Tropical Birding


Wading into the Neotropics


13- 27 January 2007

Leader: Michael Retter


Hooded Warbler  -  Iain Campbell/Tropical Birding
Hooded Warbler

Northeast Mexico offers birders the opportunity to encounter many of the country’s endemic birds while traveling through habitats as diverse as high desert plateaus, tropical marshes, dry upland oak forests, lowland rainforests, and montane cloudforests. While birds like Mountain Trogon, Azure-hooded Jay, and Blue-crowned Motmot are all undeniably tropical, this tour offers a taste of the Neotropics without overwhelming numbers of unfamiliar bird families, making it an excellent tour for first-timers to the tropics. A visit to the stunning pre-Columbian ruins of El Tajín rounded out the trip.

This tour was atypical with regards to weather.  We were hit by two nortes (cold fronts from North America ).  Consequently, we never saw a temperature over 70F.  It was close to freezing a few nights, we seldom saw the sun, and we had light drizzle a couple days.  That said, there was little wind but one day, and there was little negative impact evident.  If anything, the weather helped us by pushing highland birds lower.  

Aplomado Falcon  -  Iain Campbell/Tropical Birding
Aplomado Falcon

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture  -  Iain Campbell/Tropical Birding
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture

Daily Log

14 Jan: We didn’t even get out of the parking lot of the hotel in Harlingen this morning before we had to stop the car to look at birds!  A pair of Tropical Kingbirds was singing from the power lines and a small tree in the lot had a small flock of migrants:  Orange-crowned and Myrtle Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Blue-headed Vireo.  A bathroom stop on the U.S. side of the border provided views of a gorgeous pair of White-tailed Kites.

After crossing the border, we headed into Mexico , passing Monterrey and eventually making it to Saltillo .  On the way, an Altamira Oriole flew over the road, and we were treated to looks at many raptors: White-tailed Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Harris’s Hawk, and Northern Harrier, among them.  The wind was blowing just right as we drove by a couple Chihuahuan Ravens, and we got the see the white neck on one of them!

After unpacking at our hotel, we headed south to Tanque de Emergencia to bird the high desert grasslands.  I was concerned about the coming norte and wanted to make sure we got our target bird before the wind picked up the following day.  Pretty soon, we were distracted by a flock of Western Bluebirds on the power lines.  The Western Bluebirds here are unlike those found further north, showing very little if any rust in the plumage.  Nearby, we had looks at Cactus Wren, Canyon Towhee, Lark Sparrow, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Curve-billed Thrasher, and House Finch.  Just down the road, the number of birds was staggering.  The prairie dog towns were swarming with hundreds and hundreds of birds, with Mountain Bluebird, American Pipit, Horned Lark, and Cassin’s Kingbird making up the bulk.

Soon we proceeded to march through the brush, mindful of our main reason for being here.  We flushed many sparrows: Black-throated (a big favorite), Clay-colored, Vesper, and Grasshopper.  We even saw a few coveys of Scaled Quail.  The setting sun was making things a bit unnerving, but eventually we did see our quarry, Worthen’s Sparrow, a species endemic to the north-central Mexican Plateau.  North American birders may be surprised to learn that the type specimen was taken in Silver City , New Mexico in the 19th century, but if you want to see one now, you have to come here!  Finally, Western Meadowlarks and Coyotes serenaded us while we walked back to the vehicles.  On the drive back to Saltillo we saw Black-tailed Jackrabbit and Desert Cottontail.

15 Jan: An early start allowed us to arrive on the road to San Juan at first light.  Though it was quite cold, the wind I was afraid of never materialized. It took a while to warm up, but the birds became quite active soon enough.  The habitat here is high desert-stunted pine mosaic.  American Robins were passing over quite high in decent numbers, and more Western Bluebirds were huddled up together on the power lines.  Everyone soon became acquainted with the call of Mexican Jay, which would be ubiquitous the rest of the day.  Rufous-crowned Sparrows were singing from the hillsides, but they wouldn’t show themselves.  Likewise, we heard Yellow-eyed Juncos in the underbrush that wouldn’t show, but our pursuit of them turned up a much better bird among the Lincoln ’s Sparrows, a Black-chinned Sparrow! 

Quite satisfied with our find, we proceeded east into the mountains, stopping at an apple orchard that seemed to have a large amount of bird activity.  Right away, we heard a flock of Pine Siskins and found a Greater Pewee.  A pair of Spotted Towhees gave looks along the road, and a female Hepatic Tanager stuck around for decent studies.  All three phoebes were present.  The most memorable bird here by far landed on the power line right in front of us: an Olive Warbler - on a power line!  We saw a couple more at this curious location, including a stunning adult male.  A Townsend’s Solitaire called from upslope - a good bird for Mexico .

A stop at an overlook yielded a large flock of White-throated Swifts. Moving into pine-oak forest, we came across our first flock of Bridled Titmouse.  They were quite confiding, and we watched them for quite a while.  Also there were Hepatic Tanager, Painted Whitestart, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (showing ruby crowns!), Chipping Sparrow, Hutton’s Vireo, Common Raven, Bewick’s Wren, and Townsend’s Warbler.  Nearby, we watched a family of Inca Doves huddled up together on a branch and finally got looks at the Audubon’s Warblers we’d been hearing all day.  A Red-shafted Flicker excavated a nest hole in a telephone pole.

We decided to have lunch in the breathtaking gorge further east.  At the (windy) picnic site, we saw Louisiana Waterthrush and Canyon Wren, as well as more Hepatic Tanagers.  Just down the road, we saw our first Acorn Woodpeckers of the trip - always favorites with their bright plumage and comical expressions.

A drive through more pine forest yielded Mule Deer and the 8th Hermit Thrush of the day: their numbers really surprised me on the tour.

Finally, we descended into some lush lowland canyons, and the birdlife changed abruptly.  New birds here included Golden-crowned, Rufous-capped, and Wilson ’s Warblers, Green Jay, Audubon’s Oriole, Clay-colored Robin, and Carolina Wren.  We finished the day with a drive to Ciudad Mante, where we spent four nights.

16 Jan:  We started this morning birding quite productively along the canal to El Nacimiento.  Right away, we had great looks at Northern Jaçana ; in particular, we got a laugh out of a juvenile floating by on some dislodged vegetation.  At the bridge, we had excellent looks at Amazon, Ringed, and Belted Kingfishers, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-winged Teal, White Ibis, Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, and Crested Caracara.  An unlikely pair of raptors was perched in a dead tree along the levee: an adult White-tailed Hawk and a dark juvenile Short-tailed Hawk.  More of both species were foraging with caracaras in a nearby field.  Short-tailed Hawk is not often seen perched, so it was a rare study opportunity.

It was warming up a little by now, so we drove north to La Florida (seeing our first Tamaulipas Crows on the way) and proceded to do some land birding.  Right away, we started to see the effects of the norte.  White-throated Robin (a juv.) and Fan-tailed Warbler were highland surprises.  We got nice looks at a pair of Lineated Woodpeckers in the scopes.  Blue Buntings and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks fed on the roadside.  We also saw all three of the “kiskadees”, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, and Great Kiskadee.  We watched as a Brown-backed Solitaire sang its amazing song, also a first for the trip.

Bocatoma II was our next stop, and it proved incredibly productive.  First, we birded the grounds.  We were immediately greeted by Masked Tityra and Tufted Flycatcher, the latter pushed out of the higher elevations by the cold temperatures.  Mixed flocks contained Cassin’s, White-eyed, and Blue-headed Vireos, Northern Parula, Baltimore Oriole, and Townsend’s, Hermit, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, and Bay-breasted Warbler.  Bay-breasted is a particularly good record and my only previous sighting in the area was November 2005.  Like Violet-crowned Hummingbird, I wonder if this bird is more regular here than one might think.

