WingsBirds Updates Updates from WingsBirds Sat, 17 Apr 2021 20:20:05 -0700 en daily 1 <p>Steve Howell on Military Macaws</p> 2021-04-12 13:10:25 Wings Staff Field Reports <ol type="N" start="1"> <li>While birding around northern Jalisco, Mexico, for the past ten days, Steve Howell and Luke Seitz found Military Macaws to be a daily occurrence&mdash;there is a healthy (but inevitably threatened) population of these magnificent birds in the region. In some places the birds could even be watched perched, rather than the more usual flight views.</li> <li><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" /></li> <li>A couple of low-flying macaws from a few days ago, spectacular birds with their palette of emerald-green, turquoise, red, and golden yellow.</li> </ol><ol type="N" start="2"> <li><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" /></li> <li>Perhaps not surprisingly, the Mexican populations of Military Macaw look and sound somewhat different from the other (far distant) populations in the Andes of South America, and are a potential split (Mexican Macaw), making their conservation even more important.</li> <li><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" /></li> <li>Fortunately, there are people passionate about conserving the macaws and their habitat. Luke and Steve met with macaw biologists Carlos Bonilla R. and Claudia Cinta M., who have been working in Jalisco for 10 years with conservation, research, and environmental education. Check their website&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;for more information; like all such projects they always welcome donations&mdash;even a little money can go a long way in Mexico.</li> <li><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" /></li> </ol> <p>Steve Howell reports from the quiet Rancho <span>Primavera in West Mexico. </span></p> 2021-04-06 13:00:26 Wings Staff Field Reports <p>Feeder Birds. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in Canada or the Northeast US where the winter cold and snow bring chickadees and sporadic invasions of finches to their feeders. Here at Rancho Primavera in West Mexico (an hour or so south of Puerto Vallarta, out in the hills) I have to live with Russet-crowned Motmot, here alongside a migrant Swainson&rsquo;s Thrush, &hellip;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>The occasional Yellow-breasted Chat&hellip;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="426" /></p> <p>And the usually skulking Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush,</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>Plus lots of Rufous-backed Thrushes (or Robins).</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>Streak-backed Orioles really like the oranges&hellip;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>As do the Mexican (aka Yellow-winged) Caciques</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>And even the Golden-cheeked Woodpeckers.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>It&rsquo;s not all color, but the Grayish Saltator is attractive in its own subtle way,</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>Although outshone by a glowing male Yellow Grosbeak, a fan of papaya.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>One of the regular feeder visitors is Blue Mockingbird, a great chance to see this typically shy and elusive species.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>There are even sparrows, but only the rather fancy Stripe-headed Sparrow. So, if you ever feel like a winter break to escape the chickadees, this could be the spot!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="427" /></p> <p>Steve Howell sends another update from San Blas, Mexico.</p> 2021-03-30 10:36:39 Wings Staff Field Reports <p>After 18 days in San Blas, Mexico (our regular tour is only 9 days!), Steve Howell reluctantly dragged himself away. The highlight of his stay was a small group of White-fronted Swifts one morning, a species described only in 1992 (!) and seen in life only a handful of times ever!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>For the non-swift aficionados, there was plenty of color, including this Golden Vireo...</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>Groups of sociable Mexican Parrotlets...</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>And lots of Lineated Woodpeckers.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>Elusive species included a confiding Lesser Ground-Cuckoo</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>And, after 40 minutes of patient sitting, a stunning Spotted Rail finally peeked out.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>One of the San Blas signature birds, Boat-billed Heron, showed well (even if it tried not to!)...</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>And a remarkable record count of 39 Northern Potoos may have been due to dry season conditions concentrating birds along the river.