Many of Missouri’s birds overwinter in tropical habitats in Central America and eastern Mexico. Long before Cancun and the Riviera Maya became tourist destinations, migrant birds from Missouri were using this part of the Yucatan peninsula for migration stopovers and winter habitat. On their return trip to the U.S, many birds must first stop and forage here–refueling for their 12-18 hour flight across the Gulf of Mexico Going South April 2009 MO Conservationist.
Tourist developments and urban sprawl continue to reduce the amount of bird habitat in the Yucatan.
The Foundation recently teamed up with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Audubon Society chapters, the American Bird Conservancy, and Mexican conservation groups to expand the Yum Balam Flora and Fauna Protection Area west of Cancun. MCHF provided $30,000 from its Missouri Tropical Bird Account (you will need to scroll down at this link to see the article) to the project, helping to acquire 1,600 acres of suitable habitat north of Cancun. Wood thrushes, prothonotary warblers, Blue-winged warblers, Baltimore orioles and summer tanagers are just a few of many Missouri migrants that use this area. Read More (article is located on page 18 of this magazine link).