Monday, April 7, 2014

Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders Apr. 2, 2014

Banded American White Pelican at Petatan
Outstanding Video of Local Birds
Upcoming Bird Walks
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


  • News

  • The 134 species observed around the Lake last month are listed at the end of this newsletter.

    Monk Parakeets in Ajijic

    The Monk Parakeets (escapees) seen lately near the pier can now be observed attempting to build a nest in a tall fan palm in the garden behind the Old Posada. This is the only parrot species in the world that constructs a nest - and it is large!

    Also, a group of red-lored parrrots have been seen lately in San Antonio Tlayacapan and Riberas del Pilar.

    Pelican from North Dakota

    Local photographer Xill Fessenden photographed an American White Pelican with bands on its legs on the south shore of the lake (see photo below). On investigation, she discovered that it it was banded as a young bird last July at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota, 1,800 miles north of here.

  • Banded American White Pelican at Petatan

  • This American White Pelican, with a band on each leg, hatched in North Dakota, was seen at Petatan on the south side of the lake in January - photo by Xill Fessenden

  • Outstanding Video of Local Birds

  • You are in for a treat if you look at this YouTube video (you may need to paste this into your address bar). It is a 15-minute slide-show video showing multiple shots of over 70 species of birds seen locally aroung Lake Chapala prepared by our local bird photographer Paul Hart. The shots are fabulous.

  • Upcoming Bird Walks

  • Our birdwalks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars and show up. We always have knowledgable birders on hand to identify the species.

    On Tuesday April 8 at 8.00 a.m. we will meet at the Jocotepec Malecon Park to observe birds below the pier and in the tall trees of the park, such as northern jacana, tri-colored heron, Eurasian collared dove, and yellow warbler. At about 10 we will head for breakfast at Fonda Dona Lola to complete the bird list.
    How to Get There: Taking the carretera to Jocotepec from Ajijic, you will pass the exit for the Jocotepec bypass, then the road curves to the left, you encounter serious topes, then the road cuves to the right with an OXXO on the left. You must exit left at the beginning or the end of this curve, and then proceed to the shoreline. Park your car near the pier.

    On Monday April 21 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving immediately for Tapalpa. It is an hour's drive to the edge of the plateau, then we will bird from 9.00 to 12.30 and go to the village of Tapalpa for lunch. We hope to see higher altitude birds such as Transvolcanic Jay, Slate-throated Redstart, Crested Caracara, and Olive Warbler. Expect to be back to Ajijic by about 5.00 p.m. Bring snacks and liquids to keep you going in the morning.

  • Bird Walk and Trip Reports

  • On March 10, we had 13 birders out at the Cajititlan Marsh where we observed Least Grebe, American Avocet, Marsh Wren, Rufous Hummingbird, and a single Brown Pelican. The total count was 45 species.

    On March 19, ten of us met at El Bajio and were able to see fifty nine different species including an Osprey, Western Tanager, Elegant Euphonia, Cooper's Hawk and a pair of Bushtits putting the finishing touches on a nest which was like an eight-inch elastic green sock with an entrance on the side near the top of the sock.

    On March 28, two carloads of people birded the Rosa Amarilla Loop managing to sight 60 species, among them: Eastern Meadowlark, Red-winged Blackbird, Pied-billed Grebe, White-tailed Hawk, Cliff Swallow and Wood Stork.

    Mid-month, five of us made a 2-day Colima Volcano Trip, departing at 6.00 a.m., spending the first morning on the north side of the inactive peak where we saw Mexican Chickadee, Slate-throated Redstart, Red Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Collared Towhee and Yellow-eyed Junco. The second morning was spent exploring the south side of the active peak where we observed West Mexican Chachalaca, Lilac-crowned Parrot, White-eared Hummingbird, Golden Vireo and Golden-cheecked Woodpecker.

  • The March List

  • Here are the 134 species observed in March around Lake Chapala:

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

    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 MalteraƱa
    Dp - Dike near La Palma
    Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
    Ja - Jamay
    Jo - Jocotepec
    Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers
    Pe - Petatan area
    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
    Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
    Tz - Tizapan canyon
    Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
    Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
    Tu - Tuxcueca canyon
    Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas