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Adventures in Mexico

Bird Watcher’s Dream

by Jim Fingar

Just a 2-hour easy bus ride northwest of Mexico City, the Aztlán Ecological Rescue Center offers some very special opportunities for bird watchers. For well over 10 years, workers and volunteers have been working to restore 325 acres of an old hacienda to health. Compost, tree planting, water trapping and many other techniques are used.

The exclusion of cows, goats, and sheep from the canyon on the property has allowed understory plants to grow under the mesquite trees and nopal plants. Instead of compacted and eroded soil, there is an amazing variety of plants. The birds love it! They are everywhere, humming birds, orioles, hawks, sparrows ... over 300 species have been cataloged at Aztlán!

To visit, you travel to Querétaro and from there you will be taken to Aztlán. They can’t accommodate casual, drop in visitors; you need to schedule your visit, but it is worth the effort, Contact: Heidi Bauer or Isabel Sohn, Centro de Rescate Ecológico, Apdo. Postal 1248, Querétaro, PRO CP 76000, Mexico. Telephone (city code 42) 12-22-62. (English or Spanish).

Dr. Noel Nugent, director of the nature reserve at Aztlán, will also arrange unique bird watching tours of central Mexico that last from one day to a week or more. He can guide you to several different ecosystems to enjoy the diverse bird populations of each of those systems. Contact: Dr. Noel Nugent, (city code 42) 15-51-83 (English or Spanish).

To request a bird species list or a brochure in English about Aztlán: call or write Jim Fingar, 57 Central Ave., Athens, OH 45701. Tel: (614) 592-5616 (English or Spanish)
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