Birding Report: February 2

Hola Birding Enthusiasts,

David Jasper led the Birding Group this week and had a group of 18. They birded the pond at the golf course, the northwest side of Estero Soldado, and the Miramar estuary on the Delfinario road into Guaymas. There were 8 Roseate Spoonbills at the estuary and lots of Heron and Egret species. The whole group had good viewings of the winter plumage Laughing Gulls as well as a lovely Ash-throated Flycatcher. Lunch was at Mariscos El Mar.

Our Bird of the Week, chosen by group leader David Jasper, is the Cinnamon Teal. The Teal (pictured) is a small dabbling duck. With ducks, you have dabblers and divers. Divers are just what it sounds like, and dabblers forage by skimming the water with their bill or dabbling with their heads in the water and their butts in the air.

Dabbling ducks are also different in how they are built. According to a Stanford University web page, “Dabblers have large wings relative to body weight and fly slowly, which enables them to drop down onto small areas with precision. Divers, on the other hand, have small wings relative to body weight and fly faster, but must remain in open water with sufficient runway space because they lack the ability to land on a dime and must run along the water surface to become airborne.” This explains why many of the ducks we see in the settlement ponds are dabblers. They can easily drop from the air into these small ponds that would not have enough runway room for the divers.

David Jasper will again be leading next week’s outing. Al and I are in Catemaco, Veracruz visiting Dave Verner, our former birding group leader. Meet, as usual, at the Esterito Cafe at 8:00am on Thursday.

By Mary Tannehill


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