Mexico: Yucatan Peninsula - February 2014

Published by Allan Drewitt (sue AT

Participants: Allan Drewitt, Sue Rees


Photos with this report (click to enlarge)

Ocellated Turkey
Ocellated Turkey
Ruddy Woodcreeper
Ruddy Woodcreeper
Royal Flycatcher
Royal Flycatcher
Great Curassow
Great Curassow
Boat-billed Heron
Boat-billed Heron
Grey-throated Chat
Grey-throated Chat


The Mexican Yucatan peninsula is a good location for a birding holiday and a great introduction to Mexican birds. There are around twenty species more-or-less restricted to the peninsula and many other specialities including several Caribbean species, not found elsewhere in Central America. The birding locations are all easy to reach with an ordinary saloon car, and travel to the area is quite economical as package holidays and cheap flights are available to the resorts around Cancun and Playa del Carmen on the east coast.

We flew with Thomas Cook, paying around £850 each for return flights to Cancun, parking at Gatwick and a rental car for our two week trip. Flights were on time and smooth, the seating had good leg-room (compared to the more expensive scheduled airlines) and the optional meals were surprisingly good (again compared to scheduled airlines). Less good was the excessive £49 departure tax on leaving Cancun. It is not clear if this fee is levied by the Mexican government of Thomas Cook, or both!

We hired a mid-range Renualt Scala from Europcar with air-conditioning, enough boot space for all our bags and adequate clearance for some of the bumpier and more pot-holed roads, although some of the more gigantic speed-bumps (“topes”), which are liberally located around and within each village and town as well as police checkpoints, schools etc., proved challenging. All the main roads we used were well maintained and in good condition. More minor roads were quite badly pot-holed in places and the roads to Hormiguero and Calakmul were particularly rough in places (despite a fee for ‘road maintenance’ at the latter).

Our accommodation ranged from expensive resort hotels on the coast and near Calakmul to rather basic but clean and quiet rooms at Felipe Carillo Puerto and Rio Lagartos. We often ate in the hotels except in Rio Lagartos and Felipe where we had evening meals at local restaurants. As to be expected, meals comprised mostly Mexican dishes such a fajitas, enchiladas and nachos with guacamole and refried beans. Chicken, beef and various seafood dishes seemed to dominate and it would be very hard for a vegetarian to find much choice at most of the places where we stayed. We found payment with cash to be the preferred if not the only option at most places (£1 equalled about M$20 in February 2014).

The weather was almost entirely hot (over 30 degrees in the afternoon) and cloudless, although a couple of mornings began with fog and mist, and we had one or two brief but heavy showers, fortunately only when we were travelling between locations. We usually aimed to start birding around dawn between 6.00 and 6.30 am, stopping for lunch from around mid-day and resuming birding from 3.00 or 4.00 until sunset at 6.00 pm. It was often very quiet in the afternoon, although this can be a good time for ant swarms with their attendant specialities.

Species largely or entirely restricted to the Yucatan include Mexican Sheartail and Yucatan Wren which are only found in the coastal scrub fringing the north side of the peninsula, Cozumel Emerald, Thrasher (now rarely seen), Vireo and Wren only found on Cozumel Island, Ocellated Turkey, Yucatan Bobwhite, Parrot, Nightjar, Poorwill, Woodpecker, Flycatcher, Vireo and Jay, White-browed Wren, Black Catbird, Rose-throated Tanager and Orange Oriole. Other more widespread species of interest which can be found on the peninsula include Lesser Roadrunner, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Mexican Antthrush, Blue Bunting and Green-backed Sparrow.

The peninsula is, for the most part, rather flat and low-lying, and sparsely inhabited away from large settlements and the coastal resorts. The main habitats explored were mangroves, coastal scrub, generally rather low and thick semi-deciduous tropical forests and various natural and man-made wetlands. The area is also well known for its impressive Maya ruins and, as native habitats tend to be well preserved in the vicinity of the ruins, many are also prime birding areas. Note that, due to some bizarre and inexplicable reasoning, tripods are forbidden in the ruins.

In two weeks we covered approximately 1,600 km and saw over 200 species, including all the endemic bird species with the exception of Cozumel Thrasher, which has declined greatly and is now rarely seen since a major hurricane affected Cozumel in 1988, Yucatan Nightjar (heard only) and Yucatan Poorwill. We also identified twelve mammal species including an endemic race of Coati restricted to Cozumel, Central American Spider Monkey and Ocelot. Endemic species are highlighted in the site accounts.
Botanical Gardens, am 17 February

After our first overnight stay at Puerto Morelos (Hotel Inglaterra, M$500/night, we visited the nearby Botanical Gardens (Jardin Botanico), just off the east side of the Cancun – Playa del Carmen highway and a short distance south of Puerto Morelos. Note that the rather obscure entrance to the gardens is on the slip-road off the northbound side of the main highway, which requires doubling back on a ‘retorno’ if travelling south. The garden is open Monday to Saturday from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm so we birded around Puerto Morelos before breakfast, seeing Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones and Laughing Gulls on the beach and our first Blue-backed Grosbeaks, Hooded Orioles and Melodious Blackbirds of the trip, amongst the more numerous and noisy Great-tailed Grackles.

Trails through the botanical gardens give access to some good forest habitat and, although already rather hot and quiet by the time we arrived, we found White-bellied and White-browed Wrens, Grey Catbird, Green Jay, groups of warblers including Northern Parula, Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush and Common Yellowthroat and flocks of Yellow-billed Caciques foraging on the forest floor. We also found a small ant swarm attended by Red-throated Ant-tanagers and a single Ivory-billed Woodcreeper.

