Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders April 3, 2013

151 Species in February
Cliff Swallows
Upcoming Bird Walks and Trips
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
The 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


  • 151 Species in February

  • The 151 species observed around the Lake last month are listed at the end of this newsletter.

    Unusual sightings this month included Cliff Swallows discovered by Robert Taylor in Jocotepec actively constructing nests. These nests are identifiable by the small circular opening in an approximately spherical mud structure. These birds winter in Argentina and breed from Mexico to Alaska.

    At the end of the month John and Rosemary hosted a group of visiting birders from San Miguel de Allende, showing them the Pumping Station area and El Bajio. The highlight of their visit came when one of them quietly imitated the call of the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl in front of a big strangler fig tree at El Bajio. In short order there were 22 species of small birds in the tree including American Redstart and Sinaloa Wren.

    For Rosemary and John it was a busy month including a trip to Tapalpa for serious photographers only, and a three-day reconnaissance trip to the Colima volcanoes.

  • Cliff Swallows
  • cliff swallow
    Nest-building Cliff Swallows as seen at Jocotepec last month.

  • Upcoming Bird Walks and Trips

  • On Monday April 8, at 8.15 a.m. we will meet at the parking lot of the Jocotepec malecón, where we will look for Eurasian Collared Dove and look at water birds from the pier, and other birds in the tall trees. At about 10.00 we will return to Fonda Doña Lola for breakfast.
    To Get There: From Ajijic go to the south end of Jocotepec; after the topes turn left at the OXXO across from the Pemex. Proceed south to the parking lot.

    On Tuesday April 16, at 8.00 a.m. we will meet at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving immediately for the Rio Verde 90 minutes to the north east. We will go to El Venado where the entrance fee is 75 pesos which allows you to swim in the warm pools continuously fed by hot water coming out of the rocks above. In the canyon expect to see birds like Gila Woodpecker (not seen at Lake Chapala) and Squirrel Cuckoo. Bring bathing suits, snacks and sandwiches for lunch. We will get back around 4.00 p.m. If you plan to come, please let John Keeling know whether or not you will have a car (766-1801,

  • Bird Walk and Trip Reports

  • On March 7, eleven of us went to Cristianía Park in Chapala seeing Blue-wing and Green-wing Teal, Northern Shoveler and Common Yellowthroat in the treated water runoff, and American Avocet and American Pipit on the shore, with a total of 51 species.

    On March 15 we had two carloads of people for the Rosa Amarilla Loop seeing several Sparrow species (Lark, Chipping, Clay-colored, Savannah, Song and Stripe-headed); good views of Violet-green and Tree Swallows; as well as Wood Stork, Lesser Scaup and Gadwall for an impressive total of 73 species.

    On March 27, fifteen enthusiastic birders went to El Bajio observing Rusty-crowned Ground Sparrow, Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush, Gray-silky Flycatcher and Berylline Hummingbird among the total of 54 species.

  • The March List

  • Here are the 151 species observed in February around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, groove-billed
    Avocet, American
    Becard, rose-throated (Ac)
    Blackbird, Brewer's (Ra)
    Blackbird, red-winged
    Blackbird, yellow-headed
    Bluebird, western (Ra)
    Bobwhite, northern (Cs)
    Bunting, indigo
    Bunting, lazuli (Ac)
    Bunting, painted (Ac)
    Bunting, varied
    Caracara, crested
    Chat, yellow-breasted
    Coot, American
    Cormorant, neotropic
    Cowbird, bronzed
    Cowbird, brown-headed
    Cuckoo, squirrel (At)
    Dove, Eurasian collared (Jo)
    Dove, Inca
    Dove, mourning (Cs)
    Dove, white-tipped
    Dove, white-winged
    Dowitcher, long-billed
    Duck, Mexican
    Duck, ruddy
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Elaenia, greenish (Ac)
    Euphonia, elegant
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, cordilleran
    Flycatcher, dusky-capped
    Flycatcher, gray-silky
    Flycatcher, least
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, vermillion
    Gallinule, common
    Gnatcatcher, black-tailed (Ac)
    Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
    Goldfinch, lesser
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grebe, pied-billed
    Grosbeak, black-headed
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, laughing
    Gull, ring-billed
    Harrier, northern
    Hawk, Cooper's
    Hawk, red-tailed
    Heron, black-crowned night
    Heron, great blue
    Heron, tri-colored
    Hummingbird, berylline
    Hummingbird, broad-billed
    Hummingbird, rufous
    Hummingbird, violet-crowned
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kestrel, American
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kingfisher, belted
    Kinglet, ruby-crowned (Ac)
    Kiskadee, great
    Meadowlark, eastern (Cs)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Mockingbird, northern
    Motmot, russet-crowned
    Nightjar, buff-collared
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, Bullock's
    Oriole, hooded
    Oriole, orchard
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Pelican, American white
    Pewee, greater
    Pewee, western wood (Ac)
    Pigeon, rock
    Pipit, American (Ch)
    Raven, common
    Redstart, American (Ac)
    Roadrunner, lesser (At)
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Sandpiper, least
    Sandpiper, spotted
    Sandpiper, western (Cs)
    Scaup, lesser
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shoveler, northern
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Sparrow, chipping
    Sparrow, clay-colored
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, lark
    Sparrow, Lincoln's
    Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
    Sparrow, savannah
    Sparrow, song (Cs)
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Stilt, black-necked
    Stork, wood (Ra)
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, cliff (Jo)
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Swallow, tree
    Swallow, violet-green
    Tanager, summer (Av)
    Tanager, western
    Teal, blue-winged
    Teal, cinnamon
    Teal, green-winged
    Tern, Caspian
    Tern, Forster's (Ch)
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Thrush, orange-billed nightingale (Ac)
    Towhee, canyon
    Tyrannulet, northern beardless (Av)
    Vireo, black-capped (At)
    Vireo, Cassin's
    Vireo, golden (At,Cs)
    Vireo, plumbeous (Ac)
    Vireo, warbling
    Vulture, black
    Vulture, turkey
    Warbler, black and white
    Warbler, black-throated gray
    Warbler, Lucy's (Ac)
    Warbler, MacGillivray's
    Warbler, Nashville
    Warbler, rufous-capped
    Warbler, Wilson's
    Warbler, yellow
    Warbler, yellow-rumped
    Wigeon, American (Ac)
    Woodpecker, acorn (Hv)
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, happy
    Wren, Sinaloa (Ac)
    Wren, spotted
    Yellowlegs, greater

    Location codes:

    Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
    At - Trails above Ajijic
    Av - Ajijic village
    Ca - Lake Cajititlan
    Ch - Chapala
    Cs - Santa Cruz/pumping station
    Dm - Dike near Malteraña
    Dp - Dike near La Palma
    Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
    Ja - Jamay
    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 & canyon
    Sa - San Antonio/Chula Vista
    Sc - San Juan Cosala
    Tz - Tizapan canyon
    Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
    Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
    Tu - Tuxcueca canyon
    Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas