valle Nacional.
LILAC-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona finschi)
Seen in the dry forest near Huatulco.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis)
We saw some after the rain cleared near Valle Nacional.
WHITE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona albifrons)
Common around Huatulco. We had great looks at some at Parque Nacional Huatulco.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
What a surprise to see some near Bethania!
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula nana)
The common parakeets around Valle Nacional.
ORANGE-FRONTED PARAKEET (Eupsittula canicularis) [*]
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
One sat out nicely near Valle Nacional.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) [*]
The northernmost of the antbirds. We heard one near Valle Nacional.
MAYAN ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius moniliger moniliger) [*]
Heard near Valle Nacional.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus)
TAWNY-WINGED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla anabatina)
Seen in the forest near Bethania.
IVORY-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster)
Seen near Pluma Hidalgo and Huatulco. We heard some around Bethania as well.
SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius)
This was actually a lifer for me! We saw it in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (NORTHERN) (Lepidocolaptes affinis affinis)
Seen on day one near San Jose del Pacifico.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
We saw one high in the canopy near Bethania.
SCALY-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia variegaticeps)
The small foliage-gleaner we saw in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
RUDDY FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Clibanornis rubiginosus)
We saw some in the humid forest near Pluma Hidalgo and heard some near Valle Nacional.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (MEXICAN) (Automolus ochrolaemus cervinigularis)
This skulker showed momentarily near Bethania.
RUFOUS-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis erythrothorax)
The northernmost spinetail! We watched a surprisingly cooperative individual above Valle Nacional.
WHITE-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus candei)
We saw a female near Valle Nacional.
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis) [*]
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)
A rather scarce bird in Oaxaca. We saw this species a couple times around Valle Nacional.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
GRAY-COLLARED BECARD (Pachyramphus major)
We saw a pair through the fog in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae)
SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius)
A scarce flycatcher of the humid lowlands. We had great views of one at Bethania.
STUB-TAILED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus cancrominus)
Seen near Bethania.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
Foraging on fruit near Bethania.
NORTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma cinereigulare)
Absolutely awesome! One of these diminutive flycatchers came right out into the open the day we birded at Bethania.
EYE-RINGED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris)
Seen in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional. He sang away while we prepared our picnic lunch.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (GRAY-HEADED) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens cinereiceps) [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Ornithion semiflavum)
The little tyrannulet that looks like a Bananaquit. We saw one near Bethania.
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe)
GREENISH ELAENIA (WEST MEXICO) (Myiopagis viridicata jaliscensis)
We saw this West Mexican form near San Jose del Pacifico.
GREENISH ELAENIA (GREENISH) (Myiopagis viridicata placens)
The Eastern Mexico form we saw along the road near Bethania.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
We saw these near the Tody Motmot spot above Valle Nacional.
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (Mitrephanes phaeocercus)
We saw a couple on one of the side roads we birded near San Jose del Pacifico.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi)
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax)
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris)
These winter visitors were in the humid forest near Bethania.
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus)
We ran into a couple of these wintering birds along the Pacific Slope.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii)
The common empid in the pine forests around San Jose del Pacifico.
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis)
We had close looks at a pair that were probably nesting below San Jose del Pacifico.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)
Wow! Nice views near Pluma Hidalgo.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus nuttingi)
These were in the dry forest around Huatulco and Juchitan.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus)
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (ARIZONA) (Myiarchus tyrannulus magister)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) [*]
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
We had great views of one near the Tody Motmot spot.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus forficatus)
Several of these migrants were streaming by at Xadani. We also saw one perched with a bunch of Fork-tailed Flycatchers at the Veracruz marsh.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana)
We saw several during that windy afternoon at the marsh in Veracruz.
CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius melitophrys)
We had a super cooperative individual sit out in an oak below San Jose del Pacifico.
GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus) [*]
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps)
We saw one in a feeding flock above Valle Nacional.
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata)
One of the most abundant birds in the forest around Valle Nacional and Bethania.
GOLDEN VIREO (Vireo hypochryseus) [E]
These were singing up a storm near Pluma Hidalgo!
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus)
BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii)
We saw one in the vines along the trail at Huatulco.
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius)
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus)
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)
WHITE-THROATED JAY (Cyanolyca mirabilis) [E*]
A really tough bird to see. We heard some near San Jose del Pacifico, but they didn't come into view. Darn.
