Thursday, March 4, 2021


Chapala Birders Newsletter, March 2, 2021
191 Species Seen in February
The complete list appears at the end of this newsletter. Highlights this month included:

  • Lots of sightings of groups of Cedar Waxwings throughout the area.

  • Once again a good number of higher altitude species were seen on the Caracol Trail including American Robin, Flame-colored Tanager, Summer Tanager, Red-faced Warbler, Hermit Warbler and Crescent-chested Warbler.

  • Unfortunately, this year we have heard of a number of friends who have found dead or semi-conscious Buntings that have flown into their house windows.


Note that the annual northward migration starts for most species in the second half of March, allowing birds to arrive at their various destinations in the US, Canada and the Arctic throughout the month of May.
Featured Bird: Red-naped Sapsucker
Male Red-naped Sapsucker.
  • The Red-naped Sapsucker was reported in our area for the first time on the Caracol Trail in January of this year.
  • The female is similar to the male but has a small white patch below the bill.
  • This species summers in the western mountains of the US and Canada and migrates to northern Mexico and adjacent parts of the US for the winter.
  • It eats sap from holes it makes in trees, as well as insects, berries and fruit.
  • Mating pairs are monogamous, sharing the tasks of 'excavating' a cavity in a tree, incubating the eggs (12 days) and feeding the young until they fledge (27 days).
  • It is presumed that millions of years ago, Sapsucker populations were separated by glaciers and new mountains, resulting in the evolution of Red-breasted, Red-naped and Yellow-bellied species. These now interbreed in areas where populations overlap, causing many hybrids to be seen.
Bird-walks and Trips
We are proposing to continue with our reduced-size birdwalks for which you must reserve a place by email ( ahead of time. Masks will be worn and social distancing will be required. There will be no indoor activity, meaning no group breakfast at the end of the walk. Maximum attendance will be ten people, or in the case of a local car trip, a maximum of three cars with a maximum of three people per car.. Please reserve a space by email at least 48 hours ahead of each birdwalk or local bird trip.

On Monday March 8, we will meet to carpool (max 3 cars, max 3 persons per car) at 8.30 am at the Old Train Station in Chapala, leaving immediately to bird the "Chapala Lakeshore East" including the pumping station. Expect to see a good variety of shore birds in a variety of habitats. You must reserve - email John at at least 2 days ahead of time. The train station is on the Lakeshore Road just east of Cristiania Park in Chapala.

On Wednesday March 17, we will bird the "Los Arrieros" trail in Ixtlahuacan which includes an overlook of some thick overgrown bushes and a small forest of tall trees. You must reserve - email John at at least 2 days ahead of time.
We will carpool, meeting at 8.30 am (max 3 cars, max 3 persons per car) at the gas station on the Chapala-Guad highway at the intersection of the Ajijic Libramiento.

On Thursday, March 25, we will meet at 8.30 am at the entrance to Cristiania Park in Chapala. We should see an interesting selection of species in the park trees and on the shore of the lake. We will bird for about two hours. Wear face masks and practice social distancing. Reserve by email. How to Get There: From Ajijic go to the traffic light at the main street of Chapala (Av. Madero), cross straight over and keep going straight for five blocks, turn left at the T intersection and park on the right.
Birdwalk & Trip Reports
On February 8, we had a small group out at El Bajio on the west side of Ajijic. We observed Western Tanager, Crested Caracara, American Redstart, Black-backed Oriole, Orchard Oriole and Forster's Tern out of a total of 39 species.

On February 17, we had a group of eight keen birders at Cristiania Park in Chapala, managing to tally 60 species including Gadwall, American Widgeon, Yellow-headed blackbird, White-tailed Kite, Cedar Waxwing, Caspian Tern and Forster's Tern.

