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Yucatan Peninsula

Yucatan  >  Mexico

With its diverse ecosystems ranging from mangroves to tropical forests, the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has a wide variety of bird species, including 14 endemic ones that are found nowhere else in the world. While birding you can also enjoy many of the impressing Maya ruins. With excellent birding because most of the ancient Maya cities are located in dense lowland jungle.


The Yucatan peninsula is one of the premier birding destinations in North America and includes three states: Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo. This peninsula in southern Mexico is extremely flat with little or no topographic variation. But the large variety of habitats with mangroves, lagoons, grasslands, tropical forests, cenotes, wetlands, islands and beaches make it an ideal destination for birdwatching. The Yucatan peninsula is home to an astounding 555 bird species in 74 different families. From colorful toucans and flamingos to parrots and raptors. The great thing is that the birding is relatively easy both in terms of climate and terrain. The major birding areas are safely accessible by rental car on well-maintained roads. And you get the marvelous Maya temples as a bonus. The majority of the Mayan sites are in pristine places and very productive birding spots. But next to the Mayan sites, there are many other places to discover.

The endemic birds of Yucatan include Ocellated Turkey (the striking turkey species with iridescent plumage you see on the above picture), Yucatan Parrot, Yucatan Poorwill, Yucatan Nightjar, Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Wren, Black Catbird, Rose-throated Tanager, Yucatan Woodpecker and Orange Oriole. Besides endemics the Yucatan peninsula also has many birds that are found nowhere else in Mexico. These include:  Zenaida Dove, White-crowned Pigeon, Caribbean Dove, Caribbean Elaenia and Stripe-headed Tanager.

On some of the best birding sites on the Yucatan peninsula are described in detail by biders. With map, species list, how to get there, where to park and how and where you can find the birds. Zoom in on the map below and click on a red dot for a detailed area description. The 3 top destinations are Rio Lagartos, Vigia Chico Road and the Ancient Maya city of Calakmul.