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Field Guides Tour Report
Christmas in Oaxaca 2019
Dec 21, 2019 to Dec 28, 2019
Doug Gochfeld, Micah Riegner and Jorge Montejo

One of the biggest avian attractions of Oaxaca is the glowing red, silver-cheeked Red Warbler. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Oaxaca, land of the Zapotecas, is a place all birders should go—its magic is not just in the birds, (and don’t get me wrong, the birding’s great) but in the vibrant culture, deep history, colorful rugs and distinct flavors that make Oaxaca, well, Oaxaca. Our Christmas tour landed numerous avian highlights from the flocks of Dwarf Jays that dazzled us in the moss-laden hardwoods of Cerro San Felipe to the Russet-crowned Motmots backdropped by columnar cacti along KM 77, the flock of Elegant Euphonias frantically flitting through mistletoe, and the crepuscular chorus of Fulvous Owls that chilly night in the mountains. For cultural activities we visited several important historical sites, like Mitla and Monte Alban, had dinner overlooking the bustling Zocalo, and watched the rug making demonstration by the Mendoza sisters, a Field Guides tradition that goes back many years.

Day one, we worked the slope above Teotitlan del Valle, starting in the arid shrublands where we saw numerous sparrows, the endemic Boucard’s Wren, and our first Gray-fronted Woodpeckers. The reservoir above town had numerous Least Grebes, a Green Kingfisher and some Blue-winged Teal. After some nice views of Black-vented Orioles and Greenish Elaenia, we ascended into the Oak zone, to see Mexican Violetears, Mountain Trogon, a smattering of western warblers and Gray-collared Becard. Dinner that evening was at a restaurant overlooking the Zocalo, mariachis playing at our table. What a festive night!

The following day we focused on seeing Dwarf Jays, among other things of course. These canopy corvids occupy a narrow sliver of forest in the mountains of Oaxaca and nearby Chiapas. They often forage in flocks with Gray-barred Wrens and Steller’s Jays, probing through moss and other epiphytes. Before ascending Cerro San Felipe, we stopped first at "Pollo Niño" at the base of the mountain and saw Oaxaca Sparrow, a flock of Elegant Euphonias and some cooperative Gray Silky-Flycatchers. When we reached the trail, we were greeted by a handsome Red Warbler foraging low to the ground. What a stunner! It didn’t take long before we found our first flock with Steller’s Jay’s and Gray-barred Wrens—and there they were, the Dwarf Jays! They descended to eye level, which is something one doesn’t get to see very often. What an incredible experience.

The cactus slopes of KM 77 are a well-known site for seeing Oaxaca’s desert birds. It gets hot here, so we had an earlier-than-usual departure to get there. When we arrived, we were greeted by a pair of Russet-crowned Motmots, backed by the steep canyon walls. One of them decided to sally up and land on the canyon wall. Other birds we saw that morning included the Sclater’s form of Rufous-naped Wren, Green-fronted Hummingbird, which is basically the Oaxaca version of Violet-crowned Hummingbird, heaps of White-lored Gnatcatchers, Nutting’s Flycatchers, Bridled Sparrow, Golden Vireo, a female Elegant Trogon and a couple Plain-capped Starthroats. We had a special lunch that day at a place where they process Mezcal, then had a tour of the Mezcaleria. It’s truly amazing the amount of work that goes into making it!

Monte Alban is certainly the most famous archeological site in Oaxaca. We spent a morning there, first birding some of the deciduous forest that cloaks the flank of the mountain. The coolest bird of the morning was Pileated Flycatcher, a west Mexico endemic that’s like a cross between a pewee and an empid. Jorge, our driver (not to be confused with Jorge the guide!), gave us a great tour of the ruins with fascinating tidbits on the Zapotecas, who built the incredible city. After a mid-afternoon break, we ascended Cerro San Felipe again, this time in search of owls. As we set things up for tortellini dinner, the Fulvous Owls erupted into a full-blown cacophony. At least two pairs took part—it was quite remarkable. After dinner we drove to another site for Saw-whet Owl. When we exited the van we could hear it tooting down in a gully. After a few minutes it came in right above us. Fantastico!

