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Audubon Birdwalk to Traverse Raptor Habitats

By Signe Hammer

Photo Credit: Minette Layne

Join leaders Luke Rich, Norman Besman, and Michael Burns this Sunday for a bird walk along the Rio Laja, near Cieniguita and the bridge to Guanajuato.

In addition to the wooded river trail, we’ll find farmland with big trees and lots of sky for raptors. We usually walk to the ruins of a colonial-era bridge that was part of the Camino Real, the royal road built to move silver from mines to shipment points.

July is a great time to learn about our many species of year-round resident birds. Along the river, we’ll look for our large waders, white-faced ibis and great or snowy egret, and we’re almost sure to find cattle egrets in the fields. Last year, we saw a green heron and several Neotropic cormorants flying up the rive. This year, we might see the same and discover a green kingfisher scouting from a branch over the water. In the water, we could see Mexican ducks—a variety of mallard without the green head—and American coots.

In the fields and trees, high summer promises a look at such local songbirds as the brilliantly colored blue and black-headed grosbeak or the elusive Say’s phoebe, with its lovely peach-colored belly (easy to confuse with the female vermilion flycatcher, which also sports a beautiful peachy belly).

We’re almost certain to see the bright-red male vermilion flycatcher and hear as well as see our large, raucous great kiskadee, with its black-and-white circular-striped head and bright yellow front. Another bird we’ll see and hear is the golden-fronted woodpecker, fussing up a tree or calling to its mate. A softer sound would be the lovely trill of our shy Bewick’s wren, with its white “eyebrow” and, like all wrens, a horizontally striped tail.

Keeping an eye on the sky, we could spot a common raven, a hovering white-tailed kite or a crested caracara, the big, native falcon that eats carrion and often beats low and straight along the horizon.

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 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 about noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. Steady rain cancels.

For more information, visit our website at: www.audubonmex.org.

 

Green

Audubon Birdwalk

Sun, Jul 21, 7:45am–noon

Meets in front of Instituto Allende

Ancha de San Antonio 20

Members free

Nonmembers 200 pesos or US$10

Info: Michael Burns, 152 1141

Audubon Birdwalk to Traverse Raptor Habitats

 

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