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March Audubon Birdwalk Takes Place at Peña Blanca

Turkey Vulture

By Signe Hammer

On this month’s Audubon de México bird walk on March 17, we’ll head to Peña Blanca, a few miles past the Presa Allende.

Luke Rich, Bob Graham, Norman Besman, and Signe Hammer will lead the walk. Open farmland and a tree-lined stream provide habitat for a rich variety of birds. Spring migration has started, with many species on the move. Last year, we welcomed our returning barn and northern rough-winged swallows as they swooped over field and stream. We found indigo and lazuli buntings stopping on their way north, and were also treated to a year-round but uncommon varied bunting.

We’re likely to find lingering winter visitors large and small too. Wintering raptors we saw last year included a red-shouldered hawk and American kestrel. Among the smaller snowbirds we found were Brewer’s, clay-colored, lark, and Lincoln’s sparrows as well as blue-gray gnatcatchers. Along the stream, we saw a lingering belted kingfisher and our local green kingfisher.

In the stream, we could find such wintering ducks as northern shoveler and blue-winged or green-winged teal. Along it, we’re sure to see a resident black phoebe and might also find one of our long-legged resident waders, a snowy or great egret.

We’ll also look for such colorful resident songbirds as blue grosbeak, Bullock’s oriole, and northern cardinal. Last year, we saw a couple of prized flycatchers—a tiny gray flycatcher and a Say’s phoebe—as well as our more common but brilliantly colored great kiskadee and vermilion flycatcher. Year-round raptors we found last year included a crested caracara and a turkey vulture. A common raven flew over too.

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 for sale our Audubon de México bird guide, Birds of San Miguel—with 81 species commonly found in the San Miguel de Allende area. 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



Audubon Birdwalk

Sun, Mar 17, 7:45am–noon

Meets in front of Instituto Allende

Ancha de San Antonio 20

044 415 111 7638

Members free

Nonmembers 200 pesos or US$10


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