Thursday, June 2, 2016

Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding News Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders June 2, 2016

105 Species Seen in May
Golden Vireo
Results of the Global Big Day
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
May Sightings 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 at the lake, email us at:
or phone 376-766-1801


  • 105 Species Seen in May

  • The complete list of sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.

    The Oak Woods above San Pedro Itzican have been ylelding some less commonly seen species such as:
    - A Common Black Hawk which we have only seen at the Rio Verde to the north east of Lake Chapala
    - A Sulfur-bellied Flycatcher which we have seen once in Ajijc in lower Chula Vista several years ago.
    - A Sinaloa Wren observed actively building a nest in the shape of an up-side-down 'U' at the end of a tree branch.

    We have recently seen a Yellow-winged Cacique in Riberas, and also near Mezcala. These are believed to be cage-espapes. This species is common at the coast, and their normal range does not include this area. If in the future they mate and form a continuously growing colony, we would then add them to the Lake Chapala List.

    Seven Years of this Newsletter
    We, (John and Rosemary) have been putting out this newsletter for seven years now.

    Allen Turner and Judy Boyd started sending out formal newsletters announcing bird walks and listing bird walk sightings, in September 2006.

    We took over when Allen and Judy went to live in Ecuador (they now live in the US). Our first newsletter went out on June 6, 2009 listing for the first time the monthly sightings list for Lake Chapala, in that case the list for the May 2009 sightings.

  • Golden Vireo

  • Golden Vireos such as this one are being heard and seen in the hills above the village of Ajijic. These birds are endemic to Mexico, being found on the western seabord from Sonora in the north, to Oaxaca in the south.

    They are considered permanent residents in our area, though many probably move downhill closer to the coast for the coolest winter months.They are small, being easily confused with Wilson's Warblers which are winter visitors.

    They are difficult to photograph because they stay in the mid to upper canopy of trees, and because they are in constant motion.

  • Results of the Global Big Day

  • On May 14, birders were encouraged to get outside and count as many bird species as they could find in one day, and enter their sightings on the eBird database.

    Globally, 16,000 people responded to this challenge, reporting 6,300 species. (There are 10,426 bird species known in the world.)

    Here at Lake Chapala we reported 73 species in the single day, and in the state of Jalisco 203 species were identified. This is our low season for birds, so these figures are much lower than our Christmas Bird Count results.

  • Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks

  • Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars and show up. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. If you are being given a ride, please make a contribution to gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 100-200 for a day trip).

    On Monday, June 6 we will meet at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am to carpool, leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla Loop on the plateau above the south side of the lake (60 minutes drive). Expect to see higher altitude and pasture birds such as Botteri's Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlark. We will be back about 3.00 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.

    On Tuesday, June 28 we will meet at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am to carpool, leaving immediately for the Sierra de Tapalpa (90 minutes away). We will bird from 9.00 till 12.30 and have lunch in the town of Tapalpa and complete the bird list. There will be higher altitude birds such as Acorn Woodpecker - and if we are lucky Trans-volcanic Jay and Yellow-eyed Junco. We will be back about 5.00 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.

  • Bird Walk & Trip Reports

  • On May 10 we had six keen observers out to the Allen Lloyd Trail, including a pair of experienced birders from up north. A highlight was hearing, then seeing, a Squirrel Cuckoo for several minutes. Other birds out of a total ot 34 species included White-tailed Kite, Rusty-crowned Ground Sparrow, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush and at least 10 Western Wood Pewees.

    On May 27 we had six birders out at Riberas del Pilar, including three residents of that sub-division. We observed 41 species including Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, American Avocet, Spotted Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Black-backed Oriole, and at least 12 Groove-billed Anis.

  • May Sightings List

  • Here are the 105 species observed in May around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, groove-billed
    Avocet, American (Rp)
    Becard, rose-throated (Pz)
    Bunting, varied (Sa)
    Caracara, crested
    Coot, American
    Cormorant, neotropic
    Cowbird, bronzed
    Cowbird, brown-headed
    Cuckoo, squirrel (At,Sa)
    Dove, Eurasian-collared
    Dove, Inca
    Dove, mourning (Sn)
    Dove, white-tipped
    Dove, white-winged
    Duck, fulvous-whistling (Ch)
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Elaenia, Greenish
    Euphonia, Elegant
    Falcon, peregrine (Av)
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, ash-throated (Pz)
    Flycatcher, cordilleran
    Flycatcher, dusky-capped
    Flycatcher, Nutting's
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, sulfur-bellied (Pz)
    Flycatcher, vermillion
    Flycatcher, willow (Pz)
    Gallinule, common
    Gnatcatcher, black-tailed
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grebe, least
    Grebe, pied-billed
    Grosbeak, black-headed
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, ring-billed
    Hawk, common black (Pz)
    Hawk, Cooper's (Pz)
    Hawk, red-tailed
    Heron, black-crowned night
    Heron, green
    Heron, little blue (Av)
    Heron, tri-colored
    Hummingbird, beryline (Av)
    Hummingbird, broad-billed
    Hummingbird, violet-crowned
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kiskadee, great
    Kite, white-tailed (Av,Sa,Dp)
    Meadowlark, Eastern (Dm)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Mockingbird, northern
    Motmot, russet-crowned (Av,Sa)
    Nightjar, buff-collared (Av)
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Owl, great-horned (Av,Rp)
    Parakeet, monk
    Pelican, American white
    Pewee, western wood (Sa,Pz)
    Pigeon, rock
    Raven, common (Av,Pz)
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Sparrow, chipping
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, roufous-crowned
    Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
    Sparrow, song
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Stilt, black-necked (Rp)
    Stork, wood
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, cliff
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Tanager, hepatic
    Tanager, western
    Teal, blue-winged (Av,Rp,Ch)
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
    Towhee, canyon
    Vireo, golden
    Vireo, warbling (Av)
    Vulture, black
    Warbler, Nashville
    Warbler, rufous-capped (Av,Pz)
    Warbler, yellow
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, happy (Pz)
    Wren, Sinaloa (Pz)
    Wren, spotted

    Location codes:
    Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
    At - Trails above Ajijic
    Av - Ajijic village
    Ca - Lake Cajititlan
    Ch - Chapala
    Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
    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
    Ps - Pumping Station/Santa Cruz
    Pt - San Pedro Tesistan area
    Pz - San Pedro Itzican area
    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/South Shore area
    Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas