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March 21 - April 4, 1998

by Lynn Voit and John Riddell

Muchas gracias to all of the people who responded to the RFI for the Jalisco and Colima that Lynn Vogt and John Riddell posted some months ago. We live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and flew to Puerto Vallarta on March 21, 1998 for a 2 week vacation/birding trip. John is a Biologist who has been teaching Bird Identification classes for over 20 years at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary. Lynn works with Aquatic Insects and has been birding 5 years.


Howell & Webb: A Guide to the Birds of Mexico
Peterson: Mexican Birds
National Geographic Society: Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Escalante, Sada and Gil: Listado de Nombres Comunes de las Aves de Mexico

Sites visited: Puerto Vallarta area (includes North of PV, in PV, South of PV following Highway 200 and birding at Mismaloya and near Chico's Paradise Restaurant area), El Tuito (in the town, at the Altamira Restaurant grounds, and on the Quarry Road at 174.5 km from PV on Highway 200), Southern Nayarit (Islas Marietas, Punta Mita, Nuevo Vallarta), and Chamela (stopping at various areas between P. Vallarta and Chamela).

Hotel: Las Palmas Beach Resort, Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio Km 2.5, P. Vallarta (Mexican owned): March 21 - April 4, 1998

Transportation: Boat trip to Islas Marietas, and car rental for 4 days in order to drive South to El Tuito and Chamela area. We hoped to drive to Manzanillo but found it was going to take far longer than expected and be too expensive paying for two hotels for the same nite. So we birded the area around El Tuito and then drove as far as Chamela on one day, reaching it at about 2:30 p.m. We did not go to the Biosphere nearby as it was extremely hot outside and we felt the chances of seeing much at that point were slim. There were two Military Checkpoints between El Tuito and Chamela but they waved us through on our way South, and then stopped us on our way back North, asking us for tobacco (which we did not have). They stopped most Mexicans and searched many vehicles, but were not bothering tourists.

Species seen:

CP= Chico's Paradise Restaurant area, south of Vallarta along Highway 200
ET= El Tuito
Hotel= Las Palmas Beach Resort, P. Vallarta
IM= Islas Marietas
NV= Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit
PV= Puerto Vallarta
Pied-billed Grebe  Podilymbus podiceps -
Black Storm-Petrel  Oceamodroma melania seen from Hotel and from IM
Blue-footed Booby  Sula nebouxii seen from Hotel and IM
Brown Booby  Sula leucogaster -
Brown Pelican  Pelecanus occidentalis -
Double-crested Cormorant  Phalacrocorax auritus seen from Hotel
Neotropic Cormorant  Phalacrocorax brasilianus -
Magnificent Frigatebird  Fregata magnificens -
Great Egret  Casmerodius albus -
Snowy Egret  Egretta thula -
Little Blue Heron  Egretta caerulea -
Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis -
Green Heron  Butorides virescens -
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  Nyctanassa violacea -
White Ibis  Eudocimus albus -
White-faced Ibis  Plegadis chihi 1 NE of PV
Wood Stork  Mycteria americana 4 in PV, along creek next to Holiday Inn, PV
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  Dendrocygna autumnalis NV
Blue-winged Teal  Anas discors -
Black Vulture  Coragyps atratus -
Turkey Vulture  Cathartes aura -
Osprey  Pandion haliaetus 1 at Punta Mita, Nayarit
White-tailed Kite  Elanus leucurus 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  Accipiter straitus 1 near CP
Cooper's Hawk  Accipiter cooperii -
Gray Hawk  Buteo nitidus -
Short-tailed Hawk  Buteo brachyurus - 1, dark phase in PV
Red-tailed Hawk  Buteo jamacensis - 2, ET
Crested Caracara  Caracara plancus - 2 adults, on Highway 200 approx. 1/2 way from ET to Chamela
American Kestrel  Falco sparverius -
Chachalaca species, heard only - -
Elegant Quail  Callipepla douglasii -
Common Moorhen  Gallinula cholorpus 4 in NV
American Coot  Fulica americana -
Killdeer  Charadrius vociferus -
Northern Jacana  Jacana spinosa 13 at NV and 2 at ET
Willet  Catoptrophorus semipalmatus -
Spotted Sandpiper  Actitis macularia -
Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus -
Marbled Godwit  Limosa fedoa -
Laughing Gull  Larus atricilla -
Franklin's Gull  Larus pipixcan -
Heermann's Gull  Larus heermanni -
Sabine's Gull  Xema sabini 3 seen from boat to IM
Royal Tern  Stena maxima -
Forster's Tern  Sterna forsteri -
Rock Dove  Columba livia -
Red-billed Pigeon  Columba flavirostris -
White-winged Dove  Zenaida asiatica -
Inca Dove  Columbina inca -
Common Ground-Dove  Columbina passerina -
Ruddy Ground-Dove  Columbina talpacoti -
Orange-fronted Parakeet  Arantinga canicularis -
Military Macaw  Ara militaris 2 seen NE of PV, and 2 seen on Quarry Rd. near ET
Mexican Parrotlet  Forpus cyanopygius -
Lilac-crowned Parrot  Amazona finschi - approx. 70 seen in PV area
Squirrel Cuckoo  Piaya cayana 1 between Mismaloya and PV along Highway 200
Lesser Ground-Cuckoo  morococcyx erythropygus 1 NE of P.Vallarta
Groove-billed Ani  Crotophaga sulcirostris -
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl  Glaucidium brasilianum 1 seen near CP and many heard near PV
Large Owl species - 1 seen flying one evening from a building near the Hotel
White-collared Swift  Streptoprocne zonaris 100 seen in a single flock near CP along Highway 200 observed twice on 2 different days
Vaux's Swift  Chaetura vauxi -
Fork-tailed Emerald  Cholorstilbon canivetii 2
Broad-billed Hummingbird  Cynanthus latirostris -
Berylline Hummingbird  Amazilia beryllina -
Cinnamon Hummingbird  Amazilia rutila -
Violet-crowned Hummingbird  Amazilia violiceps 1 JR only -
Plain-capped Starthroat  Heliomaster constantii -
Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird  Tilmatura dupontii 1 near CP note: referred to as above in Peterson and as Philodice dupontii

