Down right here on the southern finish of so many birds’ annual migrations, spring is usually a melancholy time. Between March and Could, we are saying goodbye to greater than half our duck and wooden warbler species, in addition to about half of all our shorebirds, vireos, hummingbirds, buntings, sparrows, and orioles, and plenty of members of different avian households. A number of Empidonax flycatcher species additionally go away for the north… However I can’t get too unhappy about that.
And there’s some sweetness in these bittersweet months. For a number of, only some, species truly winter in Central and South America, and summer season up right here in Mexico. They’re our summer season comfort prizes. Could-September is after I can hope to see the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow-green Vireo, Masked Tityra, and Cliff Swallow.
A buddy in one other area just lately reported his first Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher of the season, so I made a decision to go over to the world round La Escalera, the place I typically see this stunning Tyrant Flycatcher. I didn’t, the truth is, see any, so I’ll have to point out some older photographs of this species for context:
However the different summer-only species that’s particular to this web site did, the truth is, flip up. These Masked Tityras solely flew rapidly overhead, so the photographs proven under can also be from a earlier outing. However there was little doubt as to the calls I heard because the handed. The Merlin app describes it as “a moist quacking or farting sound”. (I’ll wager you didn’t anticipate to learn that phrase in a chook information.) Mexicans, all the time cautious to keep away from offense, extra politely identify this chook “puerquito“, suggesting that its name appears like a pig’s oink. Both approach, the decision is unmistakeable.
This little piggy…
There are a number of different species I all the time hope/anticipate to see close to the city of La Escalera. The street to El Palmar is my finest place to see Lesser Roadrunners (barely smaller than the species that may be seen the American Southwest). And guess what?
I did certainly see Lesser Roadrunners. They have been operating on roads.
My different route of selection, the unpaved street to the city of Arúmbaro, is the place I hope to see the Glowing-tailed Woodstar. However this time that beautiful hummingbird failed to seem. As a substitute, I noticed two different very particular hummers. In truth, I noticed them on the exact same perches the place I had hoped to see the Woodstar. The male Golden-crowned Emerald sports activities a protracted, deeply cleft tail, and this male was no exception. Sadly, it spent most of its time feeding in the course of a flowering tree, and as soon as it lastly visited my aspect of the identical, it stayed quietly perched, with its tail discreetly folded. Its colours confirmed properly, although. (Simply don’t ask me to defend the “golden-crowned moniker. Even eBird says its “crown isn’t actually golden, extra of a golden-green”. It seems plain inexperienced to me.)
And, simply above the Golden-crowned Emerald, a Plain-capped Starthroat (don’t you’re keen on hummingbird names?!) additionally sat calmly. I don’t know what was stranger, to see two hummer species perching so shut to one another, or to see them doing so calmly. Hummers are usually very, very hyper birds. It have to be all that sugar they devour.
The Plain-capped Starthroat has the longest invoice of any of my native hummers — as much as twice the size of the pinnacle that helps it.
There have been, after all, many different pretties to be seen. It took fairly a little bit of glue to get this Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush to pose so artfully.
A number of Flame-colored Tanagers have been additionally round. These aren’t the perfect photographs, however it’s uncommon for me to see multiple, a lot much less a male and a feminine collectively. So I’ll present them anyway.
Care to guess which is which?
Northern Tough-winged Swallows are somewhat drab creatures. However it was a spotlight of my day to find how they nest.
Right here they’re, simply chilling.
After which they head off to their nests! Which develop into dug into muddy cliffs. There have been a number of.
The Nutting’s Flycatcher can also be somewhat drab, way more muted than the above Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher. However this one definitely was type to pose so properly.
The reality is, that Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher wasn’t my solely cause to go to La Escalera. Final 12 months I discovered no acorns wherever for my afforestation challenge, besides on a row of oaks alongside the street to Arúmbaro. And people acorns produced 4 oak seedlings, now well-established after their first full 12 months. And regardless that this 12 months seems to be a “mast” 12 months, when oaks throughout Michoacán will produce bumper crops of acorns, I wished to see if there could be extra acorns in Arúmbaro come June or July. And…
There will likely be!