A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Mexico: Oaxaca (A Private Tour For Denis Kania) 2022

March 26-April 2, 2022 with Tom Johnson guiding

I had such a great time birding and traveling around the Oaxaca Valley with the legendary Denis Kania and friends - thank you all for making this a rich and pleasant trip. The amount of group cohesion and advance preparation that you brought to Oaxaca was wonderful to see.

We spent our week together crossing the dry, warm Oaxaca Valley and sampling the high elevation pine-oak woodlands of the surrounding mountains. On our first day, we visited El Aranjuez for its hillside scrub and a quick shot of avian specialties with our first Oaxaca Sparrows, Pileated Flycatchers, Lesser Roadrunner, and more; that afternoon, we headed to Teotitlan del Valle and checked out the reservoir (Presa Piedra Azul) and a wet seep in an otherwise parched oak woodland.

Our second day found us ascending the valley wall and birding the massive pine forest and giant agaves of Cerro San Felipe, turning up such wonders as Red Warblers and Dwarf Jays.

Returning to Teotitlan, we focused on the grasslands below town (Gray-breasted Woodpeckers!) and the higher elevation stretch of the valley (Elegant Euphonia!). After a tasty lunch, we spent time in the late afternoon staking out flowering cactus at Yagul in search of Beautiful Hummingbird, and eventually saw the little beast in action.

A drive out of the Oaxaca Valley to the southeast found us in a dry Pacific-slope desert environment around Km 77 - wow, what a bounty here: Russet-crowned Motmot, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Orange-breasted Bunting, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and more! After an afternoon break, we took a picnic dinner upslope to Cerro San Felipe and spent time owling, with Mexican Whip-poor-will and that lovely Fulvous Owl taking our breath away.

With one more day to spend in the highlands, we walked to the east from the La Cumbre summit, getting into more mixed flocks and birds like Rose-throated Becard, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Black Thrush, and others; the lunch at the Colibri Restaurant with its attendant Blue-throated Mountain-gems (and hot chocolate) was well-received, too!

The final full day saw us visiting the famous Monte Alban, an important pre-Colombian site in the Oaxaca Valley. In addition to a great cultural tour by our local guide Jorge, we had some super morning birding that included Slaty Vireo, Golden Vireo, mating Lesser Roadrunners, calling Buff-collared Nightjars, Short-tailed Hawk, and more. And in the afternoon we headed back to El Aranjuez where we scoped that singing Ocellated Thrasher, a great final endemic feather in our cap for the week.

Thank you so much for letting me show you around Oaxaca - it was truly my pleasure. I hope to see all of you back out in the field again soon!


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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

About two dozen were at Presa Piedra Azul.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

WEST MEXICAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis poliocephala) [E]

We scoped these loud, raucous beasts in the treetops at El Aranjuez on our first morning.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

LONG-TAILED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (Dendrortyx macroura) [E]

After a hot tip, we made a stakeout of these secretive forest birds and had a few brief views of one individual (while hearing others chanting from the undergrowth).

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)

At least 18 at Presa Piedra Azul.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

Common in towns.

BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata)

A few brief encounters above La Cumbre; Denis saw one and then later we heard another.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]

One flew up from a puddle in the city as we were driving through.

INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)

Scattered sightings of this small, scaly dove, mostly in dry valley locations and on the Pacific slope.

COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina)

Two were at Monte Alban.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

We heard one singing at Monte Alban.

WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)

Common in the valley.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

Less widespread in the valley than White-winged Dove; ours were at El Aranjuez and Teotitlan.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

LESSER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx velox)

Wow! We had spectacular experiences with this skulker on two occasions. First, we watched one singing in a tree at El Aranjuez; later, we saw a pair copulate (while the male held a cicada in his bill) on the slopes below Monte Alban.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus ridgwayi) [*]

Two sang from the scrub at Monte Alban around 9 AM!

MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae)

We saw one and heard others at Cerro San Felipe.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens)

One at Cerro San Felipe.

BLUE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis clemenciae)

Two were at the Colibri Restaurant feeders near La Cumbre.

BEAUTIFUL HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax pulcher) [E]

At Yagul, we had three sightings of female-type birds (possibly all the same individual) on the desert slopes.

DUSKY HUMMINGBIRD (Phaeoptila sordida) [E]

Perhaps the most common hummingbird in the valley; frequent sightings.

WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Basilinna leucotis)

Conspicuous by voice in the mountains, but it took some effort to spot them as they zipped around understory flower patches.

