Audubon Hosts Birdwalk along the Rio Laja

By Signe Hammer, photo by Wayne Colony

Audubon de México leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of each month. This month, that’s on May 20. 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
Led by Norman Besman and Luke Rich
Sun, May 20, 7:45am–Noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Members free
Nonmembers 200 pesos or US$10
415 149 0394

The river and its banks attract a rich variety of birds. Last year at this site we saw our resident green kingfisher and all three resident egret species—snowy, great, and cattle—plus our black phoebe, a small flycatcher usually found near water.

We saw a rare beauty last year, too—a blue mockingbird, as gorgeous as its name suggests. Just as handsome is the Phainopepla that we saw, not to mention our Blue and black-headed grosbeaks.

Our other flycatchers are no slouches in the beauty department, either: they include the brilliantly colored vermilion flycatcher and the big, flashy great kiskadee, whose loud voice is unmistakable.

Among the smaller birds we saw last year was a late, lingering (staying on?) Nashville warbler, one of the many species of snowbird that winters here. Even smaller is our tiny, resident black-eared bushtit, which looks like it’s wearing a black mask.

Among our larger birds are raptors, and last year we saw a crested caracara and a Cooper’s hawk. We might also see a common raven or turkey vulture, as well as a red-tailed hawk.

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 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 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.

 

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