Our final day of birding we went back up Cerro San Felipe to bird the Yuvilla Road. After realizing there was no breakfast at our hotel, we left in hopes of finding an open restaurant along the road. Anxiety grew as we passed closed restaurant after closed restaurant until we reached a cozy log cabin restaurant with people, who graciously let us in. And the food was just great! The birding that followed was also great. Doug found the nest of White-eared Hummingbird, which seemed out of season, and we had great looks at Collared Towhee, Rufous-capped Brushfinch, a brief buzz-by of a Bumblebee Hummingbird, and numerous Gray Silky Flycatchers clustering together at the top of a tree.

Doug, Jorge and I would like to thank all of you for joining us for the fun and festivities this year. We hope to see you again on another birding trail!

Hasta luego,

Micah, Doug and Jorge

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

Oaxaca has a nice variety of climates, and during our warmest morning in the desert we were able to find some coolness under the shadow of one of the large cacti that are so characteristic of the regional landscape, and an important species for a wide array of birds, from Plain-capped Starthroats and Rufous-naped Wren to Gray-breasted and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. We even saw a White-lored Gnatcatcher poking around the canopy of one of these great shade-givers. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – A few were on the lake above Teotitlan del Valle.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas crecca) – We scoped a couple on the back shore of the lake above Teotitlan de Valle.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – A handful of these were on the reservoir above Teotitlan.
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – Presa Piedra Azul above Teotitlan.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
LONG-TAILED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (Dendrortyx macroura) – We heard the late afternoon chorus of these elusive chickens at Cerro San Felipe. [E*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – It was cool to see and hear several on the lake above Teotitlan del Valle.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)
COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Heard near Monte Alban. [*]
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

We had a tremendously fun experience with the eye-popping Elegant Euphonia on our second morning, as we lucked upon a tree that had been taken over by some healthily fruiting mistletoe. Photo by participant Maureen Phair.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
MEXICAN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – Common at the high elevations. We had several decent looks throughout the tour.
RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – This used to be called Magnificent Hummingbird--I still think they're still pretty magnificent. We saw a few of them along the Yuvilla Road.
PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster constantii) – We saw a few of these large hummers our morning at KM 77.
AMETHYST-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis amethystinus) – It was cool to see this rather low density hummingbird at Rio Verde. Quite similar to Blue-throated Mountain-gem, but with a shorter bill, and limited white on the tail. Adult males have an obvious purple gorget.
BLUE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis clemenciae) – Fairly common at the high elevations.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – Lots throughout the tour.
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus) – We had decent looks at a few of these winter visitors at Cerro San Felipe.
DUSKY HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus sordidus) – Fairly common in the dry habitats around Oaxaca. [E]
BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia beryllina) – Common. We even saw a few at the hotel in downtown Oaxaca.
GREEN-FRONTED HUMMINGBIRD (CINNAMON-SIDED) (Amazilia viridifrons wagneri) – Another cool endemic hummer. This species lives in arid desert on the west slope of Oaxaca. [E]
WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis leucotis) – Abundant in the highlands. Doug spotted a nest along the Yuvilla road.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – Several scampered along the lake shore near Teotitlan del Valle.