Although the gardens were a good introduction to some of the more widespread and common species of the region, we found the nearby Cenote Road (see later) to be much better as you can access the area earlier in the morning, it has fewer fewer mosquitoes and there is no M$50 peso fee per person.

Cozumel Island, 17-19 February

We rearranged our itinerary so as to visit Cozumel Island at the start of our trip rather than at the end, thus avoiding the Cozumel Carnival which takes place at the end of February. For a two-night stay on the island it was cheaper to leave the car in a secure car park (M$200/48 hours) near the foot ferry quay rather than take it over on the expensive car ferry. After the 45 minute ferry journey we took a taxi to the airport and picked up our pre-booked Dodge from Hertz (£36 for two days) and booked into our relatively luxurious, ‘boutique’ hotel (Hotel B Cozumel, US$150/night B&B In the late afternoon we headed out a short distance to the “Bello Caribe” area on the north side of the island. This is a failed development which can now only be recognised by a grid of surfaced roads, partially overgrown with vegetation and surrounded by dense scrubby forest. Like many of the less-used tracks and roads in Yucatan it is a magnet for fly-tipping which, judging from the amount of rubbish, must be a national past-time in Mexico. The area is just left (west) of the dirt track which starts at the end of the tarmac road, just beyond the entrance to a the swanky Cozumel Country Club (which charges US$50 for tours of their Audubon-accredited sanctuary). Despite the heat of the setting sun, and numerous biting insects, we added some new species to our list in a couple of hours here, including White-winged Dove, Green-breasted Mango, several Black Catbirds (for which Cozumel is an especially good location), the first of many White-eyed Vireos, Palm, Black-and-White, Yellow and Magnolia Warblers and a single Ovenbird.

A return to the same area in the cool of early morning the following day was more rewarding, with a single Cozumel Vireo, several Yucatan Vireos and a Banaquit (considered by some to be a separate species endemic to the island). Driving a few kilometres further up the track beyond Bello Caribe we soon reach the island’s sewage farm. We left the car here and proceeded on foot for about a kilometre, checking the adjacent pools and patchy scrub on the east side of the track for Ruddy Crake. We heard several birds calling close to the track but it took us a little time and luck to get good views of one in the open. Other species seen here were Yucutan Woodpecker, Caribbean Elaenia and Cozumel Emerald (split from Fork-tailed Hummingbird).

Having failed to find any easily accessible habitat on the road which runs across the island (past the Maya ruin at San Gervasio) we tried another abandoned development known as the “Presidente Grid”, opposite the entrance to the Presidente Hotel south of San Miguel and marked by a sign for the ‘Palmar Ranch’. Here we located a Cozumel Wren along with a single Western Spindalis. On our return towards San Miguel we were surprise to see a Coati crossing the busy highway before it vanished into the undergrowth. We later discovered that the ‘Cozumel Coati’, is a critically endangered race of White-nosed Coati, reported to number only about 150 individuals.

A final visit to the Bello Caribe area on our last morning before taking the ferry back to Playa del Carmen provided a similar list of species to the day before, including more Cozumel Wrens, a single White-crowned Pigeon and Vaux’s Swifts.

Ek Balam, 19-20 February

The village and ruins of Ek Balam are located a few kilometres east of Route 295 from Valladolid to Rio Lagartos. A new road is now signed from the main highway to the ruins and the village is found by turning left immediately before the entrance gate. Here we stayed at the Genesis Eco Oasis (M$580/night, B&B with small chalets in a pleasant, enclosed garden setting. The best bird seen from the hotel garden was a Zone-tailed Hawk flying overhead with some Turkey Vultures. Other species seen here and on a short walk around the village in the late afternoon were Scrub Euphonia, Hooded Oriole and Cinnamon Hummingbird.

The ruins of Ek Balam and their approach road are bordered by good forest habitat and are well worth a look, especially early in the morning before the coaches of tourists arrive. We birded the entrance road before the gates opened (at 8.00) seeing Grey Hawk, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Pink-throated Becard, our first group of Yucatan Jays, Hooded Warbler Black-headed Saltator, Olive Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Orange Oriole, Yellow-backed Oriole and Altamira Oriole. Around the ruins we had conclusive views of a perched Ridgeway’s Rough-wing Swallow, considered by some to be a separate species, along with Ruddy Ground-dove, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Summer Tanager, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Tennessee Warbler and Indigo Bunting.

Rio Lagartos, 20-22 February

We continued north from Ek Balam in the heat of the afternoon towards our next destination at Rio Lagartos, seeing Vermillion Flycatchers and Crested Caracaras on the way. The mangrove-fringed estuary of Ria Lagartos is now a Biosphere Reserve and we planned to explore the mangroves by boat with a local guide, Diego Lunez, ( Having negotiated the small streets of the town, and the numerous boatmen and would-be guides hailing and chasing us on foot, bike and motorbike, we eventually found Diego in his restaurant ‘La Toreja’ on the waterfront. From here we had views of Black Skimmer, American White and Brown Pelicans and an Osprey over the mangroves.

Having checked in at Diego’s spacious and comfortable posada for two nights, we headed back out towards the crossroads located just before the town, signed for Las Colorados to the east and San Felipe to the west. Here we took the Las Colorados road for about 7 km where we parked up at the beginning of the track to the San Salvador Ranch on the right. We walked about a kilometre down this track through open, arid scrub, seeing White-tailed Hawks overhead, Aztec Parakeet, at least three male Mexican Sheartails, a group of Black-throated (or Mexican) Bobwhites flushed from the track and a Grey Fox. Unfortunately it was still very hot and, despite strong winds, there were many mosquitoes so we decided to abandon the track and try again for the other speciality species on another day.

