Birding and Nature Day Tour

Birding and Nature Day Tour

Mexico is among the top five countries in the world with the greatest biodiversity, and among all of the states, Oaxaca is the richest in number of bird species. You can see around 700 species of birds in Oaxaca state, out of the close to 1100 that can be found in the country. There are four bird species that are endemic to Oaxaca: Rose-bellied Bunting, Blue-capped Hummingbird, Oaxaca Sparrow, and Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow.

We offer a variety of excursions whether your interests lie in birds, other fauna, or plants. Our tours also offer the opportunity to interact with local people, learn about Zapotec communities and their use of the local flora and fauna.

Sierra Norte Village

A few suggested itineraries:

The Sierra

Tour with us the Northern or Southern Sierra, and we can hike or take a leisurely stroll through immaculate pine and oak forest with stunning scenery. Mexico is the world’s capital for pines with over 100 species and flowering plants and tons of mountain bird species such as Mountain Trogon, Red Warbler, Collared towhee, Roufus-capped Brush-finch, Aztec thrush, Dwarf Jay, Gray-barred Wren, Golden Vireo, Bumble-bee, Garnet-throated, White-eared, Amethyst-throated, and Magnificent Hummingbird, just to mention a few. There are great chances for nature photography. We can stop in an indigenous community to sample some of the local Zapotec cuisine. If you would like to extend your stay in the mountains, let us know in advance and we will book one of the comfortable eco-lodge cabins for you. These comfortable cabins are equipped with a fireplace and comfortable furnishings, and the following day we can continue with more birding and hiking.

Monte Alban

We’ll head to the foothills around Monte Alban, a 30 minute drive from the Oaxaca city center, and then make our way up to 6000 feet, exploring the many paths of the reserve and birding the whole morning. Our target birds here are Ocellated Thrasher, Slaty and Dwarf Vireo, Pileated Flycatcher, Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush, Black-vented Oriole, White-collared Seedeater, Elegant Euphonia, Blue Mockingbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, White-throated Towhee, Roufus-capped Warbler. If you come in the summer, there’s a great chance to see almost all of the endemics. If you come in winter, some are elusive, and it can be a challenge to spot them, but on the other hand there are northern species wintering in the south, such as Warbling Vireo and Townsend’s, Black and White, Nashville and Virginia’s Warblers. We can also do a guided tour of the archaeological site (about an hour and a half) to talk about the history of the ancient city and the Zapotec people who dwelled there.

Ocellated Thrasher

Eastern Valley

Heading east from Oaxaca city, there are several good sites for birding, including Yagul and Teotitlan. We’ll drive east along Highway 190 for an hour, stopping at various places. Yagul is an archaeological site and one of the pluses here is that there are protected patches of native vegetation around the ruins, offering a good chance to learn about the original plants and trees of the area. Target birds here include the Grey-breasted Woodpecker, Boucard’s Wren, Dwarf Vireo, Pileated Flycatcher, Ocellated Thrasher, Beautiful Hummingbird, Rufous-capped Warbler, White-tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara.

Tours include: Our birding and nature tours include transportation in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle and guide service with a bilingual guide who is knowledgeable about the local birds, flora, and fauna. We can provide binoculars for a couple of people if necessary (please let us know if required), and will have birding books on hand for you to consult.

Duration: around 7 hours

Cost:  for one to three people: $350 USD per day. For four people or more, or for tours outside the valley of Oaxaca, contact us for pricing. We also offer multiple-day customized package tours.

About our Tours | Book a tour

Our clients say...

Benito guided us on a wonderful birding trip into the mountains north of Oaxaca. Our group of four was of widely varying birding experience and Benito designed a trip to satisfy all of us. We saw a number of endemics and hard to see species but also got many great looks at more common species that some of us had never seen. Benito was enthusiastic, instantly identified species by both eye and ear, and was always helpful in locating individuals and pointing out field characteristics. He's also very knowledgeable about botany, local culture, archeology, and Mexican history. I can heartily recommend him as a guide.
Our primary goal for a guide was to see Oaxacan birds and we got a strong recommendation for Benito through our network of top Northern California birders. We were not disappointed! Benito is an amazing birder, incredibly knowledgable, great spotter and knows all the best places to see a huge variety. What we didn't expect was the depth and breadth of Benito's knowledge in so many areas. We learned so much about the plant life, how it attracts the different birds, especially at different elevations, and the geography and geology. We expected to see lots of cool birds (we ended up seeing even more than that!), but ended up with a very complete picture of the entire ecology and local ecosystems.
Benito Hernandez is a top-notch guide. He's incredibly knowledgeable about Oaxacan history, cultures, and architecture. We spent two wonderful days with Benito; the first was bird watching and a wonderful tour of Monte Alban, the second was a tour of the Eastern valley and Mitla (and of course, more birding). While we never saw that darn ocellated thrasher, we saw karakaras, indigo buntings, fly catchers, and so many others. Benito is really a birder's birder. He was attentive, really paid attention to our interests, and made our trip wonderful. We learned a lot and can't wait to see him again.

you may also be interested in...

More Day Trips from Oaxaca