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00o00´/00o00´ ha 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (18th to 21st December 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This is undoubtedly one of the best places we visited and, in retrospect, we should have spent at least 1 more day here to bird the higher reaches. Unfortunately the weather up in the cloud forest was abominable when we were here (thick cloud banks alternating with heavy rain) leading to much frustration as we could often hear a lot of birds, but see none or only shadows in the mist. We ended up retreating to the lower slopes where we did see quite a bit, but missed most of the high-altitude species. 

December 19: Valle Nacional: We started birding from km 50 onwards continuing up the mountain, catching a fleeting glimpse of a single Plain Chachalaca, our first flights of Brown-hooded Parrots, a Squirrel Cuckoo, a single White-faced Quail-Dove, male Bumblebee, Blue-throated, Garnet-throated and a male Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, White-bellied Emeralds (common), Keel billed-Toucan, 4 species of woodpecker (Lineated, Golden-fronted, Golden-olive and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker), Ivory-billed and Olivaceous woodcreeper, a single Spectacled Foliage-gleaner, a female Red-capped Manakin, Green and Brown Jays, an Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush at La Esperanza, Green Shrike-Vireo, Brown-capped Vireo, Golden-crowned Warbler, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Blue-grey, Crimson-collared and White-winged Tanagers, Black-headed Saltator, Yellow-faced Grassquits, White-collared Seedeaters, Montezuma’s Oropendolas, Audubon’s Oriole, Olive-backed Euphonia,…. We only stopped birding for a quick lunch at the comedor “Lulu” in La Esperanza, returning to Valle Nacional after dark. 

December 20: Valle Nacional: We started the day in the orchards at the edge of Valle Nacional back in the direction of Oaxaca, where they meet first forest patches and hit a nice mixed flock of species consisting of a good number of North American warblers and forest birds coming down to forage. We quickly added Red-lored Parrots, Aztec Parakeets, a pair of Violaceous Trogons, several Collared Aracaris and a Masked Tityra. Regis found a single Chestnut-headed Oropendola and a Yellow-billed Cacique, both of which I missed. Continuing up the mountain and stopping wherever there was activity we found Blue-crowned Motmot, Grayish Saltator, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, 2 Plain Chachalacas perched in the trees at eye level, a Spotted Woodcreeper, Little Hermit and Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Spot-breasted Wren, Blue-black Grosbeak, Thick-billed Seedfinch, Blue-black Grassquit, Barred Antshrikes and a Yellow-tailed Oriole. A pair of what only could have been hawk-eagles disappeared too quickly from view to be identified. We did manage to see (and see well) other birds of prey though. A Roadside Hawk and a Grey Hawk perching close by the road, and distant, though once we had the scope on it, a very good look at a perched White Hawk. Once again visibility was very poor to non-existent once we reached the cloud forest zone, though we still managed to find and get good looks at a Slate-colored Solitaire feeding on berries and a Southern House Wren in La Esperanza. With the weather deteriorating even further we headed back down finding a female Lovely Cotinga in the same bush we had the chlorophonias the day before, a male White-collared Manakin and in a glade just before reaching the outskirts of Valle Nacional, several Orange-billed Sparrows.

Leaving Valle Nacional, Tuxtepec to Villahermosa December 21: Tuxtepec: A very quick trip to the orchards, and a scan of the river delivered an Amazon Kingfisher and a lone Neotropical Cormorant. We then headed for the sites decribed in Howell for Tuxtepec. Though there’s obviously still woodcutting going on there is still some good forest left on the hills described in Howell and we found birding was good, though we arrived only after the heat had started to set in. A calling Black Hawk-Eagle, our first Groove-billed Anis, several White-crowned Parrots, 3 Grey-crowned Yellowthroats were all added. And then a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl came flying in, responding to its call and perching on an exposed branch allowing for great looks. The river nearby held good numbers of waders, a Caspian Tern and Mangrove Swallows, while the immense reservoir held some gulls and wintering American White Pelicans. Unfortunately we were short on time and we skipped over most of the often extensive marshes along the Usumacinta river on our way to Villahermosa, where we spent the night at Hotel Tabasco (very basic but cheap, 180 peso for a double, no hot water) and enjoying the Christmas market and festivities going on. 

