Northern Yucatan

Two airports serve this region - Cancun and Cozumel. An open jaw flight into one and out from the other is ideal for this route. This region includes the Mexican States of Quintana Roo and Yucatan.

Endemic MUST-SEE BIRDS of this region include: YUCATAN WOODPECKER, COZUMEL EMERALD, COZUMEL VIREO, COZUMEL WREN, ORANGE ORIOLE, YUCATAN JAY, YELLOW-LORED PARROT, YUCATAN NIGHTJAR, YUCATAN POORWILL, BLACK-THROATED BOBWHITE, YUCATAN WREN, MEXICAN SHEARTAIL, GRAY-THROATED CHAT & ROSE-THOATED TANAGER.

Other non-endemic birds of high interest better seen in this region include: Thicket Tinamou, Caribbean Dove, Western Spindalis (Stripe-headed Tanager), Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Vireo, Black Catbird, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Orange Oriole, Ruddy Crake, Spotted Rail, Mexican Antthrush, Gray-collared Becard, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Smooth-billed Ani, White-bellied Wren, Guatemalan Screech-Owl, Northern Barred-Woodcreeper, Gray-headed Tanager, Caribbean Flamingo, Zenaida Dove, Rufus-necked Wood-Rail, White-bellied Emerald, American Pygmy-Kingfisher, & White-lored Gnatcatcher.

The strategy for birding the region is straightforward - extended birding time on Cozumel Island, followed by visits to two Biosphere Reserves - Rio Lagartos and Celestun, while using the lodging near archeological sites of Coba and Uxmal as bases for birding the unique arid tropical forests growing out of the limestone bedrock of the peninsula:

1. Cozumel Island - five endemics, & many Caribbean species as well
2. Coba - these fantastic ruins are still hidden in the forest - many good trails
3. Rio Lagartos - closed access to the xeric forest endemics
4. Celestun - freshwater wetlands, mangroves, and estuary system
5. Uxmal - ruins surrounded by prime habitat

Birding trips in the region will average between nine and twelve days depending on the pace of the trip - the heat and humidity sometimes dictate the pace - and the season of the year [winter birding is by far the most comfortable, however both the spring and fall migration windows hold the most promise for birders - both difficult times of the year, as spring brings the annual rains and increased humidity, and hurricanes can be a serious threat during fall months.]

This route also has the option for added days in Southern Quintana Roo and Campeche where some excellent protected forest remains. Three added days may increase the list by fifty birds, but more importantly adds birds like Ocellated Turkey, Great Curassow, Agami Heron, Jabiru, Barred Forest-Falcon, Black-collared Hawk and Tody Motmot.