Our midday boat trip was a blast.  Everyone had stunning looks at an adult Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, a group of Boat-billed Herons, a Bat Falcon, and two Sungrebes!  The first of the two Sungrebes was perched up on a branch for a long time, giving us long and incredibly close views of its whacky striped feet!  We also saw Great Black-Hawk, a dozen or so more Tufted Flycatchers, and a couple Neotropical River Otters.  Back on land, we had lunch and as we were wrapping it up, a large mixed flock came through.  New birds included Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Tropical Parula, and White-winged, Flame-colored, and Summer Tanagers.  A Green Kingfisher fishing over a calm pool was joined by a female Elegant Trogon.  We watched the latter for a good while as she hunted.  A Yellow-breasted Chat was new for the trip.

We stopped along the road below Gómez Farías for a short while, and had incredible looks at a flock of about three dozen Elegant Euphonia!  This was another sign of the norte.  Also here was a noisy flock of Black-headed Saltators, some Yellow-throated Euphonias, and an elusive though momentarily seen Thicket Timamou.

The last birding stop today was just above Gómez on the road up to Alta Cima.  On the edge of town we were treated to a flock of charming Yellow-winged Tanagers.  The mixed flock of more tanagers had two surprises, Western Tanager and Gray-collared Becard (another bird pushed down by the weather)!  A Rufous-browed Peppershrike and a female Crimson-collared Grosbeak were also new.  We watched as a Wedge-tailed Sabrewing and a Broad-billed Hummingbird fought over a blossoming tree.  

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper  -  Iain Campbell/Tropical Birding
Ivory-billed Woodcreeper

Lineated Woodpecker  -  Iain Campbell/Tropical Birding
Lineated Woodpecker

17 Jan:  We spent the entire day today birding the road between Gómez Farías and Alta Cima and the first few hundred meters of the road above Alta Cima.

First off, we found another tanager flock, with more Elegant Euphonias and White-winged Tanagers.  We also saw some gorgeous male Crimson-collared Grosbeaks.

In Alta Cima itself we found a flock of tiny Yellow-faced Grassquits, a rather cooperative Gray Silky, and a striking adult Gray Hawk.  Crested Guans called from the hillside.  Right at the edge of town (continuing up the road) I saw a Fan-tailed Warbler fly across the road and gathered the group since our looks the day before were far from stellar.  Soon we realized that something was up.  As we quietly stood a few meters away, a dozen Fan-tailed Warblers came out onto the road.  They were soon joined by a pairs of Barred Antshrikes, Dusky-capped Flycatchers, Spot-breasted Wrens, Olive Sparrows, a Squirrel Cuckoo, a Pine Flycatcher, and some Green Jays.  We had found an army ant swarm!  After gawking at the warblers for a good while, we had lunch (during which we got to see a Blue Mockingbird).  After lunch, the birds were still there, and a couple of us walked to within a few meters of the warblers and sat down.  They came up to us, too close to focus binoculars on, making little tinny contact noises as they flicked their outrageous tails.  This was definitely the most memorable experience of the tour for me!

By now, almost everyone but me was tired of Fan-tailed Warblers, so we headed down the mountain, only to find another ant swarm!  It was full of the usual suspects, but this time we also picked up Long-billed Thrasher, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and Hammond ’s Flycatcher.  A pair of Bronze-winged Woodepckers gave us very nice views, and just before we left a flock of Military Macaws called from down the valley, but we were unable to see them. 

18 Jan:  We drove west today along the Tula-Ocampo Road .  Before we got to the first birding location, we were stopping to look at things.  A gorgeous Aplomado Falcon in particular caught our interest.  Slightly less exciting was a pair of Brewer’s Blackbirds.  Along the El Gallito road we almost immediately were alerted to the presence of some very close Singing Quail.  We really tried, but in the end we were unable to see them.  Later, we were treated to great looks at some male Mountain Trogons and nice looks at about 8 Military Macaws flying by!  Spot-crowned Woodcreeper was new here, as we watched more Painted Whitestarts, Hepatic Tanagers, Blue Buntings, Rufous-capped Warblers, and Barred Antshrikes.  We had good studies of an empid that we quickly determined was a Gray Flycatcher, the first of (surprisingly) quite a few for the tour.  Finally, we found a Rufous-capped Brushfinch, our major target for the location.  It gave great views for everyone, and we left feeling pretty happy.