Oaxaca has some incredible flora, from the landscape dominating cacti in the deserts to the oversized high elevation thistles, which were just starting to flower during our visit this year. The giant agaves, however, are often the most eye-catching and perhaps the most far-from-the-norm plants we encounter. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – One of these flew into the near shoreline at the reservoir above Teotitlan on our second visit there.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
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)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – Seen on a few occasions while we were driving just outside of Oaxaca City.
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – A gorgeous adult flew over some fields near Mitla.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Strigidae (Owls)
FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus) – We heard one on our owling night but it didn't come in. [*]
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (MOUNTAIN) (Glaucidium gnoma gnoma) – We heard one our night of owling, but it got upstaged by the Fulvous Owls. [*]
FULVOUS OWL (Strix fulvescens) – Certainly one of the highlights of trip! At one point we were surrounded by two pairs calling back and forth.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans) – We saw a female in the dry forest at KM 77.
MOUNTAIN TROGON (Trogon mexicanus) – Rather shy and secretive, but we managed to get them in the scope a couple times.
Momotidae (Motmots)
RUSSET-CROWNED MOTMOT (Momotus mexicanus) – We had outstanding views of a pair at KM 77. I could have easily spent the entire day watching them.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Seen a couple times at the lake above Teotitlan del Valle.

A morning view from the ridge at La Cumbre looking down the valley towards Oaxaca City. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)
GRAY-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hypopolius) – Fairly common in the arid environments throughout the tour. [E]
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (WEST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons polygrammus) – Stay tuned for a future spit. This population will soon be recognized as a good species.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (SOUTH MEXICAN) (Dryobates villosus jardinii) – These ones are much browner than the ones up north.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus mexicanus) [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
YELLOW-HEADED PARROT (Amazona oratrix) – These came in to roost near our hotel. [I]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
WHITE-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes leucogaster) – This is the oak forest woodcreeper we saw at Rio Verde. [E]
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (NORTHERN) (Lepidocolaptes affinis affinis) – We saw a couple in a feeding flock at Cerro San Felipe.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – Our best looks were at Cerro San Felipe.

Dwarf Jay is another of the Mexican endemics that exists in a very limited range, and this year's tour had a fantastic experience with multiple groups of these inquisitive but wary corvids. They can be tough to track down, but we ran across three separate groups of these charismatic birds, always in conjunction with their close compatriots, Gray-barred Wrens and Steller's Jay. Photo by participant Maureen Phair.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
GREENISH ELAENIA (WEST MEXICO) (Myiopagis viridicata jaliscensis) – We were somewhat surprised to see this bird near the lake above Teotitlan del Valle.
PILEATED FLYCATCHER (Xenotriccus mexicanus) – What a cool bird! We saw it in the dry forest of Monte Alban. There's only one other member of the genus Xenotriccus, the Belted Flycatcher of southern Mexico and Guatemala. [E]
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (MEXICAN) (Mitrephanes phaeocercus phaeocercus) – Fairly common throughout the tour.
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – Common in the mountains. We even heard some singing their "Jose-Maria" song.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) – We had nice studies of this bird throughout the tour.
DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri) – Also common throughout the tour. It was nice to be able to compare them to Hammond's Flycatcher.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – Seen our first morning in the open fields near Teotitlan del Valle.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) [*]
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens) – A couple of these were seen at KM 77.
NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (NUTTING'S) (Myiarchus nuttingi inquietus) – A dry forest specialist in western Mexico. We saw a couple along the wash at KM 77.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (VERMILION-CROWNED) (Myiozetetes similis texensis)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans) – Fairly common in dry open country throughout the tour.
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris) – One was hanging out at Pollo Niño near where we saw the Euphonias.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)

