Los Cabos, MEX (2013)

We were very fortunate and blessed to have been able to secure four (4) excellent birding guides for various ports of call on our Panama Canal Cruise (Celebrity Century).  Some ports of call were half-days (Mexico) and others were full days of birding (Costa Rica and Panama).   The birding adventures made this Cruise very memorable and the birding were the highlights of our trip.  Not only we were able to get off the beaten path and see the Natural Beauty of our ports of call, but we learned more about the areas we visited and gained a greater appreciation for the diversity of this wonderful world, known as Gaia.

Cabo San Lucas – December 23, 2013

Our guide Maria Elena Muriel (Left) of
Guide Maria Elena Muriel (left)

We contacted Maria Elena Muriel of “Birding Los Cabos” through her Cruiser friendly web site.  She normally does earlier tours for land tourists, but was very willing to adjust her own personal schedule to accommodate late arriving “Cruisers”.   Our ship arrived in Cabo San Lucas at 11:30 am, but as we have to tender in Cabo – it wasn’t until 12:30 pm until we reached the shoreline.  Maria Elena Muriel was super patient and waited for us for over an hour, until we reached the port.

As we were greeted, she immediately pointed out a yellow-crowned night heron that was roosting beneath the tender wharf.  From there we knew we were going to have a great time, as Maria Elena Muriel’s passion for Los Cabos and the birds were quite evident upon our first greeting and sighting.  From the port, we were taken to a small park within Cabo where we searched for the endemic Xantus’ Hummingbird.  Although the Xantus did not make an appearance, we saw many different species (many of them lifers), including the very beautiful Costa’s Hummingbird which perched quite near us, offering us a lovely photo session.

Gray Thrasher
Gray Thrasher – Los Cabos Endemic

From the park, we went to a small inlet off the beach which is blocked from public access.  However, Maria Elena Muriel was able to get us in and we were on the look out for the White Ibis.  Unfortunately, no Ibis’ this trek, but several shorebirds were identified including the Western Sandpiper – a migratory from Alaska.

From the inlet, we ventured off to San Jose to track down the endemics, Gray Thrasher and Belding’s Yellowthroat.  The San Jose Estuary was a really nice park-like setting, easy walking and many, many birds!    We did see the Gray Thrasher (gorgeous bird!) and we heard the Belding’s Yellowthroat singing his song, although he did not come out for a visual identification.

Ring-necked DuckSan Jose Estuary - Los Cabos, Mexico
Ring-necked Duck – San Jose Estuary

The entire afternoon was very well spent and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Maria Elena Muriel.  We hope to return to Los Cabos one day and for sure, would recommend and contact her again for more birding!

Visit her web site at:  http://www.birding-loscabos.com/

Photos from our day can be viewed here:  http://ponyshots.smugmug.com/Travel/Panama-Canal-Cruise-2013/Los-Cabos

and finally our complete bird list from the trip can be viewed on eBird here:  http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S16285938

or a quick summary is listed below:

Species Comments
Blue-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Magnificent Frigatebird
Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Zone-tailed Hawk
Sora Identified by song (no visual)
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Lesser Yellowlegs
Least Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Western Gull
White-winged Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Costa’s Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Gila Woodpecker
Gilded Flicker
American Kestrel
Tropical Kingbird
Cassin’s Kingbird
Western Scrub-Jay
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Belding’s Yellowthroat Identified by song – no visual
American Redstart Identified by song – no visual
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Hooded Oriole
House Finch


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