GREEN-FRONTED HUMMINGBIRD (CINNAMON-SIDED) (Leucolia viridifrons wagneri) [E]

Good views in the scope in the Km 77 side canyon.

BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD (Saucerottia beryllina)

The one that routinely sat outside the front door of our hotel was a bit of a rock star. Great looks!

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

Up to 35 at Presa Piedra Azul.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

Two at Presa Piedra Azul.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

Up to 15 at Presa Piedra Azul.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

Two at Presa Piedra Azul.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

A few were at Presa Piedra Azul.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

On the shore at Presa Piedra Azul.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

One was with other egrets at Presa Piedra Azul.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

One flock at Presa Piedra Azul.

GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)

One flew up into the trees in the riparian zone at Presa Piedra Azul.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

Common; seen every day.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Common and widespread.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

One was at Presa Piedra Azul on both of our visits.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)

One hovered and sailed over at Yagul.

COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

Sightings in the mountains at La Cumbre and Pollo Niño.

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

Our first was a driveby sighting; later we saw one nicely in flight at Yagul.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)

The juvenile that we saw perched at Pollo Niño was unexpected.

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)

A light morph bird soared overhead at Monte Alban.

ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)

One cruised over at Cerro San Felipe.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)

Fairly common on our route.

Strigidae (Owls)

FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus)

One was heard singing in the distance at Cerro San Felipe.

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)

Repeated good views in Pacific slope habitats near Km 77 and the magic Pemex cactus garden.

FULVOUS OWL (Strix fulvescens)

It took quite a bit of effort but we eventually found a responsive bird at Cerro San Felipe. While it posed for excellent views, the other member of the pair sounded off nearby.

NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL (Aegolius acadicus)

One responded to playback by calling at Cerro San Felipe, but we were unable to get a look at it.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans)

One was on the hillside above the canyon at Km 77.

MOUNTAIN TROGON (Trogon mexicanus)

Repeated sightings of these lovely trogons in montane woodland habitats.

Momotidae (Motmots)

RUSSET-CROWNED MOTMOT (Momotus mexicanus)

Wow - four of these beauties were tail-swinging at Km 77 and offered a nice show.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)

Two at Presa Piedra Azul.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)

We heard one near La Cumbre.

GRAY-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hypopolius) [E]

Seen in cactus-rich areas at Teotitlan and also on the Pacific slope.

GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (WEST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons polygrammus)

One was vocal and showy at Km 77.


These little woodpeckers were at Yagul and Monte Alban.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (SOUTH MEXICAN) (Dryobates villosus jardinii)

A few sightings in montane woodlands.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara plancus)

These big, bold falcons were seen a few times on the valley floor.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

A couple of sightings at El Aranjuez and Yagul.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) [I]

These exotic parrots were screeching around the airport parking lot in Oaxaca City.

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus sclateri)

Wow! This big, stout woodcreeper eventually showed very nicely for us in the giant trees of Cerro San Felipe. Super views as it called and hitched its way around large trunks.

WHITE-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes leucogaster) [E]

Two sightings at Rio Verde above Teotitlan; on the second sighting, we had better views in sparse pine-oak woodland.

SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (NORTHERN) (Lepidocolaptes affinis affinis)

A few sightings near La Cumbre and Cerro San Felipe.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae)

A female was with a mixed flock that included Gray-barred Wrens near La Cumbre.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)


This inconspicuous flycatcher was seen and heard repeatedly.

GREENISH ELAENIA (WEST MEXICO) (Myiopagis viridicata jaliscensis)

A few sightings near Rio Verde and at El Aranjuez.

PILEATED FLYCATCHER (Xenotriccus mexicanus) [E]

More vocal than on any of my previous winter visits to Oaxaca (probably a function of the late March date) - excellent views at El Aranjuez in particular.

TUFTED FLYCATCHER (MEXICAN) (Mitrephanes phaeocercus phaeocercus)

These distinctive flycatchers were in the forests of Cerro San Felipe and above Teotitlan.

GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax)

One showed close to the edge of the road through the parched oak forest above Teotitlan.

WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)

Common in the scrubby woodlands at Monte Alban (at least 10 here).

LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus)

We studied one closely at Presa Piedra Azul that fit Least better than Dusky (short tail, grayish green overall, bold eye ring, rounded head).

HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii)

A few sightings and audio-only encounters with this pipping Empid in the mountains surrounding La Cumbre.

DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri)

Two sightings - at Pollo Niño and Monte Alban.

CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis)

We saw "Western" Flycatchers on a few occasions; at least one at Pollo Niño was making the staccato, separated position note calls that indicate Cordilleran Flycatcher. Warning - this species may well be lumped with Pacific-slope Flycatcher in the future.

BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)

Common around water - ours were at Presa Piedra Azul and Pollo Niño.

SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)

One at Presa Piedra Azul along the lakeshore.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

Common in the valley, including near farms and towns.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

This was the slim Myiarchus with the mournful voice that we saw in mid-elevation forest and thickets.

ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens)

Several sightings, including at El Aranjuez and at Monte Alban.

NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (NUTTING'S) (Myiarchus nuttingi inquietus)

We were able to compare this species to Ash-throated Flycatcher on a few occasions. Though voice is the most helpful feature, we also noted the "cute" look and brownish cheeks of Nutting's.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Repeated sightings of this widespread Neotropical bird, including in relatively close comparison to the smaller Social Flycatcher.

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (VERMILION-CROWNED) (Myiozetetes similis texensis)

These noisy flycatchers showed nicely for us at El Aranjuez and Presa Piedra Azul.

SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris)

A vocal bird showed briefly in the canyon at Km 77. This was likely a migrant moving north from its South American wintering grounds.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

This trilling tyrant was at Teotitlan and also in the gardens of our hotel in Oaxaca City.

CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)

The common yellow-bellied kingbird in winter here; scattered birds were augmented with a chatty flock of 10 at El Aranjuez.

THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris)

Good comparisons of these stout kingbirds with Cassin's Kingbirds; excellent views at El Aranjuez.

WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)

We saw four in the scrub at Monte Alban.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius melitophrys)

We heard these lovely songbirds on a few occasions in the mountains on either side of La Cumbre, but frustratingly, we couldn't lay eyes on them despite a good try.

GOLDEN VIREO (Vireo hypochryseus) [E]

Good looks at these skulkers at El Aranjuez and at Monte Alban.

SLATY VIREO (Vireo brevipennis) [E]

It took until our last full day, but we did have some good looks at these incredible songbirds in the scrub at Monte Alban. One of the most distinctive birds of the Oaxaca Valley area.

DWARF VIREO (Vireo nelsoni) [E]

Like a combination of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Black-capped Vireo, these tiny songbirds were singing and showed relatively well at El Aranjuez, Teotitlan, and Monte Alban.

HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)

We found these kinglet-like vireos in mixed flocks in oak woodlands in the mountains near La Cumbre.

CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii)

One was with a mixed flock of songbirds at Pollo Niño.

BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius)

Two were with other songbirds in the riparian area above Presa Piedra Azul.

WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)

Several sightings at El Aranjuez, La Cumbre, and Presa Piedra Azul.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)

Three were near the southern limit of the species' range at Teotitlan.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

DWARF JAY (Cyanolyca nanus) [E]

Super! These small, unique jays were moving in a roving flock with Gray-barred Wrens and Steller's Jays in the pine woodland of Cerro San Felipe. This species has a small range and is always a primary target bird on our trips. It's also emblematic of a really cool high elevation ecosystem here in southern Mexico.

STELLER'S JAY (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cyanocitta stelleri coronata)

These big jays are REALLY blue in southern Mexico, and perhaps represent a species-level taxon that could be split from the two northern groups one day. We saw them repeatedly in the mountains.

WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (SUMICHRAST'S) (Aphelocoma woodhouseii sumichrasti)

These social jays were roving around the area of La Cumbre during two of our walks there. This subspecies group is vocally distinct from more northerly groups of Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays and probably represents a species-level taxon.

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

Multiple sightings of these widespread corvids.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri)

We saw two in the pine forest of Cerro San Felipe.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

The most common swallow that we saw, with many roosting in the area right around our city hotel.

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)

One photographed in flight over Monte Alban was a surprising sight.

TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)

One was flying around Presa Piedra Azul.

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)

Good views at Presa Piedra Azul and overhead in the mountains.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

One was with the mixed swallow flock at Presa Piedra Azul.

Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

BUSHTIT (MELANOTIS GROUP) (Psaltriparus minimus melanotis)

Small flocks at El Aranjuez and in the mountains near La Cumbre.

Regulidae (Kinglets)

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)

A few with mixed flocks at El Aranjuez and La Cumbre.

