Free and Sovereign State of Querétaro de Arteaga

Mountain Trogon Trogon mexicanus ©Dubi Shapiro Website

Querétaro is a state in central Mexico, home to about 2.5 million people. Almost 1.5 million of whom live in its capital, the city of Santiago de Querétaro, although in general parlance the name “Querétaro” is used for both the city and the state. The state is bordered to the north by the state of San Luis Potosí, to the west by Guanajuato, to the east by Hidalgo, to the southeast by Mexico State, and to the southwest by Michoacán. The capital city of Santiago de Querétaro is located some 257 kilometres (160 miles) to the northwest of Mexico City.

The state covers an area of nearly 12,000 km2 (4,500 square miles), 0.6% of Mexico and it is ranked as the 27th (out of 32) largest state. It is very mountainous, notably in the Sierra Gorda and the Sierra Queretana, part of the Sierra Madre Oriental. The area between the two (the Valleys and the Semidesierto) is composed of numerous valleys and usually low peaks. However, the highest peak is the Cerro del Zamorano at 3,360 metres (11,024 feet) above sea level in the Valley of Querétaro. Other notable peaks include Cerro El Espolón at 3,240 metres (10,630 ft), Cerro La Pingüica at 3,160 metres (10,367 ft), and Cerro de la Vega at 3,120 metres (10,236 ft). There are two central valleys (Valle de Querétaro and Valle de San Juan), the arid Semidesierto, and two mountainous regions: the Sierra Gorda and the Sierra Queretana. Valle de San Juan consists of Amealco de Bonfil, Ezequiel Montes, Pedro Escobedo, San Juan del Río, and Tequisquiapan. It is an extremely fertile valley, with abundant water resources (both surface and underground). It can be considered the state’s breadbasket.

There is a wide (nine) array of climate types, mainly due to elevation, the most widespread being semiarid and temperate, covering c.40% of the state’s surface.

Birding Querétaro

Presa de la Constitucion, in the heart of the state is a wetland that attracts migrants and has a reputation for rarities, particularly waterfowl and waders.

The mountains behind Fuentezuelas can be a very productive spot, often having species seldom found elsewhere in the sate such as Great Horned Owl. It is lightly wooded giving way at higher elevations to grassland interspersed with cacti.

El Cimatario National Park – ©Sofía Ortiz123 CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Another good birding area is El Cimatario National Park, its wooded slopes, cacti areas, grasslands and dry scrub offer a variety of habitats with a variety of birds.

Querétaro is an under-watched state in an under-watched country with a wonderful variety of species.

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 521

    (As at June 2024)
  • Avibase

    PDF Checklist
    This checklist includes all bird species found in Querétaro , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers. If you find any error, please do not hesitate to report them.
  • eBird

    PDF Checklist
    313 species (+54 other taxa) - Year-round, All years
Useful Reading

  • Birds of Mexico and Central America

    | By Ber van Perlo | Princeton University Press | 2006 | Paperback | 336 pages, 98 plates with colour illustrations; b/w illustrations, b/w distribution maps, colour maps | ISBN: 9780691120706 Buy this book from
Birding Aps
  • Birds of the Central America

    1575 kind of birds, more than 5200 pictures

    Birds of the Central America. It includes the birds of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama.
  • Querétaro Bird Club

    Facebook Page
    Club de observadores de aves, con sede en la capital del estado de Querétaro

Abbreviations Key

  • BR Sierra Gorda

    InformationSatellite View
    The one-million acre (383,567-hectare) Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve (SGBR) is the most eco-diverse, and second-most biodiverse, protected natural area in Mexico…
  • NP Cerro de las Campanas

    InformationSatellite View
    The Cerro de las Campanas ("Hill of the Bells") is a hill and national park located in Querétaro City, Mexico.
  • NP El Cimatario National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    El Cimatario National Park (in Spanish: Parque Nacional El Climatorio), a natural wonder located in the heart of Mexico, is a mighty oasis of beauty and biodiversity.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Sierra Gorda Ecotours

    Productos y Servicios Sierra Gorda, S.A. de C.V. was founded in 2008 as an umbrella company whose retail supports conservation of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and aims to catalyze micro-enterprises to higher standards as part of the project.
Other Links
  • Birdwatchers Deam

    Just a 2-hour easy bus ride northwest of Mexico City, the Aztl
  • Jonty Hiley - Birding Queretaro

    Bird watching and photography in central Mexico

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

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