Sunday, December 21, 2008


Several days later at the Moxviquil site, and I’ve only caught a glimpse of a Golden-cheeked Warbler one afternoon. When we revisited that site the next morning, we found Townsend’s Warblers, Wilson’s Warblers, an Oliver Warbler, an Audubon’s Warbler, and a Tennessee Warbler, but no Golden-cheeked Warbler. These birds, together with a couple of Steller’s Jays, a Hairy Woodpecker, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Greater Pewee, a Blue-headed Vireo, a Warbling Vireo, a Bell’s Vireo, a Yellowish Flycatcher, a Hammond’s Flycatcher, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, were seen foraging around the field pictured above. And yes, that white stuff on the field is frost! I never imagined I would be freezing cold while looking at warblers. But here in Chiapas, at more than 2,000 m elevation, some clear nights are very cold.

Once the sun is out, the frost on the field melts and vaporizes.

In the afternoon, we went into town and I got myself a Mayan hand-knitted woolly hat and matching scarf, which this morning proved very effective.

Here are some mug shots of three of the four members of the so-called virens super-species. They are closely related to the Golden-cheeked Warbler.

Townsend’s Warblers are here in pretty good numbers.

Hermit Warblers are found in pines, which are scarce at the Moxviquil site. Moxviquil is practically all oak woodlands, with some pines here and there. Rare clusters of three or more pines invariably have one or more Hermit Warblers in them.

Black-throated Green Warblers are not common here, although we’ve seen several individuals now.

But still no Golden-cheeked Warblers in our flocks! A Black-throated Blue Warbler, yes - a bird that I'm assuming is much rarer here than goldencheek - but where are the goldencheeks?

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