Monday, April 9, 2012

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders April 3, 2012


146 Species Last Month

Flame-colored Tanager

Upcoming Bird Walks

Donate for a Mexican Birder

Bird Walk Reports

March List

Lake Chapala Birders

Observadores de Aves del Lago de Chapala

Your hosts
John and Rosemary Keeling
John & Rosemary

If you have reports of interesting bird sightings near Lake Chapala, or need information about birding around the lake, email us at:
or phone 376-766-1801


  • 146 Species Last Month

  • In March a total of 146 species were seen around Lake Chapala. (The full list appears below).

    Of particular interest was a flame-colored tanager seen on the hike in the oak forest near Las Trojes. This species is seen only occasionally in our area.

    Currently we are in the middle of the March-April northern migration season. Some species have already left, but many others are moving through on their way up north.

    We have been receiving reports recently of Buff-collared Nightjars calling at night all along the lakeshore. Their ascending call is quite distinctive.

  • Flame-colored Tanager

  • F-C Tanager

    Flame-colored Tanager seen near Las Trojes in March.

  • Upcoming Bird Walks

  • Friday April 13, at 8.00 a.m. John Roynon will lead a bird walk at El Bajio. We will see a selection of field birds and shore birds, perhaps rusty-crowned ground sparrow and if we are lucky orange-billed nightingale thrush. At about 10.00 we will go for breakfast to Doña Lola and complete the bird list.
    How to Get There: Drive west from Ajijic about two miles; watch for the sign 'El Bajio', exit towards the lake; park almost immediately on the side road that parallels the carretera.

    Monday April 23 at 8.00 a.m., John Keeling will lead a walk up the Riberas Ravine. We expect to see greater pewee, squirrel cuckoo and streak-backed orioles. At about 10.00 we will head for Mom's restaurant for breakfast.
    How to Get There: From Ajijic, drive east to Riberas del Pilar; opposite Mom's restaurant turn uphill onto San Jorge; proceed three blocks to the edge of the hill and park.

  • Donate for a Mexican Birder

  • Leonel Herrera, a grad student in ornithology in Morelia, has received a travel scholarship to go to the North American Ornithology Conference being held in Vancouver in August. The scholarship does not cover the costs of staying in Vancouver, or the costs of obtaining US and Canadian visas which will be $500 USD alone.

    Certain Seattle birders have offered to match donations. If you can donate, please contact sponsor Georgia Conti at in Patzcuaro.

  • Bird Walk Reports

  • On March 14, a convoy of vehicles took 25 keen birders around the Rosa Amarilla loop. Most got excellent views of all the interesting species which included northern mockingbird, Brewer's blackbird, crested caracara, Cooper's hawk, black phoebe and wood stork.

    On March 16, eleven birding hikers went up a new trail east of Las Trojes which is totally oak forest. We saw plumbeous vireo, red-faced warbler, flame colored tanager, hepatic tanager, ruby-crowned kinglet and white-eared hummingbird.

    On March 18, nine birders made the day trip to Sierra de Tapalpa managing to increase the Tapalpa list by nine species including Cooper's hawk, stripe-headed sparrow, clay-colored sparrow, black-crowned night heron and long-billed dowitcher.

    On March 28, twenty four birders scoured the shore behind the pumping station and came up with a remarkable list of 69 species, including rose-throated becard, mourning dove, bushtit, white-tailed kite, American pipit, and in a flowering jacaranda an orchard oriole and black-backed oriole.