Sparkling-tailed Woodnymph - in Howell & Webb.
Black-chinned Hummingbird  Archilochus alexandri -
Bumblebee Hummingbird  Atthis heloisa 1 seen near CP
Citreoline Trogon  Trogon citreolus -
Elegant Trogon  Trogon elegans -
Russet-crowned Motmot  Momotus mexicanus -
Belted Kingfisher  Ceryle alcyon -
Green Kingfisher  Chloroceryle americana 1 in PV note: far fewer Kingfishers observed this year than in previous visits to PV
Acorn Woodpecker  Melanerpes formicivorus -
Golden-cheeked Woodpecker  Meanerpes chrysogenys -
Pale-billed Woodpecker  Campephilus guatemalensis 1 on Quarry Road near ET
Ivory-billed Woodcreeper  Xiphorhynchus flavigaster -
White-striped Woodcreeper  Lepidocolaptes Leucogaster -
No. Beardless-Tyrannulet  Camptostoma imberbe 1 in PV
Greenish Elaenia  Myiopagis viridicata -
Greater Pewee  Contopus pertinax -
Western Wood-Peewee  Contopus sordidulus -
Western Flycatcher species  Empidonax difficilis/occidentalis  -observed but not heard
Bright-rumped Attila  Attila spadiceus 1 along Highway 200 at 185.4 km at Puente la Puerta
Dusky-capped Flycatcher  Myiarchus tuberculifer -
Nutting's Flycatcher  Myiarchus nuttingi 1 seen along Highway 200 at same stop as Crested Caracara's
Brown-crested Flycatcher  Myiarchus tyrannulus -
Great Kiskadee  Pitangus suphuratus -
Boat-billed Flycatcher  Megarynchus pitangua -
Social Flycatcher  Myiozetetes similis -
Tropical Kingbird  Tyrannus melancholicus -
Thick-billed Kingbird  Tyrannus crassirostris -
Western Kingbird  Tyrannus verticalis -
Rose-throated Becard  Pachyrampus aglaiae 1 male seen at Punta Mita, Nayarit
Masked Tityra  Tityra semifasciata -
Sinoloa Martin  Progne sinaloae 1 seen at Altamira Restaurant near El Tuito
Gray-breasted Martin  Progne chalybea seen near Los Arcos, Mismaloya
Mangrove Swallow  Tachycineta albilinea seen in NV, Nayarit
No. Rough-winged Swallow  Stelgidopteryx serripennis -
Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica -
Black-throated Magpie-Jay  Calocitta colliei numerous sightings around PV
Green Jay  Cyanocorax yncas -
San Blas Jay  Cyanocorax sanblasianus -
Bushtit  Psaltriparus minimus 6 seen near CP (JR)
Spotted Wren  Campylorhynchus gularis -
Sinaloa Wren  Thryothorus sinaloa -
Happy Wren  Thryothorus felix -
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  Polioptila caerulea far fewer than seen before in previous visits
Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush  Cathaus aurantiirostris 1 seen by JR, NE of PV
White-throated Robin  Turdus assimilis -
Rufous-backed Robin  Turdis rufopalliatus -
Northern Mockingbird  Mimus polyglottos 1 seen South of PV, along Highway 200 in a town called Jose Maria Morales on route to Chamela
Blue Mockingbird  Melanotis caerulescens -
Bell's Vireo  Bireo bellii -
Black-capped Vireo  Bireo atricapillus 1 seen near CP
Cassin's Vireo  Vireo cassini 2 near PV
Plumbeous Vireo  Vireo plumbeus -
Golden Vireo  Vireo hypochryseus 1 seen on Quarry Rd. near ET, not as common as previous visits
Warbling Vireo  Vireo gilvus -
Orange-crowned Warbler  Vermivora celata -