DWARF JAY (Cyanolyca nanus)
Our final afternoon we drove up to Cerro San Felipe and saw a flock foraging with Gray-barred Wrens as they often do.
AZURE-HOODED JAY (Cyanolyca cucullata)
These noisy skulkers were along the road above Valle Nacional.
WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE-JAY (Calocitta formosa)
Common around Huatulco and Tehuantepec.
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio)
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) [*]
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri)
We had great looks as they came in to drink at the Colibri Restaurant.
UNICOLORED JAY (Aphelocoma unicolor)
We saw a flock in the upper cloud forest zone above Valle Nacional.
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
These were abundant around Huatulco.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea)
Several were perching out on the boats that were docked at Huatulco.
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
BUSHTIT (MELANOTIS GROUP) (Psaltriparus minimus melanotis)
These were the "Black-eared" form of Bushtit that we saw around San Jose del Pacifico.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)
A few lingered in the cloudforest above Valle Nacional.
BROWN CREEPER (ALBESCENS/ALTICOLA) (Certhia americana alticola)
One worked the trunks at our cabins near San Jose del Pacifico.
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (RUFIVENTRIS GROUP) (Ramphocaenus melanurus rufiventris)
It was just outstanding to see one out in the open near Valle Nacional.
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris)
A common inhabitant of the dry forests along Pacific Coast. We saw some near Huatulco.
SUMICHRAST'S WREN (Hylorchilus sumichrasti) [E]
One of my favorite birds in all of Mexico. Just hearing its whimsical voice echoing through the limestone makes my day. We watched a couple of these mouse their way through the cracks in a massive limestone wall near Bethania.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
HOUSE WREN (BROWN-THROATED) (Troglodytes aedon brunneicollis)
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)
One hopped around on the ground at our hotel in Oaxaca City.
BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus)
These handsome, high-canopy wrens were in the forest near Bethania.
GRAY-BARRED WREN (Campylorhynchus megalopterus)
These replace Band-backed Wrens in the mountains above Valle Nacional. We saw some at close proximity.
RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (SCLATER'S) (Campylorhynchus rufinucha humilis)
The Campylorhynchus along the coast of Oaxaca.
SPOT-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius maculipectus)
A super tough bird to get binoculars on. We had fleeting looks as a pair encircled us in the forest near Valle Nacional.
HAPPY WREN (Pheugopedius felix) [E]
Quite similar to Spot-breasted Wren in voice and behavior. We saw one near Pluma Hidalgo.
BANDED WREN (Thryophilus pleurostictus)
We saw some of these vine-tangle lovers at Parque Nacional Huatulco.
WHITE-BELLIED WREN (Uropsila leucogastra) [*]
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta)
Rather tricky to get a good look. We had fleeting glimpses around Bethania.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys)
The wood-wren we saw near San Jose del Pacifico. Later we heard them in the cloudforest above Valle Nacional.
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)
We encountered a few wintering along the Gulf Slope.
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus)
We saw some at Xadani at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. We also saw some that showed elements of Northern Mockingbird. Hybrids?
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
BROWN-BACKED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes occidentalis)
We saw these in the pine/oak forest around San Jose del Pacifico.
SLATE-COLORED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes unicolor)
Not the showiest in terms of plumage, but by far the most colorful voice of the tour! What a symphony! Heard and seen above Valle Nacional.
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) [*]
RUSSET NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus occidentalis)
We had nice views of one right outside our cabins at San Jose del Pacifico.
BLACK-HEADED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus mexicanus)
This beautiful songster was in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus)
WHITE-THROATED THRUSH (Turdus assimilis)
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi)
Common in the lowlands around Tuxtepec.
BLACK THRUSH (Turdus infuscatus) [*]
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus) [E]
We saw some along the coast at Huatulco.
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)
This year there was an incredible influx of Cedar Waxwings in Mexico all the way into Chiapas. We saw droves of them around San Jose del Pacifico.
GRAY SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys cinereus)
Numerous around San Jose del Pacifico.
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus)
We saw some our first afternoon of birding around San Jose del Pacifico.
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Chlorophonia elegantissima)
BLUE-CROWNED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia occipitalis)
We eventually had nice scope views of this gaudy "finch" in the upper cloud forest zone above Valle Nacional.
YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia hirundinacea)
The most common Euphonia in the lowlands around Tuxtepec.
OLIVE-BACKED EUPHONIA (Euphonia gouldi)
We scoped one that was high in a tree around Bethania.
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra) [*]
BLACK-HEADED SISKIN (Spinus notatus)
Seen in the pines near San Jose del Pacifico.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (NORTHEAST MEXICO) (Chlorospingus flavopectus ophthalmicus)
The Chlorospingus along the Atlantic side of Oaxaca. Common above Valle Nacional.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (SOUTHWEST MEXICO) (Chlorospingus flavopectus albifrons)
We saw these below San Jose del Pacifico.
CINNAMON-TAILED SPARROW (Peucaea sumichrasti) [E]
Formerly known as Sumichrast's Sparrow, we saw several around Juchitan.
STRIPE-HEADED SPARROW (Peucaea ruficauda)
A few were in the coastal scrub at Xadani.
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum)
We scoped one along the road near Juchitan.
OLIVE SPARROW (Arremonops rufivirgatus)
We had outstanding looks at one along the trail at Huatulco.
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris)
Despite the rain that afternoon, we had nice looks at one near Valle Nacional.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Arremon brunneinucha brunneinucha)
Our best views were right at the cabins at San Jose del Pacifico.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)
WHITE-THROATED TOWHEE (Melozone albicollis) [E]
It was cool to see that little flock at our cabins at San Jose del Pacifico.
RUSTY SPARROW (Aimophila rufescens)
Seen singing above Valle Nacional.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)
Wow, awesome views at our cabins at San Jose del Pacifico.
COLLARED TOWHEE (Pipilo ocai) [E]
We had great looks at one at the restaurant that we ate at on our way back to Oaxaca City.
RUFOUS-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pileatus) [E]
Also at the restaurant on the way to Oaxaca City.
WHITE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes albinucha)
Yippee! This was one of my most wanted birds since we missed it the time before. We saw a couple individuals in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional. I love the combination of yellow, black and white on this bird.
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens)
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) [*]
YELLOW-WINGED CACIQUE (Cassiculus melanicterus) [E]
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri)
We scoped a couple near Valle Nacional.
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma)
Common in the foothills around Valle Nacional.
BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE (Icterus wagleri)
We saw a few at a giant flowering agave near the cabins at San Jose del Pacifico.
BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE (Icterus prosthemelas)
There was one high up in the trees near Bethania.
ORCHARD ORIOLE (ORCHARD) (Icterus spurius spurius)
Wow! There were large numbers streaming through at Xadani on their way north.
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus)
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas)
This handsome oriole was on the outskirts of Valle Nacional.
STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus)
We saw a few around the Isthmus.
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii)
In the flowering trees near San Jose del Pacifico.
SPOT-BREASTED ORIOLE (Icterus pectoralis)
ALTAMIRA ORIOLE (Icterus gularis)
Common in the Pacific lowlands.
AUDUBON'S ORIOLE (DICKEY'S) (Icterus graduacauda dickeyae)
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula)
SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum) [*]
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
We watched one that was singing out on a telephone wire at Xadani.
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)
MELODIOUS BLACKBIRD (Dives dives)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla)
One scuttled on the ground at the solar farm near Juchitan.
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum)
It was cool to see this species near Bethania.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
CRESCENT-CHESTED WARBLER (Oreothlypis superciliosa)
Fairly common in the pine/oak forest around San Jose del Pacifico.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina)
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Leiothlypis ruficapilla)
GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis poliocephala) [*]
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei)
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa) [*]
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
HOODED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis nelsoni) [E]
Another Mexican endemic! We eventually saw this at the cabins near San Jose del Pacifico.
HOODED WARBLER (Setophaga citrina)
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
We saw one high in the trees near Pluma Hidalgo.
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)
We saw one in the foothills near Valle Nacional.
PALM WARBLER (Setophaga palmarum)
John found this one for us while we were birding at Xadani.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica)
One of the first birds of the tour! We saw one foraging in the tree at the hotel in Oaxaca City!
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)
We saw good numbers of both Townsend's and Hermit Warblers around San Jose del Pacifico.
HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis)
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens)
The common Setophaga in the highlands above Valle Nacional.
