Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Legend of the Egret

Bi-lingual Text


The Origin of Lake Pátzcuaro and the Egret
Based on the Purhépecha Legend
Tracy Novinger

In ancient times on a dark night, before migrant peoples had evolved into the splendor of the Purhépecha nation, an enormous ball of fire appeared in the skies. It grew and grew and then hurtled down into the mountains of the region that is now known as Michoacán. The earth shook mightily, terrifying the inhabitants of the fertile valley where the fireball crashed. At the place of its impact, a spring of crystal clear water gushed up and filled a large area, thus forming Lake Pátzcuaro and its islands.

On the island called Yunuén there came to live a respected noble who had a daughter named Hapunda. The people of Yunuén were devoted to the Princess Hapunda because of her beauty and her sweet nature. Hapunda devoted much time to contemplation of the beautiful lake, conversing intimately with each ripple on its mirror-like surface. The lake was the center and king of its pueblos. The princess and the lake became so close that Hapunda made a promise to the lake never to leave it.

One afternoon the smooth surface of the lake became very agitated at the crossing of a boat from the shore to the island of Yunuén. This vessel carried an old and repugnant warrior who approached Hapunda’s father first with rich gifts and then with threats to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Even though his life was in danger, Hapunda’s father replied that it was up to his daughter to choose her own destiny. He would not force her into such a marriage. But in order to save her father’s life, Princess Hapunda accepted the unwonted proposal.

As preparations for the marriage were made, the princess wept a torrent of tears into the waters of the lake. Hapunda recounted her sorrows at the thought of leaving the lake and her fear that she would soon no longer have even her elderly father to protect her. The voice of the lake rose from the deep, reminding Hapunda of her promise and offering her a way to stay with the lake forever. The voice told Hapunda to dress herself in white and on a moonlit night to throw herself into the lake’s waters.

So on a night illumined by a large silver moon, Princess Hapunda took a boat out to the center of the lake that lay as still as a mirror. There she plunged into the watery depths where she became a guardian of the lake for all time. A ray of light from the moon beamed down to where Hapunda had entered the water and from this place emerged a large bird totally covered with white feathers. This bird was called the egret and it always flew to Hapunda’s favorite place by the water on Yunuén. Today the egrets return to the island of Yunuén every evening as day turns into night.

It is said that the day that the egrets disappear, so too will Lake Pátzcuaro.



Origen del Lago de Pátzcuaro y las Garzas
Según la Leyenda Purhépecha
Tracy Novinger

En la noche obscura de un tiempo lejano, antes de que los pueblos migrantes se unieran a formar el esplendor de la nación purhépecha, una enorme bola de fuego apareció en el cielo. Haciéndose cada vez mayor chocó y estremeció la tierra en la región ahora conocida como Michoacán. Eso aterrorizó a los habitantes. En el lugar del impacto, un fértil valle en las montañas, brotó un manantial de agua que llenó una gran cuenca, formandose así el lago de Pátzcuaro y sus islas.

En la isla llamada Yunuén habitó un noble y gran señor respetado por los lugareños, quién tenía una hija llamada Hapunda. El pueblo de Yunuén la quería mucho por su belleza y la dulzura de su carácter. Hapunda consagró mucho de su tiempo a contemplar la belleza del lago y a conversar con las olas en el espejo de su superficie. El lago ha sido el rey y el centro de los pueblos que lo rodean. La princesa y el lago se unieron de tal manera que Hapunda prometió jamás abandonarlo.

Pero una tarde, cuando una barcaza cruzó desde la orilla hasta la isla Yunuén, la superficie del lago se agitó con gran violencia. En ella viajaba un guerrero viejo, feo y repugnante. El se presentó ante el padre de Hapunda ofreciéndole, al inicio, bellos y suntuosos regalos para luego intimidarlo con amenazas exigiendo le concediera a su hija en matrimonio. Apesar de que su vida corría peligro, el padre de Hapunda no dudó al responder que sería su hija quién debería decidir su proprio destino y que él no la forzaría a aceptar tal unión. Sin embargo para salvar la vida de su padre, la princesa Hapunda aceptó la insólita proposición.

