Tuesday, April 20, 2004

April 19, 2004

Spring Hawk Watch

Plaza Doña Marta

Tlacotalpan Veracruz

Here in Tlacotalpan the tradition remains of the walking funeral procession, between 10-11:00a.m. a funeral procession passed by the Plaza Doña Marta, site of the hawk watch.

Two days ago I made a post with photo "Sharp-shinned or Cooper's?" A sequence of photos that I had taken in the plaza of a low flying raptor.

Thanks to Van, (a keen observer from Colorado who responed to my post on Bird forum) who firmly stated it is neither a Sharp-shinned or Cooper's but rather something tropical, perhaps a Roadside hawk or a hooked-billed kite.
Well...........faux pas on my part and thanks for the correction Van.
After checking the few photos that I have of the Roadside hawk in flight, (the Roadside hawk-Buteo magnirostris is very common here) I am sure that what I observed was a Roadside hawk. A big serving of "humble pie" here today!
I have been birding rather intensively for the past six years in Mexico, almost everyday I learn something new. I supose that is why I enjoy this so much.
Perhaps this photo will give you an idea of what I am dealing with while spotting and counting.
I wanted to post a couple of photos of the regulars at the hawk watch, Black Vultures. The "Tlacotalpan garbage dump gang" (black vultures) are generally the first to "get lift" in the morning and the last down in the late afternoon. They spend the day criscrossing the sky and are most definitely 'master's' at finding and soaring in thermals. In part I believe that one of the reasons that a fair amounts of raptors pass over Tlacotalpan is the very presence of Black Vulture, which are clear indicators of active thermals. Resident black vulture diva CORA GYPS
Report: Things slowed down a bit today with 1,002 raptors being counted. Almost equal amouts of Mississippi kites (491) and Broad-winged hawks (489)
Todays total....1002
Total for the Month............80,127

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