Endemic Birds of the Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan Peninsula has several endemic species of animals living in its jungle, swamp and on its large coastline from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean Sea. Amongst all these species, some of the most amazing are birds.

The Yucatan Peninsula has several endemic species of animals living in its jungle, swamp and on its large coastline from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean Sea. Amongst all these species, some of the most amazing are birds.

From Celestun to Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve or from Rio Lagartos to Escarcega near the border of Belize, the peninsula is mostly covered by low jungle. There ared hundreds of sinkholes (known locally as cenotes), which are ideal place to observe the fauna, especially birds in the morning hours. At least 537 bird species have been observed in the Peninsula.

As soon as you leave the tourist resorts and start exploring the countryside, you will find many endemics species of birds.

Ocellated Turkey: There are only two species of turkey in the world; the North American wild turkey (which include 5 distinct subspecies) and the Ocellated Turkey. This last one only lives in a 50,000 square mile area in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Yellow-lored Parrot: This is a green parrot, with some blue, red and yellow feathers around its eyes. This species lives mainly in low jungle and its diet includes all the tropical fruits of the area. You may clearly hear it while walking near cenotes. It has a high pitched voice.

Black Catbird: They are particularly known for their vocalizations, many of which include unbelievable imitation of other birds. The Black Catbird lives close to the shorelines and in Cozumel Island. They are considered infrequent as their food source (seeds from thick bushes around the beach) and habitat is rapidly vanishing due to construction.

Other species includes the Yucatan Poorwill, the Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Wren, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Black-throated Bobwhite, Red-vented Woodpecker, Gray-throated Chat, Rose-throated Tanager, Orange Oriole and the Mexican Sheartail. The best time to observe most of them is early in the morning. Some of the greatest places to do it are the Mayan archaeological sites, surrounded by lush jungle and few human activity, like Coba, Mayapan and Labna.

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