En tanto se hacían las preparaciones para el matrimonio, la princesa fue al lago y ahí lloró de tal manera que sus lágrimas en torrente cayeron al agua. Hapunda contó al lago su tristezas, el verse presionada a abandonar su lago y su temor de perder la protección que su anciano padre le brindaba. Respondiendo desde sus profundidades, el lago hizo surgir su voz para recordarle su promesa y ofreciendo a Hapunda la opción de quedarse junto a él para siempre. Le dijo que se vistiera de blanco y en una noche iluminada por la luna, así ataviada se arrojara a sus aguas.

Y así fue que, una noche encendida por la gran luna plateada, navegando tranquila sobre la espejada superficie, la Princesa Hapunda se embarcó hasta el centro del lago. Ahí se fue sumergiendo hasta hundirse en el fondo, donde se transformó en una guardiana eterna del lago. La luna emitió un rayo que acertó en el punto en donde Hapunda se había sumergido en el agua y fue en ese mismo lugar donde surgió una gran ave cubierta de plumas blancas. Así nació la garza. Desde ese entonces las garzas del lago de Pátzcuaro siempre vuelan a la orilla de la isla de Yunuén hasta el lugar que Hapunda prefería. En nuestro tiempo a la hora diaria del crepúsculo, cuando el atardecer va transformándose en la noche, las garzas siempre vuelven a la isla de Yunuén.

Cuentan… que el día que desaparezcan sus garzas, también desaparecerá el Lago de Pátzcuaro.

Reference: Soto González, Enrique. Pátzcuaro Legendario. 1983, Talleres de Impresos Hurtado, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico

Friday, October 31, 2008

Yunuen Island - Egret Rookery


On 25 October 2008, we were invited to visit Yunuén on Lake Pátzcuaro, to meet a Purhepecha family and visit the island. We set out driving through Tzurumútaro, passed Ucazanáztacua (how's that for a mouthful?), and were met at the Pacanda Muelle for our motor-canoe visit to Yunuén.

Although this was not ostensibly a birding trip we, of course, went armed with our Howell book and binoculars. We were told that Yunén has the only egret rookery of the lake. Trees, bushes, flowers and orchids cover the island--good bird habitat. We didn't see any new or endemic species with the time we sandwiched in to birdwatch, but certainly enjoyed birds to include Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, an American Bittern in flight, Vermilion Flycatcher, Curve-Billed Thrasher, Finches, Warblers and more.

We will definitely schedule a full day birding trip with fellow birders. Alma Arias Navarrete, the Patzcuaro friend who took us, can also arrange with the Purhépecha family for overnights in nice cabins with kitchens--this is another target trip.

For an online visit:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracyzeye/sets/72157608404149031/

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who's Who in Michoacan Birding

Left to right: Dottie Yturri, Georgia Conti, Dr. Laura Eugenia Villaseñor Gómez,
Dr. Fernando Villaseñor Gómez, Tracy Novinger

We recently had the pleasure of meeting with the premier authorities on the avifauna of Michoacán, who visited us in Pátzcuaro. Dr. Laura Eugenia Villaseñor Gómez, ornithologist, and Dr. Fernando Villaseñor Gómez, bird ecologist, are a brother and sister who are both professors at the Universidad Michoacana San Nicolás Hidalgo in Morelia.

These two professors come from a large family whose father always took his ten children on camping and nature outings. Because of the love of nature instilled in them, four of the children are now biologists, and most of the brothers and sisters help with the Doctors Villaseñor's numerous avifauna projects. The father is a painter and illustrator of the birds of Michoacán, and Dr. Laura Villaseñor is currently working on a book of his artwork which will be published next year. We eagerly look forward to celebrating this event and to seeing this important work.

Georgia Conti is a Seattle Audubon Master Birder who now resides in Arocutin/Pátzcuaro, Michoacan. The Pátzcuaro Birding Club benefits greatly from her expertise and passion for birding.

Dottie Yturri is a visiting birder from Marble Falls, Texas, who came to experience birds, the wonderful mountain climate and the beauty of Patzcuaro and surrounding areas. She was accompanied by her husband, retired Judge Ed Yturri (not pictured).

