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Audubon Birdwalk along the Rio Laja

House Finch_BG

By Signe Hammer

Photo Credits: Bob Graham

Audubon de México leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of each month; this month, it is on September 17. Each walk heads to one of four sites within an easy drive. This Sunday, with leaders Norman Besman and Luke Rich, we will head to the bridge over the Rio Laja at Montecillo de Nieto, just past the back road into Atotonilco.

From the bridge and along the banks of the river, we will look for birds that love the water, such as our resident Green Kingfisher, Egrets—Snowy and Great—Black-crowned Night Heron, Barn Swallow, and Black Phoebe, a small flycatcher usually found near water. We might also see a Mexican Duck, a Mallard subspecies.

It is almost officially fall, so while we will mostly see our resident birds—some possibly still nesting or feeding fledglings—we could find an early migrant or two. Last September we found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, which winters in our area, and a Black and White Warbler, which winters in Mexico but not, alas, around San Miguel.

We are almost sure to see some other resident flycatchers, including the small, brilliantly colored Vermilion Flycatcher and the big, flashy Great Kiskadee, whose loud voice is unmistakable as it calls its own name, kis-ka-dee! (The adaptable Kiskadee is often found around water, but you might hear it in town, too.) Last year we saw both Blue and Black-headed Grosbeaks and Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, as well as the (often brilliantly) red-tinged House Finch. If we are lucky, we might find a beautiful resident Black-backed or Black-vented Oriole as well.

In addition, do not forget to keep an eye on the sky, where we could spot a Crested Caracara, White-tailed Kite, Cooper’s or Red-tailed Hawk, Raven, or Vulture.

The walk is open to all birders, beginners and experienced alike. Wear comfortable, 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 will 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 will 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:


Audubon Birdwalk

By Norman Besman and Luke Rich

Sun, Sep 17, 7:45am–noon

Meets in front of Instituto Allende

Ancha de San Antonio 20

Members free

Nonmembers 200 pesos or US$10


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