FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS: Mexico: Oaxaca I 2018
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Field Guides Tour Report
Mexico: Oaxaca I 2018
Feb 24, 2018 to Mar 3, 2018
Chris Benesh & Dan Lane


One of the highlights of the tour was this gorgeous male Orange-breasted Bunting. Photo by participant Kirsten Tucker.

I bet it took a little while for many of us to learn how to pronounce “Oaxaca” correctly—as the flight crew on my flight down last time said: “Welcome to Waka”! What a lovely place, and a great time to escape the cold and snow of the boreal winter! Oaxaca provides a great place for our Nearctic migrants to winter, so why not Nearctic birders too? And so we did just that, and a grand time was had!

With my bud Chris (the Solitaire) coleading, we were bound to find some great birds, including (of course) flycatchers, and we beat the bushes for all the birds we could find… from the gorgeous pine-oak-douglas fir forests of the high mountains to the dry oak scrub of the foothills, the agricultural plain at the floor of the Oaxaca valley, and the distinctive arid tropical woodland with its many columnar cactus on the Pacific slope east of the valley. The complex geography surrounding the Oaxaca valley has resulted in the high endemism of the region, and we certainly reaped the rewards of it with no fewer than 24 Mexican endemics on the tour! Many memories came from our experience, and we really enjoyed sharing these with you!

Highest on the list of sightings was our experience with the mysterious Fulvous Owl, which was only confirmed on this side of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec less than a decade ago; we enjoyed seeing it on a brightly moonlit night. Our fine views of the lovely Lesser Roadrunner (including at least one running on the road, but not hollerin’ “Beep beep!” sadly), was the second-highest rated sighting of the tour. The tie-dyed Orange-breasted Bunting and the relaxed and colorful Russet-crowned Motmot were other highlights, as was the entire experience of walking along the wash that took us into the unique dry Pacific tropical woodland of KM 77. This same habitat was also home to the flamboyant White-throated Magpie-Jay, whose long tails and recurved crests seem as comical as their personalities. The fiery Red Warbler, emblematic of the pine-fir highlands of Mexico, was another high-ranking bird on our list, with the Golden-browed Warbler providing a fine balance in color to it! If a Chestnut-sided Warbler ever became the Hulk, it would be the decidedly eye-catching Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, another favorite of the tour. Another denizen of the highlands that was much appreciated was the very range-restricted Dwarf Jay, which put on a fine show as a couple of groups foraged in a mixed flock accompanied by Gray-barred Wren, Steller’s Jays, and Strong-billed Woodcreepers. Here, too, was the quiet and composed Mountain Trogon, whose splashes of red and green or brown aren’t as attention-calling as you might think amid the dappled montane vegetation! The somber Black Thrush, a sometimes-rare species here, was also a favorite, as was the Collared Towhee and the Rufous-capped Brushfinch (Deb’s 3000th species! Congratulations!). In the drier oak and deciduous scrub farther downslope, we encountered other memorable birds such as the perky Gray Silky-Flycatcher, the skulking Ocellated Thrasher and its cousin Blue Mockingbird, and the understated (yet still great) Pileated Flycatcher, and the boisterous Boucard’s Wrens, who bubble up in response to playback in the vicinity of their cactus patches! Nutting’s Flycatcher “weeping” from the scrub and the low-flying Zone-tailed Hawk our last morning provided other memories to be enjoyed. Of course, I can’t leave out Chris’ glowing scorpion on Cerro San Felipe!

But lest we forget, the tour also allowed us a window into the culture of the region, both present and past. The impressive ruins of Monte Alban highlighted the height of local civilization in the Oaxaca valley, and our fine local guide and driver Jorge was a rich source of information on the pre-Columbian cultures of the valley, who played a very important role in the development of American civilization! The Mendoza family of Tlalmanalli also provided us with a smile-filled glimpse of the food, language, and artisanal weaving of the Teotitlan region, showing how those older civilizations have carried on into the present day with grace and purpose. And finally, we enjoyed the cuisine of this corner of Mexico, which holds many “endemics” as well, not least of which are the moles, the cheeses, and the other delectables we sampled.

In all, the tour was a great introduction to some of the most distinctive aspects of the great country of Mexico, as well as offering a taste of the Neotropics, at the edge of which the Oaxaca valley sits. We hope you will consider joining us for another foray into these regions, or others, in the near future!

Until then, keep them binoculars close at hand, and keep an eye out for that next bird!

Dan and Chris


KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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



Lesser Roadrunners put on quite a show for us! Guide Dan Lane got this image of two, carrying some sort of large insects.

