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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Mexico: Oaxaca at Christmastime

We usually start the tour at the dramatic ruins of Monte Alban, perched on a hilltop overlooking Oaxaca City… …but it’s still a birding tour after all, and here we’ll look for the unobtrusive Pileated Flycatcher… …or the stunning Slaty Vireo. A bonus cultural experience not to be missed is the annual Night of the Radishes, the premier civic artistic competition in the city… …While strolling past the beautiful church of Santo Domingo after dinner we might see a Barn Owl fly over. (gb) Food is also a part of the  cultural experience; we sample a different restaurant each night. Some mornings begin in the forested hills above the city with a picnic breakfast and a fabulous view. Some of the birds we might see up here are the Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo… …or the Northern Pymgy-Owl. We usually take time to enjoy other aspects of the natural history, such as this Bletia orchid… …or this endemic lizard, Mesaspis gadovii… …or this West Mexican Eighty-eight. We make a four-day side trip to Tuxtepec that takes us through lush cloud forests of the Sierra de Juárez… …to the tropical lowlands of northern Oaxaca where treats such as this Keel-billed Toucan might grace us with its presence… …or this Yellow-tailed Oriole. We’ll finish the tour back in the drier eastern Oaxaca Valley at the peaceful and birdy ruins of Yagul… …where families of Boucard’s Wren are easily found on the cactus-clad hillsides. In the afternoons, we visit a few more cultural highlights, such as the impressive ruins and bustling market at Mitla… …or make a quick stop for some of the wonderful crafts that have made the Oaxaca Valley famous, such as these Zapotec rugs. (gb)