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May 21Audubon Birdwalk along the Rio Laja

By Signe Hammer

Photos by Norman Besman and Bob Graham

Audubon de México leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of each month; this month, that’s the 21, the day after tomorrow. Each walk heads to one of four different sites within an easy drive from Centro. This Sunday, with leaders Norman Besman and Luke Rich, we’ll bird from and around the bridge over the Rio Laja at Montecillo de Nieto, just past the back road into Atotonilco.

Audubon Birdwalk
Sun, May 21, 7:45am–noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Members free, nonmember 150 pesos or USD$10

The river and its banks attract a rich variety of birds. We’re very likely to see our resident Green Kingfisher and our three resident Egret species—Snowy, Great and/or Cattle—plus our own Black Phoebe, a small flycatcher usually found near water.

Other resident flycatchers we’re likely to see include the small but brilliantly colored Vermilion Flycatcher and the big, flashy Great Kiskadee, whose loud voice is unmistakable. More modest, but charming, is our Say’s Phoebe.

We have a good chance of seeing such other colorful residents as Blue Grosbeaks, Black-backed and Hooded Orioles, Golden-fronted or Ladder-backed Woodpeckers and the gorgeously jet-black Groove-billed Ani.

Plan to keep an eye on the sky, too, where we could spot a Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawk, Common Raven, or Turkey Vulture.

The walk is open to all birders, beginning and experienced alike. Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. We’ll have our revised Audubon de México bird guide, Birds of San Miguel—with 81 species commonly found in the San Miguel area—for sale. Our guides carry telescopes so that everyone can see distant birds clearly, and we’ll also have a few pairs of binoculars to lend.

Carpooling is essential, so if you have a car, please bring it. Plan to arrive at 7:45, as we leave promptly at 8. You’ll be back about noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. Steady rain cancels.

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