Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another Trip to Colima Area, March 2011

Hazel and Ryon are birders living in Jocotepec on Lake Chapala and Winnipeg, Canada.  I really enjoy birding with them and especially appreciate their significant financial contribution that allowed Hugo to participate in last year's Long Bird (Ontario) Bird Obervatory program for Latin American birders. 

They met me and Hugo in Colima for a 3-day birding trip from March 14-16, 2011.  We chose not to bird Ciudad Guzman but concentrated our efforts at Volcan de Fuego (all the way to the microwave towers), the road to Laguna La Maria, and Agua Dulce, which is northwest of Colima on the road to Minatitlan.  We stayed at a B+B in Comala. 

All locations were very dry, tinder box dry, as you can see in these photos.

Although we missed Long-tailed wood-partridge, Crested guan and any nightjars, we saw many other birds, especially some new woodpeckers.  I even added some birds (marked below with *) to my life list!

Birds seen/heard:

Great blue heron
Cattle egret
White ibis
White-faced ibis
Black vulture
Turkey vulture
White-tailed kite
Sharp-shinned hawk
Gray hawk
Crested caracara
American kestrel
West Mexican chachalaca
Banded quail
American coot
Rock pigeon
Inca dove
White-tipped dove
Lilac-crowned parrot:

Photo by Dave Bezaire and Susi Havens-Bezaire from Wikimedia Commons

Squirrel cuckoo
Groove-billed ani
*Colima pygmy-owl (heard)
Ferruginous pygmy-owl
Golden-crowned emerald
Broad-billed hummingbird
Cinnamon hummingbird
Violet-crowned hummingbird
Berylline hummingbird
Broad-tailed hummingbird
Allen's hummingbird
Mountain trogon (heard)
Elegant trogon
Acorn woodpecker
Golden-cheeked woodpecker
Golden-fronted woodpecker
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Ladder-backed woodpecker
*Smoky-brown woodpecker:

Photo by Michael Woodruff from Wikimedia Commons

Gray-crowned woodpecker
Linneated or pale-billed woodpecker (bad light prevented positive ID for me but Hugo got a better look and added it to his list as a Pale-billed)
*Ivory-billed :

Photo by Dominic Sherony from Wikimedia Commons

Tufted flycatcher
Greater pewee
Pacific-slope flycatcher
Cordilleran flycatcher
Vermilion flycatcher
Dusky-capped flycatcher
Brown-crested flycatcher
Great kiskadee
Social flycatcher
Tropical kingbird
Cassin's kingbird
Gray-collared becard
Rose-throated becard
*Masked tityra:
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Tree swallow
Barn swallow
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Spotted wren
Happy wren
*Sinaloa wren
Northern mockingbird
Curve-billed thrasher
Blue mockingbird
Brown-backed solitaire
Swainson's thrush
White-throated robin
Rufous-backed robin
American robin
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Mexican chickadee
Bridled titmouse
Loggerhead shrike
Common raven
Dwarf vireo
Plumbeous vireo
Cassin's vireo
Hutton's vireo
Golden vireo
House finch
Lesser goldfinch
Orange-crowned warbler
Nashville warbler
Tropical parula
Yellow-rumped warbler
Black-throated gray warbler
Black-throated green warbler
Townsend's warbler
Black-and-white warbler
American redstart
MacGillivray's warbler
Wilson's warbler
Red-faced warbler
Painted redstart
Slate-throated redstart
Yellow-breasted chat
Summer tanager
Western tanager
*Scrub euphonia
Elegant euphonia
Olive sparrow
Canyon towhee
Stripe-headed sparrow
Chipping sparrow
Lark sparrow
Black-headed grosbeak
Blue grosbeak
Lazuli bunting
Indigo bunting
Varied bunting
Great-tailed grackle
Bronzed cowbird
Brown-headed cowbird
Streak-backed oriole
Bullock's oriole
Yellow-winged cacique

Lunch stop with Dwarf vireo nearby

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Broad-billed Hummingbird Nest

By happenstance, I discovered a Broad-billed hummingbird nest in the yard. It did not take long for an egg, then a second egg, followed by one hatching, then the other. Before 3 weeks had passed, both birds fledged. Check out the following photos.......

The nest:

One day after hatching:

A week later:

A few days later:

The first born was always larger and the first to fledge:

There is a second bird in the nest:

I was nearby when the first bird fledged. The second bird fledged the next day:

Life Birds: Hooded Grosbeak + Green-striped brushfinch

I have a list of birds yet to be seen here in the Central Highlands of Mexico. Compared to when we moved here two years ago, this list has gotten shorter and shorter as I have ticked off species after species. It's a rare day for me to find a new bird, a lifer.

Last week, Hugo and I took some birders from Canada to the Santa Juana area. Soon after getting good looks at a stunning male Mountain trogon, we heard and then spotted a Northern pygmy-owl. As we each peered into the spotting scope to get close up looks at the owl, one of the visitors noticed another bird a little above the owl. Imagine my shock when I trained my binocs on this other bird - a male Hooded grosbeak! It's a species I've been waiting to see.

Wait, wait, it gets better.....the female was nearby, affording all of us perfect views of both.

After congratulating one another, I turned toward the car and spotted a bird scratching at the edge of the dirt road - a Green-striped brushfinch. I've only seen this species once before and that was several years ago. Unfortunately, the bird didn't stay in the open long, and we had to work the brush awhile before everyone got good looks at this secretive bird. A lifer for the others on the trip.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons - Dominic Sherony, photographer

It was a good day, and now I'll have to revise my life list.

Another Hummer Nest

It's been difficult to work in my yard this spring.
A Broad-billed hummer laid two eggs and fledged two young from a nest over one of my raised beds.

Another is on the opposite side of my house and is on eggs. Luckily I can watch the action with my spotting scope from the living room.
Can you find the nest in the following photo?

Hike/bird trip to Columpio Sunday Aug 13

Bird of the day:  Mexican jay
(photo from Wikimedia Commons; photographer, Alan Vernon)

Eleven of us headed to an area by Zarzamora (above Erongaricuaro) to a place we call Columpio.  The outing was billed as a bi-lingual hike/walk/bird trip so there was a mix of interest among us.  One interest we hadn't considered until we got there:  hongos or mushrooms.  It's that time of year. 

Here's what we saw/heard (not in taxonomic order):

Painted redstart
White-breasted nuthatch
Hepatic tanager
Crescent-chested warbler
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Mexican jay
Yellow-eyed junco
Pine flycatcher
Acorn woodpecker
Hairy woodpecker
Bewick's wren
American robin
Red warbler
Barn swallow
Gray silky-flycatcher
Brown-backed solitaire
White-tipped dove
Hybrid towhee (spotted x collared)
Brown creeper
Blue-throated hummingbird
Olive warbler
Mexican chickadee
Northern raven
Rufous-capped warbler

Monday, August 1, 2011

Juvenile Mountain Trogon

Earlier this month, Stan and Darnelle came over from the Lake Chapala area to bird with us.  They reported seeing a male Sparkling-tailed woodstar at a feeder in Zirahuen. 

At Columpio, they added a number of new birds to their life and Mexico lists.  The most interesting bird of the day was one that we couldn't immediately identify.  Thanks to several individuals on the Mexico-birding yahoogroup, we've concluded that it's a juvenile Mountain trogon.  I must admit that I wished it to be an Eared quetzal.....