Early the following morning we headed out by boat into the estuary with Diego as our guide. During our four hour tour around the mangroves we saw a good range of waterbirds such as Great Blue Heron (including one ‘Great White Heron’), Tricoloured, Little Blue and Green Herons, Bare-throated Tiger Heron and White Ibis. Further out towards the salt ponds at Las Colorados we saw about 30 American Flamingos and Reddish Egrets. Along with Peregrine and Osprey we also saw several Common Black Hawks as well as a Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture. Passerines included Mangrove Vireo, ‘Mangrove Warbler’ (a distinctive form of Yellow Warbler considered by some authorities to be full species), Red-winged Blackbird and Orange Oriole. We stopped to check some perched parrots but they all appeared to be White-fronted rather than the similar Yucatan Parrot. Finally, a quick check of the mouth of the estuary revealed Wilson’s Plover, Western Sandpiper, Whimbrel and an American Herring Gull. Diego proved to be an excellent and enthusiastic guide and we can certainly recommend his services.

After lunch we decided to try the San Felipe Road, mainly on Diego’s recommendation that the first 1-2 km passes through some good habitat with a possibility of Yucatan Wren. The first new species seen here were White-collared Seedeater and Blue-winged Teal, Northern Jacana and Killdeer in some roadside pools. Just behind the pools we noticed a clump of low trees with nesting Boat-billed Herons (just beyond an enclosed rubbish tip on the south side of the road). Although many were obscured by the trees we estimated at least seventeen herons, with some carrying nest material. On our return to the crossroads (east of the rubbish tip) we spied a Yucutan Wren on the roadside, just before it hopped into the vegetation on the south side of the road. Approaching quietly on foot we eventually had good views of two birds foraging quietly in the roadside scrub.

Still needing to find Lesser Roadrunner we took Diego’s advice again and revisited the San Salvador Ranch access track on our final morning at Rio Lagartos. We drove about 2 km down the track until we reached a fork in the road below a sign for the ranch. Following Diego’s instructions we left the car at the fork and walked along the southern track which leads to the ranch. Thankfully there was no wind and much fewer mosquitos than our last visit and we only walked about 100 metres before spotting a roadrunner basking and preening in the morning sunlight in a low bush quite close to the track. The bird seemed oblivious to us and we managed to get a bit closer for a few record shots. Continuing on the track for another hour or so we saw Tree Swallow, Canivet’s Emerald, more Mexican Sheartails, Zone-tailed Hawk, Mangrove Cuckoo, Least Flycatcher and a group of Turquoise-browed Motmots.

After a final lunch at Diego’s restaurant we departed for our next destination at Felipe Carillo Puerto, about 250 km and a four hours’ drive to the south.

Vigia Chico Road, 22-24 February

Felipe Carillo Puerto is situated near the western border of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a vast area of forest, savannah and mangrove on the southeast side of the peninsula. Although access to the Reserve is said to be administratively difficult, the access route along the Vigia Chico Road is well worth a visit on its own. This road runs through some good, relatively undisturbed forest (apart from the inevitable fly-tipping) for 28 km until it reaches the reserve gate. The road starts in Felipe and is found by heading east from the roundabout (or ‘glorieta’) in the centre of town (identified by a statue) and taking a road that runs diagonally to the northeast of this road after five blocks (just before a police caseta). If unsure then asking for directions to the Instituto Technologica should help as the Vigia Chico Road runs right past it. After a couple of kilometres the roadside houses and fields are left behind and the forest closes in. There is generally little traffic on this road, particularly on weekdays, with just a few passing motorbikes and cars.

After booking into the Hotel Esquival near the town centre (M$570/night we headed off down the road about an hour before dusk. We drove as far as the beginning of the forest and our first new birds included Plain Chachalaca, Red-billed Pigeon, Brown Jay, a male Black-headed Trogon and White-bellied Emerald. We also heard several Thicket Tinamous although they seemed distant.

After picking up a dawn coffee in the Oxxo supermarket along the way we spent the whole of the next day driving and walking down the Vigia Chico road, starting in the more open areas near the town at dawn before making our way further into the forest by car as the sun rose, stopping frequently to look for birds. In the more open areas we saw Short-billed amd Scaled Pigeons, Black-headed Saltator, Ferruginous Pygmy-owl, Hooded Oriole, White-fronted Parrot and Black-capped Tityra. In the thicker forest we found Northern Violaceous Trogon, Spot-breasted Wren, Mexican Antthrush, Lesser Greenlet, Bright-rumped Atilla, Greenish Elaenia, Royal Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Euphonia and a female Rose-throated Tanager. Later in the morning we walked down a forested track (on the right and about 6.2 km from the start of the road in Felipe). Although it was quite hot and windy by this time we still managed to see a good range of species here, including Collared Aracari, Barred Antshrike, Long-billed Gnatwren, Black Catbird, a male Grey-collared Becard and male Grey-throated Chat.

The following morning we revisited the first few kilometres of the track, adding White-tipped Dove, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Tropical Wood-pewee, Blue-back Grosbeak and Black-cowled Oriole to our list. We then checked out of our hotel, bought a few provisions and left Felipe and the state of Quintana Roo for Campeche in the south.

Hormiguero, am 25 February

We visited this small ruin site in the morning after our first night at Rio Becs Dreams (M$915/night plus M$60/person for a carry-out breakfast, Hormiguero is located off Route 269 which heads south of the crossroads in Xpujil (a few km east of Rio Becs Dreams). After about 14 km down this rather pot-holed road and after a small village (called ‘Tope’, rather fittingly as it is graced by a particularly killer speed bump) there is a turn off to the right onto an even rougher road to the ruins which continues for another 8 km to the gates. We birded along this access road, which is bordered by some good scrubby habitat, as well as the forested road beyond the gate and the short trail around the ruins. The ruins themselves are very atmospheric, being located in the forest, and were completely free of other people during our visit.

