A Field Guides Birding Tours Report


March 4-11, 2023 with Chris Benesh & Tom Johnson guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
Water is a precious resource in the arid Oaxaca Valley, and the reservoir, Piedra Azul, is one of the few sources to be found. As such, it, along with surrounding riparian habitat, is a magnet for birds. Behind the waters can be seen the high forest-covered peaks of the Sierra Aloapaneca, host to a lot of endemics. Photo by participant Kevin Watson.

The state of Oaxaca is at a biogeographic crossroad, where north meets south, and east meets west. And stuck in the middle is an arid, interior bowl, the Valley of Oaxaca. This tour is designed to target many of the specialties found in this special region, and the 2023 tour was full of highlights. One of the biggest highlights had to be our exciting encounter with a couple of Long-tailed Wood-Partridges on Cerro San Felipe. In the same high country, Red Warbler stood out as a favorite as it is not every day you see a bright red warbler with silvery cheeks. There was so much more up there too. The unexpected surprise of a Gray-collared Becard, a quiet flock of Dwarf Jays moving through the epiphyte-laden oaks with Steller’s Jays and Gray-barred Wrens. The oak-pine zone was also home to the massive Strong-billed Woodcreeper, the shocking Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Fulvous Owl, Golden-browed Warbler, Collared Towhee, and Chestnut-capped and Rufous-capped brushfinches. Too many to name.

The drier oaks and scrub featured a different assortment of birds with Ocellated Thrasher, Slaty, Dwarf, and Golden vireos, Oaxaca and Bridled sparrows drawing our attention. A morning spent descending the Pacific slope through amazing cactus forests brought with it several more specialties like White-throated Magpie-Jay, Russet-crowned Motmot, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Orange-fronted Parakeet, and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.

But it wasn’t simply the birds we took in. Oaxaca is rich in culture, from our lively dinner at the city center to a traditional Zapotec lunch in Teotitlan del Valle followed by a tapestry demonstration, and a visit to the archeological sites at Mitla and the amazing Monte Alban. Our tours are about shared experiences, and Tom and I had a really wonderful time with all of you. Your enthusiasm made the tour. Best wishes and good birding. We look forward to birding with you again in the future.


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)

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Lurking in the darkest shadows of the oak-pine understory were these Long-tailed Wood-Partridges, and participant Kevin Watson managed an image that captures the essence of the moment. This was a trip highlight for many.


RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

WEST MEXICAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis poliocephala) [E]

We were able to scope some at KM77.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

LONG-TAILED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (Dendrortyx macroura) [E]

One of the shyest species in the pine-oak forests of western Mexico. Our persistence paid off with scope studies of this amazing bird!

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)

Big numbers of these were at the reservoir Piedra Azul.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata)

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]

INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Tom and I had been talking about how infrequently this elusive species had been seen on previous Oaxaca tours, and I had mentioned that I had only had it in the mountains to the south of the valley. Not more than a day or two after our chat, this male Gray-collared Becard put in an appearance for us! Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina)

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) [*]

WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

LESSER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx velox)

Heard by all, this species was particularly elusive this time around with several spotting them crossing paths.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

Very local in the central valley, we had one at Aranjuez.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae)

Flight views of one on Cerro San Felipe during our owling there.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

MEXICAN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus)

RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens)

PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster constantii)

A wonderful encounter with one near the Piedra Azul Reservoir that was flycatching small gnats.

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Colibri Restaurant was a treat indeed. While sipping at our delicious hot chocolates, we were treated to some wonderful birds coming in for water there. Here is an endemic Rufous-capped Brush-Finch photographed by participant Kevin Watson.

BLUE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis clemenciae)

One at the Colibri Restaurant in the mountains paid several visits there.

BEAUTIFUL HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax pulcher) [E]

After a lot of searching and close calls, we finally connected with a perched female we could scope.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris)

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus)

DUSKY HUMMINGBIRD (Phaeoptila sordida) [E]

Not much to look at but this species was a common endemic.

WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Basilinna leucotis)

GREEN-FRONTED HUMMINGBIRD (CINNAMON-SIDED) (Leucolia viridifrons wagneri) [E]

We had a couple of views of this species on the Pacific slope at the KM77 site.

BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD (Saucerottia beryllina)

A couple of these were at our hotel in the city.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another bird of the oak-pine forests is Yellow-eyed Junco. This one was also seen at Colibri. Photo by participant Kevin Watson.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

A very impressive flock of birds was at the Presa Piedra Azul, and at one point, landing on the dam itself!

