Saturday, January 07, 2012

Mexican Start for Big January Bird Count

I have participated in a January bird count for the past few years. It is friendly "competition" which encourages me to get out during a long, cold month to look for birds in my area. My Ontario counts are very predictable, but this year I have spent the first eight days of the month in two very different parts of Mexico;- Nayarit and Coahuila. I have counted birds on the properties where my family live as well as one outing to the coast which included a boat ride through a mangrove swamp. Unfortunately I could not bring my binoculars and I really have to look for a good pair of travel bins. I have to look up a few birds when I get home so my count is unconfirmed at this time.
Many warblers winter here and I have been aware of them in the treetops but unable to get good views in the vegetation. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are abundant but I have also identified a few Audubon Warblers and a Nashville Warbler. Perhaps I will have enough information in some blurry photos to add to this category of birds.
I have learned to identify a variety of doves during this trip. The dusty town where my daughter lives seems overrun with grackles, house sparrows and doves. The smaller Inca Ground Doves have beautiful plumage which blends in well when they rest under shrubs in the sand.
In Nayarit the White-winged and Common Ground Doves were more prevalent.
As far as I can tell, all doves sound pretty much the same and they are all well adapted to areas of human habitation. The last dove arrived in North America fairly recently from Europe. A few Eurasian Collared Doves were introduced the Bahamas in the 1970's and the rapidly spread in North America.

10 comments:

  1. I see collared doves around here. I'll bet it's nice to bird where it's a little warmer than your other January.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great change to do bird counts in a different country. It's exciting to see the birds here, but to be somewhere else and find "new" ones has to be a great feeling for you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have really enjoyed your posts on your Mexico visit. We had a rather plain Christmas Bird Count here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful photos of the birds you have found in Mexico. Nice to be able to explore new bird terrain.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice pics! It's always interesting to see what birds there are in other countries.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know winters can be tough up your way so a few mexican birds sounds like a fun way to boost the list.I'll be curious to see what you get in your home area this year as well.-Nice photos too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ruth, good for you! I should do a post with links to everyone I know of that is participating in a Big January like us--Just for Fun!

    ReplyDelete
  8. P.S. I bet it was hard to come home to cold Ontario!

    ReplyDelete