Tag Archives: bird watching

Mexico Bird Watching: Sian Ka’an

Among birding communities, the name Sian K’an is very famous not to mention that it is also the most preferred destination when it comes to watching many different birds in their natural habitat. The Sian Ka’an nature reserve is an area protected by the government which has many great things to offer to its visitors; it is found in the Riviera Maya, near Tulum Mexico and it is rich in flora and fauna and a home to magnificent ancient Mayan ruins.

In Maya language, Sian Ka’an means, ” Where the sky is born”; the name is given by the ancient Maya. This portion of the Yucatan Peninsula features generally flat landscape with limestone bedrock and minimal real elevation.

Even if there are no real surface rivers in the area, the limestone bedrock as well as sandy soil permits the rainfall to filter through and be contained underground. This underground aquifer expands not merely beneath the Sian Ka’an grounds, yet beneath the entire peninsula.

When it is rainy season such as from May to October, this nature reserve gets to be flooded with water turning wetland areas into small lakes which contain natural rich soil.

The Sian Ka’an is a UNESCO World Heritage nature reserve and the habitats found here are protected by the Mexican government; this reserve consists of lowland forests, lagoons, hummocks, mangroves as well as barrier reef These various habitats are home to more than 350 species of aquatic as well as terrestrial birds and are paradise for the bird watching lover.

Don’t hang around! Go and get your birding equipments. The well guided birding tour to Sian Ka’an will offer you the opportunity to look at with your own eyes several of the rarest avian species, along with some birds which you cannot see somewhere else on this planet! A comprehensive list of all birds endemic to the Yucatan peninsula could be uncovered here: Birding Sian Ka’an

The Yucatan Woodpecker and the Yellow fronted parrot are a couple of the rare birds that you can find in Sian Ka’an. Greater than 40 of the bird species you could see in Yucatan are endemic and visitors from across the world come here to see them.

In case you are a bird watching junkie and desire to explore the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, then consider booking your trip early. This place is a protected habitat and it is only with organized tours that tourists are permitted to visit the place, where the guides will do everything possible to help protect the natural habitat and to make sure that the plant life and animals species will not suffer from the presence of mankind.

Birds dwell in every single are of the nature reserve but one very interesting place to visit is the lagoon of San Miguel with its “Bird Island”. This is an awesome spot where by countless tropical birds get to roost and also raise their young. In this nature reserve, you can find Herons, White Ibis, Frigates, Pelicans and many other species in significant numbers.

Several of the birds in Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve are tougher to see when compared to others; for anyone who is searching for a unique bird, you can simply inform your guide that you desire to see such rare bird, and they’re going to do their very best to get you to an area where you are in all likelihood to see it.

Bird watching is such a nice and very interesting activity to experience. In the event that you wish to see as much species of birds as you possibly can, then consider visiting Sian Ka’an – we are sure that you’ll depart pleased as well as looking towards your next visit to this stunning as well as attractive place!

Duende Tours operates active tours in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. For more information on Birding Tours: Sian Ka’an Bird Watching at Onejungle.

Yucatan Bird Watching: Destinations and Bird Species

Did you know that birding is actually one of the famous activity in Yucatan that made travelers and bird lovers go bird watching. You don’t need to be an expert to have enjoyment from bird watching – no matter what your age is you will surely enjoy this activity.

Whether or not you are going to rest in your hammock with an excellent book and binoculars or join one of many tours that will take you to areas where many birds nest, the time you invested going birding could be one memorable experience.

Bird Watching In Yucatan

With regards to Bird watching, Yucatan is unquestionably a destination to be. Hundreds of bird species come to the jungles and wetlands during the migration periods. The most famous bird reserve, Sian Ka’an, is documented to host an incredible number of migratory birds alone.

Even so, it is not merely the migrating birds that constitute the diversity. You will discover over 546 bird species who occupy the zones in the Yucatan all year long, eleven of which are endemic (living only in Yucatan and no place else on earth). Many of these unique local species also bring the name of the region: the Yucatan wren, the Bright Red Yucatan parrot and the Yucatan night-jar.

Yucatan Birding Sites

In terms of birding, the top destinations are Celestun, Rio Lagartos, Sian Ka’an Reserve and Isla Contoy.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere

The Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve sits a few miles south of Tulum Mexico and Playa Del Carmen. There are actually a number of small hotels within the shoreline, and so places to stay are readily accessible anytime.

