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.
A few suggested itineraries:
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.
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.
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.