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Audubon Birdwalk Along Rio Laja Near Rancho Jaguar

Northern Cardinal

White-tailed Kite_Perched_2_BG

By Signe Hammer

Join Audubon de México on Sunday for a birdwalk along the Rio Laja with leaders Luke Rich, Norman Besman, and Mike Wheatcroft. August is a great time to learn our many species of year-around resident birds before the fall migration begins to arrive. The habitat includes a shallow river ford where we may find any or all of our resident egrets—Great, Snowy, and Cattle—and if we’re lucky, a Great Blue Heron. There is usually a Green Kingfisher or two further along the river and almost certainly a Black Phoebe, a flycatcher that prefers to find its insects on or around the water.

In the meadows along the river, late summer promises a glimpse of our resident grosbeaks—Blue and Black-headed—as well as the elusive Say’s Phoebe, with its lovely peach-colored belly (not to be confused with the female Vermilion Flycatcher, who also sports a beautiful peachy belly—unless she’s young, in which case it’s more yellow).

In the luxuriant trees between river and meadow, we have a good chance of spotting a Northern Cardinal and both species of resident woodpecker: Golden-fronted, with red up the back of its head, and Ladder-backed, with its bright red crown. While we are on red, we’ll surely see a brilliant male Vermilion Flycatcher.

The Vermilion is small, like the Black Phoebe, but there are two large yellow-fronted flycatchers we’re likely to see and hear, the raucous Great Kiskadee and Cassin’s Kingbird. We’ll also look for resident yellow and black orioles, Black-backed and Black-vented.

Finally, if we look up we might spot a resident Crested Caracara beating its way along the horizon, a White-tailed Kite soaring over the meadows or landing in a tree, or one of our two resident raven species, Common or Chihuahuan. In addition, we’ll likely see both resident swallow species, Barn and Northern Rough-winged, swooping over meadow and river.

The walk is open to all birders, beginning and experienced alike. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. We will 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 7:45am, as we leave promptly at 8am. You’ll be back about noon with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. Steady rain cancels.

For more information, visit our website at:

Photo Credit: Bob Graham



Audubon Birdwalk

By Luke Rich

Sun, Aug 20, 7:45am–12:30pm

Meets in front of Instituto Allende

Ancha de San Antonio 20

Members free, Nonmembers 200 pesos or USD$10


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