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Oh, the Orioles! – 10,000 Birds


    Not too long ago, I wrote about my many and lucky interactions with biologist buddies in 2021. I discussed taking an ornithologist buddy to the close by property of a botanist buddy, wherein he was capable of see his first Grass Wrens. I additionally included a photograph of a beautiful male Summer time Tanager seen on this October outing.

    Nevertheless, a quick assessment of this journey’s checklist jogged my memory that there was nonetheless extra to jot down about it. Among the many causes:

    • We noticed 51 species…
    • in lower than three hours…
    • on 1/20 of a sq. mile…
    • on the sting of Morelia’s city space!

    I at all times respect the chance to see and evaluate a number of members of a single genus and household on the identical time. And the orioles have been actually the belles of this specific ball. Not solely that, however all of them allowed photographs.

    The oriole parade started with a single immature male Orchard Oriole. I’d have loved seeing an grownup male, as I really like their distinctive chestnut coloring, however this immature male did give me some relatively atmospheric photos.

    Subsequent it was the flip of our resident, and semi-endemic, Black-vented Orioles. We noticed 4 of those. Like many tropical orioles, they don’t have any wing bars, and the men and women look nearly similar. (I assume these have been a pair.)

    Migratory Bullock’s Orioles have been notably ample, with seven people.

    Our resident and absolutely endemic Black-backed Orioles might simply be confused with the above Bullock’s Orioles. However the male Bullock’s black cap and eye line develop into an nearly full black hood on the male Black-backed Oriole. Females of the 2 species are rather more troublesome to tell apart. We noticed 5 of those.

    And eventually, 4 migratory Hooded Orioles turned as much as full our cavalcade of orioles.

    All of those add as much as 21 orioles… in three hours… on 14 hectares (34.5 acres).

    They’re not orioles, however the three Chihuahuan Meadowlarks we noticed are in the identical Icterid household. Till not too long ago, these have been thought of Japanese Meadowlarks, and lots of of my Mexican biologist buddies will not be but satisfied by the break up. However for geographical causes, I’m now required to register these as Chihuahuans. Both means, I get pleasure from seeing them… at the very least, that a part of them which they permit me to see.

    There was additionally an excellent variety of different birds with coloring just like my orioles. For instance, yellow, orange, and black Western Tanagers have been particularly ample (in addition to two Summer time Tanagers).


    and a feminine

    The Rufous-capped Warbler additionally shares a sure oriole-like coloration palate.

    Finally, we determined we had seen all we might see in such a small space, and headed off to the close by city of Laurelito. There we noticed these beautiful flowers of the aptly-named orchid Laelia autumnalis. This flower has the relatively morbid frequent title right here of Flor de Muerto (Flower of the Useless), as a result of it blooms across the dates of the Day of the Useless, and is commonly used to adorn altars to the expensive departed.