Mexico is considered to be one of the most biodiverse countries due to its geographical conditions and characteristics, featuring an array climates, habitats and ecosystems which are the home to uniquely different flora and fauna. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is one example of this incredible çecosystem diversity.
It’s 300,000 acres (120,000 hectares) are home to tropical forests, palm savannah, one of the most pristine wetlands in the region, lagoons, extensive mangrove stands, as well as sandy beaches and dunes. For birds (birders) this extensive reserve provides multiple habitats for both endemics and migratory species.
Check out these interesting facts about bird watching in Sian Ka’an.
1. It has more than 350 species
While bird watching is practiced in almost 116 protected areas scattered throughout the country, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve near Tulum is one of the most popular sites for this outdoor activity. Home to more than 350 of Mexico’s 1,100 bird species, you can spot everything from ducks to herons, tanagers, oystercatchers, kites, hawks, hummingbirds, trogons and kingfishers in this incredible natural environment
2. You can spot rare and endangered birds
Some of the residents of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve are very rare indeed, or even in danger of extinction. In this category are birds like the red-footed bobo, brown boobies, American anhinga, yellow-headed buzzard, reddish egret, peregrine falcon, American stork, the king vulture, osprey, barred ralon, water calandria, peak canoe toucan, the white-fronted parrot and the Yucatecan parrot.
3. The ruby-throated hummingbird spends winter here
The ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) migrates from the Yucatan Peninsula to the southeastern United States every spring. This journey of 500 to 600 miles over the Caribbean Sea takes 24 hours without these tiny birds getting a break. And what is so increasingly remarkable about this feat, is that migrating birds face many threats along their journeys, including window collisions, confusing lights that disrupt navigation, hunting, habitat loss and predation. Juvenile birds are at greater risk because of their inexperience with migration – yet somehow, birds successfully migrate every year.
Even if you are not an avid birder but are considering a visit to Mayan ruins, try the lesser known archaeological site of Muyil, situated in the northern end of the reserve. Tours to the ruins will more than often include some amateur bird watching at the site, an experience that should definitely not be missed.