Bird Walk November 23, 2013

This is a weekly bird report written and photographed by our Interpretive Guide John Brush.

Bird Walk 11-23-13 House Sparrow John Brush

Hello all, it was in the 40s this morning… brr! We saw lots of fluffed out birds on the walk this morning, trying to stay warm. They highest congregation of activity was at the feeding stations where the birds were having a hearty breakfast. All the House Sparrows were fluffed up and ravenous this morning. This male looked very cold down by the water feature at the Amphitheater.

Bird Walk 11-23-13 Great Kiskadee John Brush
Even the Great Kiskadees were a little “plumper” than usual. They dive bombed the peanut butter suet, grabbing chunks while zipping down in flight. You can really see the rusty feathers on the wings and tail of this individual. Some similar look flycatchers in Mexico do not have this rusty coloration.
Bird Walk 11-23-13 Curve-billed Thrasher John Brush
This Curve-billed Thrasher was hunkered down in a Night-blooming Cereus and was singing very softly – what I’d call a “subsong” or a “whisper song”.
Bird Walk 11-23-13 Black-crested Titmouse John Brush
The Bird of the Day for me was this adorable little Black-crested Titmouse. It was moving in a mixed species flock, which is a flock of typically small passerine (songbirds) birds often comprised of titmice, warblers, kinglets, and gnatcatchers. On a cold day like this those little birds have to look extra hard for food to maintain their body temperatures.
Stay warm and have a great weekend!
Join us for a Bird and Nature Walk at 8:30am every Tuesday and Saturday through December at Quinta Mazatlan!

Bird Walk: May 7th, 2013

This is a weekly bird report written and photographed by our Interpretive Guide and Birder John Brush.

Editors note: there is one image of a dead bird in this post that may be disturbing to some.

Hi all!

Thanks to finals this week my brain was working awfully slow this morning – some IDs took a lot more time than usual – but it ended up being quite the birdy morning anyways! There was bird movement all over the park, whether it was flycatchers, chachalacas, or a Green Jay making a cameo at the Ruby Pond feeding station early on.

Bird Walk 2013-05-07 Black-Crested Titmouse John Brush

A Black-crested Titmouse (this picture taken earlier in the year), was singing profusely from the Mexican Caesalpinia over by the anacua pond as we first stepped out. In Black-crested Titmouse, apparently both the male and females will sing the typical 3-note song, but it is much less common in females.

Bird Walk 2013-05-07 Least Flycatcher John Brush

There were also quite a few of Empidonax flycatchers present in the park. Distinguishing members of this genus from each other is quite a challenge. At first, in the field, I wanted to call this an Alder flycatcher, but after reviewing several sources (and partaking of some caffeine) I’m confident that is in fact a Least Flycatcher. It was very brown on the back, not much contrast in the face, big headed, and not as large a bill as Alder/Willow would have.

 Bird Walk 2013-05-07 Painted Bunting John Brush

This subtle beauty is a Painted Bunting female – instead of the “Siete Colores” its more just one or two shades of green. Notice the big, conical bill; several females were down eating the seeds of a grass by golf course fence.


The Wild Sight of the Morning (substitute for bird of the day), was this dead Long-billed Thrasher fledgling.  (Caution: Image may be disturbing to some.)

Bird Walk 2013-05-07 dead Long-billed Thrasher John Brush 

Upon closer inspection, we saw that it had gotten caught in the thorns of a granjeno. James asked a good question on whether it could have been a shrike that did the impaling. Given the location (more in the thorn forest than in the open), I’d say it is unlikely. Fledgling birds are often a little gawky and clumsy – my thinking is that this bird misjudged a small flight or took a bad step and managed to get itself caught. Poor bird, but a fascinating testament to the idea that not even birds can always go unscathed through our thorn forest.