Purple Martins were seen on wires in Tope and, along the access road, we found Pale-vented Pigeon, Yucatan Flycatcher, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet and two male Blue Buntings. At the gates to the ruins we eventually identified at least one Green-backed Sparrow feeding in the roadside vegetation and, in the forest beyond the gate, we saw Keel-billed Toucan, Bright-rumped Atilla and Rose-throated Tanager. A small pool near the ruins held Common Moorhen and Least Grebe and, in the surrounding trees, we saw a nesting Lineated Woodpecker and Blue Ground Dove. On the trail to the ruins we saw Olivaceous Woodcreeper, our only Blue-crowned Motmot of the trip, and Bat Falcon. The best sighting was of two male Royal Flycatchers chasing each other along the path side until one perched in full view, wing-shaking and with its amazing crest fully opened – a fantastic and unforgettable spectacle! The return journey in the heat of the day was much quieter, adding only roadside Laughing Falcon and Yellow-tailed Oriole to the trip.

Calakmul, 25-26 February

After departing Hormiguero we made our way to the Puerto Calakmul Hotel, located at the start of the 60 km access road to Calakmul which runs south from the main highway. Although expensive (US$150/B&B) and only about 45 km closer to Calakmul than Rio Becs Dreams, the Puerto Calakmul is quieter than Rio Becs and has some trails into the surrounding forest. A late afternoon exploration of the trails revealed some of the usual suspects including Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Red-throated Ant-tanager and Black-headed Trogon, along with Swainson’s Thrush and great views of a lovely male Grey-throated Chat. We had our best sighting here at night when we checked the access road with a spotlight. Although we did not see or hear any nightbirds we were totally stunned to find that what we first thought to be a dog walking casually across the road in front of us was actually an Ocelot!

At 6.00 the following morning we collected our bags and packed lunch from the hotel, paid the ‘road maintenance’ fee at the first gate at the beginning of the road, and drove down an increasingly rough and pot-holed road to the ruins of Calakmul. We soon encountered our first Ocellated Turkeys by the road and saw several more in small groups of 2-8 birds as we neared the ruins. A few kilometres short of the entrance we came to a rapid halt when we saw a pair of Great Curassows on the road ahead. Both of our target birds for Calakmul seen before we had even reached the ruins! The curassows were shy but we managed quite good views of them through the roadside trees before they eventually disappeared into the forest.

Calakmul is an impressive site with many large structures and plazas over an extensive area. We chose to walk the long route which takes in the all the main structures and goes through some good forest habitat. We spent much of the day here and saw more turkeys and curassows along with Bicoloured Hawk, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker, Ochre-bellied and Great Crested Flycatchers and Wood Thrush along with numerous warblers.

Becan, 27 February

The small village of Becan and the adjacent ruins are located on the main highway a few kilometres east of Rio Becs Dreams. While we waited for the gates to open (at 08.00) we checked out the numerous birds in the village gardens near the gates. Here we saw a good range of species including Cedar Waxwing, our first Yellow-winged Tanager, Painted Bunting and Baltimore and Altamira Orioles. Similar species were seen in the ruins along with our first confirmed sighting of a pair of Yucatan Parrots accompanying some White-fronted Parrots.

Vigia Chico Road, 27-28 February

We stayed another night in Felipe Carillo Puerto to break the journey from Calakmul to our final birding destination at Coba and to provide another opportunity to bird the Vigia Chico Road. Having checked in once more at the Hotel Esquivel we spent the last hour of daylight and dusk on walking the first few km of the road. This provided further and better views of Yucatan Parrots perched above the road and, as dusk fell, we heard Yucatan Nightjar and Lesser Nighthawk calling distantly in the south.

Following another quick coffee stop at the Oxxo Supermarket we returned to the road at dawn. This time we left the car and walked from around the 4 km mark to the track at 6.2 km. Along the road we saw Yellow-bellied and Yellow-olive Flycatchers, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Smoky-brown and Pale-billed Woodpeckers and Long-billed Gnatwren. Bird activity was still quite high by the time we reach the track and here we saw Northern Bentbill, Black Catbird and Yellow-breasted Vireo. On our return we came across our first big ant swarm with its attendant Red-throated Ant-tanagers and, less expectedly, two Ruddy Woodcreepers.

Muyil, pm 28 February

We decided to call in on the ruins at Muyil, a short distance south of Tulum on the main highway, even though it was early afternoon and the hottest and quietest part of the day. There were relatively few tourists at the ruins and we managed to find some good habitat on the various trails through the site. We soon found another and even bigger ant-swarm than the one encountered earlier in the day. We spent over an hour watching the birds feeding around the swarm seeing many adult and young ant-tanagers, another two Ruddy Woodcreepers as well as Olivaceous and Northern Barred Woodcreepers. Other species joining the foraging party included Grey Catbird, Yucatan Jay, Grey-headed Tanager, Hooded Warbler and Northern Waterthrush. Elsewhere we saw Spot-breasted and White-browed Wrens, Rose-throated Becard, Rose-throated Tanager and Yellow-throated Euphonia.

For a small additional fee we also walked along the 500m boardwalk from the ruins and across the mangroves to the coast, climbing an impressively tall tower on the way which gave impressive views over the surrounding forest, mangroves and islands of the Biosphere Reserve. We saw Green Heron and Black-headed Trogon in the mangroves and a small group of Lesser Scaup on the sea.

Coba, 28 February–1 March

Coba is a Maya ruin located next to a large lake and surrounded by reasonably bird-rich forest (though not as good as the nearby Vigia Chico Road at Felipe Carillo Puerto). We stayed in the nearby village at the Hotel Sacbe (M$600/night B&B, probably the largest hotel at Coba now that the Villa Arquelogica has closed down. The ruins are a very popular destination for tourists from neighbouring coastal resorts and cruise ships, so it is important to arrive early to avoid the crowds. The lagoon is not very interesting for birds as much if not all of the fringing habitat has been lost due to raised water levels. We only saw a few Pied-billed Grebes and Lesser Scaup on the open water and a passing Belted Kingfisher. The only new waterbird seen here was a Limpkin, on an enormous puddle in the flooded car park by the ruins.

In a couple of hours of exploring the trails around the ruins we saw a good range of birds including Yucatan Woodpecker (also in the village), Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Northern Bentbill, a flock of twenty Yucatan Jays at an ant swarm, Spot-breasted Wren, Grey-headed Tanager and numerous warblers. We also saw a Deppe’s Squirrel and a White-nosed Coati. The trees in the village were good for orioles, supporting Altamira, Hooded, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, as well as a Yellow-winged Tanager.

Cenote Road, am 2 March

After an overnight stay at the Cancun Comfort Inn (having failed to find anywhere in Puerto Morelos due to a music festival and the US ‘Spring Break’) we passed our final morning on the Cenote Road. The road is located west of the main highway, just south of Puerto Morelos and more-or-less opposite the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. This road passes through some good forest and scrub habitat and at around km 13.5 (from the highway) we stopped at a likely-looking track which runs perpendicular from the highway for good distance and is bordered by tall forest. The start of this track is next to a tiny, fenced-off building signed ‘Rancho Luna’. Leaving the car by the road we spent a couple of hours in the early morning walking down this track as far as another apparently deserted building. The track continued beyond this point through equally inviting habitat though, unfortunately, we had run out of time by this stage.

Between about 06.30 and 08.30 bird activity was very high in this area. The more noteworthy species recorded were Ferruginous Pygmy-owl, Plain Chachalaca, White-bellied Emerald, Yucatan Woodpecker, White-bellied Wren, Long-billed Antwren and our only male Rose-throated Tanagers of the trip. We also saw Northern Bentbill on another forested track on the north side of the road at km 14 (signed to ‘Cenote 7 Boca’). Others have seen Thicket Tinamou along the Cenote Road.

For photos of birds seen on this trip go to

Species Lists

Thicket Tinamou (Crypturellus cinnamomeus) – heard daily at Vigia Chico Road and in the Calakmul ruins area

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) – at least 6 on the lagoon at Coba ruins

Least Grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus) – 1 on small lake at Hormiguero ruins

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – 2-10 on four dates, most numerous at Rio Lagartos

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) – up to 20 at Rio Lagartos

Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) – 2 on two dates over Bello Caribe, Cozumel; 2 Rio Lagartos

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) – up to 100 at Rio Lagartos

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) - 5-100 on seven dates in coastal area; particularly
numerous at Rio Lagartos

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) – 1-10 on six dates on Cozumel and at Rio Lagartos

Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) – 2 on a salt pond at Rio Lagartos

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) – at least 10 at Rio Lagartos

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) – singles at Rio Lagartos, Hormiguero and Coba ruins

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) – 2 Cozumel and at least 20 at Rio Lagartos

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) – 3 Rio Lagartos

Great White Heron (Ardea herodias occidentalis) -1 Rio Lagartos

Great Egret (Ardea alba) – 1 Cozumel, at least 10 at Rio Lagartos and two at Coba ruins

Green Heron (Butorides (striatus) virescens) – 3 Rio Lagartos and singles at Calakmul ruins and Muyil

Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearia) – at least 17 counted at nesting colony from the San Felipe Road, Rio Lagartos

Bare-throated Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum) – 1 Rio Lagartos

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) – 3 in flight from the Vigia Chico Road

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) – at least 10 at Rio Lagartos

Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) – 5 over the sea off Cozumel

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) – at least 30 on the salt ponds at Rio Lagartos

Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) – 10-50 on two dates along the San Felipe road near Rio Lagartos

American Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) – up to 30 most days

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) – seem most days but less numerous than Black Vulture

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus) – 1-3 on two dates at Rio Lagartos

Bicoloured Hawk (Accipiter bicolor) – 1 Calakmul ruins

Common Black-hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) – 8 in the mangroves at Rio Lagartos

Grey Hawk (Buteo plagiatus) – singles at Ek Balam, Rio Lagartos and Vigia Chico Road

Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris) – 1-4 on five dates Vigia Chico Road, Calakmul area, Coba ruins and Cenote Road

White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) – 2 from the San Salvador Ranch road, Rio Lagartos

Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus) – singles over Ek Balam village and perched near the San Salvador Ranch road, Rio Lagartos

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) – at least 1 hunting over the mangroves at Rio Lagartos and 1 at Muyil

Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) – 1-4 on two dates in the Rio Lagartos area

Laughing Falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – 1 Hormiguero, 2 calling on the Vigia Chico Road and another heard at Cenote Road

Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis) – 2 Hormiguero and 1 Calakmul ruins

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) – 1 perched at Rio Lagartos

Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) – 1-5 seen and many more heard on seven dates at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins and Cenote Road

Great Curassow (Crax rubra) – Near Threatened; 8 on the access road and trails at Calakmul ruins including three males

Ocellated Turkey (Agriocharis ocellata) – Near Threatened; endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula; at least 30 on the access road and around the ruins at Calakmul ruins

Black-throated/Yucatan Bobwhite (Colinus nigrogularis) – largely restricted to the Yucatan Peninsula; only seen near the beginning of the San Salvador Ranch road where a group of 8 was accidentally flushed from the roadside

Ruddy Crake (Laterallus ruber) – 1 seen and others heard near the sewage works on Cozumel

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) – 2 Hormiguero and 1 Calakmul ruins

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) – 1 in the flooded car park at Coba ruins

Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa) – 1 Rio Lagartos

Wilson's Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) – 4 Rio Lagartos

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) – up to 10 on two dates at Rio Lagartos

Hudsonian Curlew (Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus) – 1 Rio Lagartos

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) – 1 on roadside pool near Hormiguero

Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) – 1 on roadside pool near Hormiguero

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) – 3 Rio Lagartos

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) – up to 30 on three dates at Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Rio Lagartos

Sanderling (Calidris alba) – 10-100 on four dates at Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Rio Lagartos

Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) – 1 Rio Lagartos

American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) – 1 Rio Lagartos

Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla) – up to 100 on six dates in coastal areas

Royal Tern (Sterna maxima) – 1-30 on five dates at Cozumel and Rio Lagartos

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) – at least 100 roosting on quays at Rio Lagartos

Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral') – small numbers in towns throughout

White-crowned Pigeon (Columba leucocephala) – 1 seen and others heard at Bello Caribe and the Presidente Grid on Cozumel

Scaled Pigeon (Columba speciosa) – 1 Vigia Chico Road

Pale-vented Pigeon (Columba cayennensis) – 1 seen at Hormiguero and others heard at Becan and Cenote Road

Red-billed Pigeon (Columba flavirostris) – 1 seen and others heard at Vigia Chico Road

Short-billed Pigeon (Columba nigrirostris) – 6 Vigia Chico Road

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) – 1-6 on seven dates at Puerto Morelos, Cozumel, Rio Lagartos and Coba ruins

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) – seen in small numbers and heard on seven dates on Cozumel, at Rio Lagartos, Becan and Coba

Common Ground-dove (Columbina passerina) – up to 20 on eight dates at Puerto Morelos, Rio Lagartos, Vigia Chico Road and Coba

Ruddy Ground-dove (Columbina talpacoti) – 2-4 on five dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road and Hormiguero, often associating with previous species

Blue Ground-dove (Claravis pretiosa) – 3 males at Hormiguero

White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi) – singles seen and others heard on five dates at Cozumel, Vigia Chico Road and Hormiguero

Aztec Parakeet (Aratinga astec) – up to 100 on eight dates at Rio Lagartos, Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero and Coba

White-crowned Parrot (Pionus senilis) – 10 overhead at Vigia Chico Road

White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons) – 6 in mangroves at Rio Lagartos; 4 Becan and up to over the Vigia Chico Road on two dates

Yellow-lored/Yucatan Parrot (Amazona xantholora) - endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula; 2 with White-fronted Parrots at Becan; 6 Vigia Chico Road

Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) – 1 San Salvador Ranch road, Rio Lagartos

Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) – singles at Ek Balam, Calakmul ruins and Becan

Lesser Roadrunner (Geococcyx velox) – 1 San Salvador Ranch road, Rio Lagartos

Ferruginous Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) – 1 seen on the Vigia Chico Road and heard at Cenote Road

Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis) – heard from the Vigia Chico Road

Yucatan Nightjar (Caprimulgus badius) – endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula; heard from the Vigia Chico Road

Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi) – 5 Cozumel and 10 Becan

Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis) – 2 Vigia Chico Road and 2 Calakmul ruins

Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii) – 1 Bello Caribe, Cozumel

Cozumel Emerald (Chlorostilbon forficatus) – Endemic to Cozumel Island; 2 Bello Caribe, Cozumel

Canivet's Emerald (Chlorostilbon canivetii) – at least 2 on the Vigia Chico Road

White-bellied Emerald (Amazilia candida) – 1-2 on five dates at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero and Cenote Road

Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila) – singles on four dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road and Muyil

Buff-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia yucatanensis) – singles on three dates at Vigia Chico Road and Calakmul ruins

Mexican Sheartail (Doricha eliza) – Endemic to Mexico and restricted to Yucatan; 1-3 on two dates on the San Salvador Ranch track

Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)- seen and heard daily at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins, Becan and Coba

Northern Violaceous Trogon (Trogon caligatus) – 1 Vigia Chico Road

Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) – singles at Rio Lagartos and Coba

Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa) – 1-6 seen and others heard on six dates at Rio Lagartos, Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero and Coba

Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota coeruliceps) – 1 Hormiguero
Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) – 1-8 on four dates at Vigia Chico Road, Calakmul ruins and Muyil

Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – 1-3 seen and others heard on four dates at Vigia Chico Road and Calakmul ruins

Yucatan Woodpecker (Melanerpes pygmaeus) – largely restricted to the Yucatan Peninsula; 1-4 on five dates at Cozumel, Rio Lagartos, Coba and Cenote Road

Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons) – 1-10 almost daily throughout

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) – 1 Vigia Chico Road

Smoky-brown Woodpecker (Veniliornis fumigatus) – 1-3 on three dates at Vigia Chico Road and Calakmul ruins

Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker (Celeus castaneus) – 1 Calakmul ruins

Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) – 1-4 on three dates at Hormiguero (nesting), Calakmul ruins and Vigia Chico Road

Pale-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis) – 1 foraging with Lineated Woodpeckers on the Vigia Chico Road

Ruddy Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla homochroa) – 2 Vigia Chico Road and 2 Muyil, all foraging around large ant swarms

Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – 1-6 on three dates at Hormiguero, Muyil and Coba

Northern Barred-Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae) – 1 Muyil and 2 Coba

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster) – 1-6 on seven dates at the Botanical Gardens, Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins and Coba

Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus) – a pair seen and others heard on Vigia Chico Road, 1 Calakmul ruins and heard at Becan

Mexican Antthrush (Formicarius moniliger) – 1 seen and others heard from the Vigia Chico Road

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (Mionectes oleagineus) – 1 Calakmul ruins

