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Field Guides Tour Report
Oaxaca I 2016
Jan 16, 2016 to Jan 23, 2016
Dan Lane

The grand sweep of Monte Alban's central plaza is very impressive -- particularly when you consider that the Zapotecs built it without the benefit of the wheel or any beasts of burden! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

Oaxaca City is quietly nestled in a dry intermontane valley in southwestern Mexico. It lies in the midst of thousands of years of human history and still-practiced artisan culture, and also lies at the epicenter of one of Mexico's regions of avian endemism -- and it has some unique culinary highlights as well. How's that for lucky?! We had a taste of the cultural background of the region: our driver Jorge's informative tours of the ruins were enjoyed by all, as was the demonstration of the traditional Zapotec rug weaving at Teotitlan. From Jorge, we learned that the Oaxaca valley is the site of one of the most significant events in the history of New World cultures: it is thought to be where corn (maize) was first cultivated! The Zapotec and Mixtec cultures have occupied the valley for nearly 4000 years, and the ruins of Monte Alban, Yagul, and Mitla speak volumes (and keep even more secrets) about their ways of life. Happily for us, these ruins also have habitat which is still home to some of the region's fascinating birds.

The isolated nature of the Oaxaca valley has resulted in high rates of endemism among many organisms there, and, of course, we particularly noted this with the birds! The rain shadow caused by the southern terminus of the Sierra Madre Oriental to the north of the valley results in the deciduous, downright arid, nature of the valley. Separated from other such habitats by elevation and more humid pine-oak forests on the slopes surrounding it, the valley has several species that are unique, including Oaxaca and Bridled sparrows, Boucard’s Wren, Ocellated Thrasher, White-throated Towhee, Beautiful Hummingbird, and Gray-breasted Woodpecker. Other west Mexican dry-habitat endemics are also present, such as the three vireos (Slaty, Golden, and Dwarf), Dusky Hummingbird, and Blue Mockingbird. The pine-oak forest on the slopes above are home to other endemics, particularly the very local Dwarf Jay, but also Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Collared Towhee, Rufous-capped Brushfinch, White-striped Woodcreeper, and Red Warbler. There is no shortage of birds to enjoy here!

Among our many good views were the pair of Fulvous Owls that caterwauled over us on Cerro San Felipe, the friendly Rufous-capped Warblers that were common in the deciduous scrub at most sites, the out-of-place Ovenbird that strutted around in front of us on the trail at Monte Alban, the striking Orange-breasted Bunting that gave us a fine show at Km 77, the bold Strong-billed Woodcreepers that put on a fine show in the pine-oak forest and the diminutive Dwarf Jays with which they traveled, the colorful Mountain Trogons that played coy with us, the lovely Crescent-chested (or was that “Chestnut-crested?”) Warblers that took part in the mixed flocks, or the subtly beautiful Slaty Vireo that showed off in front of us at Monte Alban. Other memories were the wonderful Oaxacan food we enjoyed, the tours of the archeological sites, and Monte Alban’s grandeur in particular… and, of course, that amazing experience with a Jaguarundi! I don't think anyone was prepared for such an experience with that cat!

These were only some of the memories we took from our trip. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. I look forward to seeing you all again on another outing, sometime down the road. Meanwhile, good birding!

-- Dan

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

Presa Piedra Azul and the mountain beyond is a great place to be introduced to Oaxaca birding. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

GADWALL (Anas strepera) – A few of these migrant ducks were on Presa Piedra Azul on our second visit there. [b]
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) [b]
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas crecca) [b]
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – A couple females at Piedra Azul. [b]
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) [b]
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
LONG-TAILED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (Dendrortyx macroura) – Amy spotted something moving in the understory of the Yuvila roadside, but unfortunately, the bird disappeared before we could get binoculars up. It did sing back loudly several times, though. [E*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – Many of this diminutive grebe on Piedra Azul.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Astonishing! This was one of the first birds we saw at Piedra Azul on our first visit... probably the first record for the Oaxaca valley!
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

An annoyed Northern (Mountain) Pygmy-Owl is still pretty cute. Photo by participant Alan Abel.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Wayne spotted this species, a rare one in the Oaxaca valley.
REDDISH EGRET (Egretta rufescens) – This is also a rare species for the Oaxaca valley, since it is typically a coastal species! The one we saw seemed to be a first winter bird and has been reported from the site since November.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – Seen best at Monte Alban, but several were along the highway on the outskirts of Oaxaca city.
HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus) – A bird flew past us on the entrance road to Yagul. This is not a common bird anywhere, so it was a great sighting!
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus) – Amy spotted our first individual at Monte Alban, another was seen the next day.
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii) – Seen our first full day around Teotitlan.