BIRDS
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
WEST MEXICAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis poliocephala) – A single bird seen on our second visit to Teotitlan. [E]
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
LONG-TAILED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (Dendrortyx macroura) – Sadly, heard only on Cerro San Felipe. [E*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – Good number of these diminutive grebes on Piedra Azul.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – One bird seen both mornings above Teotitlan.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)


Nutting's Flycatcher is a typical Myiarchus; we had some great looks at this western-slope resident. Photo by participant George Sims.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – Best seen at Monte Alban.
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius) – Chris spotted this at Monte Alban.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus) – Seen in the drier scrub below the pine belt, suggesting migratory individuals.
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Seen near Mitla and Yagul.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) [*]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Brief view of a singing male at Monte Alban.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura) – Common around the lower elevations near Teotitlan.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LESSER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx velox) – Wow! We had four + birds in two days on the tour! The views at the microwave tower road and at Yagul were fantastic!
Strigidae (Owls)
FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus) – At least two heard at Cerro San Felipe, but none approached. [*]
WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis) – Brief but good view of a bird at Cerro San Felipe.
FULVOUS OWL (Strix fulvescens) – Fantastic viewing of a bird shortly after nightfall at Cerro San Felipe.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae) – Heard well, and a few folks caught a glimpse on the road.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
MEXICAN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – Formerly Green Violetear, but that species has been split.
RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – Formerly Magnificent Hummingbird, but that species has been split.
PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster constantii) – Quick views at KM 77, as well as a bird at Yagul.
BEAUTIFUL HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax pulcher) – A brief view at Yagul followed by hearing several others there and at Monte Alban. [E]
BUMBLEBEE HUMMINGBIRD (Atthis heloisa) – Thanks to Virginia and Kirsten for spotting the female at the aptly-named Colibri restaurant our last day! [E]
DUSKY HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus sordidus) [E]
BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia beryllina) – A bird on our hotel grounds was seen by some. [E]
GREEN-FRONTED HUMMINGBIRD (CINNAMON-SIDED) (Amazilia viridifrons wagneri) – Some mostly distant views at Km 77. [E]


The Blue Mockingbird is a Mexican endemic. Guide Dan Lane was able to get a nice photo of this skulker!

WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis leucotis)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
MOUNTAIN TROGON (Trogon mexicanus) – Seen on at least three days in the mountains. Great bird!
Momotidae (Motmots)
RUSSET-CROWNED MOTMOT (Momotus mexicanus) – A smashing bird we saw well at Km 77.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Two females at Piedra Azul.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GRAY-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hypopolius) – Fairly common where there is columnar cactus. [E]
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (WEST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons polygrammus) – After some looking, we found a female at Km 77.
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus varius)
LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides scalaris)
HAIRY WOODPECKER (SOUTH MEXICAN) (Picoides villosus jardinii) – The smoky-bellied form of this widespread woodpecker showed well our last morning.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus mexicanus) [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)


Several Black-vented Orioles were seen around Teotitlan. Photo by participant Dick Latuchie.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – Two birds flying along the main road our last morning were probably this species. [I]
YELLOW-HEADED PARROT (Amazona oratrix) – A pair that had been hanging out around our hotel the first few days were this species. No parrots are native to the Oaxaca valley. [I]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus sclateri) – The Big Boy we saw on Cerro San Felipe.
WHITE-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes leucogaster) – Our first woodcreeper at the lunch spot our first day above Teotitlan. [E]
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (NORTHERN) (Lepidocolaptes affinis affinis) – Seen and heard on several occasions in the pine-oak forest.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – The northernmost of the tyrannulets, a group of confusing (but exciting!) flycatchers that fill the "warbler" niches in the deep tropics of the Americas.
GREENISH ELAENIA (WEST MEXICO) (Myiopagis viridicata jaliscensis) [*]
PILEATED FLYCATCHER (Xenotriccus mexicanus) – A local endemic that Chris pulled out handily, with one at Yagul and another boldly singing at Monte Alban. [E]
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (MEXICAN) (Mitrephanes phaeocercus phaeocercus) – One of these cinnamon mini-Pewees was at Rio Verde.
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – Nice scope views near Pollo Nino one morning.
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus)
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) [*]
DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri) – The common Empid in the Oaxaca valley.
PINE FLYCATCHER (Empidonax affinis) [*]
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis) – One of these showed well at Yuvila.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – A common flycatcher in the valley, with several around Piedra Azul.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – We had good looks at this flycatcher our second morning above Teotitlan.
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens) – This and the next species are very similar and overlap here in the Oaxaca valley. This one has a paler face and the dark on the tail wraps around the tip.
NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (NUTTING'S) (Myiarchus nuttingi inquietus) – Good views of this at Km 77 and again above Teotitlan.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Mostly heard around the hotel.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (SOCIAL) (Myiozetetes similis pallidiventris) – Heard above Teotitlan. [*]
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Again, mostly heard around the hotel, but one at the Tule tree was a good view.