Glen and Tracy Novinger bird from their home in Pátzcuaro.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Birding Cerro Burro, near Patzcuaro

Yesterday, the first lengthy stop of a full day outing was at Cerro Burro. The best two birds for me were the Red Warbler and the Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer.
The white spot on the Red Warbler was very visible.
I got a good, close look at this bird at an altitude of 10,726 feet.
We were also treated to this Tree Frog.
Georgia of http://patzcuarobirder.blogspot.com/, Mike "the Herp Guy", Ed and Dottie of Marble Falls TX, and Glen and Tracy made a good day of it.

We finished up at Arroyo Frio, south of Tacámbaro, where the Russet-crowned Motmot did not disappoint us.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Field Trip to Ejido Lands of Arocutin


Green-tailed Towhee

On Thursday, 11 September 2009, Georgia Conti will lead the Patzcuaro Birding Club on a field trip to the ejido lands/Mal País of Arocutín. The trip will depart from the Campestre Alemán Restaurant on the southwest side of Lake Patzcuaro. See Patzcuaro Birder for more details.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

No Grapevine, no Coconut Radio…in Patzcuaro, news is spread by La Pajarita

La Pajarita is the Saltapared Barranquero (Catherpes mexicanus)—the Canyon Wren.


News and gossip travels fast in small pueblos, and Pátzcuaro is no exception. I had been trying to figure out how stories can spread with such celerity. I have now determined that Pátzcuaro does not have a Grapevine, nor does it have a Coconut Radio. My friend, Gloria, has given me the answer. It is La Pajarita that regularly disseminates noticias and chismes.

When she first moved to Pátzcuaro from Uruápan some thirty years ago, Gloria was amazed, like I was, to observe that news spread instantly in this small town that in those days, according to tradition, was known for its “beautiful birds and few amenities.” Oral legend holds that La Pajarita visits houses in the morning to sing the news, and that one must pay attention. Sometimes it is not clear if the news is general or intended for a particular neighbor. To find out, one has to query La Pajarita, “Is this news for me?” If La Pajarita sings it again, she is confirming that the news is for the questioner.

In their homes on crisp Pátzcuaro mornings, people anticipate with pleasure hearing La Pajarita’s pretty song. She comes to spread the news of the pueblo...and sometimes there is a plaintive note.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Birdbookers



Well, I had heard of Book Birders, but now I hear there is a related species:


Check this out. Thanks, Georgia.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Updated Bird Checklist

The August 12 Patzcuaro Birding Club field trip to Rio Corucha
got a "good look" at the Squirrel Cuckoo this time, for a positive ID.
Visit Patzcuaro Birder for field trip details.


The 15 August 2008 updates to the BIRDS OF PÁTZCUARO-MORELIA REGION, MICHOACÁN, MEXICO checklist and the BIRDING SITE KEY are available online as of today.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

UK Geographers Bird in Patzcuaro

Birding activity in Pátzcuaro continually increases.Georgia Conti of Patzcuaro recently took three UK geographer/birders to some of our favorite birding spots: Rancho Madroño, Zarzamora, and the bridge to Jarácuaro. The day yielded a count of 60 birds. A favorite was the Slate-throated Redstart.

On a subsequent day, further birding south in the Tacámbaro area brought good rewards, including a number of lifers, among which was the Greenish Elaenia.


Click here: Live in Patzcuaro

Monday, August 4, 2008

Seeking Swifts at Tzararácua

Aaaah....Tzararácua Falls.

On Monday, 11 August 2008, the Pátzcuaro Birding Club will leave at 9:00 AM to seek swifts and other birds at Tzararácua Falls, just south of Uruapan. Swifts are the most aerial of birds, the essence of birdness, and some even sleep and mate on the wing. For more information on this field trip see http://patzcuarobirder.blogspot.com/.


Tzararácua is good for birding, hikes, picnics, and there is even a tirolesa--a zip line.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Birding in Patzcuaro

Georgia sez:

Monday July 28, 2008
Birding La Finca Tusa, Zirahuén

Molly Hoopes, a botanical illustrator who studies and paints plants in the Lake Patzcuaro area, will lead a bird walk near Lake Zirahuen. You’ll find information, photos and bird list from a previous trip at http://birdpatzcuaro.blogspot.com/2008/07/birding-at-lake-zirahun.html. Note the photo of the Acorn woodpecker’s granary tree. This outing involves walking/hiking and may require climbing through some barbed wire fences. Bring binoculars, but leave your scope at home--you won’t want to lug it around. Bring nourishments (water and snacks).