Continuing west over the divide, the habitat changes abrupty from moist thickets under large oaks to desert.  A stop at small pond yielded Gadwall and American Wigeon, a flock of Lesser Goldfinches, and a big surprise:  Lazuli Buntings!  We also happily watched as a beautiful rufous morph Red-tailed Hawk flew around. 

A bit later we found some Blue Grosbeaks on our way down to the shore of Laguna San Isidro.  The lake added many new species to the trip list: Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Lesser Scaup, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Wood Stork, White-faced Ibi, American White Pelican, Eared Grebe, Wilson’s Snipe, Violet-green Swallow, and (black-eared) Bushtit.  An adorable kangaroo mouse gave us our mammal fix.

19 Jan:  The first bird of note today was Blue-gray Tanager, a couple of which were in the courtyard of our hotel as we left for the morning.

A stop along the highway above El Naranjo produced the first Smoky-brown Woodpeckers of the trip. 

We spent a good deal of time along the road to Maguey de Oriente, one of my favorite birding locations in northeast Mexico.  The highlight was definitely prolonged viewing of a close coeruliceps Blue-crowned Motmot through the scopes.  In some bushes at the intersection we found a pair of Rusty Sparrows and a MacGillivray’s Warbler. 

At Agua Zarca we found a nice mixed flock of warblers, including a very cooperative family groups of Crescent-chested Warblers and Black-crested Titmice.  Raucous calls from the sky drew our eyes to a group of 19 Military Macaws.  A couple of us even got scope views as they flew by!

El Salto produced a flock of Green Parakeets and an incredibly beautiful male Canivet’s Emerald.  We stopped at El Meco on the way back to town to enjoy the gorgeous blue cascade.

After dinner, we went searching for Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl between Maguey and Agua Zarca.  Though we were unsuccessful, we did find two countersinging screech-owls.  We never got a look and couldn’t tell if they were Vermiculated or Eastern, but either way, this would seem to be an unknown population of Megascops, making it pretty exciting.

20 Jan:  We basically repeated the route from the day before, but today we went further inland past Agua Zarca.  It was here that we had the most interesting birding (relatively).  A couple farm ponds held new ducks:  Mexican Duck, Canvasback, and Redhead.  We also enjoyed watching White-tailed Hawks, White-tailed Kites, and Bat Falcons hunt over the adjacent pastures.  A Greater Roadrunner ran across the road and we got incredible scope views of it over the subsequent ten minutes.  Getting to hear its bill-clapping was particularly memorable for me.  But just prior to the roadrunner we found what was undoubtedly the rarest bird of the trip: a juvenile Brown Pelican!  It was perched on one of about five fence posts that ran through a very small and dirty stock pond.  This may have been a first state record for San Luis Potosí . 

After much patience we all had excellent looks at a pair of subtly beautiful Singing Quail along the Maguey road.

21 Jan:  Today was planned to be mostly a travel day, and ended up being entirely so, due to car problems.  Even so, we did see some new birds, Northern Cardinal, Black-necked Stilt, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Eurasian Collared-Dove among them.  Tonight was the first spent in Huejutla.

22 Jan:  A Vaux’s Swift flying over Huejutla was the day’s first bird.  This was our first day birding the Tlanchinol cloudforest, and as such, we took some time to become acquainted with a host of common birds (Common Bush-Tanager, Black-headed Siskin, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Brown-capped Vireo, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper).

For me, the highlight of the day was a Bearded Wood-Partridge calling from nearby.  It got close enough to hear the leaves crackle under its feet, but we were unable to catch even a glimpse of one of Mexico ’s rarest endemics.  Later, while whistling for the wood-partridge again, we got a response.  Eventually the quaveing whistle was followed by two short toots.  We’d called in a Tamaulipas-Pygmy-Owl!  After a bit of work, we got stellar looks at the bird through the scopes.  The species would prove to be curiously common here, especially since I’d never seen one at this location before.

