Troncones Birdwatching

I am no birdwatcher and do not recognize many bird songs, but every spring, Zihuatanejo seems to explode with the tremendous chatter of cheerful birds that sing, warble, trill, chirp, squawk, and yes, twitter, their ways through the days and sometimes nights. The early morning varieties are notable, perhaps even negatively so. I’m thinking in particular of the incredibly discordant chachalaca that often shatters our early-morning dreams or reveries before we really are ready to gain full waking consciousness.


That aside, I do recognize that many visitors to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo delight in the diversity of bird life here on the Pacific coast. Several years ago, I was given a list by Frances Wood and William Graves, avid birdwatchers whom I met during a short visit of theirs over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays.

This incredible list covers over one hundred local bird varieties they spotted and identified in the Troncones area over a period of only about ten days. That would suggest that there are many more varieties out there that Wood and Graves simply did not have the time or were not at the right place to spot–or perhaps the season wasn’t just right for other species that fly through and hang out for a while on their migrations.

I had posted the list on another, now defunct Zihuatanejo website of mine, but I’d like to share it once again. Bird-savvy travelers and enthusiasts could find it of value and interest.

A list of over 100 species of birds observed in the vicinity of Troncones Beach, Guerrero, Mexico (compiled by Frances Wood and William Graves, 2001-02)

American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
Ash-throated Flycatcher** – Myiarchus cinerascens
Belted Kingfisher – Ceryle alcyon
Black Tern – Chlidonias niger
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Black-vented Oriole – Icterus wagleri
Blue Bunting – Cyanocompsa parellina
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Breasted Bunting) – Passerina leclancherii
Broad-billed Hummingbird (aka Doubleday’s Hummingbird) – Cynanthus latirostris

By ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Broad-billed Hummingbird. By ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Bronzed Cowbird – Molothrus aeneus
Brown Booby – Sula leucogaster
Brown Pelican – Pelecanus occidentalis
Brown-crested Flycatcher** – Myiarchus tyrannulus
Bullock’s Oriole – Icterus bullockii
Caspian Tern – Sterna caspia
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
Cinnamon Hummingbird – Amazilia rutila
Citreoline Trogon – Trogon citreolus
Cordilleran Flycatcher* – Empidonax occidentalis
Crested Caracara – Caracara plancus
Dunlin – Calidris alpina
Fan-tailed Warbler – Euthlypis lachrymosa
Golden Vireo – Vireo hypochryseus
Golden-cheeked Woodpecker – Melanerpes chrysogenys
Gray Hawk – Asturina plagiata
Gray-collared Becard – Pachyramphus major
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Great Kiskadee – Pitangus sulphuratus
Greater Yellowlegs – Tringa melanoleuca
Great-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus mexicanus
Green Heron – Butorides virescens
Groove-billed Ani – Crotophaga sulcirostris
Happy Wren – Thryothorus felix
Hooded Oriole – Icterus cucullatus
Inca Dove – Columbina inca
Indigo Bunting – Passerina cyanea
Ivory-billed Woodcreeper – Xiphorhynchus flavigaster
Ladder-backed Woodpecker – Picoides scalaris
Laughing Gull – Larus atricilla
Least Sandpiper – Calidris minutilla
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Magnificent Frigatebird – Fregata magnificens brasilianus
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Nashville Warbler – Vermivora ruficapilla
Neotropic Cormorant – Phalacrocorax
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet – Camptostoma imberbe
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Northern Jacana – Jacana spinosa
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Nutting’s Flycatcher – Myiarchus nuttingi
Olive Sparrow – Arremonops rufivirgatus
Orange-bellied Bunting (aka Orange-Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush – Catharus aurantiirostris
Orange-crowned Warbler – Vermivora celata
Orange-fronted Parakeet – Aratinga canicularis
Orchard Oriole – Icterus spurius
Ovenbird – Seiurus aurocapillus
Pacific-slope Flycatcher* – Empidonax difficilis
Painted Bunting – Passerina ciris

By Doug Janson (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Painted Bunting. By Doug Janson (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Pale-billed Woodpecker – Campephilus guatemalensis
Plain-capped Starthroat – Heliomaster constantii
Red-breasted Chat – Granatellus venustus
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager – Habia rubica
Ringed Kingfisher – Ceryle torquata
Roadside Hawk – Buteo magnirostris
Rock Dove – Columba livia
Rose-throated Becard – Pachyramphus aglaiae
Royal Tern – Sterna maxima
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Archilochus colubris
Ruddy Ground-Dove – Columbina talpacoti
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater – Sporophila minuta
Rufous-backed Robin – Turdus rufopalliatus
Rufous-naped Wren – Campylorhynchus rufinucha
San Blas Jay – Cyanocorax sanblasianus
Semipalmated Plover – Charadrius semipalmatus
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Social Flycatcher – Myiozetetes similis
Spotted Sandpiper – Tringa macularia
Streak-backed Oriole – Icterus pustulatus
Stripe-headed Sparrow – Aimophila ruficauda
Swainson’s Thrush – Catharus ustulatus
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
Tropical Kingbird – Tyrannus melancholicus
Tropical Parula – Parula pitiayumi
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Vermilion Flycatcher – Pyrocephalus rubinus
West Mexican Chachalaca – Ortalis poliocephala
Western Sandpiper – Calidris mauri
Whimbrel – Numenius phaeopus
White-bellied Wren – Uropsila leucogastra
White-collared Seedeater – Sporophila torqueola
White-fronted Parrot – Amazona albifrons
White-lored Gnatcatcher – Polioptila albiloris
White-throated Flycatcher – Empidonax albigularis
White-throated Magpie-Jay – Calocitta formosa
Willet – Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
Wilson’s Warbler – Wilsonia pusilla
Yellow Warbler – Dendroica petechia
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron – Nyctanassa violacea
Yellow-winged Cacique – Cacicus melanicterus

Species seen – 103

Note: We were unable to confidently distinguish between *Pacific Slope v. Cordilleran Flycatchers or between **Ash-throated v. Brown-crested Flycatchers