FAN-TAILED WARBLER (Basileuterus lachrymosus)
One of my favorite birds in Mexico! We saw one along our walk near Pluma Hidalgo.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons)
GOLDEN-BROWED WARBLER (Basileuterus belli)
Seen a couple times around San Jose del Pacifico.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
RED WARBLER (Cardellina rubra) [E]
Always a crowd-pleaser. We saw one our first afternoon of birding around San Jose del Pacifico.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus miniatus)
HEPATIC TANAGER (NORTHERN) (Piranga flava hepatica)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)
FLAME-COLORED TANAGER (Piranga bidentata)
We had great looks at a strawberry red male in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
RED-HEADED TANAGER (Piranga erythrocephala) [E]
What an outstanding bird! We watched a pair that were in a narrow gully at La Soledad.
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica)
Always a tricky bird to see. We had a couple encounters with this species both on the Pacific and Gulf Slopes.
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (Habia fuscicauda)
Seen in the forest near Bethania.
BLACK-FACED GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes poliogaster)
These noisy canopy grosbeaks were around Bethania.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (LONG-CRESTED) (Cardinalis cardinalis carneus)
I'm always impressed by the crests on this cardinal. We enjoyed views of both males and females around Huatulco.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
RED-BREASTED CHAT (Granatellus venustus) [E]
We had a cooperative male show up in the vine forest near Huatulco.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides)
Watching a male sally up to pluck seeds off a shrub near Valle Nacional was quite a thrill! What a bill!
BLUE BUNTING (Cyanocompsa parellina)
Dan found us one along the highway to Huatulco. Gorgeous bird.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)
We saw several throughout the tour. Males were beginning to molt into their breeding plumage.
ROSE-BELLIED BUNTING (Passerina rositae) [E]
We positioned ourselves with the sun to our backs and watched several males and females come in to drink at a pool near Juchitan. Orange-breasted Buntings were coming in too. Sensory overload!
ORANGE-BREASTED BUNTING (Passerina leclancherii) [E]
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris)
CRIMSON-COLLARED TANAGER (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus)
Seen after a storm passed through near Valle Nacional, we saw a pair out sunning among a whole bunch of other birds.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
YELLOW-WINGED TANAGER (Thraupis abbas)
In the forest around the Gulf Slope.
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata)
We watched a male singing from high in the canopy at Valle Nacional.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus)
CINNAMON-BELLIED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa baritula baritula)
Seen around San Jose del Pacifico and above Valle Nacional.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina splendens)
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta)
We saw a huge flock on the move at Xadani.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea)
Dan called one out from along the road above Valle Nacional.
MORELET'S SEEDEATER (Sporophila morelleti)
We had nice views of a male singing in a field near Valle Nacional.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus)
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps)
CINNAMON-BELLIED SALTATOR (Saltator grandis)
MEXICAN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus aureogaster)
The common squirrel throughout the tour.
DEPPE'S SQUIRREL (Sciurus deppei)
We saw a couple in the cloud forest above Valle Nacional.
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus)
A small pod swam alongside us on our Huatulco boat day.
SPINNER DOLPHIN (Stenella longirostris)
What a thrill to watch them spin out of the water!
SHORT-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN (Delphinus delphis)
Also seen on our boat trip.
Southern Crevice Spiny Lizard Sceloporus aureolus --These were all over rocks at San Jose del Pacifico.
Black Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura similis --A few seen in the lowlands around Huatulco.
Longtail Spiny Lizard Sceloporus siniferus --The common lizard around Huatulco.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys olivacea --We saw several from our Huatulco boat trip.
Devil Ray Mobula sp. --Several were leaping from the water off the coast of Huatulco.
Common Lemmark Juditha caucana --The tiny white butterfly near Bethania.
Liladownsia fraile --The colorful endemic grasshoppers we saw below San Jose del Pacifico.
Anna’s Eighty-eight Diaethrina anna --Seen at the road near La Soledad.
Spotlight Catone Catonephele numilia --Female seen near Pluma Hidalgo.
Superb Cycadian Eumaeus childrenae At La Soledad.
Orange Mapwing Hypanartia lethe --At La Soledad.
Mexican Elstreak Laothus erybathis --We saw one near San Jose del Pacifico.
Simple Patch Chlosyne hippodrome --We saw one on the road near Bethania.
Totals for the tour: 400 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa