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Botanical Garden at Puerto Morales

The Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Garden in located on the south side of Puerto Morales, Quintana Roo. I first learned of the Botanical Garden from a BirdChat post. I have visited this site three time recently, twice in October 1997 and once in January 1998, and have found it to be a good birding location within easy access from Cancun. Perhaps this is a well-known birding location, but if not I thought I would pass on my observations about the place.

The botanical garden covers about 60 ha, with the vast majority of that being forested. There are approximatly 2 km of trails. The entrance fee in late January was 30 pesos.

Some of the highlights of the October visits (22nd and 27th) were: Crane Hawk, Black-headed Trogon, Blue-crowned and Turquoise-browed Motmots, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Yucatan, Pale-billed and Lineated Woodpeckers, Northern Barred-Woodcreeper, White-bellied Wren, Mangrove and Yucatan Vireos, and Rose-throated Tanager. There are also wild Spider Monkeys on the grounds.

The highlights of our 29 January visit included: White-bellied Emerald, Collared Aracari, Yellow-olive Flycatcher and Black-cowled, Yellow-backed and Orange Orioles.

During the October visit there were still many migrating wood-warblers. We observed 11species during the two brief visits. The botanical garden in bordered by an extensive mangrove swamp. There are many open areas in this swamp, some of which are visible along the main road to the beach. In Jan. we observed Common Black-Hawk and Northern Jacanas in these open areas.

Mark Lockwood
Austin, Texas


I visited the garden on a Sunday in May 1997. The species list was not nearly as long then, although the Orioles were certainly evident, and there was a variety of other birds. Despite literature indicating it is open every day until 5 p.m., the attendants made us leave and closed at about 2 p.m. However, I tried to visit again on November 9, 1997 (a Sunday), but the gates were locked and there was no one around. (We went on to Coba instead.) Anyone planning a visit might be wise to avoid Sundays or verify that it will be open!!

John A. Whittle

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