Certhiidae (Treecreepers)

BROWN CREEPER (ALBESCENS/ALTICOLA) (Certhia americana alticola)

These active songbirds were creeping on big trunks at Cerro San Felipe.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)

One was in the canyon at Km 77.

WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris)

Good sightings of this Pacific slope species at Km 77 and at the magic Pemex cactus garden.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus)

These odd wrens were at Presa Piedra Azul and Monte Alban.

CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus)

We heard one signing at Yagul.

HOUSE WREN (BROWN-THROATED) (Troglodytes aedon brunneicollis)

Several in the higher elevations, including a great view of a singing bird along the road east of La Cumbre.

BEWICK'S WREN (MEXICANUS GROUP) (Thryomanes bewickii mexicanus)

Common in scrubby habitats in the Oaxaca Valley.

GRAY-BARRED WREN (Campylorhynchus megalopterus) [E]

These large, boldly marked wrens anchored mixed foraging flocks in the mountains, where they scouted through bromeliads and patrolled with Dwarf Jays, Steller's Jays, and others.

RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (SCLATER'S) (Campylorhynchus rufinucha humilis)

Common and loud in the canyon at Km 77.

BOUCARD'S WREN (Campylorhynchus jocosus) [E]

These wrens were in groups at El Aranjuez and Monte Alban.

HAPPY WREN (Pheugopedius felix)

A pair plus another single bird at El Aranjuez; we heard them repeatedly and saw at least one very well.

GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Henicorhina leucophrys mexicana)

After some effort, we found a vocal bird that showed nicely east of La Cumbre.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

BLUE MOCKINGBIRD (Melanotis caerulescens) [E]

We heard these enigmas on numerous occasions, and had several great visual sightings, too.

GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)

One was calling at El Aranjuez.

CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (CURVIROSTRE GROUP) (Toxostoma curvirostre curvirostre)

We enjoyed several at Teotitlan and the Km 77 area.

OCELLATED THRASHER (Toxostoma ocellatum) [E]

At Monte Alban and on our return trip to El Aranjuez, we soaked in extended scope views of singing birds. One of the signature species of the Oaxaca Valley, and one that can be quite difficult to track down in winter.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)

A couple of sightings - at Teotitlan and El Aranjuez.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

BROWN-BACKED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes occidentalis)

One of the most beautiful songs of these mountains belongs to this thrush - we had a fabulous view at the same spot where we watched the Strong-billed Woodcreeper.


The singing bird at Pollo Niño eventually posed for a nice scope view.

RUSSET NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus occidentalis) [E]

While driving and walking at Cerro San Felipe, we turned up four of these trail-hoppers.

HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)

Three were on Cerro San Felipe.


Repeated sightings in mid-elevation and higher montane forest, including in the area of fruiting trees.

CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) [I]

Sightings at El Aranjuez, the Pemex cactus garden, and our hotel in Oaxaca City.

BLACK THRUSH (Turdus infuscatus)

One showed poorly near fruiting trees in the mountains east of La Cumbre.

AMERICAN ROBIN (MIGRATORIUS GROUP) (Turdus migratorius phillipsi)

Two sightings in the mountains - at Rio Verde and also near La Cumbre.

RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus) [I]

These thrushes were seen regularly at our Oaxaca City hotel, and also at Teotitlan and the Pemex cactus garden.

Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)

GRAY SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys cinereus)

These beautiful, distinctive songbirds were very common in the mountains, especially in the vicinity of fruiting trees.

Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)

OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus)

In mixed songbird flocks on Cerro San Felipe, we found at least 5 of these odd non-warblers (they aren't closely related to the wood-warblers despite external appearances).

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Common in towns.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)

A flock was at Presa Piedra Azul.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Chlorophonia elegantissima)

Super views of a pair foraging in mistletoe above Rio Verde.

HOUSE FINCH (COMMON) (Haemorhous mexicanus roseipectus)

Very common in the valley; the subspecies here is quite bright red.

RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra stricklandi)

We bumped into these finches multiple times in the mountains around La Cumbre. Most memorable was the male that was climbing around on a wall and adjacent stairs.

LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

Common in the valley and lower mountains.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

BRIDLED SPARROW (Peucaea mystacalis) [E]

Super views of this colorful, boldly marked sparrow at El Aranjuez and Km 77.

CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (Spizella pallida)

We studied a cooperative bird with other sparrows near the dam at Presa Piedra Azul.

LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)

Two were at El Aranjuez; three were at Presa Piedra Azul.


