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  • Photograph of Turkey Vulture

    Turkey Vulture by Jon Hornbuckle.

    VERACRUZ, MEXICO

    Best Wildlife in Veracruz

    Mammals
    Mantled Howler Monkey.

    Birds
    The species listed below are usually present during the northern autumn migration season.
    Raptors such as Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Hook-billed, Mississippi (mostly early Sep), Snail, (American) Swallow-tailed (mostly late Aug) and White-tailed Kites, Broad-winged (mostly mid-Sep to early Oct), Cooper’s, Sharp-shinned and Swainson’s (mostly mid-Oct) Hawks, and American Kestrel, endemics including Bumblebee Hummingbird, Russet Nightingale Thrush, Blue Mockingbird, Red Warbler, Rufous-capped Brush Finch, Collared Towhee and Striped Sparrow, the near-endemic Mexican Chickadee, and a chance of the endemics Tuxtla (Purplish-backed) Quail Dove, Long-tailed Sabrewing, Mexican Sheartail and Hooded Yellowthroat, plus Magnificent Frigatebird, Bare-throated Tiger Heron and Keel-billed Toucan, as well as Plain Chachalaca, American White and Brown Pelicans, Anhinga, herons, Reddish Egret, Pinnated Bittern, White and White-faced Ibises, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Black and Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures, Common Black, Roadside and Short-tailed Hawks, Collared Forest Falcon, Crested Caracara, Aplomado, Bat and Laughing Falcons, Grey-necked Wood Rail, Limpkin, Double-striped Thick-knee, Collared Plover, Black-necked Stilt, Northern Jacana, other shorebirds, Royal Tern, White-winged Dove, Red-billed Pigeon, a few parrots, Squirrel Cuckoo, Groove-billed Ani, Black-and-white and Mottled Owls, White-collared Swift, hummingbirds including Little and Long-tailed Hermits, and Violet Sabrewing, Black-headed and Violaceous Trogons, Blue-crowned Motmot (coeruliceps and lessonii), Amazon, Belted and Green Kingfishers, Collared Aracari, woodpeckers such as Acorn and Lineated, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, woodcreepers, numerous tyrant flycatchers including Eastern Kingbird (mostly mid-Sep), Fork-tailed, Scissor-tailed (mostly Oct) and Vermilion, and Common Tody Flycatcher and Great Kiskadee, Bright-rumped Attila, Black-crowned and Masked Tityras, vireos, Brown, Green and Steller’s Jays, Mangrove Swallow, White-breasted Nuthatch, wrens including Rufous-naped, Eastern Bluebird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Grey Silky Flycatcher, many warblers including Crescent-chested, Golden-browed, Olive and Rufous-capped, and Northern and Tropical Parulas, Common Bush Tanager, Yellow-winged Tanager, euphonias, Cinnamon-bellied Flower-piercer, Red-legged Honeycreeper Dickcissel, orioles, Yellow-billed Cacique, Chestnut-headed and Montezuma’s Oropendolas, and Black-headed Siskin. Also a chance of Great Black and Zone-tailed Hawks, Black Skimmer, Black-crested Coquette, Tody Motmot and Black-throated Shrike Tanager.

    Invertebrates
    A great diversity of dazzling butterflies including Anna’s Eighty-Eight, Malachite, and Achilles (Blue-banded) and White Morphos.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Veracruz

    Best Times for Wildlife in Veracruz

    Hawkcount usually organise counting at the two monitoring sites from 20th August to 20th November each year although most birds normally migrate over from late September to mid-October. Along the coast at this time of the year it is hot and humid with temperatures usually in the high eighties fahrenheit, perhaps as high as 95°F, but it is cooler and less humid in the highlands, sometimes down to the fifties.

    Recommended Books etc. for Veracruz

    A Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America by S Howell and S Webb. OUP, 1995.

    A Field Guide to Mexican Birds by R Tory Peterson and E Chalif. Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

    Where to watch birds in Mexico by S Howell. Helm, 1999.

    A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of Mexico and Central America by J Glassberg. Sunstreak Books, 2007.

    Where to watch birds in Central America & the Caribbean by N Wheatley and D Brewer. Helm, 2001.

    Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Central America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author and David Brewer. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Veracruz

    Many trip reports, some for Veracruz, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Veracruz. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Veracruz' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Veracruz

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.


    Accommodation in Veracruz

    Some Organized Tours to Veracruz

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Veracruz include the following.