Audubon Birdwalk Showcases Birds of the Río Laja
By Signe Hammer, photos by Bob Graham
Join leaders Luke Rich, Mike Wheatcroft, and Signe Hammer for a special birdwalk along the Rio Laja, near the bridge on the new road to Guanajuato. The varied habitat includes a wooded river trail, open farmland with big trees, and lots of sky for raptors. This birdwalk will be part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, so in addition to enjoying looking at the birds through binoculars and telescopes, you can help us count them!
Everyone is welcome to join this birdwalk, whether they are beginners or experienced birders, including children aged 10 and up with parents. All participants will receive a complimentary copy of Audubon de México’s Birds of San Miguel field guide, featuring 81 species commonly found in the San Miguel area.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an ongoing citizen-science project that helps monitor the health of bird populations around the world. Because of climate change, up to half of the 650 North American bird species face extinction over the next century. Last year more than 160,000 participants created the largest living snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded. These snapshots provide invaluable information for researchers who want to protect these birds and the environment we share with them.
Last year at this site we found plenty of avian residents and winter visitors. On and along the river, we saw blue-winged teal, a pied-billed Grebe, a great blue heron, a green heron, Neotropic cormorant, White-faced Ibis, and all three of our resident egret species, great, snowy and cattle.
In the trees and bushes, among our resident birds we found a rare, colorful Varied Bunting, tiny Bushtits, and a gorgeous Blue Grosbeak, as well as brilliant yellow-fronted great kiskadees, lemon-yellow-fronted Cassin’s kingbirds, and bright red vermilion flycatchers. Wintering sparrows included Chipping, Lark, Clay-colored, and Lincoln’s. Among our smallest winter visitors were blue-gray Gnatcatchers, ruby-crowned kinglets, and yellow-rumped warblers.
Looking skyward, last year we saw common ravens, turkeys, and black vultures, an American kestrel, a crested caracara, and a white-tailed kite, Coopers hawk, and osprey.
Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. 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 8. 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 audubonmex.org.
By Signe Hammer
Sun, Feb 18, 7:45am-Noon
Meet in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
200 pesos or US$10