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

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)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Steller's Jay is a very widespread species ranging from southcentral Alaska to northern Central America. Their appearance varies from place to place, and birds in Oaxaca are strikingly blue with lots of white around their eyes, as illustrated by participant Paul Demkovich's wonderful image.

NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)

COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)

One was at Aranjuez that was perhaps a returning Spring migrant.

ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)

Great study of this species in the pine zone above San Miguel.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)

Strigidae (Owls)

NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (MOUNTAIN) (Glaucidium gnoma gnoma) [*]

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)

Great study of one at the KM77 site.

FULVOUS OWL (Strix fulvescens)

This one was frustratingly brief because of the logging trucks passing through, but great to hear it calling.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans)

One at the KM77 site.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another highlight in the oak-pine zone was this huge Strong-billed Woodcreeper captured by participant Kevin Watson.

MOUNTAIN TROGON (Trogon mexicanus)

A good showing of this species this year with several great sightings.

Momotidae (Motmots)

RUSSET-CROWNED MOTMOT (Momotus mexicanus)

Another thorn forest specialist that we saw really well at KM77 once Suzi spotted them for us.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)

A pair were present and vocal at the reservoir near Teotitlan.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)


GRAY-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hypopolius) [E]

GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (WEST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons polygrammus)


HAIRY WOODPECKER (SOUTH MEXICAN) (Dryobates villosus jardinii)

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara plancus)

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) [I]

Around the airport for some as we were departing.

Field Guides Birding Tours
In the drier oaks and thornscrub, we tracked down this Ocellated Thrasher and were able to enjoy stunning eye-level views. This was Chris's view.

ORANGE-FRONTED PARAKEET (Eupsittula canicularis)

Primarily a Pacific slope species, we saw a flock of seven at KM77.

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus sclateri)

After a bit of searching we connected with this gigantic woodcreeper at Cerro San Felipe. There are several discrete populations that differ vocally and in habitat preference that may represent good species.

WHITE-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes leucogaster) [E*]

SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (NORTHERN) (Lepidocolaptes affinis affinis)

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

GRAY-COLLARED BECARD (Pachyramphus major)

One of the highlights of the trip was encountering a male in a mixed flock on Cerro San Felipe. This species is scarce throughout its range and seeing one is always a treat.

ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae)

A couple of these were seen at the Hacienda El Aranjuez.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)


GREENISH ELAENIA (WEST MEXICO) (Myiopagis viridicata jaliscensis)

One was heard at Rio Verde above Teotitlan and another was briefly seen above San Miguel Arkanhel. Greenish Elaenia is currently comprised of several cryptic species in need of splitting.

PILEATED FLYCATCHER (Xenotriccus mexicanus) [E]

A fabulous study of this crested flycatcher at El Yagul. Found in the drier valleys of south central Mexico.

TUFTED FLYCATCHER (MEXICAN) (Mitrephanes phaeocercus phaeocercus)

A good showing of this species. This is another species that is comprised of a couple of cryptic species.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Also at Hacienda El Aranjuez was this skulky Slaty Vireo. Books have a tough time capturing the "wow" factor experienced when one finally gets a good look at one. It's a tough bird to photograph, but participant Kevin Watson nailed it.

GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax)

LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus)

HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii)

DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri)

PINE FLYCATCHER (Empidonax affinis) [*]

CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis) [*]

Word on the street is that there is a decent chance that this species will be lumped with Pacific-slope Flycatcher and once again be known as Western Flycatcher come July.

BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)

SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

Field Guides Birding Tours
At El Yagul we connected with this little sprite, a Pileated Flycatcher. This regional endemic can be very hard to track down in the cooler months, so we felt lucky to see it so well! Photo by participant Kevin Watson.

ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens)

NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (NUTTING'S) (Myiarchus nuttingi inquietus)

Good opportunities to compare this species with Ash-throated. And not to sound like a broken record, but there are two to three cryptic species that make up current Nutting's Flycatcher.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (VERMILION-CROWNED) (Myiozetetes similis texensis)

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)

THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris)

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius melitophrys)

One of the most special birds of the oaks of Mexico and northern Central America, this striking species was well seen at Rio Verde.

GOLDEN VIREO (Vireo hypochryseus) [E]

Part of the vireo trifecta at San Miguel Arkanhel and again right at our hotel in Oaxaca. This species looks something like a cross between a Warbling Vireo and a Wilson's Warbler, and one of its call notes is remarkably close to a Wilson's too.

SLATY VIREO (Vireo brevipennis) [E]

This one is always a shock to see once it comes into focus for you. We had a couple of encounters and it was part of the vireo trifecta.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw several species of hummingbirds, and two of the largest were Plain-capped Starthroat and Blue-throated Mountain-gem. Both images by participant Kevin Watson.

