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:

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, 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.