Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda ©Rolando Chavez Website
Birding Veracruz

Veracruz is the largest state of Mexico, representing 3.7% of Mexico’s overall area. Its landscape has many types of habitat, from tropical rainforest to highland grasslands. Maybe because of this Veracruz has more than 689 bird species (approximately 66% of the Mexico list). Veracruz is located in the East of Mexico, by the Gulf of Mexico.

In spite of many conservation efforts, much of Veracruz is deforested, and this has consequences for the bird populations. For example, in Veracruz, before 1886, there are records [including skins] of migratory individuals of the extinct Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorios) and of Harpy Eagle. However, Veracruz has, still, many easily accessible birding areas where birdwatchers can see interesting bird species. For example, near to Xalapa, the state capital, it is possible to see many of the endemic and endangered species such as Mexican Sheartail Hummingbird (Doricha eliza) and to see the autumn migration of millions of birds (including many raptors). In the highlands the near extinct Golden–cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia) still manages to hang on.

Veracruz is easily accessible by air through Heriberto Jara Corona International airport (Veracruz City) or Xalapa municipal airport. Whether you have just a few days or more there are ample birding opportunities. The sections below highlight the most productive birding areas in the state.

Top Sites
  • Altamira Wetlands

    Satellite View
    Altamira Wetlands is the only place with a viable population of Altamira Yellowthroat (Geothlypis flavovelata).
  • Alvarado Wetlands

    Satellite View
    Here a birder can see nesting birds of prey such as Snail Kite (Rosthramus sociabilis); Black collared-Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis); Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus); and Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urobitinga); and aquatic mammals as the Manatee.
  • Cardel - Autumn Migration

    Satellite View
    On the right day in October, a bird watcher can witness the awesome spectacle of the River of Raptors, when more than a million Swainson's and Broad-winged Hawks may pass overhead in a single day during the annual migration to Central and South America…
  • Central Veracruz

    Around 236 migratory bird species use Veracruz to nest or travel through towards their wintering grounds. There are 12 endemic or geographic restricted bird species, four bird species registered in the red data book, and 34% of the Mexican bird species considered as endangered. You can see, in the ravine of Naolinco, the northeast population of the Mexican Sheartail Hummingbird (this population is considered to be endangered, and some researchers say that it population represents a different species to that of Yucatan)
  • Los Tuxtlas

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Sierra de los Tuxtlas is a range of volcanic peaks that run right down to the Bay of Campeche on the coast of Veracruz. Rugged volcanic ridges reach from sea level up to about 6000 feet in elevation. Nestled among the peaks is Lake Catemaco, formed from the calderas of several extinct volcanoes. This wide range of geological features, from beach to crater to steep-walled canyons, coupled with the moist, tropical climate leads to a wide range of different habitats for birds and an incredible diversity of bird species (up to 568 by some counts) within a small area.
  • Uxpanapa Tropical Rainforest

    Satellite View
    There are 519 bird species reported here. Especially interesting are the forest remnants with karstic rock which hold endangered and endemic species such as Long-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus excellens) and Nava's Wren (Hylorchilus navai).
  • Raúl Ortiz-Pulido


Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 734

    As at June 2018
  • Club de Observadores de Aves de Xalapa

    Facebook Page
    Uno de los principales objetivos del Club de Observadores de Aves de Xalapa (COAX) es disfrutar y promover la observación, estudio y conservación de las aves en México, ocupando el Estado de Veracruz nuestro principal objetivo… They are always happy to have visitor and new members for their outings.
  • Pronatura

    Actualmente Pronatura sostiene cuatro programas de conservación en Veracruz… Pronatura is a Mexican non-profit organization whose mission is the conservation of flora, fauna and priority ecosystems promoting society's development in harmony with nature.

Abbreviations Key

  • Los Tuxtlas Field Station

    WebpageSatellite View
    The research station permanently protects a sample of the tropical rain forest ecosystems. During 30 years scientific research has been carried out successfully on various aspects of the tropical ecosystem generating a substantial volume of literature. Such unique bank of information places Mexico in the vangard of scientific information regarding tropical rain forests.
  • NP Cofre de Perote

    InformationSatellite View
    Cofre de Perote is an extinct volcano located in the Mexican state of Veracruz, at the point where the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, home to all of Mexico's highest peaks, joins the Sierra Madre Oriental. With an elevation of 4,282 metres (14,049 ft) above sea level, Cofre de Perote is Mexico's eighth highest mountain summit.
  • NP Veracruzano Coral Reef System