  • March List

  • Here are the 146 species observed in March around Lake Chapala:

    Groove-billed ani
    American avocet
    Rose-throated becard (Cs)
    Brewer's blackbird (Ra)
    Red-winged blackbird
    Yellow-headed blackbird
    Indigo bunting
    Lazuli bunting
    Varied bunting
    Crested caracara
    Yellow-breasted chat
    American coot
    Neotropic cormorant
    Bronzed cowbird
    Brown-headed cowbird
    Squirrel cuckoo
    Inca dove
    Mourning dove (Cs)
    White-tipped dove
    White-winged dove
    Long-billed dowitcher
    Mexican duck
    Ruddy duck
    Cattle egret
    Great egret
    Snowy egret
    Elegant euphonia
    House finch
    Ash-throated flycatcher
    Cordilleran flycatcher
    Dusky-capped flycatcher
    Gray-silky flycatcher (Av)
    Social flycatcher
    Vermillion flycatcher
    Common gallinule
    Blue-gray gnatcatcher
    Lesser goldfinch
    Great-tailed grackle
    Least grebe
    Pied-billed grebe
    Black-headed grosbeak
    Blue grosbeak
    Laughing gull
    Ring-billed gull
    Northern harrier
    Red-tailed hawk
    White-tailed hawk (Ra)
    Black-crowned night-heron
    Great-blue heron
    Green heron
    Tri-colored heron
    Beryline hummingbird
    Broad-billed hummingbird
    Violet-crowned hummingbird
    White-eared hummingbird
    White-faced ibis
    Northern jacana
    American kestrel
    Cassin's kingbird
    Thick-billed kingbird
    Tropical kingbird
    Belted kingfisher
    Ruby-crowned kinglet
    Great kiskadee
    White-tailed kite (Cs)
    Eastern meadowlark (Ra)
    Blue mockingbird
    Northern mockingbird
    Russet-crowned motmot
    Buff-collared nightjar
    Black-backed oriole
    Black-vented oriole
    Bullock's oriole
    Hooded oriole
    Orchard oriole
    Streak-backed oriole
    Tropical parula
    American white pelican
    Greater pewee
    Western wood pewee
    Black phoebe (Ra)
    Rock pigeon
    American pipit
    Common raven
    Lesser roadrunner (Ra)
    Rufous-backed robin
    Least sandpiper
    Spotted sandpiper
    White-collared seedeater
    Northern shoveler
    Loggerhead shrike
    Wilson's snipe (Ra)
    Brown-backed solitaire
    Sora (Ra)
    Clay-colored sparrow
    House sparrow
    Lark sparrow
    Lincoln's sparrow
    Rusty-crowned ground sparrow
    Savannah sparrow
    Stripe-headed sparrow
    Black-necked stilt
    Wood stork
    Barn swallow
    Northern rough-winged swallow
    Tree swallow
    Flame-colored tanager (Tr)
    Hepatic tanager
    Summer tanager (Ac)
    Western tanager
    Blue-winged teal
    Cinnamon teal
    Caspian tern
    Forster's tern
    Curve-billed thrasher
    Orange-billed nightingale thrush
    Canyon towhee
    Cassin's vireo
    Golden vireo
    Plumbeous vireo
    Warbling vireo
    Black vulture
    Turkey vulture
    Black and white warbler
    Black-throated gray warbler
    Lucy's warbler
    Nashville warbler
    Orange-crowned warbler
    Red-faced warbler (Tr)
    Townsend's warbler (Tr)
    Virginia's warbler
    Yellow warbler
    Yellow-rumped warbler
    Cedar waxwing (Av)
    Golden-fronted woodpecker
    Ladder-backed woodpecker
    Bewick's wren
    Canyon wren
    House wren
    Marsh wren
    Spotted wren
    Lesser yellowlegs
    Gray-crowned yellowthroat (Cs)

    Location codes:

    Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
    At - Trails above Ajijic
    Av - Ajijic village
    Ch - Chapala
    Cl - Lake Cajititlan
    Cs - Santa Cruz/pumping station
    Dm - Dike near Malteraña
    Dp - Dike near La Palma
    Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
    Jo - Jocotepec
    Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers
    Pe - Petatan causeway
    Po - Poncitlan
    Pt - San Pedro Tesistan
    Pz - San Pedro Itzican
    Ra - Rosa Amarilla loop
    Rc - Santa Rosa: Carnero dam
    Rp - Riberas del Pilar
    Sc - San Juan Cosala
    Sv - San Antonio/Chula Vista
    Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
    Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
    Tu - Tuxcueca
    Xl - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas