Oaxaca Birding - a 18 Day Birdwatching Tour

Take a bird watching holiday in the birdiest state in Mexico

The state of Oaxaca is located in the southern part of Mexico, with nearly 700 species of birds and Oaxaca  is considered the best state for bird watching.  Oaxaca is divided into several regions for better understanding, the Central valley, a portion of land located in central Oaxaca with an arid vegetation, The pine oak sierras that surround the city of Oaxaca, the Atlantic slope located in the northern part of the state with its great tropical and humid forest, the isthmus located in the eastern part of the state is a marvelous area for endemics, the pacific coast that host a huge variety of birds and its beautiful beaches make it perfect for birding.

Our Oaxacan trip is designed so we spend our time birding, traveling to beautiful cities and eating great meals.  Remember that this is a flexible itinerary and we can make customize it for you and your friends.

©Oaxaca Sparrow by Joe Cockram                                                                                                  © Santo Domingo by Eric Antonio Mtz

Day 1 - Arrival to Oaxaca City

Day 2 - Central Oaxaca ; On our first day we will get used to the weather and birding by looking for some of our first endemics, Boucard`s Wren, Dusky Hummingbird, White throated Towhee, Grey Breasted Woodpecker, Black Vented Oriole, Rufous Capped Warbler, Dwarf Vireo, Oaxaca Sparrow, Bridled Sparrow, Pileated Flycatcher, as the day warms up we will get into cooler elevations and look for Mountain Trogon, Grey Barred Wren, Russet Nightingale Thrush, Chestnut Sided Shrike Vireo, Slate throated Redstart, and many other beautiful birds.

Day 2.- Dry Pine oak Forest; this day will be devoted to look for some species that are very attractive but somehow elusive, Elegant Euphonia, black headed Siskin, Cinnamon bellied Flowerpiercer and many other birds will be our targets.

Day 3 - Arid-scrub; After a coffee we will star our birding looking for the Handsome Ocelleated thrasher, Slaty Vireo, Blue Mockingbird, Rock wren and Canyon wren will also be around, latter on we will drive to admire the most important pre-Columbian archaeological site of Oaxaca:  Monte Alban, we will end day with an evening birding in the foothills of the northern Sierra, then we will drive to our Cabins deep into the Pine oak Forest and overnight there.

Day 4 - In the morning and after some coffee we will go in search for some of the most Beautiful birds of this area in a sustainable and protected area, thus our presence here will mean so much for the community living here since they understand that protecting Nature can be an excellent way to make a living, our main target will be the Dwarf Jay, Red Warbler, Mexican Chickadee, Brown Backed Solitaire, plus many other highland birds that will be possible. We will devote the afternoon admiring the amazing landscapes of this highland spot, at night if weather conditions are fine there might be a chance for Owling, some of the species around are Whiskered Screech owl, and Mexican Whip Poor Will

   ©Red Warbler by Joe Cockram                                                                           © Cinnamon B. flowerpiercer by René Valdes

Day 5 - Early in the morning we will get up and start a five to six hour drive up north looking for some tropical specialties, by daybreak we should be in search of Blue crowned Chlorophonia, Unicolored Jay, Golden Browed Warbler, Black thrush, Black headed nightingale Thrush and some other good looking birds, when bird activity slow down we will carry on in our drive until we reach the tropical areas of Oaxaca, we will make some stops along the road for casual birding and stretching our legs, a new adventure will start from our new location.

Day 6 - Early in the morning we will be right in place to look for some beautiful tropical birds
such as Yellow winged Tanager, Keel Billed Toucan, Blue Crowned Motmot, Azure Crowned
Hummingbird, Rufous Breasted Spinetail, Slate colored Solitaire, and a bunch of new species.

Day 7 and 8 - Again we will bird two days into the Cloud forest and will be looking for species such as Bumblebee Hummingbird, Brown Hooded Parrot, Emerald Toucanet, Mexican Antthrush, Green Shrike Vireo, Red Legged Honeycreeper, Azure hooded jay, Emerald chinned Hummingbird, Collared trogon, and many other birds, as in every tropical area the activity only takes place in the cool hours of the day, so we will bird as much as we can in the morning and each afternoon we will visit a close location for some evening birding.

