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  • Where to watch BIRDS and

  • other wildlife in the world
  • Photograph of Monarch Butterflies

    Monarchs at El Rosario by Nick Wall.

  • Where to watch birds and wildlife in

    Photograph of Chestnut-sided Shrike Vireo

    Photograph of Slaty Vireo

    Chestnut-sided Shrike Vireo and Slaty Vireo by Brian Field. Just two of the many good-looking birds which can be seen in Mexico.

    Best Birds and other wildlife in Central Mexico

    Millions of Monarch butterflies during the northern winter and many other butterflies including swallowtails and heliconians.


    Some, not all, of the species listed below are possible.

    Widespread 14
    White-naped Swift (the largest swift in the world), Curve-winged Sabrewing, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Cinereous (Mexican Barred) Owl, White-striped Woodcreeper, Spotted Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Aztec Thrush, Russet Nightingale-thrush, Rufous-backed Thrush, Collared Towhee, Striped Sparrow, Hooded Yellowthroat and Red Warbler.

    Central 5
    Mexican (King) Rail, Strickland’s Woodpecker, Ultramarine Jay, Black-backed Oriole and Black-polled Yellowthroat (small range).

    West 33
    Western Thicket Tinamou, Rufous-bellied Chachalaca, Eared Poorwill, Mexican Hermit, Short-crested Coquette (small range), Golden-crowned Emerald, White-tailed Hummingbird (small range), Mexican Woodnymph, Mexican Squirrel-cuckoo, Colima Pygmy-owl, Balsas Screech-owl, Citreoline Trogon, Grey-crowned Woodpecker, Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, Lilac-crowned Amazon, Mexican Parrotlet, Thick-billed Parrot, Western Grey-collared Becard, Flammulated Flycatcher, Golden Greenlet (Vireo), Sinaloa Crow, Black-throated Magpie-jay, San Blas Jay, Sclater’s (Rufous-naped) Wren, Happy Wren, Sinaloa Wren, Green-striped Brush-finch (also central), Rusty-crowned Ground-sparrow, Sierra Madre Sparrow (also central), Orange-breasted Bunting, Slate-blue Seedeater, Red-headed Tanager and Cinnamon-rumped (White-collared) Seedeater.

    Southwest 25
    West Mexican Chachalaca, Banded Quail, Long-tailed Wood-partridge, Spot-breasted Quail, White-fronted Swift, Dusky Hummingbird, Turquoise-crowned Hummingbird, Oaxaca (Blue-capped) Hummingbird, Cinnamon-sided (Green-fronted) Hummingbird, Beautiful Hummingbird, Wagler’s (Emerald) Toucanet, Grey-breasted Woodpecker, Pileated Flycatcher, Slaty Vireo, Dwarf Vireo, White-throated Jay, Boucard’s Wren, Ocellated Thrasher, Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow (small range), Black-chested Sparrow, Bridled Sparrow, White-throated Towhee, Oaxaca Sparrow, Fuertes’s (Orchard) Oriole (winter/east in summer) and Rose-bellied (Rosita’s) Bunting.

    Lesser Roadrunner, Sparkling-tailed Woodstar, Mountain Trogon, Russet-crowned Motmot, Chestnut-sided Shrike Vireo, Grey Silky, Golden-browed Warbler, Red-breasted Chat and Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer. Also a chance of Hooded Grosbeak.

    Red-billed Tropicbird, Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Booby, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Reddish Egret, Boat-billed Heron, raptors including Crested Caracara, Limpkin, many shorebirds including Northern Jacana, Heermann's Gull, owls including Mottled, Northern Potoo, many hummingbirds, Coppery-tailed (Elegant) Trogon, Ringed, Belted and Green Kingfishers, woodpeckers, woodcreepers, many flycatchers including Buff-breasted and Vermilion, Masked Tityra, Black-capped Vireo, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches, many wrens, American Dipper, nightingale thrushes, Olive and many other warblers including Grace's and Red-faced, Tropical Parula and Painted Redstart, Western and Flame-faced Tanagers, brush finches, many sparrows, orioles and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Also a chance of Blue-footed Booby, Military Macaw, Collared Forest Falcon, Rufous-necked Wood Rail and Rosy Thrush Tanager.

    Humpback Whale (Jan-Mar), Spotted Dolphin. Also a chance of White-nosed Coati, Nine-banded Armadillo, Margay, and Hog-nosed and Hooded Skunks.

    A great diversity of plants, from cacti through salvias to bromeliads.

    Other Natural Wonders of Central Mexico

    Popocatepetl An almost perfectly symmetrical and still active volcanic cone near Mexico City, rising to 5426 m (17,800 ft).

    Paricutin A volcano which erupted from a field in 1943 and reached 336 m (1102 ft) above ground in its first year, eventually rising to 424 m (1391 ft) above its surroundings and covering 25 sq km (10 sq miles) when it finished erupting in 1952.

    Volcan de Fuego An active volcano, rising to 3860 m (12,664 ft), which regularly emits tall clouds of ash into the air.

    Best Sites for Birds, butterflies and other wildlife in Central Mexico