This mentioned reserve covers over 1.3 million acres of land, mangrove swamps, tropical forests, wetlands, lagoons and cenotes. It was created to provide protection to not only the native bird species, but also more than 1200 several other animal species like reptiles, insects and mammals.

There are certainly a lot more 360 bird species that live in in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, as well as for nature lovers there are non-profit community birding tours. The groups can be small or big, with the smallest group to be made when at least two individuals would like to take the tour. The several birds which can be easily spotted in the area are the ibises, vultures, herons as well as orioles.

Celestun

Celestun is simply 45 minutes drive away from Merida. It’s a small fishing village, nevertheless one can find some basic hotels where you can stay. On top of that, Eco Paraiso Xixim, a good looking 280-room Eco-resort is only six miles north of Celestun.

One of several bird species that could be encountered in this place is the pink flamingo, they are in great numbers from March to August. Many other birds, just like snowy egrets and herons can also be seen, specially when you take a tour with one of the fishing boats.

The Rio Lagartos Biosphere reserve

On the Yucatan’s northern Caribbean coast, 5 miles north of Valladolid and approximately an hour away from Chichen Itza you can find the Rio Lagartos Biosphere. Here you will find pink flamingos in large colony – more than 40,000 flamingos dwell this area. Together with the flamingos that live in the areas around Celestun, the reserve holds more than 90% of the world’s population of pink flamingos throughout the winter season.

Isla Contoy

Isla Contoy is a national park and is located north of Isla Mujeres. It’s a bird sanctuary and among the best birding destinations in Yucatan. There’s a limit on the number of visitors which are allowed to visit Isla Contoy each day, therefore if you’re thinking about going to this place, be sure you join an organized trip where all preparations are developed for you.

The avian species you can see on Isla Contoy are generally marine birds, including the the frigate, double-crested cormorant, and brown pelican. You could also find birds which are nesting on this tropical isle.

Linda Patterson is a birding enthusiast from the USA. The Mexican Yucatan Peninsula offers amazing birding opportunities. Check these birding tours Yucatan for more information on this great destination.

Part 1 – Creatures of the Everglades

In 1773 British surveyor John Gerard de Brahm was mapping the coast of Florida. In using the maps laid out by the Spanish cartographers a few centuries before him, he found the area they referred to as Laguna del Espiritu Santo or Lake of the Holy Spirit. The Spanish called it as such because they knew there was water there, they just couldn’t see it. Brahm mistook the translation as meaning river and called the area River Glades. By 1823 maps of the region had been copied with yet another mistake in translation and referred to the wetlands as the Everglades.

The Florida Everglades are a subtropical wetland consisting of no less than six different ecosystems. The sheer geography of the region, combined with differing weather flows from varied sources makes the Everglades a decidedly diverse place. There are many resulting factors from the uniqueness of the Everglades, and one of them is the existence of several species of flora and fauna which can only be naturally found in this singular place on earth.

The Florida Panther is both endemic to Florida and an endangered subspecies of the cougar. This beautiful and rare cat is born with blue eyes and a spotted coat to aid in camouflage. As the cub grows the eyes become a deep yellow and the coat changes to a rich tan colour. Their underbelly will remain white, but black tips will appear on the tail and ears. One of the most defining characteristics of the Florida Panther is its inability to roar. Every other subspecies of the cougar is able to make some sort of defensive, deep, guttural projection of noise. Florida Panther can only growl, whistle, chirp or purr. The only predators to this beautiful creature are alligators and humans.

The second creature on our list of species endemic to the Florida Everglades is the Florida Black Bear. A subspecies of the American Black Bear, the Floridian cousin is known to roam through most of southern Florida as well as Alabama and Georgia simply due to infringement on their habitat. The Florida Black Bear prefers a forested home, either wetland or upland. Those living in the southern portion of the Everglades are the only subspecies to live in a subtropical climate – quite a feat considering their coat. The Florida Black Bear are large, stocky, covered with shiny black fur and have a short tail. There are many members of the subspecies who have developed a white chest patch, but it is not common throughout the population. The most prolific source of mortality for the Florida Black Bear is interference with motor vehicle traffic.

Theses are just two creatures that make the Florida Everglades their home. They are powerful, unusual and dwindling animals that deserve respect. While the Everglades is certainly an ecological wonder, visit it carefully and with awareness of the creatures living there.