On February 25, we had 6 birders out at the Allen Lloyd trail in San Antonio, managing to see 43 species including target species Squirrel Cuckoo and Russet-crowned Motmot, as well as Greenish Elaena, Yellow-breasted Chat, Warbling Vireo, Lesser Nighthawk and blue Mockingbird.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 191 species sighted around Lake Chapala in February:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American (Ca)
Becard, gray-collared (Ct)
Becard, rose-throated (Sa)
Blackbird, yellow-headed
Brushfinch, rufous-capped (Ct)
Bunting, indigo
Bunting, lazuli
Bunting, painted (Ps)
Bunting, varied
Caracara, crested
Chat, yellow-breasted (Ps,Sa)
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed (Ps)
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, common ground
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning (Ps)
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed (Ca)
Duck, fulvous whistling (Oc)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ring-necked
Duck, ruddy (Ca)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (Sa,Ct)
Euphonia, elegant (Ct)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, buff-breasted (Ct)
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky (Sa)
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray silky
Flycatcher, Hammond's (Ct)
Flycatcher, least (Sa)
Flycatcher, Nutting's (Sa)
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gallinule, common
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, Clark's
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, Bonaparte's
Gull, laughing
Gull, ring-billed
Harrier, northern (Ps,Ca,Oc)
Hawk, Cooper's
Hawk, gray (Ca)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, sharp-shinned
Hawk, zone-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, little blue (Ac,Oc)
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, berylline (Ac,Sa)
Hummingbird, black-chinned (Sa)
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, rufous (Sa)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Hummingbird, white-eared (Ct)
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kestrel, American
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Sa)
Kinglet, ruby-crowned
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Motmot, russet-crowned
Nighthawk, lesser (Sa,Ch)
Nightjar, buff-collared (Av)
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's
Oriole, hooded
Oriole, orchard (Ac,Oc)
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ps)
Owl, ferruginous pygmy (Ac,Sa)
Owl, great horned
Owl, mountain pygmy
Parakeet, monk
Parrot, red-lored (Sa)
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Pelican, American white
Pewee, greater (
Phoebe, black
Pigeon, rock
Pintail, northern
Pipit, American (Oc)
Rail, Aztec
Raven, common
Redstart, American (At)
Redstart, painted (Ct)
Roadrunner, greater (ch)
Robin, American (Ct)
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Sandpiper, stilt (Ca)
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shoveler, northern
Shrike, loggerhead
Snipe, Wilson's (Ps)
Solitaire, brown-backed (At,Ct)
Sparrow, chipping
Sparrow, clay-colored
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark
Sparrow, Lincoln's
Sparrow, savannah (Ps,Oc)
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood (Ca)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Swallow, tree
Swallow, violet-green
Tanager, flame-colored (Ct)
Tanager, hepatic (Ct)
Tanager, summer (Ct)
Tanager, western
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Teal, green-winged
Tern, Caspian
Tern, Forster's
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, hermit (Ct)
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale (Ct)
Towhee, canyon
Towhee, green-tailed
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Vireo, black capped (Sa)
Vireo, Cassin's
Vireo, golden (Ct)
Vireo, plumbeous (Sa)
Vireo, warbling (Sa)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black and white
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, crescent-chested (Ct)
Warbler, hermit (Ct)
Warbler, Lucy's (Sa)
Warbler, MacGillivray's (Ct)
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, orange-crowned
Warbler, red-faced (Ct)
Warbler, rufous-capped
Warbler, Townsend's
Warbler, Virginia's
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Waterthrush, Louisiana (Ps)
Waterthrush, northern
Waxwing, cedar
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, happy (Sa)
Wren, house
Wren, marsh (Ps)
Yellowlegs, greater
Yellowlegs, lesser
Yellowthroat, common (Ps,Oc)
Yellowthroat, gray-crowned
Sighting Location codes:

Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina / El Bajio
At - Trails above Ajijic
Av - Ajijic village
Ca - Lake Cajititlan & marsh
Ch - Chapala
Ct - Caracol Trail / Int'l School
Dm - Dike: Jamay to Malteraña
Dp - Dike: Maltaraña to La Palma
Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
Ja - Jamay
La - La Cañada-Hidden Valley
Jo - Jocotepec
Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers
Oc - Ocotlan
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/Allen Lloyd Trail
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan / Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes / oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca / San Luis Soyatlan
Xt - Ixtlahuacan / Las Campanillas
Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling.

We like to hear of bird sightings at:

Check our website:
Lake Chapala Birders | Callejon al Tepalo #140, Ajijic, Jalisco 45920 Mexico
Customer Contact Data Notice
Sent by powered by
Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.