Sunday, June 8, 2014

White-collared Seedeaters and Friends

A rich site like the San José del Cabo Estuary invites exploring, especially in the cool early morning hours. Besides the waterbirds and celebrated Belding's Yellowthroats, many other species thrive in the riparian habitat. This must be the world epicenter for Hooded Orioles!

A splendid male Hooded Oriole

Gilded Flickers inhabit nearly the entire Baja peninsula.

Both Common Ground-Doves (like this one) and Ruddy Ground-Doves 
live at the estuary –– but have you ever seen one foraging in beach sand?

An elegant Rough-winged Swallow pauses for a moment.

Our most unexpected find is a handful of White-collared Seedeaters, which must be a recent arrival in Baja. The standard publications don't list them for the peninsula, although their occurrence here in southern Baja is mentioned on the website of Handbook of the Birds of the World (Internet Bird Collection).

A male White-collared Seedeater of the West Mexican race...

and the female White-collared Seedeater, also eating what seedeaters eat!

Hmm, yes –– we have to figure her out first. The male waits till the more difficult ID has been resolved, before he appears!

(By the way, if there is a next trip to Cabo, I'll be parasailing! It looks like great fun.)