Patzcuaro Birding Club will leave Patzcuaro at 9:00 AM, and return by 2:00 PM, mas o menos. Again, let’s try to carpool as much as possible. The point of departure will be the street in front of the Policia Federal by the Pemex Station in Patzcuaro.

Thursday July 31, 4:00 – 6:30 PM
Hummingbird Study


Georgia is hosting another hummingbird study for those of
you who couldn’t make the last one and any who want to come again. Location is Corazon de Durazno, about 3 miles south of Patzcuaro on the highway that goes to Santa Clara del Cobre. Refreshments will be served and ample parking is available.

See http://birdpatzcuaro.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-studied-hummingbirds.html and http://patzcuarobirder.blogspot.com/ for more information and photos from the initial hummingbird study. Photographers will like this event. You can get close to the birds without disturbing them.

Upcoming Trips
Destinations will include:
Cascadas de Tzararacua - Birding & Natural Beauty
Cerro Burro
Zarzamora
Mil Cumbres (SE of Morelia)
Tacambaro - see http://birdpatzcuaro.blogspot.com/2008/07/back-to-rio-corucha-and-arroyo-frio.html - http://birdpatzcuaro.blogspot.com/2008/07/birds-sighted-in-tacambaro-region.html - http://birdpatzcuaro.blogspot.com/2008/07/birding-sites-in-tacambaro-region.html

Please pass the word! Novices and expert birders are welcome.
These outings are free and open to the public.

Inquiries about the Patzcuaro Birding Club
Georgia Conti: http://www.birdingpal.org/Mexico.htm

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Black-headed Siskin

Wayne and Susan C. of San Miguel recently birded in Patzcuaro. They observed this bird on the Patzcuaro Muelle. Thank you, Wayne, for this photo.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back to Rio Corucha and Arroyo Frio


I found this great photo of a Chachalaca by geoffreyjp on flickr.

Sunday afternoon a fivesome of us birded south of Tacámbaro. We enjoyed the company of Wayne and Susan C. of San Miguel de Allende. At Tacambaro we really dropped into the Tierra Caliente with a marked rise in temperature (we were hot!) and a change in vegetation. We visited our Rio Corucha and Arroyo Frio sites.

Highlights were seeing a Russet-crowned MotMot and a West Mexican Chachalaca at Arroyo Frio. A Squirrel Cuckoo is "suspected" at Rio Corucha, but confirmation must await more than a fast flash glimpse.

Birding at Rancho Madroño


Rancho Madroño is located on a climbing dirt road northwest of Erongarícuaro in the direction of Yotátiro and La Zarzamora. Access is by permission and prior arrangement with owner, Brian Fey. Rancho Madroño comprises 83 acres of pine and oak forest and, of course, madrone trees, and elevation runs from 7700 up to 8000 feet.

Here one can see ocelots, coyotes, armadillos, wild ferns, mushrooms and orchids in addition to a variety of birds. Immediately on arrival, while we were getting hot tea at shortly after 7:00 AM, we spotted an Elegant Trogon perched right next to the veranda--a good look even with the naked eye. We saw the Elegant Trogon again on our walk, but no luck with a Mountain or Eared Trogon. Two other good birds (not the only ones) were the Pine Flycatcher and Tufted Flycatcher.

Rancho Madroño is "off the grid", meaning that sustainable technologies are used, and there is no city water or power.

Thank you, Brian.

Friday, July 18, 2008

El Chirimoyo - A New Haven for Birders


Located in Arocutín, overlooking Lake Patzcuaro

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Birding Ojo de Agua, Tzintzuntzan


The UV rays on the back of my neck were fierce. I rigged protection with a flannel cloth I found in the car: a fashion statement.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker


On a sunny Monday mornng, 14 July 2008, five Patzcuaro birders met at Ojo de Agua. We got excellent looks at birds with both binoculars and scope. A Canyon Towhee scratched around in the sun, showing off his breast streaks and spot which are difficult to see in the shade. We watched a Blue Mockingbird stealthily feed in low vegetation. Highlights were observing Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. A fledgling begged for food with fluttering behavior. A Black Phoebe and a Vermilion Flycatcher showed off in good light. We also saw a pair of Social Flycatchers and their nest. There were many other birds.


