Birding the Americas Trip Report and Planning Repository
Return to the Main Index

Return to the North America Index
Return to the Mexico Index

Black-polled Yellowthroat
"Geothlypsis speciosa"

July 1998

Original Query:

"Does anyone have any recent information about finding Black-polled Yellowthroat?  I am making a trip on July 16 to look for the Short-crested Coquette, but my colleague keenly wants to also try for this yellowthroat, so any data would be most appreciated - thanks in advance."

Martin Reid
2500 Ridgmar Blvd #0002
Fort Worth, TX 76116


Reply #1:

"On a recent trip to the state of Michoacan, Mexico (December, 1997), we found Black-polled Yellowthroat (Geothlypis speciosa) at Lago Cuitzeo, Michoacan.  We had previously searched the northern end of Lago Yurria in the state of Guanajuato without success.

At Lago Cuitzeo, early in the afternoon of December 29th, we discovered a reedy ditch along the side of Mexico 43 where it exits the lake bed at the southern end.  In late December, Lago Cuitzeo was basically dry to the west of the present highway causeway.  A reedy ditch remained between the current causeway and what we presumed was a former roadway.  Because the old road causeway is elevated above the lake bed it should be accessible even when the western portion of the lake is under water.  A small pull-off to the west of Mexico 43 just as it enters the southern shoreline allows access and the reedy ditch can be searched with ease.  (The narrowness of the current causeway, with its heavy traffic, makes it unsafe for pedestrians.)

Both Common Yellowthroats (Geothlypis trichas) and Black-polled Yellowthroats were present in the reeds.  We saw several male Common Yellowthroats and several female yellowthroats with perhaps one with dull legs before a male Black-polled Yellowthroat appeared.  The ratio of Common to Black-polled was estimated to be about 10 to 1 or 2.  We used a tape of the Black-polled Yellowthroat but are not sure it made a difference.

A large number of various species of birds (gulls, herons, egrets, shorebirds, pelicans, ducks, etc.) were on or over the lake to the east of the causeway."

Marcia & Ron Braun
Houston, TX


Reply #2:

"Black-polled Yellowthroats are fairly common at Lago de Patzcuaro, in Michoacan. Two yellowthroats are resident there, the Black-polled (G.speciosa) and Common (G.trichas). However, the G.trichas there more resembles Chapala Yellowthroat (G.t.chapalensis). I would be interested in recent sightings from this area.

Ted Eubanks