Oaxaca is justly renowned for a good many things, of which the birds are but one. The distinctive cuisine is always a highlight, and included under that umbrella is the hot chocolate. The cocoa itself is not grown in the state, but the chocolate mix and the way they make it is a signature of Mexico, and it is not to be missed in Oaxaca. This image comes from our final lunch, up in the mountains accompanied by Blue-throated Mountain-Gem and Rivoli's Hummingbirds, great food, and a wonderfully scenic view of the northern slope of La Cumbre. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius melitophrys) – One of the iconic birds of Central Mexico! We had decent views of a bird at Rio Verde.
GOLDEN VIREO (Vireo hypochryseus) – Another west Mexico endemic! One appeared at KM 77 and Monte Alban. [E]
SLATY VIREO (Vireo brevipennis) – Heard singing way down the slope at Monte Alban, but unfortunately it wouldn't budge. [E*]
DWARF VIREO (Vireo nelsoni) – This Kinglet look-alike appeared above Teotitlan del Valle. [E]
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni) – Common in the mountains.
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius) – Fairly common in the feeding flocks.
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – The drab western counterpart of Blue-headed Vireo.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Jorge spotted one way off in the distance near Teotitlan del Valle.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
DWARF JAY (Cyanolyca nanus) – Chevere (that means awesome)! What a bird! We spent time with three different flocks at Cerro San Felipe. [E]
WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE-JAY (Calocitta formosa) [*]
STELLER'S JAY (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cyanocitta stelleri coronata) – Fairly common in the mountains.
WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (SUMICHRAST'S) (Aphelocoma woodhouseii sumichrasti) – Stay tuned for a future spit. This bird sounds really different from the birds in Arizona.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

We had this delightful bushel of Gray-silky Flycatchers in a tree amongst a larger group of upwards of 100 individuals on our final morning near Yuvila. Photo by guide Micah Riegner.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri) – A couple appeared here and there in the feeding flocks in the mountains.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (MELANOTIS GROUP) (Psaltriparus minimus melanotis) – These have dark masks, but are otherwise identical to the birds in the US.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis mexicana) [*]
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (ALBESCENS/ALTICOLA) (Certhia americana alticola) – A few of us got on one while we were birding up at Cerro San Felipe.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris) – A striking gnatcatcher of dry forests in western Mexico. They were all over the place at KM 77.

Monte Alban is one of the most striking of the Zapotec ruins, lying on a bare hill within Oaxaca City, and despite being centuries removed from being a functional city, it is steeped in fascinating culture, and characterized by some incredible architecture and construction. Photo by participant Maureen Phair.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – It was cool to see these scrambling on the ruins at Mitla and Monte Alban.
HOUSE WREN (BROWN-THROATED) (Troglodytes aedon brunneicollis)
GRAY-BARRED WREN (Campylorhynchus megalopterus) – Boy were these common in the highlands. I just loved watching them forage on the mossy branches. [E]
RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (SCLATER'S) (Campylorhynchus rufinucha humilis) – Another species soon to be split. They perched out on the columnar cacti at KM 77.
BOUCARD'S WREN (Campylorhynchus jocosus) – The "Cactus Wren" of Oaxaca. We saw them a couple times in the dry lowlands. They were building a nest at the place where we had the Mezcal tour. [E]
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Henicorhina leucophrys mexicana) – We had nice views of this skulker at Cerro San Felipe.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
BLUE MOCKINGBIRD (Melanotis caerulescens) – It's rare to have the kind of look we had over at Pollo Niño. [E]
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (CURVIROSTRE GROUP) (Toxostoma curvirostre curvirostre)
OCELLATED THRASHER (Toxostoma ocellatum) – One sang for a little while from way up the valley but then got quiet before we could see it. [E*]
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BROWN-BACKED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes occidentalis) – The voice of the Mexican highlands! It sounds like 100 violins tuning up. We saw one well at Rio Verde.
RUSSET NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus occidentalis) – One posed briefly on a rock before disappearing along the Yuvilla Road. [E]
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Common at the hotel grounds in downtown Oaxaca. [I]
AMERICAN ROBIN (MIGRATORIUS GROUP) (Turdus migratorius phillipsi) – Yup, they make it all the way to Oaxaca.
RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus) – Also common at the hotel. [I]
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
GRAY SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys cinereus) – One of the cool, cool birds of Mexico. Seen multiple times throughout the tour, often in large flocks.