Directions to Ojo de Agua [OA]: From Patzcuaro drive through Tsurumútaro to Tzintzuntzan. Pass the main plaza and you will come to a fork. Bear to the right in the direction of Quiroga. Watch the median and when it ends, immediately turn left into a small park at lake edge. Birding here is best on a week day when the park is not humming with activity. Next time I will take a chair and a snack to go with my water. Sun position is good for birding both morning and afternoon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Birding Sites Map--Starting from Patzcuaro

Here is a fledgling Birding Sites Map.

Birds Sighted in Tacambaro Region

By the way, Happy Bastille Day today.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Black vulture
Turkey vulture
Inca dove
Grooved-billed ani
Lesser roadrunner
White-naped swift
Violet-crowned hummingbird
Berylline hummingbird
Acorn woodpecker
Golden-cheeked woodpecker (nesting at Arroyo Frio)
Black phoebe
Vermilion flycatcher
Great kiskadee
Cassin’s kingbird
Rose-throated becard (nesting at Rio Corucha)
Barn swallow
Spotted wren
Canyon wren
Blue mockingbird
Eastern bluebird
White-throated thrush
Rufous-backed robin
American robin
White-breasted nuthatch
House finch
Red crossbill
Lesser goldfinch
Hepatic tanager
Blue-black grassquit
White-collared seedeater
Canyon towhee
Stripe-headed sparrow
Great-tailed grackle

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birding Sites in Tacambaro Region

Today Glen, Georgia and I went scouting for good birding venues in the Tacambaro region. See photos of Birding Sites Tacambaro Region .

Following is a list of the sites that we scouted:

From Patzcuaro, take the road to Tacambaro. When you reach a T, turn south toward Tacambaro. This T intersection is designated as mile 0 for the following directions to our birding sites.

Mile 00.0 - T where you turn south.

Mile 05.9 - Road comes to a Y. Go left towards Yuricato.

Mile 06.5 - A road on left goes uphill to top of Salto Santa Paula.

Mile 06.6 - On left, river route to bottom of Salto Santa Paula.

Mile 07.8 - Landmark: large Pemex.

Mile 08.3 - Turn left on road to Cerro Hueco. Landmarks at corner are signs that read Taller Perez Velez and CFE (Comisión Federal Eléctrica). Follow road up to Parque Ecológico Recreativo Cerro Burro. Return to main road to continue.

Mile 10.8 - Landmark: white building on right - Asociación Ganadería.

Mile 12.0 - Turn right onto dirt agricultural road which goes north along Rio Corucha. Easy to miss. On the main road towards Chupio, if you see a cement wall on the right for an irrigation pond, you have missed the turn. The turn for the Rio Corucha site is well before the pueblo of Chupio.

Mile 15.9 - Balneario Arroyo Frio. You will drive through the pueblo of Chupio to reach this site. After Chupio, look for a sign on the right to turn into Arroyo Frio.

Photo courtesy Greg Lasley (see superb Rose-throated Becard photos)



We saw some very good birds. In fact, we all three got lifers. It is difficult to say what was most exciting. We saw the White-breasted Nuthatch, Spotted Wren, Red Crossbill, Rose-throated Becard, Blue-black Grassquit, White-naped Swift and Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, to mention a few... In several instances, we were treated to watch pairs of birds come and go from their nests.

Watch http://patzcuarobirder.blogspot.com/ for today's complete bird list.



Friday, July 11, 2008

BIRD CHECKLIST FOR PÁTZCUARO & MICHOACÁN

A number of birds have been added to the checklist and endemic status changed on several:

-known sightings 2004 to present-
This is a working checklist for Pátzcuaro birders. Some locations included.
List will be periodically updated.
First post 6 July 2008; last updated 11 July 2008.
The data can be copied into Excel or Word. Highlight the table, copy, and then paste. You will need to resize the columns in Excel and possibly in Word.

You will also find this link in the sidebar of this site under
"Useful Links".