The Bushtits that we saw are of the Melanotis group, which has black ear patches, unlike the American population, which does not. This individual shows that trait nicely. Photo by participant Kirsten Tucker.

CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans) – A common wintering migrant on the floor of the valley.
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris) – Good views at Km 77 and again at Monte Alban.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis) – For some reason, Monte Alban is the place for this migrant.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – A young male was with a jay-wren flock on Cerro San Felipe.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Seen on two days at the east end of the valley.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius melitophrys) – Smashing views of this really lovely vireo at Rio Verde. Another was heard on the Yuvila road.
GOLDEN VIREO (Vireo hypochryseus) – First above Teotitlan, another pair was at Monte Alban. [E]
SLATY VIREO (Vireo brevipennis) – Not the best responders, but we caught glimpses at Pollo Nino and Monte Alban. [E]
DWARF VIREO (Vireo nelsoni) – Two birds along the Teotitlan hairpin turns were lukewarm. [E]
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)
CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii) – A bird at Pollo Nino showed the characters of this species.
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – Heard several times, and seen well above Teotitlan.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – Often common as a winterer in the area, we had them at several sites, with good views on the Yuvila road.


The Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo is one of the most colorful members of this usually somber group. We got a great look at this one at Rio Verde. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
DWARF JAY (Cyanolyca nanus) – Fantastic! Two flocks containing this very range-restricted jay performed well for us on Cerro San Felipe. [E]
WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE-JAY (Calocitta formosa) – A very gaudy jay that showed well at KM 77.
STELLER'S JAY (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cyanocitta stelleri coronata) – In the same flocks as the Dwarf Jay, these are the southern Mexican form with a bluer crest than the ones we know from the US and Canada.
WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (SUMICHRAST'S) (Aphelocoma woodhouseii sumichrasti) – As Scrub Jay has been broken into more and more daughter species, this southern Mexican form, presently in "Woodhouse's Jay" may well be made its own species: Sumichrast's Jay.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – One flew by us on Cerro San Felipe, and another pair was over Oaxaca as we returned one afternoon. This is the southernmost crow/raven in the Americas, reaching Nicaragua.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – Swarms over the foothills and mountains were nice.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri) – Seen well on several occasions.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (MELANOTIS GROUP) (Psaltriparus minimus melanotis) – Unlike most US populations, this form really does have black ears (males only, females have a stripe of black at most and pale eyes).
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (ALBESCENS/ALTICOLA) (Certhia americana alticola) – It's conceivable that the Brown Creeper may be split into several species in the future. If so, this will probably become a Middle American species that just reaches Arizona.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – Nice views at Monte Alban.
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – Heard at several points, but a bird showed at Monte Alban.
HOUSE WREN (NORTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon parkmanii) – Migrants in the bottom of the valley.
HOUSE WREN (BROWN-THROATED) (Troglodytes aedon brunneicollis) – The breeding form in the pine-oak forest of the mountains.
BEWICK'S WREN (MEXICANUS GROUP) (Thryomanes bewickii mexicanus)
GRAY-BARRED WREN (Campylorhynchus megalopterus) – Unlike the other large wrens we saw, this one stays high in trees specializing on bromeliads. [E]
RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (SCLATER'S) (Campylorhynchus rufinucha humilis) – Seen at KM 77.
BOUCARD'S WREN (Campylorhynchus jocosus) – The endemic wren we saw around cactus in the floor of the valley. [E]
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Henicorhina leucophrys mexicana) – A bird showed well on Cerro San Felipe.


This Boucard's Wren posed nicely for participant Kirsten Tucker.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris) – Restricted to the Pacific slope, but common there at KM 77.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus satrapa) – Nice! A very hard bird so far south, but we saw a couple at Cerro San Felipe.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BROWN-BACKED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes occidentalis) – One of the world's great songsters, and we saw it well at Yuvila.
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – A few folks caught glimpses of this sneaky thrush above Piedra Azul.
RUSSET NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus occidentalis) – Great views of this endemic on the Yuvila road. [E]
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus) – A wintering migrant on the Yuvila road.
BLACK THRUSH (Turdus infuscatus) – Spectacular! A hard bird at times, we saw several males in a fruiting tree on the Yuvila road!
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – This and Rufous-backed Robin were daily sounds around our hotel, where they are believed to be introduced. [I]
WHITE-THROATED THRUSH (WHITE-THROATED) (Turdus assimilis oaxacae) [*]


Here is our group watching for the Dwarf Vireo to show. Photo by participant George Sims.

RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus) [I]
AMERICAN ROBIN (MIGRATORIUS GROUP) (Turdus migratorius phillipsi) – This may seem commonplace to most of us, but in Mexico, it is restricted to the highlands north and west of the Isthmus. We had about the southernmost bird in the world where we were on the Yuvila road!
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
BLUE MOCKINGBIRD (Melanotis caerulescens) – Fantastic views of this skulker at Piedra Azul. [E]
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (CURVIROSTRE GROUP) (Toxostoma curvirostre curvirostre)
OCELLATED THRASHER (Toxostoma ocellatum) – After some work, we finally got good views through the scope at Teotitlan and then Monte Alban. [E]
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos) – About as far south as they get.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
GRAY SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys cinereus) – A handsome bird we saw in spades in the scrub hills and pine-oak zone.
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – No longer a wood-warbler, but rather in its own family, we saw several at Cerro San Felipe.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – A responsive individual along the creek at Piedra Azul.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
CRESCENT-CHESTED WARBLER (Oreothlypis superciliosa) – Great views at several sites in the mountains.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata) – This and the next are wintering migrants in the area.
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)
VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis virginiae) – More restricted to drier habitats such as Km 77 and Yagul.
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei) – A single bird at Piedra Azul showed for us.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata) – A couple at Piedra Azul were a nice surprise.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi) – This and the next are common wintering birds in the pine-oak zone of the mountains.
HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis)
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – A surprise in the pine-oak zone at Rio Verde was a female in a mixed flock that I was able to put in the scope for a moment.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (RUFIFRONS GROUP) (Basileuterus rufifrons rufifrons) – A handsome resident warbler we saw several times.
GOLDEN-BROWED WARBLER (Basileuterus belli) – Those glowing yellow brows really wowed us!
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons) – Chris got us on one of these fine warblers (a wintering migrant here) at Rio Verde.
RED WARBLER (Cardellina rubra) – A real crowd pleaser, we enjoyed every one we saw! [E]


The Pileated Flycatcher isn't colorful, but it has a certain flair. We had some great views of this western Mexico endemic, including one singing at Monte Alban. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – This and the next are also lovely gems of the pine-oak zone we enjoyed thoroughly.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus miniatus)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Whoa! One of the most unexpected birds of the tour! We had a female-plumaged bird with some black on the wing coverts suggesting it was actually a first-year male. Turns out, the species is almost entirely migratory in Mexico, making this individual's natural occurrence here much more likely!
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Some folks saw a winter male near Teotitlan.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
BRIDLED SPARROW (Peucaea mystacalis) – A smashing-looking sparrow, and one we saw several times! [E]
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum) – One bird near Teotitlan showed well.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (Spizella pallida) – A small flock before reaching Teotitlan.
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Arremon brunneinucha suttoni) – A pair responded along one of the brushy arroyos on Cerro San Felipe.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)
WHITE-THROATED TOWHEE (Melozone albicollis) – One of the first of the endemics to see on the tour. [E]
OAXACA SPARROW (Aimophila notosticta) – Sneaky, but we got views near Pollo Nino. [E]
SPOTTED TOWHEE (MACULATUS GROUP) (Pipilo maculatus oaxacae) – A bit grayer than more northerly forms.
COLLARED TOWHEE (Pipilo ocai) – Like the Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, but with an eyebrow and an attitude. [E]
RUFOUS-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pileatus) – Deb's 3000th species! Fantastic! [E]
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (NORTHERN) (Piranga flava hepatica) – A brief couple of sightings.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus) – Just starting to sing and claim territories.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Some non-breeding birds at Teotitlan showed well.
ORANGE-BREASTED BUNTING (Passerina leclancherii) – One of the highlights of the tour was a stunning male at Km 77! [E]
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor) – A couple of females showed well at Km 77, and Kirsten spotted a male.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE (Icterus wagleri) – Several seen, particularly at Teotitlan, where we saw a fairly bland young bird... not a common plumage!
STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus) – Several views at Km 77.
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) – One with a Black-vented above Piedra Azul.
AUDUBON'S ORIOLE (DICKEY'S) (Icterus graduacauda dickeyae) – One at Rio Verde showed briefly.
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – This and the next species were mostly in-town.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)


The showy White-throated Magpie-jay was seen well at KM 77. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Euphonia elegantissima)
HOUSE FINCH (COMMON) (Haemorhous mexicanus roseipectus) – This distinctive race is endemic to the Oaxaca valley.
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra stricklandi) – Seen on two days in the mountains.
BLACK-HEADED SISKIN (Spinus notatus) – A pair bathing (?) in a bromeliad at Yuvila.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

MAMMALS
MEXICAN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus aureogaster) – The squirrel we saw most days on the hotel grounds.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS


Totals for the tour: 187 bird taxa and 1 mammal taxa