Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Fwd: Chapala Birders Newsletter

Chapala Birders Newsletter, August 2, 2021

Two New Species

Once again, visiting birders from Guadalajara have been sighting new species on our mountain trails. This month Efraín Aguillar photographed a Mottled Owl on the Caracol Trail to the Oak Forest. This bird is a relatively common, medium-sized, night-hunting, tropical owl found on both coasts of Mexico and as far south as Ecuador.

Also, Noé Muñoz-Padilla photographed a Bright-rumped Atilla on the Chupinaya Trail above Las Trojes. This tropical species normally occurs closer to the coast. It is found regularly on the west coast of Mexico, in the Yucatan and as far south as Honduras. It is a large, uncommon flycatcher with cinnamon wings and tail, buff belly, streaked face and throat, and a yellow rump.

Unusual Sightings this Month

There were 108 species reported in July. The complete list is shown at the end of this newsletter. Interesting sightings included:
  • Rufous-capped Brushfinch was seen by Efraín Aguillar on the Caracol Trail.
  • Gray-collared Becard and Elegant Trogon were seen by Noe Muñoz-Padilla on the Chupinaya Trail from Los Trojes.
  • John and Rosemary had a pair of Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers feeding on the nuts of a Royal Palm tree for the last week of July.
Featured Bird: Bronzed Cowbird
A male Bronzed Cowbird with raised ruff, in display posture.
  • Bronzed Cowbirds are common from the southern U.S. to Panama. They are originally from Central America and are still moving northwards in the U.S.
  • Females and young are dull black or dull brown.
  • In winter they congregate in large flocks, often at cow barns. In summer they spread out to breed in fields and forests.
  • They are best known as "obligate brood parasites", never building nests, but laying eggs in the nests of other birds. Over 100 species are known to have been unwilling hosts.
  • A female is able to lay eggs at the rate of one a day for several weeks. Sometimes the female may peck a hole in existing eggs in a host nest.
  • The chick grows quicker than host species chicks and dominates the nest when the host parents come with food. In May-June you may spot a pair of little wrens rushing to feed a big dark bird three times their size.
Chigger Reminder
August is the month for chiggers. These "too small to see" insects wait in patches of tall wet grass ready to jump to any warm-blooded creature passing by. Typically, they get to your skin at the ankle and then ascend until blocked, by a tight belt for instance, and then bite. The resulting welts can be itchy for two weeks. Best use insect repellent or tape the bottoms of your pant legs.
Bird-walks and Trips
We are proposing to gradually get back to normal with larger groups, but masks will be worn in public in compliance with regulations.

Our bird-walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. You must reserve a place by email ( at least 2 days ahead of each bird-walk or bird trip. Please note that we will try to limit car trips to four vehicles because larger convoys are hard to manage when trying to stop on country roads to look at the birds. If you are being given a ride, we suggest you make a contribution to your driver for gas and tolls (perhaps $50-100 pesos for a half day outing, $150-200 pesos for a day trip).

On Thursday August 12, we will meet at 8.15 at the "Sculpture" (at the only traffic light in La Floresta, south side near Restaurant Pranzo), leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla Loop (60 minutes drive) . Expect to see a variety of grassland birds and possibly a White-tailed Hawk. Bring refreshments for the morning and sandwiches for the 12.30 lunch stop. We will be back about 3.00 pm. You must reserve - email John at at least 2 days ahead saying if you can bring a vehicle or whether you are looking for a ride.

On Monday July 23, we will meet at 8.15 at the "Sculpture" (at the only traffic light in La Floresta, south side, near Restaurant Pranzo), departing immediately for Villa Corona on Lake Atotonilco (60 minutes drive). We expect to see various shore birds such as White-faced Ibis and Roseate Spoonbill. Bring your own mid-morning refreshments. There will be a break for snacking at 11.00 am. We will be back in Ajijic by about 1.30 pm. You must reserve - email John at least 2 days ahead of time, saying if you can bring a vehicle or whether you are looking for a ride.
Birdwalk & Trip Reports
On July 13, eight people joined us to go birding at the El Bajio road in west Ajijic. We observed a very satisfactory 37 species including Gray-silky Flycatcher, Rufous-backed Robin, Beryline Hummingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Crested Caracara and Golden Vireo.

On July 22, there were eleven birders out to check out the Pumping Station area. We found Loggerhead Shrike, Monk Parakeet, Blue-black Grassquit, Killdeer, Northern Jacana, Black-bellied Whistling Duck and Social Flycatcher out of a total of 38 species.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 108 species sighted around Lake Chapala in July:

Ani, groove-billed
Atilla, bright-rumped (Tr)
Avocet, American (Ch)
Becard, gray-collared (Tr)
Becard, rose-throated (Sa)
Bobwhite, northern (Ca)
Brushfinch, rufous-capped (Cv)
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, common ground (Ca)
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Duck, black-bellied whistling (Ca)
Duck, fulvous whistling (Ca)
Duck, Mexican
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (Ct)
Euphonia, elegant
Finch, house
Flycatcher, brown-crested (Ct)
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray silky
Flycatcher, Nutting's (Ct,Lt)
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gallinule, common
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grassquit, blue-black
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing (Ch)
Hawk, red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, berylline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, Rivoli's (Ct)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Hummingbird, white-eared (Ct,Xt)
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed (Ct,Av)
Kingbird, tropical
Kiskadee, great
Mockingbird, blue
Motmot, russet-crowned
Mountain-gem, blue-throated (At)
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ps)
Owl, great horned
Owl, mottled (Tr)
Owl, spotted
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common (Sc)
Roadrunner, greater (Ct)
Robin, rufous-backed
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shrike, loggerhead
Solitaire, brown-backed (Ct,Cv)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Spoonbill, roseate (Ca)
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood (Ca)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Tanager, flame-colored (Ct,Tr)
Tanager, hepatic
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Thrush, White-throated (Tr)
Towhee, canyon
Trogon, elegant (Ct,Cv)
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Vireo, golden
Vireo, plumbeous (Tr)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, rufous-capped (Ct)
Warbler, yellow
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, happy
Wren, house (Ct)
Wren, Sinaloa (Ct)
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common
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
Cv - Cerro Viejo
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 / Chupinaya
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
Constant Contact Data Notice
Sent by powered by
Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.