This Venture promises to be an exciting, week-long stay in and around scenic Puerto Vallarta with nearly perfect weather. Expect world class birding, excellent accommodations, and incredible views of wildlife and scenery.
Puerto Vallarta, famous as a playground for Hollywood stars, featured weekly on episodes of The Love Boat in the 70s and 80s, and home to a wintering population of Humpback Whales, is the newest destination for a Ventures Birding mid-winter expedition! From shorebirds and gulls on sandy beaches, to estuaries full of waders (and crocodiles!), to land birds ranging in altitude from sea level to pine forest, our week-long trip explores the diversity and culture of this beautiful region of Southwest Mexico.
We begin with a three-night encampment at an oceanside resort with great birding close by. Shorebirds twitter on the beach, whales cavort offshore, boobies strafe unsuspecting fish, and just inland, we'll search for herons, ibis and spoonbills, scan the skies for Laughing Falcon, and peer into vegetation for Thick-billed Kingbird, MacGillivray's Warbler, Blue-black Grassquit, Cinnamon-bellied Saltator and more. While you will almost certainly see breaching and tail-flipping whales from our hotel, a boat trip into the bay will provide close-up views as well as a chance to visit with Blue-footed and Brown Boobies. Moving slightly farther inland will lead us to green hillsides featuring a variety of hummingbirds, raptors, flycatchers and orioles, where we should find perhaps the most spectacularly plumaged bird in the area, the endemic Orange-breasted Bunting.
Another highlight of the trip will be an overnight visit to the mountain hamlet of San Sebastian del Oeste. In addition to taking in the evening paseo at the village square at this former silver mining center, we will have opportunities to explore the surrounding uplands for birds including Lilac-crowned Parrot, Bumblebee and Berylline Hummingbirds, Black-capped Vireo, Happy Wren, Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow, Golden-crowned Warbler, Slate-throated Redstart, Varied and Blue Bunting and more.
Our remaining nights of the trip will be back in Puerto Vallarta at a new resort, in the shadow of the set used by Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr while filming The Night of the Iguana. Nearby Vallarta Botanical Gardens, named one of the top ten botanical gardens in North America, is home to West Mexican Chachalaca, Golden-crowned Emerald, Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Golden Vireo, San Blas Jay, West Mexican Euphonia, and many more. We also explore the area’s mid-altitude dry and wet forest, where we will seek out Crested Guan, Greenish Elaenia, Greater Pewee, Pacific-slope and Nutting’s Flycatchers, Black-throated Magpie-Jay, and Stripe Headed Sparrow, among others.
Join us as we escape the doldrums of winter in favor of sunshine, breaching whales and a bounty of resident and wintering species in bird-rich coastal southwest Mexico!
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
Black-bellied Whistling Duck; West Mexican Chachalaca; Squirrel Cuckoo; White-eared, Berylline and Cinnamon Hummingbird as well as Mexican Hermit; Northern Jacana; Heerman’s Gull; Magnificent Frigatebird; Blue-footed and Brown Booby; White-faced Ibis; Roseate Spoonbill; Gray and Short-tailed Hawks; Citreoline Trogon; Ringed and Green Kingfisher; Golden-cheeked and Pale-billed Woodpeckers; Laughing Falcon; Lilac-crowned Parrot and Military Macaw; Ivory-billed Woodcreeper; Rose-throated Becard; Tufted, Boat-billed and Vermillion Flycatcher; Golden Vireo; Black-throated Magpie-Jay; and San Blas and Green Jay; Gray-breasted Martin; Happy Wren; Blue Mockingbird; Rufous-backed Robin; West Mexican Euphonia; Stripe-headed Sparrow and Rusty-crowned Ground -sparrow; Yellow-winged Cacique; Streak-backed Oriole; Townsend’s, Golden-crowned and Red-faced Warbler and Slate-throated Redstart; Yellow Grosbeak; Orange-vested and Varied Bunting; Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater; Cinnamon-bellied Saltator and many, many more!