BAJA PENINSULA

OCTOBER, 2019

I've been to Cabo San Lucas many times, but I hadn't been there since I became passionate about photographing hummingbirds.  I had been feeding them at my home for many years, but I never thought about looking for different species in other places.  I may have only been vaguely aware that there so many species other than the ones in my back yard.  

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there is an endemic hummingbird to the southern Baja Peninsula.  I needed to go back to photograph the wonderful Xantus's Hummingbird.  

Xantus's Hummingbird (Hylocharis xantusii) is named after John Xantus, a Hungarian naturalist, who "collected" this previously unknown species for the Smithsonian Institution.

I decided to take a cruise to Cabo, because it was actually cheaper than flying and paying for a hotel and all my food.  I said I would never again go birding from a cruise ship (I made that mistake looking for a Ruby Topaz in the ABC Islands) because you just can't get off early enough to find them when they are the most active.  But this particular cruise overnighted in Cabo, so I booked a five-day cruise from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas on the Royal Princess.  

I made arrangements with Cabo Birding Adventures to meet a guide at 6am specifically to find and photograph the Xantus's.  Maria Elena Muriel met me on the dock and we were off in her car to Todos Santos.  She knew places where we would be sure to see them, so I was able to photograph both the male and female.  Success!

ROYAL PRINCESS

MARIA ELENA AND ME

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