The scenic Yagul Valley has been home to humans for millenia; the earliest evidence for the domestication of corn (maize) was found in caves occupied pre-historically here. Photo by participant Alan Abel.

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – Seen on two days, first outside Mitla, and again near Santa Catarina de Ixtepeji.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) [b]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]

The handsome Gray-breasted Woodpecker is like a Gila Woodpecker wearing more makeup. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) [b]
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – Snipe are usually tough to see, so the ease with which we saw these was refreshing! [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – Brief views of small flocks flying over us in the pine-oak forest on three days.
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – Misnamed... should have been "Aztec Dove". Oh well.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Quick views of birds at the Yagul entrance road.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – One of the more common birds around the lower elevations.
Strigidae (Owls)
FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus) – Despite our best efforts, all we saw of this small owl was a pale flash through the beam of my light. We heard at least two at close quarters, however. [*]
WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis) – A bird responded well in a more oak-dominated patch of forest on Cerro San Felipe.
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (MOUNTAIN) (Glaucidium gnoma gnoma) – Fine views of a bird our first day above Teotitlan was nice.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – A bit unexpected was a bird that responded to tape of Colima Pygmy-Owl (!) at KM 77.
FULVOUS OWL (Strix fulvescens) – After several years of uncertainty about which Strix owl was on Cerro San Felipe, we can now feel comfortable that Fulvous is there for certain. Mexican Barred Owls should be up there too, though!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae) – After hearing a few and seeing one fly around us, a perched bird on Cerro San Felipe was a nice highlight of our night birding.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
GREEN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – Common and noisy at higher elevations.
MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – A couple showed above Teotitlan, but birds on feeders at Restaurante Colibri were better.
BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis clemenciae) – One of the many hummingbirds enjoying the Salvia bank at Rio Verde.
BEAUTIFUL HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax pulcher) – Thanks to Amy (again!) for spotting a distant female we could enjoy near Yagul after we whiffed on our first visit there. [E]
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – A couple of females were at spots at lower elevations in the valley. [b]

It can be surprisingly chilly in the highlands. Witness the hats and gloves on many in the group -- definitely appreciated as we birded along Cabeza de Vaca trail! Photo by participant Alan Abel.

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus) – A couple of female-plumaged birds in the pine-oak zone. [b]
DUSKY HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus sordidus) – Common in the valley bottom. [E]
BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia beryllina) – Perhaps easiest to see right around the hotel, but several were higher up at flower banks.
GREEN-FRONTED HUMMINGBIRD (CINNAMON-SIDED) (Amazilia viridifrons wagneri) – Cheryl and I caught a brief glimpse of this species at the KM 77 site.
WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis leucotis) – Perhaps one of the most numerous hummingbirds of the tour!
Trogonidae (Trogons)
MOUNTAIN TROGON (Trogon mexicanus) – After a couple of poor views our first day, we made up for them on subsequent days at Cerro San Felipe! Snazzy bird!
Momotidae (Motmots)
RUSSET-CROWNED MOTMOT (Momotus mexicanus) – Talk about 11th hour! As we headed back to the van, one flew by and buried itself in the vegetation. It took a little patience, but we eventually found it and enjoyed walk-away views in the scope! That's how I like my motmots!
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

Another skulker that was extraordinarily view-able on this tour was Russet Nightingale-Thrush. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – A bird at Piedra Azul was good. [b]
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – A couple at Piedra Azul.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – A pair or two were at Rio Verde.
GRAY-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hypopolius) – This used to be a tough endemic to see well... but it's gotten considerably easier in recent years. [E]
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus varius) – One of the few migratory woodpeckers in the Americas. [b]
LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides scalaris) [*]
HAIRY WOODPECKER (SOUTH MEXICAN) (Picoides villosus jardinii) – Birds in the pine-oak forests here sound a bit more like Arizona Woodpeckers and have smoky underparts compared to northern birds.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus mexicanus)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Common in the valley.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

This lovely Lobelia is an important hummingbird food source. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

