This special tour to the Veracruz region of Mexico features the “River of Raptors,” one of the great natural phenomenons on earth. We will participate in the worlds most spectacular hawkwatch, where single day counts have exceeded over 500,000 raptors, and the one-day record is 1.5 million!
The last dozen fall seasons, Pronatura hawk-counters have recorded over five million birds of prey. Besides enjoying this staggering spectacle of raptors, we will visit a variety of habitats and quaint villages, where local avifauna, raptors and North American migrants are enjoyed. This area ranks among the better places in the Americas to observe eastern and western passerine migrants and wintering birds side-by-side in the same locality. We can expect over 250 species, including over 30 species of raptors, nearly 20 species of hummingbirds and numerous endemics.
In the coastal lowlands we will visit La Mancha Biological Station, a research site with mangroves, a beautiful beach and small lagoons. Local birds include Laughing and Aplomado Falcons, Zone-tailed Hawk and both Common and Great Black Hawks, with a chance for Boat-billed Heron. Las Barrancas is a vast grassland savannah that holds Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Double-striped Thick-knee, Common Tody-Flycatcher and Plain-breasted Ground-Dove and, in areas of wet meadows, Pinnated Bittern.
In the foothills near Xalapa we visit the shade coffee plantation at El Rancho Mirador, where both Yellow-olive and Ochre-bellied Flycatcher and Olivaceous and Ivory-billed Woodcreeper are possible. Based out of Xalapa, we will visit the cloud forest at Macuiltepetl Ecological Park that holds the endemic Blue Mockingbird and White-naped Brush-Finch, Blue-crowned Motmot and several species of hummingbirds including Azure-crowned, Wedge-tailed and Berylline.
We see a complete change of habitat above Xalapa, in the beautiful pine and pine-oak forests, where many of our endemic species will be found along with spectacular mixed flocks of warblers and other species.
Focus: RAPTORS and other Birds, Butterflies, Culture, Photography
” The spectacle of thousands and thousands of raptors streaming and kettling overhead cannot be described in words. Every birder should experience this in Veracruz at least once in their lifetime.” – Deborah B., Philadelphia, PA Veracruz 2013