Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Birding Morelia, Michoacan: Pico Azul

Until this past weekend, I had found only okay habitat and birding spots in and around Morelia.  Thanks to graduate ornithology students, Leonel and Eugenia, for taking me to Pico Azul, an absolutely wonderful bosque (forest) above Morelia.  Pico Azul is truly an amazing place due to mixed canopy, higher elevation (I was told about 2500 meters), native plants, habitat protection by the nearby village, decent roads, non-arduous hiking trails, and proximity to Morelia.  Oh, less I forget, the diversity of birds. 

Here's what we saw/heard during 4 hours early Saturday March 17 (St. Patrick's Day):

Note:  not in taxonomic order:

Bewick's wren
Inca dove
Blue mockingbird
Yellow-eyed junco
Orange-crowned warbler
Lesser goldfinch
Mountain trogon (4 different birds)
Brown creeper
Slate-throated redstart
Mexican chickadee
Dusky-capped flycatcher
Acorn woodpecker
Cooper's hawk
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Hepatic tanager
Black-headed grosbeak
Hooded grosbeak (only my second spotting of this bird)
Hermit thrush
Western bluebird
White-tipped dove
Greater pewee
Buff-breasted flycatcher
Hermit warbler
Yellow-rumped warbler
Chestnut-sided shrike-vireo
Cordilleran flycatcher
Bullock's oriole
Tufted flycatcher
Red-faced warbler
White-eared hummingbird
Mexican jay (or whatever our local species is now called)
Gray silky-flycatcher
Crescent-chested warbler
Townsend's warbler
Wilson's warbler
White-striped woodcreeper
Hutton's vireo
Plumbeous vireo
Olive warbler

We dipped on other species that Leonel and Eugenia have seen in the area, among them Red warbler, Green-striped brush-finch (they say its supercillium is yellow, not white), Rufous-crowned brush-finch, Gray-barred wren, Grace's warbler, and various owls. 

Until the next time..... 

Meanwhile check out some photos of the the habitat.

p.s.  If you want directions to this amazing birding spot, email me at antep12{at}gmail(dot)com.