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The Baja California Peninsula is an area of mountainous desert extending approximately 800 miles south of the U.S. Border. It is contained by by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sea of Cortez to the east. In 1859 naturalist John Xantus brought Baja California to the attention of the birding world.
In 1859 John Xantus made an expedition to Baja California, which was then almost unknown. On this trip he set up a base of operations at Cabo San Lucas at the extreme southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Thence he explored the entire surrounding region as well as many of the adjacent islands. During this time Xantus collected "many new species" then unknown back at the Smithsonian, not only of birds, which were his first interest, but also of plants and animals of almost every other description. During this trip Xantus made "the addition of a larger number of new animals to our fauna than has been made by one person in any single region of North America before."
Birding in Baja is an activity that almost anyone can enjoy. Whether you are the adventurist type or a backyard birder, you have the possibility of seeing around 400 different species of birds. Baja California has 6 endemics including Cape Pygmy Owl, Xantus's Hummingbird, Gray Thrasher, Belding's Yellowthroat, Baird's Junco, and San Lucas Robin. Other potential future splits in Baja may include LeConte's Thrasher (Vizcaino Thrasher), White-breasted Nuthatch, and Acorn Woodpecker.
Baja birding areas of interest are the arroyo's, seashores, deserts, estuaries, lagoons and mountains. There are also many micro habitats, oasis, etc.
The San Jose del Cabo estuary is an excellent place for birding in Baja California Sur where you are almost certain to see one of the endemics, the Belding's Yellowthroat, a beautiful yellow masked species. Hiking or quading up any of the arroyos and you will almost be certain to see the Gray Thrasher and Xantus's Hummingbird. Four wheeling excursions up into the biospheres of the Sierra de la Laguna in Baja Sur may reward you with sightings of the Cape Pygmy Owl, Baird's Junco or San Lucas Robin. Also of special interest is the sea and shore birds of the San Ignacio Lagoon on the Pacific side of Baja.
Following is a list of birds we see in Baja. This list is always growing. Birds pictured below from top to bottom: Xantus's Hummingbird, San Lucan Robin, Gray Thrasher and Belding's Yellowthroat.1. American Avocet
C.E. Llewellyn is a life-long wildlife enthusiast who has always spent as much time as possible in the outdoors. He hunted with a gun or a bow all his life. "If it moved and was fair game, no animal was safe around me." After his wife was diagnosed with a life threatening cancer, feelings about life changed for him. He started hunting only with a camera. Chris and his wife Debbie, traveled the world searching for wildlife to photograph and study. "I like to share, especially through photography, the birds we see at home and in our travels. I'd like to think that I've helped at least some people better understand the beauty in nature that is all around us."Visit C.E. Llellyn's website