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Part 2 – Creatures of the Everglades

In part one we learned of the distinctive characteristics found in the Florida Everglades, including the multiple ecosystems that make up the area. We also explored two endangered species endemic to the Everglades, the Florida Panther and the Florida Black Bear. Now we will look at a few other creatures found only in the Everglades.

The Snail Kite is neither a snail nor a kite, but it does fly. The Rostrhamus Sociabilis is a bird of prey that just happens to be of the same family as eagles, hawks and vultures. This particular predator is not especially colourful or unique. In fact it is distinctive for not being distinctive. The adult male is adorned with dark blue-grey feathers, while the females’ plumage is a lighter grey with thin white tips. The ladies have yellow legs, the gentlemen have red legs but the only female has a lovely white face. Their main source of food is the apple snails, which they locate through slow flight while looking down. Although the Snail Kite prefers freshwater wetlands where they roost for the winter, they have been known to take short trips south to South America.

Switching from fauna to flora, we will now explore the wonder of the mangroves. Contrary to common assumptions, mangroves are not a singular species of tree. They are a collection of various kinds of trees that prefer to grow in tropical and subtropical habitats where there is a great amount of water. However, it must be said the word mangrove has been used to describe a particular ecosystem, a forest, a swamp, or a family of plants or trees.

The mangroves existing in the Everglades are divided into three groups: Red Mangrove, White Mangrove and Black Mangrove. They are all highly sensitive to temperature, and will die in freezing conditions. The three groups of mangroves in the Everglades are categorized according to their proximity to water. The red grows closest to the water, but only open water, not streams. The black grows in moderate levels of water with prop roots. The white is the most fragile, grows closest to shore and also has prop roots.

Amid all those roots of the mangrove there are hundreds of species of fish, birds, crustaceans, reptiles, insects and so on. The roots provide a sheltered nursery for young fish. Wading birds can safely grow and mature in the mangroves without fear of predators finding them. Below the surface of the water the roots of the mangrove trees provide homes for anemones, corals, mussels, crabs and many more creatures. The Everglades are truly a treasure trove of flora and fauna.

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Mexico’s Bird Watching Tours – The Ideal Birding Locations

The enormous bay is considered the most compelling location for bird watching. The Bahia de banderas, or the Bay of Flags, which is cut like a crescent out of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, is amongst the ideal haunts of birds. The coastal regions of the bay are somewhat plain without the birds, except for the few runnels and inlets at the river mouths. The Yelapa, Mismolaya, Boca de Tomatlan, and the rocky island of Marietas are the excellent spots for bird watching tours in Mexico.

Another area of interest is the Yucatan Peninsula in the east of Mexico.

The high mountains go down sharply to the edge of the waters from the north, a place generally known as San Blas, Nayarit, to the south, to a place named Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The Bahia de Banderas is a part of this mountainous region, and gets to the northeast direction. The valley in between is recognized as the Valle de Banderas, which means the Valley of Flags. The high mountains surrounding the enclosed valley isolate Isthmus of Tehuantepec from the north and from the south.

The valley isn’t somewhat large, covering an area just around 150 square miles. The place is flat lowland, specially where the delta is positioned. This is one of several very best places for bird watching mainly because of the rich ecosystem found in the encompassing forests. The significant beaches are usually a favorite haunt of the migratory birds that move in over the winter months.

Other birders might prefer the calm breeze of the Carribean and choose to set off to the Riviera Maya. With plenty of hotels and cozy cabanas it attracts a great deal of tourists. Some of these miss out on the birding opportunities the Yucatan Peninsula provides.

Mexico also has many protected bird habitats in the East. The Yucatan Peninsula boasts the Mayan Riviera as well as Cozumel Island; both are great places to spot birds.

With that being said, Guatemala is a fantastic destination to dedicate the vacation birding.

From the Pink Flamingoes that make the coastal horizon bleed in the Mayan Riviera, to the small discreet birds unseen in the high canopies of trees in the deep Guatemalan jungle, you’ll never find shortage of birds to see. In addition to that, you can find several places to see in the Yucatan Peninsula, when birding isn’t your only leisure activity.

Added to that, you’ll find a lot of places to check out in the Yucatan Peninsula, in case bird watching is not your only hobby to engage in.

Linda Patterson is a birding enthusiast from the USA. She has advised birders from all over the world showing the most amazing birds watching spots.