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Mar 20, 2011

23 lifers added to bird list

My family vacation to Cozumel, Mexico, produced 53 species of birds, 23 of which were new life-birds for me, bringing my life list to 421 species.   One of the 23 new birds was the Western Spindalis (Spindalis zena), pictured at left, a songbird who joined me at lunch one day.   This bird used to be known as the Stripe-headed Tanager.   While a number of the birds I saw, both old and new, can be found in many other parts of Mexico, plus countries like Guatemala, Belize and San Salvador, this bird was special because it occurs mainly in the Bahamas and places like Cuba, Turks and Caicos, the Cayman Islands, and even extreme southern Florida.   For a long time, it was thought that the only place it resided in Mexico was on Cozumel Island, off the Yucatan Peninsula, and that may still be the case.   Foolwing is a list of the 23 birds that I have added to my life list.   Finally, after many years, I can order a '400' button from the American Birding Association to go along with the '100' and '200' buttons that I wear on my Tilley hat.

1.   Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
2.   Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)
3.   Solitary Eagle (Harpyhaliaetus solitarius)
4.   Ruddy Crake (Laterallus ruber)
5.   Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa)
6.   Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis)
7.   Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)
8.   Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)
9.   Mexican Sheartail (Doricha eliza)
10. Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster)
11. Dot-winged Antwren (Microrhopias quixensis)
12. Greenish Elaenia (Myiopagis viridicata)
13. Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum sylvia)
14. Tropical Gnatcatcher (Polioptila plumbea)
15. Gray-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)
16. Black Catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris)
17. Cozumel Thrasher (Toxostoma guttatum)
18. Cozumel Vireo (Vireo bairdi)
19. Yucatan Vireo (Vireo magister)
20. Northern Parula (Parula americana)
21. Golden Warbler (Dendroica petechia) in part
22. Western Spindalis (Spindalis zena)
23. Melodious Blackbird (Dives dives)
A Tricoloured Heron is preparing to 'mantle' for fish in a Cozumel mangrove pond.   Mantling is a birding term used to descibe a bird's bringing forward of its wings in an umbrella position over its head to shade its vision of fish beneath the surface of water.   It also refers to certain raptors which will spread their wings in an umbrella-fashion over a recent kill to hide it from would-be thieves.
Please comment if you wish.
BtheB                                                                                            Photos by BarrytheBirder


effie kadoglou said...

now you are a scientist as for birds and little animals mr know birds by their scientific names.and where they live usually.i like birds.since i had canaries,gold finches,green finches,badgerigars,the noisy and funny zebra finches for 8 years,i read many things about them in Britannica, i watch your work.what is maple syrup for?is something like petimezi they make here out of grapes and serves for making sweet things like moustaleuria,koulourakia?i'll ask Google long.Effie.

Andrew S. said...

Hello Berry, I stumbled onto your blog while preparing for a birding trip to Cozumel. You have some beautiful shots and I hope to see as many birds as you did. I did notice that you stated you saw a Cozumel Thrasher. Did you happen to get a photo? I don't know if you're aware but there hasn't been a confirmed sighting of that bird since 2004! There have been a few unconfirmed sightings, but none since 2008. I know more than a few ornithologists who would love to see a recent photo of that bird, even from only two years ago. What part of the island did you see it in? If you can remember any information I would love to hear it. Thank you.

Barry Wallace said...

Sadly I did not get a photo...the guide I hired assured me it was Cozumel Thrasher. I have only his word for it. BtheB