For notes on dates & locations of recent sightings see http://patzcuarobirder.blogspot.com/

Studying Hummingbirds at Corazon de Durazno

Blue-throated Hummingbird
Magnificent Hummingbird, photo taken yesterday by Bruce Cox
Yesterday, 11 July 2008, a small group from The Patzcuaro Birding Club met at Corazon de Durazno at Georgia and Chuck's interim abode (they are building a house in Arocutin). We thank them both.
Hummingbirds flocked to their feeders; we saw as many as 25 at a time. I personally identified 5 species and got what I call an "eyeful" which helps imprint the image on my brain. I observed them with the naked eye from a distance of 3 feet , watched them at length with binoculars, and studied them through the scope. It was particularly helpful for me to see a Magnificent, a Berylline and a White-eared Hummingbird feeding side by side, to compare size, giz and field marks. I did see the Violet-crowned, which was more elusive, and got several good looks at the unmistakable Blue-Throated Hummingbird. I saw its underside well, as in the photograph above.

Classification of Birders

Wonder where you stand as a birder? Here is one way to rank your abilities:

[Caution! This is, of course, a spoof.]


Top Tier Birder - Life List is comprised of 7 1/2 species not yet seen

Extreme Birder - Intense!

Serious Birder - Extensive knowledge and generously shares it.

Avid Birder - Enthusiastic and very knowledgeable.

Enthusiastic Birder - Long on enthusiasm, short on knowledge.

Recreational Birder - Owns binoculars, comes because there are cookies.

Book Birder - Birds in fabulous reference books and guides. Doesn't leave recliner chair.

Beginning Birder - Potential to become Serious or Extreme Birder, or better.

Casual Birder - Interested, borrows Aunt Mabel's ancient 6 lb binoculars.

Accidental Birder - Trips over the bird.

Patzcuaro Birder is Now Online!

Georgia of Chirimoyo, who earned the prestigious Master Birder designation from Seattle Audubon, now has her site up and running online. Watch
Patzcuaro Birder
for reports and for notices of the events she schedules for the Patzcuaro Birding Club.
Note: Patzcuaro Birder has been added to Useful Links in the sidebar of this site.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Estribo Birders Rained Out

A Cassin's Kingbird soon sought shelter from heavy rain
.
July 10, as scheduled, six of us met at the gazebo on Estribo at 5:00 PM. The sky had cleared enough to see Huecorio, Urandén, Janitzio, but within five minutes great grey clouds hovering just to the east rolled over us and released a downpour. We retired for hot chocolate. Ni modo to bird.
This is, after all, the rainy season. Some 80% of the Patzcuaro region's 41 inches of average annual precipitation falls between June and September. We reap therefrom green vegetation and profuse flowers. So far in June and July we have birded well between rain showers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ruddy-Capped Nightingale Thrush

Photo © Greg Lasley, used with permission
See
http://www.greglasley.net/ruddycappednight.html

Here is a good photo of the
Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrush / Catharus frantzii / Zorzalito de Frantzius

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Patzcuaro Birding Club: This Week

White-eared hummingbird

Georgia sez...

Received from Georgia of Chirimoyo:

1. On Wednesday July 9 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM,
join Tracy and Glen [of Villa La Jacaranda] and me for a hike/climb from the Estribo to the top of the hill to see what birds we might find. If it's raining buckets, each of us will decide if we're fair weather birders or not. For those of you not familiar with the Estribo and need directions, let me know. Bring water and snacks. Even though this is a steep climb up the hill, we'll do it at a reasonable pace. After all, we'll be looking for birds.

2. Thursday July 10 from 3:00 - 6:00 PM
a hummingbird study. Have you been stymied by those little [hummers] that zip by so quickly? Several of you have mentioned having trouble, so I decided to offer an outing to help. My two feeders are teeming with several species of hummingbirds, and we'll study them from the comfort of my living room. Please come to Corazon de Durazno... If you need directions, let me know. There's plenty of parking.

Bring binoculars for both events.

We have several other events in the works so stay tuned for more announcements. Also, please pass the word to others who may be interested in birding events. All ages and all skill levels are welcome.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Birding at Lake Zirahuén

Lake Zirahuén is some 10 miles from Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. On Saturday 5 July 2008 we birded in Pine/Oak forest habitat (with an abundance of poison ivy).

