August 18, 2015 Songbird Stroll

GRHE closeup

Green Herons often wait quietly by the water’s edge for prey to come close before striking out to snatch a quick meal.

This morning’s Songbird Stroll wowed us with birds of the waters’ edge and deep forest! Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center is known for its meandering wooded trails that delight nature enthusiasts of all types. The native landscaping provides homes for butterflies, birds, mammals, and the many lizards that call these woods home sweet home. Quinta Mazatlan also has several small water features that are each ecologically important and unique in their own way. Ruby Pond provides good fishing grounds for the Green Heron who visits this body of water. Did you know that Green Herons will place small floating lures on the water surface to attract the fish they eat?


A Buff-bellied Hummingbird rests in between breakfast sips of nectar.

Near Ruby Pond are several hummingbird feeders which attract quite the crowd these days. As the days progress into peak fall migration, we will be going through large quantities of nectar every day as dozens of hummingbirds stock up on this feast.

STSA flight

Stilt Sandpipers breed in the northern tundra. The majority of the population will migrate through the central part of the United States, passing just west of the Mississippi River, and they will eventually end up in the central parts of South America where they will spend the winter months.

Another treat this morning was seeing six Stilt Sandpipers fly by. This beautiful shorebird species is migrating right now. With a careful eye you’ll see the dark wings, slightly decurved bill and pale underside of this shorebird species.

OLSP itch

Here an Olive Sparrows hits the spot by scratching its chin. You can see the band that has been placed on this bird’s left leg. Researchers use this individual identification of birds to study migration, behavior, life-span, and survival rate.

Join us for the Songbird Stroll every Tuesday and Saturday morning 8am – 9:30am.  The walk is included with general admission.

WWDO baby

These young White-winged Doves show off their pale faces and pink bills, a feature found during their earlier stages of life. They will be darker-faced and darker-billed as their adult plumage comes in.

Here is the eBird list from this morning’s Songbird Stroll.

Plain Chachalaca  15
Green Heron  1
Stilt Sandpiper  6
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  4
Inca Dove  10
White-tipped Dove  2
White-winged Dove  18
Mourning Dove  4
Groove-billed Ani  7     Family group seen across from the casita (at the entrance of Quinta Mazatlan)
Common Pauraque  1
Chimney Swift  5
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  4
Golden-fronted Woodpecker  3
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Green Parakeet  4
Great Kiskadee  5
Couch’s Kingbird  1
White-eyed Vireo  1
Green Jay  2
Cave Swallow  10
Clay-colored Thrush  3
Curve-billed Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  5
European Starling  3
Olive Sparrow  8
Northern Cardinal  1
Great-tailed Grackle  4
Lesser Goldfinch  3
House Sparrow  20

Good birding,

Erik Bruhnke


Bird Walk: May 21st, 2013

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

Today the bird walk wanted to focus some on our wonderful array of breeding birds here at Quinta Mazatlan, but of course we also kept our eyes open for all the birds we could see – finished with 37 species for the morning. Bird Walk 2013-05-21 Great Kiskadee John Brush

I started off by taking a few moments to watch a pair of Great Kiskadees hang out near their nest in one of the large Live Oaks near the courtyard. Its a good-sized nest, as you can see in the picture below!

Bird Walk 2013-05-21 Great Kiskadee Nest John Brush

Bird Walk 2013-05-21 White Winged Dove John Brush

This White-winged Dove juvenile (plus its sibling, which you can just the tail of) are being kept under the watchful eye of the adult. Baby White-winged Doves definitely have the “ugly duckling” look – they’re almost cute because they’re so gawky looking!

Bird Walk 2013-05-21 Eastern Kingbird John Brush

There are still migrant bird coming through the Valley, as evidenced by this Eastern Kingbird that was posing for us over by Ruby Pond. You can quite easily see four species of Kingbird in the LRGV (three that nest here), not including the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, which also is a member of the genus Tyrannus.

Bird Walk 2013-05-21 Curve-billed Thrasher Egg John Brush

One of our sharp-eyed visitors spotted this Curve-billed Thrasher egg below a granjeno tree. It looked to already have hatched, and the nest was above it a few feet up, protected by the trees thick double thorns.


The birds that would have hatched from eggs like this are our Birds of the Day – (the great photo was taken by Christine Wolf Williams).   In this picture are four Curve-billed Thrasher chicks! We had seen one of the parents incubating the eggs in the parking lot a few weeks ago, and now the young have hatched are quite well developed. Give it another week or two and they’ll probably be out of the nest, still begging from mom and dad!

Check out more pictures of Spring and Summer babies at Quinta Mazatlan on our Facebook page!

Join us for a Bird and Nature Walk at 8:30am every Saturday throughout the summer (starting June 1st)!