Other highlights included Unicolored Jay and a male Amethyst-throated Hummingbird.  At the end of the day we were treated to incredible views of a pair of stunning Golden-browed Warblers.  As we would find out over the next couple days, it seemed that the norte and the dense fog that came with it made the area completely devoid of the usually ubiquitous flocks of wintering Townsend’s and Hermit Warblers.  

Northern Jaçana  -  Iain Campbell/Tropical Birding
Northern Jaçana

Yellow-throated Euphonia  -  Iain Campbell/Tropical Birding
Yellow-throated Euphonia

23 Jan:  Our morning started off well, with a flock of Azure-hooded Jays greeting us before we’d all vacated the van.  Down the trail, a couple of us got looks at an adult Barred Forest-Falcon.  It was incredibly foggy today, and other than more looks at Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl, our trip to the overgrown pasture for Hooded Yellowthroat and White-naped Brushfinch was unfruitful.  The birding picked up in the evening, and we managed to see a White-faced Quail-Dove, a pair of Emerald Toucanets, and a Spotted Woodcreeper.

24 Jan:  What a difference a day makes!  Just below the van, we flushed an immense flock of birds off the trail.  Hooded Grosbeaks - about 50 of them!  We watched this flock for over an hour as is fed in the low bushes and on the ground mere meters in front of us.  They were joined by large numbers of Common Bush-Tanager and Black-headed Siskin and smaller numbers of White-throated Robin, Rose-throated Becard, Olivaceous, Spot-crowned, and Spotted Woodcreeper, and our only Black Robin, an immature male.  We were eventually able to tear ourselves away from the flock and proceed south.

Our next birding stop was in some pine forest just over the inland side of the divide.  It was eerily quiet, but we did find some Brown Creepers, a Brown-throated Wren, a flock of White-throated Swifts, and some flyover Red Crossbills.

We briefly birded the other-worldly cactus desert north of Pachuca , and in the process found Verdin, Hepatic Tanager, Cassin’s Kingbird, and Bewick’s Wren.

After our lunch stop for pastes in Pachuca , we slowly crept east towards Poza Rica.  The cuota highway was under construction, which added at least three hours to our trip.  We arrived in Tecolutla after dark.

25 Jan:  This morning, the second norte hit, and with it came strong northerly winds.  They were certainly responsible for the Northern Gannet that flew by the beach.  Across the road, we found a Common Black-Hawk and a Crane Hawk perched up in trees.  A Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture flew by with a couple Turkey Vultures.

Making our way into the marsh, we found an immature Aplomado Falcon.  It let us approach within a few meters, and we had breathtaking views. Birds we found here included Swamp Sparrows, Sedge Wrens, Soras, Northern Waterthrushes , Common Yellowthroats, and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons.  We heard many Ruddy Crakes and even a Yellow-breasted Crake.  Roseate Spoonbills, Muscovy Ducks, and Whimbrels flew by.

The sewage ponds and the bushes lining them held Sora, Northern Jaçana, Black-necked Stilt, Solitary Sandpiper, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Northern Parula , and a female Ochre/Orchard Oriole.  The oriole was rather surprising for January.  It was here that we had frustratingly brief views of a potential Altamira Yellowthroat.  The wind made it impossible to reach a determination, however.

After lunch in Papantla, we proceeded inland to the amazing Totonac ruins of El Tajín.  (If you’ve never heard of the Totonacs, think of them the next time you consume anything vanilla.)  It was lightly raining by now, but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits as we explored this amazing site.  Before we’d even entered the site, we could hear the bizarre song of Montezuma Oropendolas within.  We wandered through the pyramids and ball courts for a couple hours, stopping every once in awhile to bird.  A Roadside Hawk at eye level in a small tree let us approach to within mere feet!  Mixed flocks included birds like Gray Catbird and Hooded and Magnolia Warblers.  Masked Tityras and Hooded Orioles sat up in the treetops, offering splendid views.