Nashville Warbler  Vermivora ruficapilla abundant around PV
Virginia's Warbler  Vermivora virginiae 1 seen in Nashville Warbler flock near CP
Tropical Parula  Parula pitiayumi 1 seen on Quarry Rd. near ET
Yellow Warbler  Dendroica petechia abundant in Chamela, fewer seen in PV
Chesnut-sided Warbler  Dendroica pensylvanica 1 seen in PV
Yellow-rumped Warbler  Denroica coronata -
Black-throated Gray Warbler  Dendroica nigrescens -
Black-and-white-Warbler  Mniotilta varia -
Northern Waterthrush  Seiurus noveboracensis 1 in PV along creek at Holiday Inn
Louisiana Waterthrush  Seiurus motacilla 1 in PV along creek at Holiday Inn
MacGillivray's Warbler  Oporornis tolmiei -
Common Yellowthroat  Geothlypis trichas -
Wilson's Warbler  Wilsonia pusilla -
Rufous-capped Warbler  Basileuterus rufifrons 1 seen on Quarry Rd. near ET, fewer than previous years
Yellow-breasted Chat  Icteria virens -
Hepatic Tanager  Piranga flava 1 seen on Quarry Rd. at ET, 2 1 pair - seen near CP
Western Tanager  Piranga ludoviciana -
Rosy Thrush-Tanager  Rhodinocichla rosea 2 1 pair - seen NE of PV
Grayish Saltator  Saltator coerulescens -
Yellow Grosbeak  Pheucticus chrysopeplus more common this year
Black-headed Grosbeak  Pheucticus melanocephalus -
Blue Bunting  Cyanocompsa parellina -
Lazuli Bunting  Passerina amoena 1 seen along Quarry Rd. near ET
Varied Bunting  Passerina versicolor -
Blue Grosbeak  guiraca caerulea - 1 female, P.Vallarta area
Indigo Bunting  passerina cyanea P.Vallarta area
Orange-breasted Bunting  Passerina leclancherii -
Painted Bunting  Passerina ciris -
Rusty-crowned Ground-sparrow  Melozone kieneri 1 seen near CP
White-collared Seedeater  Sporophila torqueloa -
Stripe-headed Sparrow  Aimophila ruficauda -
Chipping Sparrow  Spizella passerina seen south of PV along Highway 200 at 185.4 km
Grasshopper Sparrow  Ammodramus savannarum 1 seen along Highway 200 with Crested Caracara's
Lincoln's Sparrow  Melospiza lincolnii 1 seen along creek near Holiday Inn in PV
Great-tailed Grackle  Quiscalus mexicanus -
Bronzed Cowbird  Molothrus aeneus -
Orchard Oriole  Icterus spurius -
Streak-backed Oriole  Icterus pustulatus -
Northern Baltimore - Oriole  Icterus galbula -
Northern Bullock's - Oriole  Icterus bullockii -
Yellow-winged cacique  Caciiicus melanicterus -
Black-headed Siskin  Carduelis notata -
House Sparrow  Passer domesticus -

166 species seen/heard

We might also add that the "jejenes" (no-see-ums) were extremely bad this year along any streams/rivers. The weather was extremely hot and humid in Vallarta, with areas such as Punta Mita and Chamela hot and dry. The temperature of the ocean was warm, due of course to El Nino.

Thanks to all the people who responded to our RFI, and to others who had their Trip Reports in the archives, for their help in making this a wonderful trip. Mexico is a delightful country with friendly people who were always willing to help tourists find their way around the countryside.

Lynn Vogt and John Riddell
#5201- 315 Southampton Drive S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
CANADA T2P 2T6 phone: 403-259-5723