Species seen

  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus mexicanus
  • Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  • Great Egret Egretta alba egretta
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis ibis
  • White Hawk Leucopternis albicollis ghiesbreghti
  • Grey Hawk Buteo plagiatus
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
  • Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus fuliginosus
  • Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis rufigularis
  • Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula
  • Spotted Sandpiper Tringa macularia
  • Red-billed Pigeon Patagioenas flavirostris
  • White-faced Quail-Dove Geotrygon albifacies
  • Aztec Parakeet Aratinga astec
  • Brown-hooded Parrot Pionopsitta haematotis haematotis
  • Red-lored Parrot Amazona autumnalis autumnalis
  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
  • White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris mexicana
  • Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi
  • White-bellied Emerald Amazilia candida
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl tzacatl
  • Bumblebee Hummingbird Atthis heloisa
  • Stripe-tailed Hummingbird Eupherusa eximia
  • Amethyst-throated Hummingbird Lampornis amethystinus
  • Blue-throated Hummingbird Lampornis clemenciae
  • Garnet-throated Hummingbird Lamprolaima rhami
  • Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus
  • Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota coeruliceps
  • Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
  • Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus
  • Collared Aracari Pteroglossus torquatus
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
  • Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus yucatanensis
  • Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus
  • Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus
  • Ivory-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus flavigaster
  • Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius
  • Spot-breasted Wren Thryothorus maculipectus
  • Southern House Wren Troglodytes musculus
  • Grey Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
  • Scaly-breasted Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia variegaticeps
  • Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus intermedius
  • Slate-coloured Solitaire Myadestes unicolor unicolor
  • Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus aurantiirostris
  • Clay-coloured Thrush Turdus grayi
  • White-throated Thrush Turdus assimilis
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
  • Couch's Kingbird Tyrannus couchii
  • White-collared Manakin Manacus candei
  • Red-capped Manakin Pipra mentalis
  • Lovely Cotinga Cotinga amabilis
  • Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata
  • Green Jay Cyanocorax luxuosus
  • Brown Jay Psilorhinus morio
  • Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys
  • Cassin's Vireo Vireo cassinii
  • Green Shrike-Vireo Vireolanius pulchellus
  • Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus
  • Northern Parula Parula americana
  • Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia
  • Hermit Warbler Dendroica occidentalis
  • Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
  • American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
  • Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla
  • Louisiana Waterthrush Seiurus motacilla
  • Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
  • Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus
  • Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
  • Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli
  • Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
  • White-naped Brush-Finch Atlapetes albinucha
  • Thick-billed Seed-Finch Oryzoborus funereus
  • Black-faced Grosbeak Caryothraustes poliogaster
  • Blue-black Grosbeak Cyanocompsa cyanoides
  • Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps
  • Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
  • Chestnut-headed Oropendola Psarocolius wagleri wagleri
  • Montezuma Oropendola Gymnostinops montezuma
  • Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus holosericeus
  • Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas mesomelas
  • Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
  • Audubon's Oriole Icterus graduacauda
  • Melodious Blackbird Dives dives
  • Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
  • Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
  • Red-throated Ant-Tanager Habia fuscicauda
  • Crimson-collared Tanager Phlogothraupis sanguinolenta
  • Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
  • White-winged Tanager Piranga leucoptera
  • Scarlet-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus passerinii
  • Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Yellow-winged Tanager Thraupis abbas
  • Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi
  • Blue-crowned Chlorophonia Chlorophonia occipitalis
  • Rusty Sparrow Aimophila rufescens
  • Orange-billed Sparrow Arremon aurantiirostris
  • White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola
  • Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivaceus intermedius
  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina


Species seen TUXTEPEC to VILLAHERMOSA 21.12.2006

  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus mexicanus
  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus carolinensis
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
  • American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchus
  • Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor ruficollis
  • Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
  • Grey Hawk Buteo plagiatus
  • Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus serus
  • Killdeer Charadrius vociferus vociferus
  • Laughing Gull Larus atricilla megalopterus
  • Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
  • Aztec Parakeet Aratinga astec
  • White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis
  • Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum
  • White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris mexicana
  • Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
  • Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
  • Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea
  • Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans nigricans
  • Brown Jay Psilorhinus morio
  • Grey-crowned Yellowthroat Geothylpis poliocephala
  • Thick-billed Seed-Finch Oryzoborus funereus
  • Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
  • Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea
  • Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
  • Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea
  • White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola
  • Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  • Wood Stork Mycteria americana
  • Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
  • White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus majusculus
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
  • Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans cachinnans
  • Limpkin Aramus guarauna dolosus
  • Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa gymnostoma
  • South American Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
  • Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana


For a full Excel species trip list please contact the authors:

Regis Nossent: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Filip Beeldens: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.