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5 - 10 April 1999

by Roy Jones

The following is a short trip report from a recent trip to Alamos in Sonora, Mexico that my wife and I made.  It can also be found at my website.  I will also send a second post to the group with a trip list.

5 April

Leave home at 9:30 AM and arrive in Hermosillo at 5 PM.  Spend night at San Martin Hotel.

6 April

We left Hermosillo at 6 AM and arrived at the Rio Yaqui near Bacum at 8:30 AM and birded here until noon.  We then headed for Navojoa.  We birded the rest of the day near the Del Rio Hotel at the Rio Mayo.  We spent the night at Del Rio hotel in Navojoa.  Interesting birds of the day were many Ruddy Ground-Doves, a Black-and-White Warbler and a couple of White-fronted Parrots at the Rio Yaqui, and Least Grebe at the Rio Mayo.

7 April

We left Navojoa at 5 AM and headed to Alamos and the Rio Cuchujaqui bridge.  In Alamos a fruiting fig tree had several Mexican Parrotlets and a nearby silk-oak tree had 4 oriole species including a couple of Black-vented Orioles.  Along the road out to the Rio Cuchujaqui bridge we found good numbers of Black-capped Gnatcatchers, a Crane Hawk, and a single Purplish-backed Jay.  At the Rio Cuchujaqui we immediately located a very cooperative Bare-throated Tiger-Heron and in the largest cypress tree was a Yellow-throated Warbler.  Monson and Russell's "Birds of Sonora" list only one other record of this eastern North American warbler for the state.  After hiking around for several hours along the river we headed to Parque El Chalaton which is a city park at the foot of the Sierra de Alamos.  We spent a couple of hours hiking up a dry wash looking for a pool of water where a friend had recently reported finding Scrub Euphonias.  We didn't have any luck with the euphonias but we did find a single Squirrel Cuckoo.

8 April

We once again left Navojoa at 5 AM and headed to the Microonda Las Luna road west of Alamos.  This location is a good road through the thorn forest and provided a nice hike.  We drove in about 3 miles and parked near the second of two dynamite shacks hiking towards the tower from there.  Because the forest was quite dry there wasn't a lot of bird activity but it is a very scenic area and in the right time of year it is a good location for several of the resident thorn forest birds.  On this day we found a family group of Black-vented Orioles, lots of Nutting's Flycatchers and several flocks of White-fronted Parrots.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at Parque El Chalaton resting and eating lunch.  We were able to locate a hooting Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl for photographs.

9 April

On this day we arrived at the Mentidero by 6 AM and hiked about 3 to 3.5 miles down the Rio Cuchujaqui.  This location is our favorite place in the Alamos region and always provides great birding, today was no exception.  We found a flock of at least 6 Lilac-crowned Parrots, 2 Squirrel Cuckoos, and a Crane Hawk.  Other nice-finds here included a noisy flock of Rufous-bellied Chachalacas and many Plain-capped Starthroats for picture taking.  We finished the day at the outflow of Presa Mocuzari.  This is the dam up stream from the Rio Mayo at Navojoa.

10 April

We left Navajoa at 6 AM and without any stops (except 1 hour at the border crossing) we made it back to Phoenix by 4:30 PM.


Least Grebe - One bird seen on two days at Rio Mayo near Del Rio Hotel
Double-crested Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron - Two birds seen along Rio Cuchujaqui
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck - Birds roost in trees at Del Rio Hotel
Osprey - One bird at Presa Mocuzari
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Crane Hawk - Two birds seen, one along road to Rio Cuchujaqui bridge and one at Mentidero
Common Black-Hawk - Several birds along Rio Cuchujaqui
Harris's Hawk
Gray Hawk - Common in most habitats
Red-tailed Hawk
Crested Caracara - Common everywhere
American Kestrel
Rufous-bellied Chachalaca - Flock heard at Mentidero
Elegant Quail - Several birds seen and heard along Rio Cuchujaqui
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Solitary Sandpiper - One bird at Rio Mayo and two birds at Mentidero
Spotted Sandpiper
Rock Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Inca Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove - Many birds at Rio Yaqui at Ciudad Obregon
White-tipped Dove - Common calling bird in thornscrub and thorn forest
Mexican Parrotlet - Many birds seen in fruiting fig tree in Alamos
White-fronted Parrot - Common at Rio's Mayo and Yaqui and around Alamos
Lilac-crowned Parrot - As many as 6 birds seen at Mentidero
Squirrel Cuckoo - Totaled 3 birds, 1 at Parque El Chalaton and 2 at Mentidero
Greater Roadrunner
Groove-billed Ani - Three birds in Alamos
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl - Common calling bird saw one at Parque El Chalaton
Lesser Nighthawk
Vaux's Swift - Seen on most days
Broad-billed Hummingbird - Most common Hummer
Violet-crowned Hummingbird - Common
Plain-capped Starthroat - Common along Rio Cuchujaqui
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Elegant Trogon - Common along Rio Cuchujaqui and at Parque El Chalaton
Belted Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher - Common wherever there's water
Gila Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Gilded Flicker
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet - Common calling bird, saw several
Greater Pewee - Two birds saw along Rio Cuchujaqui
Hammond's Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Nutting's Flycatcher - Common in both thornscrub and thorn forest
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee - Common along waterways easy to see at Rio's Mayo and Yaqui
Social Flycatcher - Common along waterways easy to see at Rio's Mayo and Yaqui
Tropical Kingbird - At least one bird heard at Rio Mayo
Cassin's Kingbird
Thick-billed Kingbird - Two birds heard along Rio Cuchujaqui
Western Kingbird
Rose-throated Becard - One early bird found at Mentidero
Loggerhead Shrike
Bell's Vireo
Cassin's Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Black-throated Magpie-Jay - Common around Alamos
Purplish-backed Jay - One bird seen along road to Rio Cuchujaqui Bridge
Sinaloa Crow - Common from Ciudad Obregon south
Chihuahuan Raven
Common Raven
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Cactus Wren
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
Sinaloa Wren - Only one bird found near Rio Cuchujaqui bridge
Happy Wren - Only one bird found at Mentidero
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - Several birds seen, all appeared to be females
Black-capped Gnatcatcher - Pretty common in thornscrub and thorn forest
Hermit Thrush
Rufous-backed Robin - Two bird found along Rio Cuchujaqui
Northern Mockingbird
Blue Mockingbird - Several birds found along Rio Cuchujaqui
Curve-billed Thrasher
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Lucy's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend's Warbler - One bird found at Rio Yaqui
Yellow-throated Warbler - One bird found near Rio Cuchujaqui bridge, second state record
Black-and-white Warbler - One bird at Rio Yaqui near Bacum
MacGillivray's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat - One bird at Rio Mayo
Hepatic Tanager - One bird found at Parque El Chalaton
Summer Tanager
Western Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Varied Bunting
Green-tailed Towhee
Lark Sparrow
Five-striped Sparrow - Several birds along Rio Cuchujaqui
Lark Bunting
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Black-vented Oriole - Several birds seen in Alamos and Microonda Los Luna
Orchard Oriole
Hooded Oriole
Streak-backed Oriole - Common in southern Sonora
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Roy Jones
2237 North Sunset Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281
33º 27.26N  111º 55.74W