Please Don’t Ask for an Aztec

If, sometime, you make your option to Morelia, and ask for me to point out you a few of our greatest birds, I’ll certainly do my finest to accomodate you. Within the case of most of those great hen species, I most likely know the place they’re most definitely to be discovered.

Simply don’t ask me to point out you an Aztec Thrush.

The Aztec Thrush is a wonderful hen, with daring darkish/gentle plumage patterns. These patterns make it surprisingly exhausting to see. It hardly ever vocalizes, and strikes slowly, if in any respect, because it forages in dense foliage. And but, the Aztec Thrush appears to hardly ever exhibit these behaviors twice in a single spot.

In ten years of hardcore birding, I’ve seen Aztec Thrushes solely 4 occasions, by no means twice in the identical yr (2017, 2018, 2019, and now, 2024). Solely the 2017 and 2019 sighting had been in the identical common space; though the primary sighting there was of a household unit, and the second was of a single hen.

On January twenty ninth, I made a decision to research the outcomes of a significant forest hearth final yr at one among my favourite routes. An enormous swath of forest burned, and whereas Michoacán’s forests are very effectively tailored to low-intensity fires, solely about 30% of the bushes on this space appear like they’ll come again from this high-intensity conflagration.

However to my shock, at floor degree the realm was now “ablaze” with salvias and different flowers.

Hummingbirds buzzed in every single place, as most of those flowers are designed only for them.

Berylline Hummingbirds had been by far essentially the most plentiful.

However there have been additionally an excellent variety of Broad-tailed Hummingbirds

…and White-eared Hummingbirds, within the remaining shadier areas.

Migratory Rufous Hummingbirds introduced up the rear…

…together with a single Mexican Violetear that I used to be capable of see, though a pair extra sang from above.

The flowers additionally attracted fairly just a few Nashville Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, and Hooded Orioles.

Apparently the usually insect-eating warblers, just like the hummers and orioles, like a sip of nectar every now and then.

One other native species that loves burnt-over areas is the Grey Silky-Flycatcher. I most likely noticed a pair hundred of those beautiful birds, though their fixed comings and goings made an correct rely inconceivable.

American Robins had been additionally unusually plentiful within the burn zone. Whereas current in Michoacán, you might be often extra prone to see our endemic Rufous-backed Robin right here. However I noticed an excellent variety of perched American Robins this present day, and plenty of extra flew overhead among the many sadly naked tree trunks.

I used to be testing a few of these American Robins, transferring via the the burnt branches, once I noticed the unmmistakeable sample of a single feminine Aztec Thrush. It was a short encounter, however lengthy sufficient for just a few photographs.

After which, she was gone. I turned my consideration to some extra Robins.

However wait! There she was once more! Besides that it turned out “she” was not there, as this was a “he”. And Aztec Thrushes being as they’re, this male stayed motionless as I regularly drew nearer. My photographs acquired a bit higher…

After which, increase! The cash shot!

As soon as I felt I had gone as shut as ethically attainable, I ended and took picture after picture of the male. After some 45 photographs of the identical hen, in the identical pose, I bored with photographing it. Till lastly, it circled and confirmed me a view from behind. After which, it took wing, perched briefly instantly above me, and was gone.

And that was it: My first encounter with Aztec Thrushes in 5 years. They’re on the market, all the time. I simply don’t know the place, or when, I would get to see them.

Whereas we’re on the topic, central Mexico additionally provides the Aztec Rail, a species as soon as thought-about a race of the King Rail. It was once a reasonably dependable discover in a water remedy challenge on the city of Cuitzeo, half an hour from my house. However the challenge was discontinued and the positioning dried up. I’ve now solely seen Aztec Rails twice up to now 5 years, neither time at that web site.

Aztec Rail, Lake Cuitzeo, July 2023

So when you come to Michoacán, go forward and problem me. Ask for a Transvolcanic Jay, Mountain Trogon, Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Glowing-tailed Woodstar, or Black-polled Yellowthroat. There’s an excellent likelihood I can discover all of them.

However please, don’t ask for an Aztec.

Autor Paul Lewis


Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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