A Least Tern resting on white sandy beach with seaweed around it and traces of vegetation.

“Rare Bird Species Spotted in Cozumel’s Punta Sur – See the Stunning Discoveries!”

The Bird Monitoring Program in Punta Sur, Cozumel, recently recorded 24 different species of birds. This initiative is managed by the Foundation of Parks and Museums of Cozumel (FPMC). Notably, some of these species are migratory, using the area as a resting and feeding stop on their journey.

Alejandro Marchán Payán, the general director of the FPMC, emphasized the environmental significance of Punta Sur. The area's biological richness, as evidenced by the diverse bird species, underscores its importance as a protected natural habitat. Marchán Payán stressed that such monitoring activities facilitate the dissemination of environmental knowledge, fostering a community-wide interest in conserving and preserving the island's natural resources. The island has been recognized as a "Bird City" for its avian biodiversity.

Paulina Sabido Villanueva, head of the Conservation and Environmental Education Directorate's (CEA) Department, explained that the monitoring program has been conducted monthly for over nine years. The process involves establishing "counting points" to visually and audibly identify bird presence in the area over a specified period. During the most recent outing, 24 species were observed.

Notable sightings included the Least Tern (Sternula antillarum), a summer migratory bird that nests on the Yucatan Peninsula's beaches, including Cozumel, and the Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), an unusual species for the island. The Black Tern sighting was only the second for Punta Sur in eight years. Other observed species included the Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus), Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina), and migratory songbirds like the Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens), American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), and Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea).

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The Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata), a bird known for its long-distance migratory feats, was also recorded. This species undertakes the longest water journey of any songbird, covering almost 2800 kilometers non-stop over the Atlantic Ocean for over three days. This sighting marked the third record for Punta Sur.

The monitoring team included biologists and graduates in Natural Resource Management from CEA, as well as students from the Natural Resources degree program at UQROO, who are completing their social service at FPMC.

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