Rousing Hummingbirds and Perching Birds of Cozumel--Photo Essay

Images by permission of John Mckean except where indicated

Indigo Bunting (male)

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South of Cancun (Cancún), off the coast of the state of Quintana Roo, lie Cozumel (Island of swallows), Mexico's largest Caribbean island, about 48 km (30 mi) long by 16 km (9.9 mi) wide. It is an important cruise ship destination and prized for its beaches, seaside resorts, scuba diving, snorkeling and its Mayan ruins at San Gervasio, now an agricultural and cattle ranch, and El Cedral. Crowning these attractions is Cozumel's spectacular bird life.

El Cedral ruins and the tropical forest at San Gervasio and Punta Sur Lagoons are recommended birding spots to observe the more than 250 bird species, including a handful of endemics (Cozumel Thrasher, Cozumel Emerald, and Cozumel Vireo) and a few migrants (mainly aquatic birds that are present during the months from November to April) of Cozumel. Passeriformes, perching birds, are predominant, but there are apodiformes (hummingbirds and swifts), Piciformes (Yucatan Woodpecker, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker), Accipitriformes ( Hook-billed Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Snail Kite, Common Black-Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk), Falconiformes (American Kestrel, Merlin, Bat Falcon, Peregrine Falcon), Pelecaniformes (White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill), and others.

This photo essay depicts Cozumel's two hummingbirds, the Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird and Green-breasted Mango Hummingbird, and a colourful ensemble of its perching birds (American Redstart, Baltimore Oriole, Bananaquit, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Couch`s Kingbird, Cozumel Black Catbird, Cozumel Vireo, Cozumel Yellow-faced Grassquit, Golden Warbler, Gray Catbird, Great-tailed Grackle, Hooded Oriole, Indigo Bunting, Magnolia Warbler, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Tropical Mockingbird, White-Eyed Vireo and Yellow-throated Warbler).

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