A weblog about birding, birdwatching, wild birds, raptors, hawk watch, raptor migrations and bird conservation from a birder, nature photographer and naturalist who resides in Veracuz Mexico.

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I keep casting glances at the satellite communications tower hoping that I will see the peregrine falcon, the tower has been empty for almost two months.
As is the case with the Peregrine falcon most of our winter neotropic migrants have gone north, the cycle continues..........

I pick up my bicycle from the repair shop (the valve had broken off of the inner tube so they replaced the tube) I don't have a car here in Mexico. I bird by foot or with my trusty bicycle. It keeps me closer to nature. One thing I have noticed about some of birders in the States is that they bird from their cars.
I don't get it.
Birding from a car is like having sex with all your clothes on. I like to sense my surroundings while birding, sights, smells, feel the heat or the breeze and listen for the sounds.

So I head out for a bit of birding in the afternoon, I want to see whats left after the migration. The birds are focused on reproduction, building nests and rearing nestlings. I must have seen 50 or more nests in three hours. Common Tody Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Altimira Oriole, Great Kiskadee, Great-tailed grackle.

A particular nest caught my eye, that of the Lineated Woodpecker. I spotted the nest high in the dead palm from the persistent calls of two nestlings making it know that they were hungry. I got them in the spotting scope, they both had their heads, necks extended out of the nest hole. Note: I was standing some 50 meters from the tree and my presence was minimal. I am very reluctant to photograph nestlings, in this case the young had nearly attained juvenile plumage and are close to fledging, I made an exception.

Shortly the male Lineated Woodpecker, with red moustache mark, (females have a black moustache) flew directly to the dead palm, made a quick hop around the palm trunk, keeping an eye out for predators and proceeded to the nest hole where the two nestlings were eagerly awaiting their meal. The male placed its bill deep into the gaping mouth of the nestling and in a rapid "jackhammer" fashion regurgitated food from its crop directly into the throat of the nestling (5-8 second feeding).The process was repeated with the other nestling. I observed three feedings from the male on one visit, so one of the nestlings got seconds. After the feeding the male Lineated Woodpecker flew to a live tree immediately behind the the nest hole, preened for about 10 minutes and resumed the task of foraging. Thanks to the spotting scope I was able to observe this remarkable feeding behavior.

Here are some additional images of the male Lineated Woodpecker:



Views of nestling Lineated Woodpeckers:











Not a bad birding afternoon. I observed a total of 60 species, among observations of note, Mangrove Cuckoo, Bare-throated throated Tiger Heron, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Red-billed Pigeon, Scrub Euphonia, Yellow-headed parrot (unusual)

About me

  • I'm David L. McCauley
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  • David L. McCauley a nature photographer, birding guide. I am currently involved with two projects. 1 ¬†leading birding tours with a focus on the bird of prey migrations in Veracruz Mexico. ¬†and 2. Working on a 12 acre plot of land using principles of natural farming, Permaculture, gardening with the end goal of sustainability.
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