Saturday, August 13, 2011

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.

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