RED-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona viridigenalis) – A couple of pairs were on the hotel grounds our first evening. [I]
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – A small group was flying by at a stoplight as we returned to Oaxaca on our first full day. [I]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus sclateri) – This population was almost unknown a decade ago, but now we can encounter them with some regularity (and saw at least three pairs our first day to Cerro San Felipe!). Their voice is quite unlike that of other populations of the species. Hmmmm.
WHITE-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes leucogaster) – After a mediocre view of a bird above Teotitlan, we had better views on our second visit there. [E]
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes affinis affinis) – Common in jay flocks in the more humid pine-oak habitat on Cerro San Felipe.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – Mostly heard, but Wayne got us on one at Yagul.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – A vocal bird at Piedra Azul was upstaged by the Jaguarundi.
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (Mitrephanes phaeocercus) – Cuter than cute! We really enjoyed these mini-pewees.

Now that we know the voice of this distinctive population of Strong-billed Woodcreeper, we find them with regularity on Cerro San Felipe. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – A large pewee (as the name would suggest) we saw several times. Local name is "Jose Maria" for the vocalization.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) – Common in the pine-oak forest. [b]
DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri) – Common in the deciduous scrub (and abundant at Monte Alban!). [b]
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – A pair at Piedra Azul.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) [*]
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens) – This and the next species were in the scrub vegetation. Voice is the best way to separate them. [b]
NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (NUTTING'S) (Myiarchus nuttingi inquietus) – Similar to the last, we got to compare them nearly side-by-side at Yagul.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Familiar from just about anywhere between Texas and Argentina... it's not common in the Oaxaca valley, but present at most lower sites.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (SOCIAL) (Myiozetetes similis pallidiventris) – A pair showed well near Piedra Azul.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Easiest around the hotel.
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans) – Perhaps the most common kingbird of the tour. [b]
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris) – Seen on several days at mid-elevations.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis) – A small group was at Monte Alban. [b]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – Two or three were hanging around jay flocks at Cerro San Felipe.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – These are the southernmost shrikes in the Americas!
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
SLATY VIREO (Vireo brevipennis) – Whew! After sweating out a couple of days, we lucked onto a responsive bird at Monte Alban. [E]
DWARF VIREO (Vireo nelsoni) – A somewhat responsive bird above Teotitlan showed for most folks to see. [E]
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – This and the next two species were in flocks on our last full day.
CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii) [b]
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius) [b]
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni) – The kinglet-like vireo of the pine-oak forest.
GOLDEN VIREO (Vireo hypochryseus) – This lovely vireo showed well (eventually) above Teotitlan. [E]
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – One of the more common birds of the tour, we were probably seeing mostly western birds. [b]
CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius melitophrys) – A large and beautiful vireo we enjoyed on Cerro San Felipe.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

The oak-covered hills above the town of Teotitlan del Valle are home to several of Oaxaca's specialties -- including Ocellated Thrasher and Bridled and Oaxaca sparrows -- as well as Lesser Roadrunner. Photo by participant Alan Abel.

DWARF JAY (Cyanolyca nanus) – After first having a flock in dense fog, we later ran into another group that gave us great looks at this very local endemic! [E]
WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE-JAY (Calocitta formosa) – Thanks to Mildred for getting us on a flock of four birds at KM 77!
STELLER'S JAY (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cyanocitta stelleri coronata) – One of the main flock leaders in the pine-oak forest.
WESTERN SCRUB-JAY (SUMICHRAST'S) (Aphelocoma californica sumichrasti) – So additional splits are on the table for Western Scrub-Jay, and if they pass, this might become a Mexican endemic: Sumichrast's Jay.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – The southernmost of the crows in the Americas, it reaches Nicaragua.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – A huge horde of these lovely swallows swarmed over Piedra Azul our first morning!
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri) – Well named, these are a high elevation forest species that we saw on Cerro San Felipe.
BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi) – Two brief encounters above Teotitlan.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

A delicious bowl of Aztec Soup helps warm us up after a cold morning on the mountain! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BUSHTIT (BLACK-EARED) (Psaltriparus minimus melanotis) – A flock at Santa Catarina de Ixtepeji allowed us to see the black ears of the males.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis mexicana) – Those of us who went owling heard this bird at the top of Cerro San Felipe, the farthest south a nuthatch gets in the Americas. [*]
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (ALBESCENS/ALTICOLA) (Certhia americana alticola) – Fairly common in the pine-dominated forests at higher elevations.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – Several birds showed off at Monte Alban.
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) [*]
HOUSE WREN (NORTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon parkmanii) [b*]
HOUSE WREN (BROWN-THROATED) (Troglodytes aedon brunneicollis) – A bird kept hopping back up on the same stump repeatedly at Cerro San Felipe.

