Published field guides offer somewhat nebulous information about which bird species may be found on the Northern Jaguar Reserve. It is so remote that it is today one of the least known areas of northern Mexico. With a strong scientific background and an interest in studying bird populations in this isolated region, NJP is acutely aware of the reserve’s importance to both resident and migratory birds.

We’re actively working to expand our knowledge of the birds inhabiting the reserve and making use of its varied environments. We initially compiled past bird inventories and have since conducted surveys in a variety of avian habitats at least twice annually. Our conservation approach features bird research and monitoring, habitat and foraging research, and guiding future land management by defining habitats in need of restoration.

More than 60 percent of the birds listed by the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act have been observed, including more than a dozen birds of conservation concern. We have begun to document bird abundance, breeding and seasonal status, timing of migration, and the importance of specific habitats and vegetation resources for migratory species.

Notable observations on the reserve have included birds that are associated with oak woodlands; migratory species such as the greater pewee, painted redstart, Lucy’s warbler, and clay-colored sparrow; known or potential breeding species like the least grebe, fan-tailed warbler, rusty sparrow, and yellow grosbeak; and several species including the military macaw, white-striped woodcreeper, and blue mockingbird that are both rare in the region and at or near the northernmost limit of their range.

Future studies will emphasize visiting additional environments such as high-elevation oak woodlands, limestone cliffs, tropical lowlands, and grasslands in the Sierra Zetasora.

Birds of the Northern Jaguar Reserve (.pdf)

Photo by Jim Rorabaugh