On our way out, we watched the famous Danza de los Voladores de Papantla.  Performed by Totonacs, the dance consists of five men climbing up a very tall pole.  One stays on the top of the pole playing a flute and even jumping and dancing!  The remaining four descend by swinging around the pole with a rope tied to one of their feet. The rope unwraps itself 13 times for each of the four flyers, symbolizing the 52 years of their century.  While waiting for the dance to begin, a couple of us bought some wonderfully fragrant (and relatively cheap) vanilla beans.  There’s definitely crème brûlée in my future!  We spent the night in Tuxpan.

26 Jan:  Today we traveled back to Harlingen , stopping to bird along the way.  We found a Magnificent Frigatebird and some Anhingas as we drove over the river from Veracruz into Tamaulipas.  A large reservoir in coastal Tamaulipas held Mottled Duck, Forster’s Tern, Ring-billed Gull, Eared Grebe, and Canvasback.  Finally, we found a flock of about 16 Long-billed Curlews in a fallow field just south of the border.  We ended the tour in Harlingen with a nice tortilla-less dinner.  Overall, this was the best trip I’ve ever had for hard-to find birds like Military Macaw and Fan-tailed Warbler--a very memorable tour!

Bird List

Boldfaced and underlined = Endemic to Mexico and N Central America
* = Endemic to Mexico
(E) = Endemic to non-peninsular eastern Mexico
(NE) = endemic to northeast Mexico
(NC) = Endemic to north-central Mexico
TINAMOUS: Tinamidae  
Thicket Tinamou Crypturellus cinnamomeus
WATERFOWL: Anatidae  
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis
Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata
Gadwall Anas strepera
American Wigeon Anas americana
Mexican Duck* Anas platyrhynchos diazi
Mottled Duck Anas fulvigula
Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Green-winged Teal Anas crecca carolinensis
Canvasback Aythya valisineria
Redhead Aythya americana
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
CRACIDS: Cracidae  
Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula
Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens
NEW WORLD QUAIL: Odontophoridae  
Bearded Wood-Partridge* (E) Dendrortyx barbatus
Scaled Quail Callipepla squamata
Singing Quail Dactylortyx thoracicus
GREBES: Podicipedidae  
Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominucus
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
GANNETS and BOOBIES: Sulidae  
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
PELICANS: Pelecanidae  
American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
CORMORANTS: Phalacrocoracidae  
Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Double-crested Cormorant  Phalacrocorax auritus
DARTERS: Anhingidae  
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga
FRIGATEBIRDS: Fregatidae  
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregeta magnificens
HERONS: Ardeidae  
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma mexicanum
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
Great Egret Ardea alba
Snowy Egret Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Green Heron Butorides virescens
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Nyctanassa violacea
Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius
IBISES and SPOONBILLS: Threskiornithidae
White Ibis Eudocimus albus
White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi
Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja
STORKS: Ciconiidae  
Wood Stork Mycteria americana
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus
HAWKS, EAGLES, and KITES:  Accipitridae  
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus
White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens
Common Black-Hawk Buteogallus anthracinus
Great Black-Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga
Harris's Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
Gray Hawk Buteo nitidus
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus
White-tailed Hawk Buteo albicaudatus
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
FALCONS and CARACARAS: Falconidae  
Barred Forest-Falcon Micrastur ruficollis
Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans
American Kestrel Falco sparverius
Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis
Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis
Peregrine Falcon Falco perigrinus
Ruddy Crake Laterallus ruber
Sora Porzana carolina
Yellow-breasted Crake Porzana flaviventer
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
American Coot Fulica americana
FINFOOTS: Heliornithidae  
Sungrebe Heliornis fulica
LIMPKIN: Aramidae  
Limpkin Aramus guarauna
PLOVERS: Charadriidae  
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
AVOCETS and STILTS: Recurvirostridae  
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
JAÇANAS: Jacanidae  
Northern Jaçana Jacana spinosa
SANDPIPERS: Scolopacidae  
Spotted Sandpiper Acititis macularius
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
"Western" Willet Tringa semipalmata inornata
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
"American" Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus 
Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
Ring-billed Gull Larus delewarensis