Even though we were wearing coats against the cold, we were regularly reminded that we were indeed in the tropics! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii) [*]
GRAY-BARRED WREN (Campylorhynchus megalopterus) – A member of pine-oak jay flocks, these wrens are often in the canopy rooting through bromeliads. [E]
BOUCARD'S WREN (Campylorhynchus jocosus) – Fine views near Teotitlan and Yagul. [E]
HAPPY WREN (Pheugopedius felix) [*]
BANDED WREN (Thryophilus pleurostictus) – A bit of a surprise was a bird that came in readily to scold tape with some fluff in its bill. Nest building?
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Henicorhina leucophrys festiva) – We were lucky to find one, much less one that responded well enough to hop onto the side of the road at Cerro San Felipe!
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – Common migrant. [b]
WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris) – Typically found in lower elevation Pacific slope woodland, we saw several at KM 77.
Regulidae (Kinglets)

Boucard's Wren are the Oaxacan version of Cactus Wren, with the comparable habit of nesting in dense, thorny cactus clusters. Photo by participant Alan Abel.

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula) – Common migrant. [b]
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BROWN-BACKED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes occidentalis) – One of the best songsters in the world, in my opinion!
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – Several birds called and sang back to us, but remained in dense brush near Santa Catarina de Ixtepeji. [*]
RUSSET NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus occidentalis) – Fairly common and not so hard to see on Cerro San Felipe. [E]
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus) – We saw several in both pine-oak forest and deciduous scrub. [b]
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – This species was unknown from Oaxaca city prior to the 1980s, and was likely introduced.
RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus) – As with the last, this species, native to the Pacific coast, was unknown from the Oaxaca valley prior to the 1980s, and was likely introduced to the city. [E]
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius) – By the southern terminus of its range here in Oaxaca, American Robins are in high elevation forests only.
AZTEC THRUSH (Ridgwayia pinicola) – Mostly a rather unsatisfying silhouette that flashed in front of us at the Yuvila road. Some may have heard it call, though. [E]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
BLUE MOCKINGBIRD (Melanotis caerulescens) – Not rare, and several actually showed for us briefly! [E]
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (CURVIROSTRE GROUP) (Toxostoma curvirostre curvirostre) – It took a while, but eventually we saw it well.
OCELLATED THRASHER (Toxostoma ocellatum) – Only a couple of folks saw this sneaky bird well through the scope before it dropped out of sight. We heard at least eight though. [E]
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos) – Near the southern terminus of its range. It is replaced in the lowlands by Tropical Mockingbird.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) [*]
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
GRAY SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys cinereus) – We encountered small numbers most days, but at "Pollo Nino" we saw a flock of over a hundred!
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – No longer a parulid (American Wood Warbler), this species is now in its own family.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)

Although very similarly colored to the Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, this Collared Towhee is nevertheless a rather different bird behaviorally, and difficult to mistake. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla) – Well, that was weird! A bird walked around with impunity in the open, grassy path at Monte Alban... not how one usually sees it! [b]
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – We saw one bird and heard several others along streams in the foothills and mountains. [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Not uncommon in the area. [b]
CRESCENT-CHESTED WARBLER (Oreothlypis superciliosa) – After a few hard-to-see individuals in flocks, everyone got on a few above Teotitlan.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata) – Brighter birds (from the Rockies) and duller ones (from eastern Canada) were common. [b]
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Oreothlypis ruficapilla) – Common around the hotel and at some lower elevation sites. [b]
VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis virginiae) – Several seen around Yagul and other dry sites. [b]
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei) – A male hopped about in front of us with abandon above Teotitlan. [b]
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) [*]
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) – Common at most sites, particularly at the hotel! [b]
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)

Rufous-capped Warblers were common in dense, brushy areas. Photo by participant Alan Abel.

TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi) – This and the next species were common in flocks in the pine-oak zone, and we saw at least two hybrids. [b]
HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis) [b]
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (RUFIFRONS GROUP) (Basileuterus rufifrons rufifrons) – Common in dense brush at many sites.
GOLDEN-BROWED WARBLER (Basileuterus belli) – A really handsome warbler we saw along a humid, brushy creek on Cerro San Felipe.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) [b]
RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons) – Only a couple seen above Teotitlan. [b]
RED WARBLER (Cardellina rubra) – Another eye-catching resident warbler in the pine-oak forest. [E]
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – A familiar bird to folks who have been to SE Arizona.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus miniatus) – Similar to the last, but lacking the white wing patch and with a chestnut crown. One particularly extroverted individual flashed around in front of us near Santa Catarina de Ixtepeji.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
CINNAMON-BELLIED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa baritula baritula) – The northernmost of this strange group of tanagers, we saw a pair on Cerro San Felipe and another male on the Yuvila side.
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (CINNAMON-RUMPED) (Sporophila torqueola torqueola) – This, the Pacific coast form of the species, lacks wingbars and has cinnamon on the belly and rump. [E]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)

Among the most difficult of the Oaxacan endemics to see in the winter, Oaxaca Sparrows usually stick to dense brush. This one was rather an extrovert, however. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BRIDLED SPARROW (Peucaea mystacalis) – A very strikingly-patterned sparrow we enjoyed on several days. [E]
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) [b]
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (Spizella pallida) – Seen our first morning on the road leading to Teotitlan. [b]
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus) – Same place as the last. [b]
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Arremon brunneinucha suttoni) – A towhee-like finch we saw along brushy creeks in the pine-oak zone.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus) – Around openings at the highest elevations.
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus) [b]
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii) [b]
WHITE-THROATED TOWHEE (Melozone albicollis) – One of the easiest of the endemics to see. [E]
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps) – Similar to the next species, but without the blackish face. We saw a pair in the oak zone above Teotitlan.

The colorful Orange-breasted Bunting was a big hit on the tour! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

OAXACA SPARROW (Aimophila notosticta) – Often one of the most difficult of the endemics to see, we had no trouble this time at Rio Verde! [E]
SPOTTED TOWHEE (MACULATUS GROUP) (Pipilo maculatus oaxacae) – Mostly heard, but a few popped up for a brief view.
COLLARED TOWHEE (Pipilo ocai) – Remarkable in its resemblance of Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, but this towhee is different in voice and behavior. [E]
RUFOUS-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pileatus) – It took some work, but we saw several flocks at higher elevations. [E]
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (NORTHERN) (Piranga flava hepatica)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) [b]
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – Some around the hotel, but we also saw a female near Santa Catarina de Ixtepeji. [b]
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – Around the hotel. [b]
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus) – In the drier scrub and pine-oak above Teotitlan. [b]
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) [b]
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) [b]
ORANGE-BREASTED BUNTING (Passerina leclancherii) – One of the favorites of the tour, we saw a fine male at KM 77.
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor) – Three females were skulky the day we went to KM 77.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Mostly in the city.
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – Right around the hotel.
BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE (Icterus wagleri) – An attractive oriole that we saw feeding at flowering trees.
ORCHARD ORIOLE (ORCHARD) (Icterus spurius spurius) [b]
STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus) – Rare in the valley, we first had one at Yagul, then several more at KM 77.
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) [b]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Euphonia elegantissima) – Fairly common this trip at most elevations.
HOUSE FINCH (COMMON) (Haemorhous mexicanus roseipectus) – Common in the floor of the valley, but its stark red and brown plumage might throw you if you think it'll look like most back home.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]


Wow! Extended views of this Jaguarundi were certainly unexpected! This cat is one of the the Neotropic's more poorly-known mammals. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus) – One bounced across the path behind the Ovenbird.
MEXICAN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus aureogaster) – Common at the hotel, where some had rufous bellies and others had pale bellies. We saw a few in more 'natural' settings, as well.
HISPID COTTON RAT (Sigmodon hispidus) – A sneaky rat in the fields at Yagul.
JAGUARUNDI (Puma yagouaroundi) – Wow! Perhaps the bird of the trip! This cat wasn't too quick in crossing the road above Piedra Azul for us to notice it, and about 20 min later it crossed the creek and up the other bank... giving us a fine show!


Totals for the tour: 190 bird taxa and 4 mammal taxa