Bird Watching, The Next Big Tourist Attraction

BY HECTOR NARRO

In contrast with the general idea that the state and Los Cabos are a semi-desertic area with a small amount of fauna, our tourist resort is attracting more and more animal lovers year-round.

We are not only the favorite spot for humpback whales and gray whales to give birth and breed their calves in the winter, but we are also home to over 400 species of birds, 6 of them endemic to Mexico.

Four of them can be seen in Los Cabos: Xantus hummingbird, Yellow-footed gull, Grey trasher, and the Belding’s yellowtail, which is now an endangered species.

Most of these birds are easy to find at the San Jose estuary, but deterioration is currently the cause of numerous studies and an upcoming plan for its rescue. Other spots to go bird watching are the San Lázaro dam in San Jose, estuaries in Santiago and La Ribera on the East Cape, the Sierra de la Laguna, where some species of falcons, Golden eagles and elf owls.

The local civil organization (NGO) Semilla de Orgullo (Seed of Pride), which devotes its efforts to monitor and promote bird preservation, recently showed a short film highlighting the potential of attracting bird watchers from all over the world to Los Cabos, with the plan that part of the proceeds from these tours can be used for further preservation.

The NGO has joined forces with the state’s university (UABCS) and the Los Cabos Coordinating Council (an umbrella group formed by most local business associations) to prepare to host the National Congress on Urban and Rural Birds, which will take place in our resort destination in 2020.

Most of the species that can be admired here are migratory and stop, rest and eat at the San Jose estuary and above us in the Sierra de la Laguna that surrounds Todos Santos and Los Cabos. The estuary is currently the only nesting area for the Belding’s yellowtail, hence the need to protect it.

Since this could be a growing tourist market, the local hotel association has agreed to promote bird watching among their guests.