Audubon de México Hosts Bird Walk and The Great Backyard Bird Count in February
By Signe Hammer
Come help count the world’s birds! This month, Audubon de México combines its regular bird walk with the annual international citizen-science event, The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). Walk with Audubon and make your birds spotted count for science!
On Sunday, February 17, walk with leaders Luke Rich, Norman Besman, Michael Burns, Bob Graham, and Signe Hammer along the Rio Laja, near Cieniguita and the bridge to Guanajuato to count birds. The rich habitat includes a wooded river trail, farmland with big trees, and open sky for raptors.
Everyone is welcome to join this bird walk, from beginners to experienced birders. Adults and children (aged 10 and up and with their parents) alike will enjoy looking at the birds through binoculars and telescopes. Many will want to help us count them as well.
For over 20 years, the Great Backyard Bird Count has been providing information to scientists who monitor the health of bird populations around the world. More than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide participate in the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of the world’s birds. These snapshots provide invaluable information for researchers.
Last year at this site, we found plenty of residents and winter visitors. On and along the river we saw a majestic great blue heron, both pied-billed and Least Grebes, a green heron, and two green kingfishers, several neotropic cormorants, 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, a gorgeous Hooded oriole, and vivid blue and black-headed grosbeaks, 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 Brewer’s. Among our smallest winter visitors were blue-gray gnatcatchers; ruby-crowned kinglet; and yellow-rumped, yellow and Wilson’s warblers. We also saw two common yellowthroats—tiny, yellow, black-masked bandidos. Perched or in the air were some northern rough-winged swallows, common ravens, turkey vultures, a crested caracara, and a red-tailed hawk, plus three American kestrels.
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 7:45, as we leave promptly at 8. You’ll be back by noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. For more information, visit our website at: www.audubonmexico.org.
Sun, Feb 17, 7:45am–noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Signe Hammer: 415 111 7638
200 pesos or US$10 nonmembers