Northern Beardless-tyrannulet (Camptostoma imberbe) – 1 Hormiguero

Greenish Elaenia (Myiopagis viridicata) - 1 Vigia Chico Road

Caribbean Elaenia (Elaenia martinica) – 1 near the sewage works on Cozumel

Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster) – 1 Vigia Chico Road

Northern Bentbill (Oncostoma cinereigulare) – 2 on the km 6 track off the Vigia Chico Road, 1 Coba and 1 Cenote Road

Yellow-olive Flycatcher (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – singles at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero and Coba

Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus) – 1-3 on three dates at Vigia Chico Road , Hormiguero and Coba, including a displaying bird at Hormiguero

Western Wood-pewee (Contopus sordidulus) – 1 Vigia Chico Road

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris) – 1 Vigia Chico Road

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) – singles at Ek Balam and Rio Lagartos

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – 2 Rio Lagartos

Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus) – 1-3 seen on six dates plus many others heard at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins, Becan, Muyil and Cenote Road

Yucatan Flycatcher (Myiarchus yucatanensis) – endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula; 2 identified by call at Hormiguero but probably overlooked elsewhere

Dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – 1-4 on two dates at Vigia Chico Road

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) – 1 Calakmul ruins

Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) – up to ten almost daily throughout

Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua) – 1-2 on three dates at the Botanical Gardens, Rio Lagartos and Cenote Road

Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis) – up to 20 on seven dates; widespread

Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) – 1-2 on six dates; widespread

Grey-collared Becard (Pachyramphus major) – 1 male on the km 6 track off the Vigia Chico Road

Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – 2-4 on four dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road and Muyil

Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata) – 2-8 on eight dates; widespread

Black-crowned Tityra (Tityra inquisitor) – 1 -2 on four dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road, Becan and Cenote Road

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) – 20 Rio Lagartos

Purple Martin (Progne subis) – 10 on wires near Hormiguero and 3 Cenote Road

Ridgway's Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx ridgwayi) – split by some authorities from Stelgidopteryx serripennis; firm identifications of perched birds with 10 at Ek Balam and 8 near Playa del Carmen

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) – 2-5 on two dates at Ek Balam

Cliff Swallow (Hirundo pyrrhonota) – 6 Becan

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) – 3 Becan village

Yucatan Wren (Campylorhynchus yucatanicus) – Endemic to Mexico and restricted to Yucatan; 2 from the San Felipe road, Rio Lagartos

Spot-breasted Wren (Thryothorus maculipectus) – 1-4 plus others heard on five dates at Vigia Chico Road, Muyil and Cenote Road;

White-browed Wren (Thryothorus albinucha) – largely restricted to the Yucatan Peninsula; 1-2 seen and others heard on five dates at the Botanical Gardens, Cozumel, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins and Muyil

Cozumel Wren (Troglodytes beani) – Endemic to Cozumel Island; 2 seen and at least 1 other heard on Cozumel

White-bellied Wren (Uropsila leucogastra) – 1 Botanical Gardens and 2 Cenote Road

Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) – 1-2 on six dates at the Botanical Gardens, Ek Balam, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins, Muyil and Cenote Road

Black Catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris) – Near Threatened; endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula; 1-5 and others heard on five dates at Cozumel and Vigia Chico Road

Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus) – up to 20 almost daily throughout

Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) – 1 in the grounds of the Hotel Puerto Calakmul

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) – 2 Calakmul ruins

Clay-coloured Thrush (Turdus grayi) – 2-10 on four dates at Rio Becs Dreams, Becan, Muyil, Coba and Cenote Road

Long-billed Gnatwren (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – 1-4 on three dates at Vigia Chico Road, Muyil and Cenote Road

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) – 1-4 on eight dates; widespread

White-faced (Tropical) Gnatcatcher (Polioptila bilineata) – 1 Calakmul ruins

Yucatan Jay (Cyanocorax yucatanicus) – endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula; up to 20 on seven dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road, Muyil and Coba

Green Jay (Cyanocorax (yncas) luxuosus) – up to 8 on eight dates at the Botanical Gardens, Ek Balam, Rio Lagartos, Vigia Chico Road, Becan, Muyil and Cenote Road

Brown Jay (Psilorhinus morio) – up to 20, usually in noisy flocks, on nine dates at Vigia Chico Road, throughout the Calakmul ruins area, Muyil, Coba and Cenote Road

Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – singles on three dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road and Hormiguero

Mangrove Vireo (Vireo pallens) – 1-2 Rio Lagartos

Cozumel Vireo (Vireo bairdi) – Endemic to Cozumel Island; 1 Bello Caribe, Cozumel

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) – 2 Vigia Chico Road and 1 Coba

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) – 1 Cozumel and 2 Ek Balam

Yucatan Vireo (Vireo magister) – largely restricted to Yucatan Peninsula; 1-2 on two dates Bello Caribe, Cozumel

Lesser Greenlet (Hylophilus decurtatus) – 1-4 on four dates at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins and Cenote Road

Tennessee Warbler (Vermivora peregrina) – up to 5 at Ek Balam

Northern Parula (Parula americana) – 1-4 on seven dates; widespread

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) – 1-10 on six dates, mostly on Cozumel and at Rio Lagartos, including 2 ‘Mangrove Warblers’ at the latter, considered by some authorities to be a separate species Dendroica petechia

Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) – 1-10 on most days; widespread

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata) – 1-10 on seven dates, especially at Vigia Chico Road and in the Calakmul area

Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens) – 2-10 on most days; widespread

Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica) – 1-5 on six dates at Rio Lagartos, Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Coba and Cenote Road

Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum) – singles on three dates at Cozumel and Ek Balam

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) – 1-5 on ten dates; widespread

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) - 2-5 on 11 dates; widespread

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) – 1 Cozumel

Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) – singles on four dates at Cozumel, Calakmul and Muyil

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) – 1-2 on four dates at the Botanical Gardens, Rio Lagartos, Becan and Muyil

Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina) – 1-2 on three dates at Ek Balam, Calakmul and Muyil

Grey-throated Chat (Granatellus sallaei) – single males on three dates at Vigia Chico Road and Calakmul

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) – 3 Cozumel; considered by some authorities to be a separate species

Grey-headed Tanager (Eucometis penicillata) – 1 Muyil and 2 Coba

Red-throated Ant-tanager (Habia (gutturalis) fuscicauda) – up to 20 on seven dates at the Botanical Gardens, Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins, Becan, Muyil and Coba, including flocks of ten or more birds feeding at ant swarms

Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) – 1-2 plus other heard on five dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road, Becan and Coba

Rose-throated Tanager (Piranga roseogularis) – endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula;1-2 females on three dates at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero and Muyil and at least five birds including males at Cenote Road

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) – 1 Ek Balam

Western Spindalis/Western Stripe-headed Tanager (Spindalis zena) – 1 Presidente Grid, Cozumel

Yellow-winged Tanager (Thraupis abbas) – 2 at Becan village and adjacent ruins and 1 in Coba village

Scrub Euphonia (Euphonia affinis) – pairs on two dates at Ek Balam

Yellow-throated Euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea) – 1-2 on four dates Vigia Chico Road, Calakmul ruins, Muyil and Cenote Road

Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – 2 Vigia Chico Road and 6 Cenote Road

Olive Sparrow (Arremonops rufivirgatus) – singles at Ek Balam and Vigia Chico Road

Green-backed Sparrow (Arremonops chloronotus) – 1-2 Hormiguero

White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila morelleti) – 1-4 on four dates Cozumel, Rio Lagartos, Hormiguero & Beca

Yellow-faced Grassquit (Tiaris olivacea) – 1-8 on three dates at Cozumel, Rio Lagartos and Vigia Chico Road

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – 1-2 on three dates at Cozumel, Hormiguero and Becan

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) – 2 San Salvador ranch track, Rio Lagartos

Black-headed Saltator (Saltator atriceps) – up to 10 on nine dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Coba and Cenote Road, often in noisy groups

Blue-black Grosbeak (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) – 4 Puerto Morelos and 1 Vigia Chico Road

Blue Bunting (Cyanocompsa parellina) – 2 males along the access road to Hormiguero

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) – up to ten on seven dates at Ek Balam, Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero and Becan village

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) – 3 in Becan village

Yellow-billed Cacique (Amblycercus holosericeus) – 20 Botanical Gardens and 2 Vigia Chico Road

Yellow-backed Oriole (Icterus chrysater) – 1-3 on three dates at Ek Balam, Rio Becs Dreams and Cenote Road

Orange Oriole (Icterus auratus) – endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula; singles at Ek Balam and Rio Lagartos

Yellow-tailed Oriole (Icterus mesomelas) – 2 along the Hormiguero access road

Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis) – 1-4 on four dates at Ek Balam, Becan, Vigia Chico Road, Coba and Cenote Road

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) – 4 Becan and 1 Coba

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) – 1-6 on nine dates; widespread

Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) – 2 Rio Lagartos and 2 Coba

Black-cowled Oriole (Icterus prosthemelas) – singles on two dates at Rio Lagartos and Rio Becs Dreams

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) – 30 Rio Lagartos

Melodious Blackbird (Dives dives) – 1-2 on six dates at Puerto Morelos, Ek Balam, Hormiguero, Becan, Coba and Cenote Road

Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) – common throughtout including a large roost in trees in the central plaza in Felipe Carillo Puerto

Bronzed Cowbird (Molothrus aeneus) – 2-10 on three dates Ek Balam and Vigia Chico Road


Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) – 1 seen while spotlighting at Ek Balam

Mexican Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta pigra) – heard in forest near Hotel Puerto Calakmul

Central American Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) – at least 6 at Calakmul ruins

Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) – 1 San Salvador ranch road, Rio Lagartos
White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica) – 1 Coba ruins

Cozumel Island coati (Nasua narica nelsoni) – 1 crossing the road on Cozumel

Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata) – 1 Hormiguero

Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi) – 1 seen briefly as it crossed the path at Calakmul ruins

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) – 1 seen from the Hotel Puerto Calakmul access road while spotlighting

Brocket Deer (Mazama sp) – 3 seen at Calakmul could be Red Brocket or Yucatan Brocket Deer

Deppe’s Squirrel (Sciurus deppei) – singles on five dates at Vigia Chico Road, Calakmul ruins, Becan, Coba and Cenote Road

Yucatan Squirrel (Sciurus yucatanensis) – 1-2 on five dates at Vigia Chico Road, Hormiguero, Calakmul ruins, Becan and Cenote Road

Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) – singles at Hormiguero and Calakmul ruins

Pallas’s Long-tongued Bat (Glossophaga soricina) – 2 in tunnel in Becan ruins


American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) – 2 Rio Lagartos

Spinytail Iguana (Ctenosaura sp) – common throughout


Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive

Howell, S.N.G. 1999. Where to watch birds in Mexico. A&C Black, London. [Dated but still has much relevant and accurate information].

North Thailand Birding 2013. Birding Yucatan – the roads to ruins: 1-14 April 2013.

Olausson, L. & Persson, H-E. 2007. Yucatan, Mexico 22/1-5/2 2007.

Stiles, G.F. & Skutch, A.F. 1989. A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Christopher Helm

Sibley, D. 2000. The North American Bird Guide. Pica Press

Wheatley, N. & Brewer, D. 2001. Where to watch birds in Central America & the Caribbean. A&C Black, London.