Agave Honey – 10,000 Birds


As I discussed final week, upon my return final month from California, the place I had birded a few hours every day, I used to be prepared for a little bit of a break. Oh, no, I didn’t cease birding totally. That might be completely loopy. However I did decide simpler targets in the course of the first two weeks.

My first post-trip outing was my least bold: I went to the pure space that begins simply on the opposite facet of the neighborhood by which we reside, Los Filtros Viejos Canyon. It was not a revelatory outing, however the species and pictures had been surprisingly good. My second outing was a bit farther afield — it took about twenty minutes to drive to my start line. However, in a way, I used to be going to the identical place, as I used to be approaching the identical canyon from its different, uphill, finish.

This strategy begins with a small reservoir, however, for probably the most half, there was nothing extraordinary to point out from there (though the child American Coots and Pied-billed Grebes had been cute). Then I work my approach downhill in the direction of some good pine-oak forest, passing first by way of an space of scattered giant properties.

It was among the many final of these properties that I discovered a type of uncommon one-plant hen explosions. A feminine Broad-billed Hummingbird, to my left, steered what was in retailer.

Then, to my proper, I noticed an infinite flowering agave plant. Agaves are these spiny non-cactus rosette vegetation one is more likely to see in Western motion pictures. They’re additionally from the household liable for mezcal and tequila. They finish their life cycle by producing a single flower stalk, which may typically develop thirty or forty ft tall. This one was not less than within the thirty-foot class, and it was buzzing with hummingbirds. (Amongst different critters — extra on that later.)

First, I noticed Berylline Hummingbirds.

Then some male Broad-billed Hummingbirds jumped into the fray.

Broad-billed Hummingbirds actually dive into their work.

However the Beryllines refused to surrender their floor (or, on this case, their inflorescence).

And on the final second, a Violet-crowned Hummingbird accomplished our triumvirate of most-common hummers.

There’s that violet crown.

You’ll have already observed the good variety of bugs feeding together with these hummers. The reddish insect within the middle of this photograph is a Tarantula Wasp. They’re reputed to have the second-most painful sting of all bugs, however are, thankfully, not aggressive. The good inexperienced bugs at every finish are Jewel Scarabs, of which Michoacán has many. The bees are, effectively, bees. Precisely what did you assume I used to be going to say about these?

I spent fairly a little bit of time at my agave having fun with the present. It was undoubtedly a spotlight for the day. However I used to be solely half-way on my route, so I finally moved on. Listed below are among the remaining highlights:

Chipping Sparrows are removed from uncommon down right here, however at the present time, they gave the impression to be in every single place. So right here is one out of many:

I used to be a bit stunned to see this pretty Grace’s Warbler transfer out of its pine-tree consolation zone.

I’ve a deep appreciation for Mexico’s endemic Buff-breasted Flycatchers, as they’re our solely Empidonax that I by no means confuse with our different 9. (Sure, you heard me: 9. Weep for me.)

My encounter with this Pink-tailed Hawk was maybe my closest, and definitely my longest, ever. Means too many pictures had been taken.

I’ll finish with this Acorn Woodpecker, as a result of, truthfully, how may I not?

All in all, it was fairly a great day. But when I had to decide on only one spot, it could be that agave, honey.



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