DWARF VIREO (Vireo nelsoni) [E]

This one lacks the shock and awe of Slaty Vireo, but it is fascinating in its similarity to a Ruby-crowned Kinglet both in appearance and its chatter call. Its closest relative, however, is the Black-capped Vireo.

HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)

PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus)

WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)

Laniidae (Shrikes)

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

DWARF JAY (Cyanolyca nanus) [E]

One of the most sought after regional endemics, we connected with a small flock of these on the road to La Cumbre - Cerro San Felipe. One of very few accessible sites to see this species.


Several of this oh-so-flashy thorn forest species in the cactus scrub at KM77.

STELLER'S JAY (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cyanocitta stelleri coronata)

WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (SUMICHRAST'S) (Aphelocoma woodhouseii sumichrasti)

We had good looks and listens to this distinctive population of scrub-jay. Higher pitched calls, larger size, and browner backs separate them from birds occurring in the United States.

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

Field Guides Birding Tours
While birding at Aranjuez, my attention was drawn to a Horned Lark-like song, and after a bit of searching the culprit revealed itself. Indeed it was a Horned Lark, and a local endemic breeder as well, singing a beautiful song, relatively less complex than the one of birds breeding in the Arctic. Photo by participant Kevin Watson.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri)

Alaudidae (Larks)

HORNED LARK (MEXICAN) (Eremophila alpestris oaxacae)

We were all entranced by the singing bird in the plowed field near the Hacienda El Aranjuez. This seldom seen population breeds in the Oaxaca Valley.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)

Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

BUSHTIT (MELANOTIS GROUP) (Psaltriparus minimus melanotis)

Regulidae (Kinglets)

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)


Sittidae (Nuthatches)

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis mexicana)

Certhiidae (Treecreepers)

BROWN CREEPER (ALBESCENS/ALTICOLA) (Certhia americana alticola)

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Toward the end of our Monte Alban tour, we could hear a Rock Wren singing from one of the temples. Tracking it down, we enjoyed it a bit as it sang and even sallied to catch a flying insect while we watched. Photo by participant Kevin Watson.

WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris)

Several seen in the cactus forests of KM77.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus)

Aka, Temple Wren. Well seen at Monte Alban singing from one of the temples there. Birds in this part of Mexico are rather heavily spotted.

CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus)

HOUSE WREN (BROWN-THROATED) (Troglodytes aedon brunneicollis)

BEWICK'S WREN (MEXICANUS GROUP) (Thryomanes bewickii mexicanus) [*]

GRAY-BARRED WREN (Campylorhynchus megalopterus) [E]

This highland species travels through the canopy of moist oak-pine forests laden with epiphytes. We had some great studies at La Cumbre.

RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (SCLATER'S) (Campylorhynchus rufinucha humilis)

This was the common big wren on the Pacific slope at Totolapan and KM77.

BOUCARD'S WREN (Campylorhynchus jocosus) [E]

Our best views were those at the start of the road to Teotitlan. Close cousin to the Spotted Wren, this one is a regional endemic.

HAPPY WREN (Pheugopedius felix) [E]

A furtive bird seen in the riparian area around the reservoir. Mostly a bird of the Pacific slope of western Mexico.

GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Henicorhina leucophrys mexicana)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw two closely related Melanerpes woodpeckers on the trip. Both specialize in cactus-rich habitats. The Gray-breasted Woodpecker at left (photo by participant Paul Demkovich) is found throughout the Oaxaca Valley, while the Golden-fronted Woodpecker at right (photo by guide Chris Benesh) is found on the Pacific slope. The two occur together at the KM77 site.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

BLUE MOCKINGBIRD (Melanotis caerulescens) [E]

This species can be really secretive at times, but we did luck into a couple that showed really well.

GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)

Uo to three at Aranjuez was a bit of a surprise.

CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (CURVIROSTRE GROUP) (Toxostoma curvirostre curvirostre)

OCELLATED THRASHER (Toxostoma ocellatum) [E]

This species can be skulky at times but we were fortunate to have wonderful, eye-level views of a singing bird at Aranjuez.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

BROWN-BACKED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes occidentalis)

What an amazing songster! We spent some wonderful time with a couple in the mountains north of town.


RUSSET NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus occidentalis) [E]

CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) [I]

AMERICAN ROBIN (MIGRATORIUS GROUP) (Turdus migratorius phillipsi)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another specialty of the arid thornforest and cactus scrub is Russet-crowned Motmot. We could hear a pair calling, and thankfully Suzi spotted them for us. Quite a colorful bird when seen well. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus) [I]

Bombycillidae (Waxwings)

CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)

It was a banner year for this species with flocks seen around the city.

Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)

GRAY SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys cinereus)

So many fantastic encounters with this species, its voice a part of many of our soundscapes on the tour.

Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)

OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus)

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Chlorophonia elegantissima)

This attractive species is a mistletoe specialist, and seldom found far from that plant. We connected with a couple pairs of birds in the tall alders on our way up to La Cumbre.

HOUSE FINCH (COMMON) (Haemorhous mexicanus roseipectus)

RED CROSSBILL (PARAKEET OR TYPE X) (Loxia curvirostra stricklandi)

BLACK-HEADED SISKIN (Spinus notatus)

Suzi spotted our first and most eventually got good views of them.

Field Guides Birding Tours
At our fuel stop in Totolapan we had a bit of time to explore out back. One of the birds we connected with here was the local variety of Rufous-naped Wren, a species likely to be split into as many as three species in future. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

BRIDLED SPARROW (Peucaea mystacalis) [E]

One of the more striking sparrows, this one is always a crowd-pleaser. We had a few encounters, but perhaps our best views were at Aranjuez.

GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum)

A couple seen just off the highway on the road to Teotitlan were a treat to see.

CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)

LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)


We had a responsive pair show for us at Rio Verde above Teotitlan. This one looks a lot like a smaller, darker version of a Collared Towhee.

YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus)

LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)

WHITE-THROATED TOWHEE (Melozone albicollis) [E]

OAXACA SPARROW (Aimophila notosticta) [E]

This species can be a real challenge to see at times, but we had good luck with it at Aranjuez. A cousin to the Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A big highlight of the thornforest of KM77 was this Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl that showed so well for us. Photo by participant Kevin Watson.

SPOTTED TOWHEE (MACULATUS GROUP) (Pipilo maculatus oaxacae) [*]

COLLARED TOWHEE (Pipilo ocai) [E]

RUFOUS-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pileatus) [E]

Our best views were the knockout ones at the Colibri Restaurant.

Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat)


Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)

Heard on a couple of occasions at Aranjuez. Birds here sing a somewhat different melody to US populations.

BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE (Icterus wagleri)

Some terrific views of this elegant, long-tailed oriole.

STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus)

This was the common oriole species on the Pacific slope at KM77.

AUDUBON'S ORIOLE (DICKEY'S) (Icterus graduacauda dickeyae)

One came to water at the Colibri Restaurant in the high mountains.

BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)


A pair of birds at Totolapan was a bit of a surprise, but this species has been rapidly expanding it range.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Kevin's evocative shot of us at El Yagul, no doubt still in pursuit of Beautiful Hummingbird.

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Parulidae (New World Warblers)


CRESCENT-CHESTED WARBLER (Oreothlypis superciliosa)

Not the most memorable songster, but we did have crushing views of this species in the mountains.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)

NASHVILLE WARBLER (Leiothlypis ruficapilla)

VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Leiothlypis virginiae)

MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei)

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)

Field Guides Birding Tours
And here we are all locked onto the Ocellated Thrasher singing in front of us at Aranjuez. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae)

Our only one was in the pine zone above San Miguel Arkanhel.

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)

TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)

HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis)

RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (RUFIFRONS GROUP) (Basileuterus rufifrons rufifrons)

GOLDEN-BROWED WARBLER (Basileuterus belli)

This species prefers moist understory vegetation in oak-pine forest and we had some cooperative birds on La Cumbre.

WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)

RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons)

Two seen, this species is always a crowd-pleaser.

RED WARBLER (Cardellina rubra) [E]

Wow, it was a good year for this species in the high county with a number of sightings of this striking species.

SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus miniatus)

Field Guides Birding Tours
While not a bird, the magnificent Bald Cypress tree at El Tule was quite a sight. Participant Paul Demkovich's shot captures its magnificence well.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

HEPATIC TANAGER (NORTHERN) (Piranga flava hepatica)

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

One was in the riparian vegetation near the Piedra Azul reservoir.

BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)

BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)

INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)

VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor)

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

A pair of these were at the fuel stop in Totolapan.

CINNAMON-RUMPED SEEDEATER (Sporophila torqueola torqueola) [E]

A somewhat recent split of White-collared Seedeater into two species resulted in this west Mexican endemic. We saw a male at Aranjuez.


EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus)

MEXICAN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus aureogaster)

Also called Orange-bellied Squirrel, we saw a few of these around the hotel and in the mountains.

Totals for the tour: 191 bird taxa and 2 mammal taxa