Pileated Flycatcher was another Mexican endemic which has a fairly limited bit of habitat in the Oaxaca area, but we ended up having really nice views of a frequently calling individual on the day we visited Monte Alban. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – It's actually not warbler, but in a group all on its own. We had our best looks along the Yuvilla Road.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Russet-crowned Motmot put on a great show for us on the day of our dry forest birding to the southeast of Oaxaca City. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens) – We happened to see one along the lake margin above Teotitlan del Valle.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Euphonia elegantissima) – We were mesmerized by a flock at Pollo Niño.
HOUSE FINCH (COMMON) (Haemorhous mexicanus roseipectus) – The ones here in Mexico are much brighter than the ones in the US.
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra stricklandi) – A couple individuals were calling from the tops of the trees at Cerro San Felipe.
BLACK-HEADED SISKIN (Spinus notatus) – A single male flew over while we were birding along the Yuvilla Road.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
BRIDLED SPARROW (Peucaea mystacalis) – A handsome sparrow of the dry desert valleys. We had our best looks along KM 77. [E]
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum) – It was cool to see this species in the grasslands below Teotitlan del Valle.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Arremon brunneinucha suttoni) – We caught up with this species at Rio Verde. It looks a lot like a Collared Towhee.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus)
WHITE-THROATED TOWHEE (Melozone albicollis) – The "Canyon Towhee" of Oaxaca. This bird is just about everywhere in the dry intermontane valleys. [E]
OAXACA SPARROW (Aimophila notosticta) – The only bird with Oaxaca in its name. We saw one drinking water from a concrete installment at Pollo Niño. [E]
SPOTTED TOWHEE (MACULATUS GROUP) (Pipilo maculatus oaxacae) – These look and sound really different from the ones in Arizona.
COLLARED TOWHEE (Pipilo ocai) – A handsome endemic. We had our best looks along the Yuvilla Road. [E]
RUFOUS-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pileatus) – We caught up with these our final day of birding along the Yuvilla Road. [E]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE (Icterus wagleri) – Fairly common at the lower elevations.
STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus)
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii)
AUDUBON'S ORIOLE (DICKEY'S) (Icterus graduacauda dickeyae) – Scope views up at Cerro San Felipe.
SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – Merrill saw one at the hotel grounds.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Wow! They can be skulky in their mid-to-high elevation forest habitat, but when they do pop out into view, Golden-browed Warblers are a true show stopper. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – A few of these showed up in the feeding flocks throughout the tour.
CRESCENT-CHESTED WARBLER (Oreothlypis superciliosa) – Also fairly common in the feeding flocks.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Leiothlypis ruficapilla) – Probably the most common warbler of the tour. Seen just about every day.
VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Leiothlypis virginiae) – We had a bird in perfect light at KM 77.
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei) – Always difficult to see. We had decent views along KM 77.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – We saw one accidentally along the lake shore above Teotitlan Del Valle.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens) – A couple showed up in the feeding flocks.
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)
HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis)
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (RUFIFRONS GROUP) (Basileuterus rufifrons rufifrons) – We saw a pair in the dry scrub below Cerro San Felipe.
GOLDEN-BROWED WARBLER (Basileuterus belli) – One of my favorites of the tour. I just love that face pattern.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons) – It's cool to see a backyard bird on its wintering grounds. We encountered a few throughout the tour.
RED WARBLER (Cardellina rubra) – Que maravilla! For many seeing one at eye level was the highlight of the tour. [E]
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus)
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus miniatus) – These added some color to the feeding flocks in the mountains.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (NORTHERN) (Piranga flava hepatica)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – We saw a small flock below Teotitlan del Valle on our first morning of birding.
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor) – It was neat seeing these at KM 77.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
CINNAMON-RUMPED SEEDEATER (Sporophila torqueola torqueola) – Some saw one near Teotitlan del Valle. [E]

MEXICAN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus aureogaster) – Fairly common around the hotel.

Here are a few video clips from our lovely holiday week in Oaxaca. Video clips by guide Doug Gochfeld.
MEXICAN SPINY-TAILED IGUANA (Ctenosaura pectinata) – We saw one basking way up on a cliff at KM 77.


Totals for the tour: 172 bird taxa and 1 mammal taxa