Day 9 - On this day we will go looking for the enigmatic and endemic Sumichrast`s Wren, other interesting birds around here will be Montezuma Oropendola, White hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Crimson Collared Tanager, Violaceous Trogon, in the afternoon we will drive southeast into a new location in search for other great birds.

   © Sumichrast`s Wren by Mary Gustafson                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                    ©Yellow Bellied Elaenia by Mary Gustafson

Day 10 - Ealry in the morning we will head to the Lime stone area close to our spot and search for another great endemic Wren, the Nava`s Wren, some other species of interest in this area are the Orange Billed Sparrow, Green Parakeet, in the Afternoon we will head toward the Isthmus for our new location and new birds.

Day 11 - Early in the morning we will be birding in arid thorn forest mixed with low deciduous forest, our target species here will be the Endemics Cinnamon Tailed (sumichrast`s) Sparrow, Pacific Parakeet, Orange Breasted Bunting, the breath taking Rose Bellied (Rosita`s) Bunting, other interesting species here are Striped Headed Sparrow, Green Fronted Hummingbird, Double striped Thick Knee and many other birds, in the afternoon we will Visit a very special sustainable Village, the local declared their territory as a protected area, and the shaded growing coffee combined with the cloud forest of the area offers a great chance for some special birds and an opportunity to try some good coffee, Overnight in this place.

Day 12 - After a great coffee our local guide will take us down stream to admire one of the specialties of the area, the Long tailed Manakin, Green jays, Grey crowned woodpecker, and violet sabrewings are present in the area, the guides of the area also provide short trips and workshops for the harvesting, drying and grinding of coffee as well as other trips.

Day 13 - We will devote this day to travel, we will go down to the lowlands of the isthmus and visit a river mouth location for some shorebird birding, then we will carry on in our 4 hour drive towards the beautiful Oaxaca Coast, this drive is full of amazing landscapes and excellent chances for pictures.

Day 14.- We will start our day with a Mini-pelagic trip, some of the birds present around this area are Black Vented shearwater, Pink footed shearwater, Wedge tailed Shearwater, Townsend`s and Audubon`s Shearwater, Blue footed and Brown Booby are also an option, Later on we will head toward a nice Beach and enjoy the place, some areas are well known for coral reef so while the bird activity is slow it might be a good idea to relax on the beach, at night and if weather conditions are well we might go in search of Nocturnal birds, Mottled owls, and Pauraque are some of the options.

Day 15 - We will Go to the National Park of Huatulco and Start our search in this great area, our guide will show us an excellent spot for Red Breasted Chat, Russet Crowned Motmot, Citreoline Trogon, Golden Cheecked Woodpecker, Happy Wren, Blue Bunting, Orange Breasted Bunting, the elusive Lesser Ground Cuckoo, Colima Pygmy Owl, West Mexican Chachalaca and Yellow winged cacique will be our targets as we share the birding with other great birds such as White throated Magpie Jays, White Fronted Parrots, Orange breasted parakeets and some other nice looking birds.

Day 16 - High tropical forest, then in Pine oak forest, our main targets here will the Oaxaca endemics Blue Capped Hummingbird and Cinnamon Sided Hummingbird, other endemics around are Red Headed Tanager, and Grey Crowned Woodpecker, Brown Backed Solitaire, Wagler`s Toucanet, Mexican Hermit, Golden Crowned Emerald and green jay will also be present.

                                               © Red Headed Tanager by René Valdés

Day 17 - On this day we will drive early so at dawn we must be looking for the Endemic, nice looking and elusive White throated Jay, other birds present in the area will be Bumblebee Hummingbird, Common Bush Tanager, Crescent Chested Warbler.

Day 18 - Drive Back to Oaxaca City (a four-hour drive).
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