One skulked in the understory above Teotitlan at Rio Verde near a similarly inconspicuous Rufous-capped Brushfinch.

YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus)

Common at La Cumbre and Cerro San Felipe.

LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)

Multiple birds were around the edge of Presa Piedra Azul.

WHITE-THROATED TOWHEE (Melozone albicollis) [E]

This local specialty is VERY common in the Oaxaca Valley, including right outside our hotel rooms.

OAXACA SPARROW (Aimophila notosticta) [E]

Two nice sightings of multiple birds - one at El Aranjuez and another at Pollo Niño. This species resembles Rufous-crowned Sparrow but has a very small geographic distribution.

SPOTTED TOWHEE (MACULATUS GROUP) (Pipilo maculatus oaxacae)

Ours were at La Cumbre and Pollo Niño.

COLLARED TOWHEE (Pipilo ocai) [E]

After a few close calls, we had a really great look at a singing bird from inside the Colibri restaurant below La Cumbre.

RUFOUS-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pileatus) [E]

One skulked with a Chestnut-capped Brushfinch at Rio Verde; another showed nicely near the houses at La Cumbre.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)

Four were rattling and singing in the grasslands below the town of Teotitlan.

BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE (Icterus wagleri)

These slim orioles showed very nicely at El Aranjuez and subsequently at Pollo Niño and Monte Alban.

STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus)

Four of these larger orioles were at Km 77.

BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii)

Singles at La Cumbre, Teotitlan, and Pollo Niño.

BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)

We scoped a flock at El Aranjuez and saw another at Pollo Niño.


Two were at El Aranjuez.

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Seen regularly around Oaxaca City.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)

One was in the riparian area at Presa Piedra Azul.


Singles at Presa Piedra Azul and El Aranjuez.

CRESCENT-CHESTED WARBLER (Oreothlypis superciliosa)

These handsome, parula-like warblers were in several mixed flocks around La Cumbre and Cerro San Felipe.

TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina)

One was at our hotel on our final morning together.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)

Scattered sightings of singles in mixed flocks.

NASHVILLE WARBLER (Leiothlypis ruficapilla)

Common in mixed flocks, including in the gardens of our hotel.

MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei)

We encountered at least four individuals along the way, usually skulking in the understory.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

Two were at the magic Pemex cactus garden.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)

All told, we encountered several dozen individuals, mostly in montane forest.

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)

Denis saw one at El Aranjuez; we found another later at Monte Alban.

TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)

Scattered in flocks in the mountains, mostly between La Cumbre and Cerro San Felipe.

HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis)

Slightly less common than Townsend's Warbler in the higher elevations between La Cumbre and Cerro San Felipe.

RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (RUFIFRONS GROUP) (Basileuterus rufifrons rufifrons)

Common in scrubby habitat along the slopes of the Oaxaca Valley (and at Monte Alban, where we found 6).

GOLDEN-BROWED WARBLER (Basileuterus belli)

These attractive warblers were in dense forest between La Cumbre and Cerro San Felipe.

WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)

Common at middle and higher elevations.

RED WARBLER (Cardellina rubra) [E]

Stunning - this species was at Cerro San Felipe in good numbers. One of the favorite species of the tour!

PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus)

One was near the Elegant Euphonias above Rio Verde.

SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus miniatus)

Fairly common in the upper elevations at Cerro San Felipe.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

HEPATIC TANAGER (NORTHERN) (Piranga flava hepatica)

Several sightings in middle and upper elevation forest.

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

One was at El Aranjuez on our first morning together.

WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)

All told we encountered about two dozen individuals scattered between our hotel and the high mountains.

BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)

Six of these chunky songbirds were scattered around at several locations.

BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)

One at El Aranjuez and four more below Teotitlan.

INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)

Encountered three times, at El Aranjuez, Presa Piedra Azul, and Pollo Niño.

ORANGE-BREASTED BUNTING (Passerina leclancherii) [E]

These stunners were in Pacific Slope habitats at Km 77 and the Pemex cactus garden.

VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor)

Three were at Km 77, where we compared them with Orange-breasted Buntings.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

CINNAMON-BELLIED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa baritula baritula)

One was in mixed woodland along a stream on Cerro San Felipe.


MEXICAN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus aureogaster)

Sightings in the mountain forest on at least three different days.

WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)

Two ran off the road between Teotitlan and Rio Verde.

Totals for the tour: 184 bird taxa and 2 mammal taxa