"American" Herring Gull Larus argentatus smithsonianus
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus
PIGEONS and DOVES: Columbidae  
Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Red-billed Pigeon Patagioenas flavirostris
Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
Mounrning Dove Zenaida macroura
Inca Dove Columbina inca
Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
Blue Ground-Dove Claravis pretiosa
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verrauxi
White-faced Quail-Dove Geotrygon albifacies
PARROTS: Psittacidae  
Green Parakeet* Aratinga holochlora
Military Macaw Ara militaris
White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis
Red-crowned Parrot* (NE) Amazona viridigenalis
Red-lored Parrot Amazona autumnalis
Yellow-headed Parrot Amazona oratrix
CUCKOOS: Cuculidae  
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus
Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
BARN OWLS: Tytonidae  
Barn Owl Tyto alba
TYPICAL OWLS: Strigidae  
Vermiculated/Eastern Screech-Owl Megascops guatemalae/asio
Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl* (NE) Glaucidium sanchezi
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum
Mottled Owl Ciccaba virgata
NIGHTJARS: Caprimulgidae  
"Mexican" Whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus arizonae 
SWIFTS: Apodidae  
Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi
White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis 
HUMMINGBIRDS: Trochilidae  
Wedge-tailed Sabrewing Campylopterus curvipennis
Canivet's Emerald Chlorostilbon canivetii
Broad-billed Hummingbird Cyanthus latirostris
White-bellied Emerald Amazilia candida
Buff-bellied Hummingbird Amazilia yucatanensis
Amethyst-throated Hummingbird Lampornis amethystinus amethystinus
Magnificent Hummingbird Eugenes fulgens
Black-chinned Hummingbird Archilochus alexandri
TROGONS and QUETZALS: Trogonidae  
Mountain Trogon Trogon mexicanus
"Coppery-tailed" Elegant Trogon Trogon elegans ambiguus
MOTMOTS: Momotidae  
"Tamaulipas" Blue-crowned Momotus momota coeruliceps
Motmot* (NE)
KINGFISHERS: Alcedinidae  
Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquatus
Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana
"Northern" Emerald Toucanet Aulacorhynchus prasinus prasinus
Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus
Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris
Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
Smoky-brown Woodpecker Veniliornis fumigatus
Bronze-winged Woodpecker* (NE) Piculus aeruginosus
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus
Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis 
FURNARIIDS: Furnariidae  
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus
Ivory-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus flavigaster
Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes affinis
TYPICAL ANTBIRDS: Thamnophilidae  
Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus
Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata
Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus
Greater Pewee Contopus pertinax
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Hammond's Flycatcher Empidonax hammondii
Gray Flycatcher Empidonax wrightii
Pine Flycatcher Empidonax affinis
"Cordilleran" Western Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis occidentalis
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans 
Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe
Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarhynchus pitangula
Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
Couch's Kingbird Tyrannus couchii
Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus
Gray-collared Becard Pachyramphus major
Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae gravis
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata
SHRIKES: Laniidae  
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
VIREOS: Vireonidae  
White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus
Cassin's Vireo Vireo cassinii
Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus
Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
CORVIDS: Corvidae  
Green Jay Cyanocorax yncas
Brown Jay Cyanocorax morio
Azure-hooded Jay Cyanolyca cucullata
Gray-breasted Jay Aphelocoma ultramarina
Unicolored Jay Aphelocoma unicolor
Tamaulipas Crow* (NE) Corvus imparatus
Chihuahuan Raven Corvus cryptoleucus
Common Raven Corvus corax
LARKS: Alaudidae  
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
SWALLOWS: Hirundinidae  
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
TITS: Paridae  
Bridled Titmouse Baeolophus wollweberi
Black-crested Titmouse Baeolophus atricristatus
Verdin Auriparus flaviceps
LONG-TAILED TITS: Aegithalidae  
Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
CREEPERS: Certhiidae  
Brown Creeper Certhia americana
WRENS: Troglodytidae  
Spotted Wren* Campylorhynchus gularis
Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus
Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus
Spot-breasted Wren Thryothorus maculipectus
Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus 
Bewick's Wren Thyromanes bewickii
"Northern" House Wren Troglogytes aedon aedon
"Brown-throated" House Wren Troglodytes aedon brunneicollis
Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis
Marsh Wren Cisothorus palustris
White-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucosticta
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucophrys
KINGLETS: Regulidae  
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  Regulus calendula
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
THRUSHES: Turdidae  
Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana
Mountain Bluebird Sialia currucoides
Townsend's Solitaire Myadestes townsendi
Brown-backed Solitaire Myadestes occidentalis
Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus aurantiirostris
Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina
Black Robin Turdus infuscatus
Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi
White-throated Robin Turdus assimilis
American Robin Turdus migratorius
MIMIDS: Mimidae  
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
Long-billed Thrasher Toxostoma longirostre
Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre
Crissal Thrasher Toxostoma crissale
Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens
STARLINGS and MYNAS: Sturnidae  
European Starling  Sturnus vulgaris
PIPITS and WAGTAILS: Motacillidae  
American Pipit Anthus rubescens
WAXWINGS: Bombycillidae  
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedorum
SILKY-FLYCATCHERS: Ptilogonatidae  
Gray Silky Ptilogonys caudatus
OLIVE WARBLER: Peucidramidae  
Olive Warbler Peucedramus taeniatus
Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla
Crescent-chested Warbler Parula superciliosa
Northern Parula Parula americana
Tropical Parula Parula pitayumi
"Northern" Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia aestiva
Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia
Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] Warbler Dendroica coronata coronata
Audubon's [Yellow-rumped] Warbler Dendroica coronata auduboni
Black-thraoted Green Warbler Dendroica virens
Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi
Hermit Warbler Dendroica occidentalis
Bay-breasted Warbler Dendroica castanea
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
Louisiana Waterthrush Seiurus motacilla
MacGillivray's Warbler Oporornis tolmiei
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat Chamaethlypis poliocephala 
Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina
Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
Painted Whitestart Myioborus pictus
Fan-tailed Warbler Basileuterus lachrymosa
Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus
Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli
Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
TANAGERS: Thraupidae  
"Northern" Common Bush-Tanager* Chlorospingus ophthalmicus ophthalmicus
Red-throated Ant-Tanager Habia fuscicauda salvini
Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana
Flame-colored Tanager Piranga bidentata sanguinolenta
White-winged Tanager Spermagra leucoptera
Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
Yellow-winged Tanager Thraupis abbas
EMBERIZIDS: Emberizidae  
White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola sharpei
Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivaceus
Rufous-capped Brush-Finch* Alapetes pileatus
Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch Burarremon brunneinucha
Olive Sparrow Arremonops rufivirgatus
Spotted Towhee Piplio maculatus
Canyon Towhee Piplio fuscus
Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
Rusty Sparrow Aimophila rufescens
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida
Worthen's Sparrow* (NC) Spizella wortheni
Black-chinned Sparrow Spizella atrogularis
Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus
Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata
Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum
Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana
Yellow-eyed Junco Junco phaenotus
Chestnut-collared Longspur Calcarius ornatus
CARDINALIDS: Cardinalidae  
Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps
Crimson-collared Grosbeak* (NE) Rhodothraupis celaeno
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus
"Eastern" Blue Bunting Cyanocompsa parellina parellina
Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea
Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena
ICTERIDS: Icteridae  
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
Melodious Blackbird Dives dives
Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus
Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
Orchard/Ochre Oriole Icterus spurius/fuertsi
Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii
Altamira Oriole Icterus gularis
Audubon's Oriole Icterus graduacauda graduacauda
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula 
Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius guatimozinus
FINCHES: Fringillidae  
Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea
Elegant [Blue-hooded] Euphonia Euphonia elagantissima
House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
Pine Siskin Carduelis pinus
Black-headed Siskin Carduelis notata
Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
Hooded Grosbeak Coccothraustes abeillei
House Sparrow Passer domesticus