Saturday, April 3, 2021


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

  • A group of us went up the Caracol high altitude trail once again to see Red-faced Warbler, Townsend's Warbler and Flame-colored Tanager.
  • We continue to see Cedar Waxwings looking for fruit.
  • Jules Evens has been going up the Allen Lloyd trail where he has identified a number of Empidonax Flycatcher species including: Willow, Least, Gray, Dusky, and Hammond's Flycatchers.
Featured Bird: Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner on the International School Road. (Photo by San Antonio Tlayacapan birder Jules Evens).
  • The Greater Roadrunner is a year-round resident of our area, being found from here to central USA., from sea level to 9,000 ft.
  • Its preferred habitat combines grassland for hunting with some bushes or trees for roosting overnight and for nesting.
  • it will eat anything that moves - insects, scorpions, lizards, snakes, mice, as well as fruits and seeds in season. With strong legs it will jump up to catch low-flying small birds and insects.
  • Roadrunners mate for life and will defend a territory up to a half mile across. They have elaborate mating rituals, sharing the task of building a nest of twigs and grass in a bush or cactus. Some 2 to 6 eggs are laid and are incubated for 20 days. However incubation starts when half the eggs are laid, resulting in older and younger chicks competing in the nest, and not all survive. Roadrunners sometimes lay eggs in the nests of other birds such as the Northern Mockingbird,
  • Predators include hawks, raccoons, coyotes and snakes.
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 Tuesday April 6, we will meet at 8.30 am at El Bajio on the west side of Ajijic. We will walk down the lane to the lake, expecting to see a good variety of birds in the tall trees and fields. You must reserve - email John at at least 2 days ahead of time
How to Get There: From Ajijic go about 2 mi. (3 km) west from the light at Colon, turn downhill at the sign for El Bajio opposite the west end of the new retirement community El Pueblito and park immediately on the lateral road parallel to the carretera..

On Thursday April 15, we will meet at 8.30 am to carpool at the gas station on the Chapala-Guadalajara highway at the intersection of the Ajijic Libramiento (max 3 cars, max 3 persons per car) leaving immediately for the Cajititlan Marsh (30 minutes drive). We expect to see a variety of marsh and lake birds such as Black-necked Stilt, Snowy Egret, and perhaps American Avocet. You must reserve - email John at at least 2 days ahead of time.

On Monday April 26, we will meet at 8.30 am to walk the one-mile long Allen Lloyd Trail which has lots of underbrush in which birds love to hide. Expect to see Stripe-headed Sparrow and Groove-billed Ani and hear the Happy Wren - if we are lucky. You must reserve - email John at at least 2 days ahead of time.
How to get to the trail head: Drive up the Libramiento a half mile from the traffic light at Walmart, and park on the north side of the road next to the new hospital.across from the Radisson Blu / El Dorado Condominium towers.
Birdwalk & Trip Reports
On March 8, we had a group of nine birders out at the Pumping Station (Lake Chapala Road East). We observed a good list of 55 species including Yellow-headed Blackbird, American Avocet, White-tailed Kite, Caspian Tern, Lucy's Warbler and Common Yellowthroat.

On March 17, a group of nine of us assembled to walk the one-mile Los Arrieros Trail in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos. We recorded 34 species including Bushtit, Loggerhead Shrike, Yellow-breasted Chat, Rusty-crowned Ground Sparrow, Cooper's Hawk, Squirrel Cuckoo and Common Ground Dove.

On March 25, we had six people out to bird the Cristiania Park in Chapala. We saw Northern Jacana, Tri-colored Heron, Wilson'S Phalarope, Rufous-backed Robin, Forster's Tern, American Wigeon, and Lesser Yellowlegs out of a total of 45 species.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 171 species sighted around Lake Chapala in March:

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

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