Dates and Costs

February 24-March 10, 2018
$4500 per person ($750 single supplement)

Images

About This Trip

As you look at great birding location around the world, the western coast of Mexico is a place of great temptation to birders.  Nearly 50 Mexican endemic bird species can be found in a stretch of coast and nearby mountains of less than 500 miles, many of which are extremely range restricted to small areas. Our tour of west Mexico is the most complete exploration available of this region.  We have taken two of our most popular tours a combined them into one 15 day Mexican bird odyssey that should produce around 400 species.

After flying into Guadalajara, we leave the big city behind and head for Colima City.  Our main reason for staying here is the endemic Balsa’s Screech Owl, but it also gives us the best jumping off point for exploring some of the southwestern slopes of the volcanoes the following day.  These slopes are great places to find Rusty-crowned Ground-sparrow, Spotted Wren, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Great Swallow-tailed Swift, Gray-crowned Woodpecker, Red-headed Tanager and Lilac-crowned Parrot.

Then its off to the bustling little city of Ciudad Guzman and the closest location for accessing the diverse habitats of the Colima volcanoes on the east side.   This entire range of rugged mountains has allowed for a fantastic variety of avi-fauna to evolve, in a myriad of micro habitats at varying elevations. The western limits of the volcanic belt offer another component of bird life, that being the southern limit of Pacific Mexico and the Sierra Madre Occidental. The impact of the melding of west Mexico with the volcanic belt is impressive, and makes this area rich with a large number of interesting Mexican endemic birds.  Views of the twin volcanoes known as Volcan de Colima (Fuego or fire, often smoking!) and snow-mantled Nevado de Colima (Nieve or snow), reach elevations of 12,500 and 14,235 feet respectively, provide a picturesque backdrop for nearly thall of our time in the area.  Some species include Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Banded Quail, Balsas Screech-Owl, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Chestnut-sided Shrike Vireo, Trans-Volcanic Jay, Aztec Thrush, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird and Eared Poorwill.  We will spend three days in this area.

A short drive from Ciudad Guzman will take us over the north side of the volcanos and to the town of Autlan de Navarro, where we have our best chances for Slaty and Dwarf Vireo and the beautiful Black-chested Sparrow!  Other birds include: Singing Quail, Lesser Roadrunner, Banded Quail, West Mexican Chachalaca and Red-breasted Chat.  We then head to the sleepy tourist/fishing coastal village of Barra de Navidad, where we will once again spend time in fantastic dry forest habitat looking for Lesser Ground Cuckoo, Golden-crowned Emerald, Orange-breasted Bunting, Citreoline Trogon, Flammulated Flycatcher and San Blas Jay.

Our next extended stay will be at the relaxing Rancho Primavera where we will enjoy excellent birding right on the grounds and around the extensive bird feeders on the property.  There are also excellent morning and afternoon trips to very close in areas for other key species.  We should see Mexican Parrotlet, Colima Pygmy Owl, Mexican Hermit, San Blas Jay, Mexican Woodnymph, Golden Vireo and Fan-tailed Warbler to mention a few.  We will also have very good opportunities for finding Eared Poorwill and Whiskered, Vermiculated and Western Screech Owls.

From Rancho Primavera, we make the 4 hour drive to the sleeping beach town of San Blas, Nayarit where will stay for two nights.  Our main focus here will be cleaning up some of the lowland species that we may have missed thus far and taking at least one boat trip in search of the Rufous-necked Woodrail!  Other birds that we may see on the boat trip include Mottled Owl, Spotted Rail, Snail Kite, Crane Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, White-throated Flycatcher, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater and tens of thousands of ducks, herons and egrets!

Our final destination is up in the Sierra Madre Occidental and the highlands of Sinaloa along the famous Durango Highway.  The star of the show in the Sierra is the extremely range restricted Tufted Jay, possibly the most beautiful jay in the world.  Also in the Sierra we can find Green-striped and Rufous-capped Brushfinch, Russet Nightingale Thrush, Aztec Thrush, Red and Golden-browed Warbler, Pine Flycatcher and Gray-collared Becard.  On our final morning of birding we will spend time in more mid elevation habitat where we will look for  things like Military Macaw, Blue Bunting, Yellow-winged Cacique, Happy and Sinaloa Wren, Yellow Grosbeak, Scrub Euphonia, Golden-crowned Emerald, Elegant quail and Rufous bellied Chachalaca.

This tour is an excellent opportunity to experience the diversity and richness of Mexico, both for the serious lister and for anyone new to tropical birding. Birders new to the tropics can expect to see an exciting, but manageable, number of new species.  A truly fantastic and through exploration of western Mexico.

Accommodations

During the trip, weʼll stay in a few different kinds of hotels – comfortable business hotels, a few chain hotels, very nice family run and birder friendly hotels in Rancho Primavera and San Blas, simple mountain accommodations in Copala and a seaside hotel in Mazatlan.  These locations allow easy access to a complete range of habitats typical of western Mexico, from the arid coastal plain to cool fir forests high in the Sierra Madre.

This one-way trip starts in Guadalajara, Jalisco and ends in Mazatlan, Sinaloa

To book your trip or for more information, please contact us by email or call 888-383-0062.