Acorn Woodpeckers have been busy here.

Many thanks to Molly-H-in-Paradise of Finca Tusa at Zirahuén for leading us on a hike (5 hours) through her walking territory to scout for birds. There were four of us: Molly, Georgia of Chirimoyo, and Glen and Tracy of Villa La Jacaranda. We identified 28 birds, with the able assistance of Georgia, our resident Master Birder.

Click here to see a newly created Checklist for Pátzcuaro & Michoacán Birds which you can copy and paste into Excel or Word.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pátzcuaro Birding Group - Events

Georgia sez...

Information received from Georgia of Chirimoyo:

Last Thursday morning, June 26th, Georgia launched a plan for regular birding events in the Pátzcuaro, Michoacán area. These birding events will explore a wide variety of locations, such as Pátzcuaro, Morelia, Zirahuén, Tacámbaro, Uruapan, Quiroga, and Erongarícuaro-Yotatiro-Zamora. They are free and open to the public. Anyone who lives nearby or plans to visit the area is encouraged to join her Patzcuaro Birding Group.

Surpassing her expectations, thirteen people met Georgia at the Jarácuaro Bridge, one of her favorite birding spots. The height of the bridge allows for uninhibited viewing of the marshy area and canals that flow to Lake Páatzcuaro. Novices to expert birders always find interesting birds to observe, including the endemic Black-polled yellowthroat.

Georgia will soon have a website up, and it will include a schedule of upcoming birding events. This website (the one you are currently on) will publish a link to hers under "useful links" in the left sidebar. Meanwhile, you can email Georgia directly for information about upcoming trips through BirdingPal at http://www.birdingpal.org/Mexico.htm

Here is the list of birds seen during the first 2-hour outing of the Pátzcuaro Birding Group:

Pied-billed grebe
Tricolored heron
Little blue heron
Great egret
Snowy egret
Cattle egret
Least bittern – juvenile
White-faced ibis
Mallard
Turkey vulture
Northern harrier
Common moorhen
Northern jacana
Mourning dove
Broad-billed hummingbird
Black phoebe
Vermillion flycatcher
Cassin’s kingbird
Northern rough-winged swallow
Cliff swallow
Barn swallow
Curved-billed thrasher
House sparrow
House finch
Lesser goldfinch
Common yellow throat
Black-polled yellowthroat (endemic)
White-collared seedeater
Song sparrow
Great-tailed grackle
Bronzed cowbird

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jarácuaro Bridge & Arocutín Ejido Land

BIRD LIST for Saturday, 28 June 2008, 8:30 - 11:30 AM

Today Georgia Conti shared two nearby birding spots, as well as her expertise and good company, with Glen and me. It was a beautiful, crisp morning.

Jarácuaro Bridge

From Pátzcuaro, take the road around the southwest side of Lake Pátzcuaro toward Erongarícuaro. When you come to Jarácuaro, turn right (toward lake) and drive to bridge. There is very little traffic and we parked on the bridge. There are two bee hives in bridge crevices, but the bees did not bother us.

Pie-billed Grebe (faded vertical bill stripe)
Great White Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
White-faced Ibis
Mexican Duck (Mallard)
Blue-winged Teal
Turkey Vulture
Common Moorhen
Northern Jacana (Mesoamericana)
Mourning Dove
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Black Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher (coloration here is splotchy and pale)
Cassin's Kingbird
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Curve-billed Thrasher
Black-polled Yellowthroat (endemic)
White-collared Seedeater
Song Sparrow
Red-Winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
Lesser Goldfinch

Arocutín Ejido Land

Arocutín is between Jaracuaro and Erongarícuaro on the southwest side of Lake Pátzcuaro. We took a left on a little diagonal road that goes uphill (away from the lake) and drove a short distance onto ejido land.

Eastern Bluebird
Chipping Sparrow
Abeille's/Black-backed Oriole (endemic)
House Finch
Cassin's Finch

BIRD LIST FOR PÁTZCUARO & MICHOACÁN

This site will serve to systematize our birding activities in Michoacan. Click below for a regional checklist of the birds we will be seeking.

CHECKLIST - BIRDS OF PATZCUARO & MICHOACAN, MEXICO

You can copy the checklist data into Excel or Word.