Saturday, September 04, 2004

Now to the really good stuff!
The raptor migrations have begun here in Veracruz! If you’ve never experienced it is pretty mind boggling. Last year Pronatura Veracruz counted over 5.5 MILLION migrating raptors. The folks at Pronatura are one of the few groups doing anything about conservation and education here in Veracruz, I applaud their efforts.
(As a side note, three years ago when Tim Smart was here as a hawk watch counter he posted the daily results of the Veracruz count. I for one, really miss those daily reports on HAWKCOUNT/BIRDHAWK. The reports helped to give a true sense of the migratory marvel. I have mentioned it to both Norma Ferris and Rafael Rodriquez of Pronatura but so far the daily reports have not appeared. One of the mission goals of Pronatura is “environmental education” and the daily reports certainly contain migratory information.
If others out there miss the reports, I would encourage you to contact Pronatura Veracruz and see if they will share the information with the world.

I have set up house here in Paso de Ovejas Veracruz SEE MAP. From the rooftop of my small apartment I have set up a hawk watch observation post. I have been able to determine that most of the raptor migrations from the Chichicaxtle count site pass directly over Paso de Ovejas. I will make an attempt to share with you via this weblog observation highlights as well as photos.

Yesterday, September 3, 2004 provides some of the best views of Mississippi kites of the season. Approximately 38,000 Mississippi Kites were counted by PRONATURA between Cardel 16,000 and Chichicaxtle 22,000
Here are some photos that I took from my rooftop viewing area here in Paso de Ovejas.
I observed a heavy “push” from 13:00 to14:00 with up to three lines moving through at the same time. Around 20,000 Mississippi kites passed overhead in the course of an hour!
Here are some photos. Enjoy!
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5
Photo 6

Greetings from Veracruz:
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m David McCauley. I have lived in Veracruz for the last 12 years and began birding 6 years ago. I run a small birding tour business here in Veracruz, Birding Veracruz. I love Mexico. It is a wonderful country and its people are (for the most part) warm and friendly. It is of great concern to me the rapid loss of habitat here in Mexico. With over 115 species of migratory birds, (which either pass through or winter here in Mexico) concern over habitat destruction in Mexico and Latin America should be of interest to birders.
I note with some interest that a great number of birders in the U.S. have developed a “list fixation” and that issues such as habitat loss seems to be of very little concern. In many birding message boards conservation or environmental concerns are dismissed or banned.
I don’t consider myself an environmental activist. Having grown up on a farm in central Washington and based on my observations here in Mexico, this farm boy thinks that it time to plant some trees south of the Texas border.
I am not much of a believer in causes and clubs or organizations. My goal in what remains of my life (I’m 51) is to purchase several small parcels (15 to 30 acres, each) of land in a variety of habitats here in Mexico and restore the original habitat. Its not much, but I believe that is a small step in the right direction.
The other project that I am working on here in Mexico are short presentations in the schools focusing attention on birds and their importance.
Small steps. I am optimistic that much can be accomplished here.