In the spring of 2008, our friends Chuck and Dorothy Gates took us to this awesome place on the Pacific Coast of Mexico that they had been raving about for years. The town of San Blas, in the Mexican state of Nayarit, lies halfway between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.
A traditional Mexican tourist town, San Blas has attracted birders for several decades for the fascinating combination of a diverse avifauna and an authentic Mexican birding experience. Watching the sunset from the church above town, we watched Short-tailed Hawk cruising by at eye level and White-collared Seedeater in the weeds at our feet. A boat ride through mangrove tunnels will put us eye-to-eye with Boat-billed Heron and Common Potoo, and the jungles above town showcased such west-Mexican endemics as Colima Pygmy-Owl, Mexican Parrotlet, Citreoline Trogon, and Purplish-backed Jay,, Black-headed Siskin, Mexican Hermit, and Rufous-bellied Chachalaca.
More recently, we started exploring to the south and noted that habitat diversity changes quickly with latitude, especially in the tropics. Through our participation in the Vallarta Bird Festival, we found Rancho Primavera, a lovely private estate nestled among the mixed woodlands of thesouthern Sierra Madre and just outside the historic pueblo of El Tuito. The Ranch property itself boasts still more resident endemics, including: West Mexican Chachalaca, Russet-crowned Motmot, San Blas Jay, Blue Mockingbird, and Black-vented Oriole. Woodpeckers on the property include the giant Lineated and Pale-billed, plus the endemic Golden-cheeked Woodpecker. Habitats surrounding the ranch host even more endemics, just a few of which include Mexican Woodnymph, Golden Vireo, and Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow. And in case you get overwhelmed with resident Mexican birds, the abundance of wintering North American songbirds will make you feel right at home!
Escape with us to Pacific Mexico, and wrap yourself in a warm, laid-back birding paradise.
-Your host and guide, Stephen Shunk
HAVE GENERAL TOUR QUESTIONS? VIEW OUR TOUR FAQ PAGE