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking of records, along with Luke Seitz and Maili Waters (down in Mexico on a three-month trip), Steve helped set a new Big Day record for Mexico&mdash;290 species on 27 March, including Eared Poorwill (number 286)&hellip;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>And a stunning fly-over Laughing Falcon&hellip;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" />&nbsp;</p> <p>But not including Surfbird, which had been a regular migrant in preceding days&mdash;the joy and unpredictability of birding!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="640" height="512" /></p> Zambia 2020-11-19 12:33:30 Will Russell Recently updated tours Zambia is a wonderfully scenic country in the middle of sub-Saharan Africa with numerous parks and safari areas.&nbsp; It is also unusually diverse biologically, and&mdash;although under birded&mdash;has one of the largest bird lists in Africa, surpassing 750 species.&nbsp; We&rsquo;ll visit a range of habitats, each with its own set of species, beginning in the extreme northwest corner on the border of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This remote area, rarely visited by tourists, offers a chance to see many Congo Basin species normally inaccessible to birders. From here we&rsquo;ll travel south towards Kafue National Park, one of the largest parks in Africa, with its extensive Miombo woodlands interspersed with grassy depressions called &ldquo;Dambos.&rdquo;&nbsp; Here we may see the highly localized Black-cheeked Lovebird and very likely some of Africa&rsquo;s iconic mammals. Continuing south we&rsquo;ll stop near Choma for the endemic Chaplin&rsquo;s Barbet, before spending the last couple nights in the Lower Zambezi Valley where we&rsquo;ll target the iconic African Pitta, one of Africa&rsquo;s most sought-after birds. Global Birding Event 2020-11-18 16:36:51 Matt Brooks Miscellany <p>The Global Birding Event held on 17 October proved to be an amazing success. 32,790 people took part around the world and between them recorded an incredible 7111 species through The combined number of species seen by the WINGS/Sunbird team was 595 and the event as a whole raised in excess of $30,000 for Birdlife International. But perhaps its greatest achievment was pulling together all those birders around the world and it was wonderful to be part of something so big - we are already looking forward to next year&rsquo;s event. You can read all about the big day and see all the statistics at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p><br />If you would like to contribute to Birdlife&rsquo;s continued work trying to end the senseless trade in wild birds, donations can be made direct to Birdlife International by clicking&nbsp;<a href=";_gac=1.263092478.1605609806.Cj0KCQiAhs79BRD0ARIsAC6XpaWdmnCHNWNrgH8DrANdTglJf2eWDxGmaF1GerJ8B_aerYSre8OBpsYaAntrEALw_wcB"><strong>here</strong></a>.</p> India: The North 2020-04-06 16:39:40 Will Russell Recently updated tours India is a mystical and exotic country that for many people epitomizes foreign travel. It is an extraordinarily varied land, and long after you have returned home images will remain to enrich and liven your daily round: the cool marble splendor of the Taj Mahal; the snows of the Himalayas, flamingo-pink at dawn; and the lush green jungles. And above all the birds: the thrill of your first Siberian Rubythroat, a Red-flanked Bluetail or Altai Accentor beside a mountain stream a Sarus Crane striding majestically through the cornfields an Orange-headed Thrush lighting up the undergrowth or minivets streaming through the emerald canopy. With so many birds on the potential list, the examples can only be arbitrary, and the total for the tour should be between 380 and 400 species. Scotland 2020-02-06 10:39:20 Will Russell Recently updated tours The Scottish Highlands are one of the last truly wild places to be found in the United Kingdom. Ideally placed to explore the region, the imposing Grant Arms Hotel is home to The Birdwatching and Wildlife Club which provides its own Club room with a wildlife information centre, a bookshop and a natural history library. It also has a large lecture theatre which hosts evening talks from a range of guest speakers. Lesser Antilles 2019-12-18 19:03:39 Will Russell Recently updated tours These 10 stunningly beautiful Caribbean islands form the eastern border between the placid Caribbean Sea and the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Each tropical island gem is separated by turquoise seas and boasts rich wetlands, vast open grasslands, dynamic coastlines and lush tropical rainforests. These diverse habitats are home to a lengthy list of highly threatened single-island endemics and near endemics along with a host of indigenous regional specialties.