Birds and Birding

Mexico Information

A Sampling of Mexico Bird Facts star
With approximately 1070 birds that occur within its territory, Mexico ranks #12 in the world for the amount of its avian species. Those numerical facts and many more wild bird-related ones are presented in this sampling of Mexico bird facts.

Canyon Wrens the Non-City City Bird star
Canyon Wrens are visually distinctive and behaviorally unmistakable. Not only do they inhabit canyons, cliffs, and other rocky habitats, where I live they also are heard and seen on top of our town's slanted red-tiled roofs. Having heard their song just once probably you would remember it forever!

Common Yet Special Gorgeous Noisy Yucatan Jays star
While visiting the Riviera Maya I saw many remarkable species of birds such as a turquoise-browed motmot, a black-headed trogon, white-fronted parrots, and flocks of olive-throated parakeets. However, none left me with such a lasting impression as the common yet special endemic Yucatan jays.

Conspicuous Violet-Crowned Hummingbirds star
Where I live in Mexico, there are many species of hummingbirds. However, there is only one that I can consistently instantly recognize, the violet-crowned hummingbird. With snow white undersides, red bills with black tips, bluish-violet crowns, and bronze tails, they are a pleasure to behold.

Curve-Billed Thrashers Vocalizing Wonders star
Curve-billed thrashers may not be close to being the most beautiful bird that occur in Mexico. Ok, except for their down-curving bill and vibrant orange or red/orange eyes, they can be said to be visually nondescript. However, they are among the country's most intricately melodic vocalizers.

Endemic Bird Species of Mexico star
Of the 1070 species of birds in Mexico, 103 are endemics. This article provides an explanation as to what endemics are and a comprehensive, non-scientific alphabetical list in plain English (for us latin-phobics!) as to the names of all of those birds.

Lively and Loud Golden-Fronted Woodpeckers star
There are many lively and loud birds where I live in Mexico such as Western kingbirds, groove-billed anis, social flycatchers and American coots. However, none are as active and noisy as the visually lovely and behaviorally fascinating golden-fronted woodpeckers aka "carpinteros frentidorados."

Military Macaws at El Mirador del Aguila star
Military macaws are one of only two species of macaws that occur in Mexico. Viewing them in the wild allows one to experience their grandeur and true essence. El Mirador del Aguila in Nayarit is one of the best remaining locations in Mexico to see them in their natural environment.

Military Macaws at El Mirador del Aguila star
Military macaws are one of only two species of macaws that occur in Mexico. Viewing them in the wild allows one to experience their grandeur and true essence. El Mirador del Aguila in Nayarit is one of the best remaining locations in Mexico to see them in their natural environment.

Not to be Taken for Granted Great-Tailed Grackles star
Great-tailed grackles aka Mexican grackles are indeed a common bird. Bold, brash, aggressive, cocky, tenacious and conspicuous, these "black" birds are noisy to say the least! Yet, just because they are common does not make them any less lovely nor behaviorally fascinating.

Orange-Fronted Parakeets and Half-Moon Conures star
Whether they are called orange-fronted parakeets, half-moon conures, or orange-fronted conures these physically and behaviorally fascinating birds are a delight to see, if not hear. No wonder they have been called "a big bird in a small body." Just ask Payno if you don't believe me!

Pet Bird Care in Mexico star
Pet birds are the most popular and most common type of mascota/pet in Mexico. However, as exemplified by the kind of care provided for by the bird "owners," they could rarely, if ever, be called "bird lovers."

Protecting Mexico's Endangered Parrots star
The president of Mexico in 2010 signed into law a bill banning the capture and export of the country's 22 species of parrots and macaws. See what additional steps the country is supporting to protect, now and in the future, those intriguing, captivating, remarkable and delightful birds.

Streak-Backed Orioles a Lovely Mostly Mexican Bird star
Streak-backed orioles are one of fifteen species of orioles that occur in Mexico. Hardly ever seen in the U.S., they are lovely and behaviorally fascinating. In nature, I always delight in seeing their distinctive orange, yellow, red and black colors and hearing their rattling or chattering.

Strikingly Elegant Black-Throated Magpie Jays star
Mexico is home to over nine dozen species of endemic birds including citreoline trogons and lilac-crowned parrots. Arguably, one of the most strikingly elegant and flamboyantly raucous of those endemics are the black-throated magpie jays that are found naturally wild only in Northwestern Mexico.

Two Cuckoos Anis and Roadrunners star
Where I live in the Central Highlands of Michoacan occur two fascinating yet very different members of the cuckoo family, the groove-billed ani and the lesser roadrunner. One is extremely social and highly visible while the other is primarily solitary, elusive, and if seen at all, only fleetingly.

Ungainly Yet Fascinating West Mexican Chachalacas star
On a birding, natural and cultural history tour of Oaxaca our group saw approximately 240 species of birds. Although not even close to being perceived as gorgeous or even cute, one of the most fascinating birds that we were fortunate enough to see was the endemic West Mexican chachalaca.

Vermilion Flycatchers an Eye-Catching Bird star
There are over 400 species of flycatchers in North and South America. Most are drab in color and nondescript in appearance. That is not the case with the strikingly beautiful and brilliantly colorful vermilion flycatcher. Not only are they gorgeous, they also exhibit some fascinating behaviors.

What is Mexico's National Bird? star
What is the national bird of Mexico? Of the 1070 known species of birds that call Mexico home, which bird is that nation's symbol? Is it the golden eagle, one of the largest raptors found in North America? Or is it the regal-looking crested caracara? Or could it be that they both should be?

Whimsical-Looking Green Kingfishers star
Of all of the birds that occur in Churintzio, Michoacan, perhaps the most "exotic" of them all is the diminutive and whimsical-looking green kingfisher. For five or six months a year with unpredictable predictabilty, I am fortunate enough to see and hear one or two of them virtually daily.

Will Thick-Billed Parrots Survive? star
Thick-Billed Parrots are one of 11 species of parrots in Mexico that are on the endangered list. Unique members of the parrot family, it is estimated that 500-2000 remain in the wild. Known to be in Arizona and New Mexico until the early 1900's, will they be seen in Mexico for many more mananas?

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