    InformationSatellite View
    Also known as Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano National Marine Park, is a national marine park .
Guides & Tour Operators
  • David McCauley - The Incorrigible Birder

    Tour Operator
    I stumbled upon birding eight years ago and have been stumbling ever since. It's a helluva lot of fun. I live in Veracruz, Mexico where I struggle to make a living as a nature photographer/digiscoper. I also conduct birding tours. I despise "elitism" especially in birders. I love nature,cooking and a cold beer. I am a hawkwatch junkie…
  • Discover Veracruz Tours

    Tour Operator
    Veracruz is home to over 550 different species of birds. In October each year, millions of hawks, vultures (Raptors) fly south over the state.
  • Merlin Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Each fall 4-6 million raptors of 30 species are counted from two observation points in central Veracruz, Mexico, including up to 2 million Broad-winged Hawks! As these majestic birds migrate south they are funneled into a narrow bottleneck between the Sierra Madre Orientale Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico. This busy flyway also harbors amazing concentrations of other migrants: White Pelican, Wood Stork, White-faced Ibis, Anhinga, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and much more. This flyway actually holds the most visible and concentrated raptor migration on Earth! Remarkably, over 95% of the global populations of Swainson’s Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, and Mississippi Kites pass through this narrow flyway each fall.
  • Mexico-Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Birding Veracruz - the nine day tour...
  • Pronatura Veracruz

    Tour Operator
    Pronatura is a Mexican non-profit organization whose mission is the conservation of flora, fauna and priority ecosystems promoting society`s development in harmony with nature. It also is a tour operator, with birding, butterfly, and cultural tours, and as specialists for the River of Raptor birding tours.
  • ecoTOURS

    Tour Operator
Trip Reports
  • 2019 [10 October] - Dave Mehlman

    PDF Report
    Despite the rigors of travel, everyone got up early and went for a short walk on the grounds of the Hotel Mocambo and along the adjacent beach. Despite the built-up area, it was a great place to start birding and we saw our first of the “must-see” birds of Veracruz, including Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, and Greattailed Grackle. Along the beach were a variety of aquatic birds, including Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Laughing Gull, Willet, and Spotted Sandpipers. Plus, we found our first migrants of the trip, including Baltimore Oriole and Blue Grosbeak. Interestingly, we saw the Monk Parakeets that have recently colonized the area and a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher.
  • 2021 [09 September] - Dave Mehlman

    PDF Report
    Everyone was raring to go, so we met in the morning for some birding around the Hotel Mocambo before breakfast. Walking out the back of the hotel and down to the nearby beach, we got off to a great start. The usual Monk Parakeets were present (the only location where they occur on this tour), as well as a lot of the “usual suspects” such as Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Melodious Blackbird, and Clay-colored Thrush. The beach yielded a few shorebirds, including Sanderlings, Willets, a Black-bellied Plover, and a Ruddy Turnstone. Oddly, only a few migrants were seen, including some Barn Swallows and Eastern Kingbirds...
  • 2022 [10 October] - Dave Mehlmaqn

    PDF Report
    ...we could pick out Swainson’s and Broad-winged Hawk, Osprey, and Peregrine Falcon overhead while the surrounding trees yielded our first sightings of some of the great local birds, including Altamira Oriole, Scrub Euphonia, Blue-gray and Yellow-winged Tanager, and a very nicely perched pair of Cinnamon-bellied Saltators. After that very fun afternoon, we returned to the Bienvenido for dinner in their restaurant, the bird checklist, and plans for the next day...
Other Links
  • Aveoptica - Xalapa

    The first Veracruz the first birding store in Veracruz
  • Birding Laguna Catemaco

  • David McCauley - The Incorrogible Birder

    Welcome to my blog. I stumbled upon birding eight years ago and have been stumbling ever since. It's a helluva lot of fun. I live in Veracruz, Mexico where I struggle to make a living as a nature photographer/digiscoper. I also conduct birding tours. I despise "elitism" especially in birders. I love nature,cooking and a cold beer. I am a hawkwatch junkie
  • Veracruz Hawkwatch

    For birders and raptor enthusiasts everywhere; a weblog about Spring and Fall raptor migrations in Veracruz. Each fall millions of migrating raptors pass though a narrow corridor in central Veracruz Mexico. Enjoy links to photos of this migration spectacle or read accounts by other hawkwatch observers

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