This audio story is brought to you by BirdNote, a partner of the National Audubon Society. BirdNote episodes air daily on public radio stations nationwide.
This is BirdNote!
Today we’re in the state of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. Winter here is a great time to visit old friends—birds, that is—we met in summer, back in the US.
The tops of flowering trees are “busy” with Yellow-rumped Warblers and Western Tanagers—northern nesters that winter in Mexico. These northerners get to mingle with Berylline Hummingbirds and Gray Silky-Flycatchers, year-round residents of the tropics.
Let’s leave Oaxaca City for the countryside, and ascend through a series of habitats. Here—where tall stands of cactus give way to shrubby oaks—another bird is escaping the northern winter, a neon-orange Bullock’s Oriole, perched in a morning-glory tree.
And, just below, is a Blue Mockingbird, a tropical gem found only in Mexico.
Ascending further, to 7000 feet, we’ve entered a misty forest of tropical oaks festooned with bromeliads. Wow! What a flock of warblers working that oak tree! Flashy Townsend’s Warblers and glowing yellow Hermit Warblers, foraging alongside the splendid Crescent-chested Warblers of the tropics.
And listen to that! It’s a Brown-backed Solitaire singing, a song that fills the Mexican forest as no other can.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Western Tanager call notes, Hermit Warbler song and Brown-backed Solitaire song and song of Blue Mockingbird and call of Bullock’s Oriole recorded by G.A. Keller.
Wings and calls of Berylline Hummingbirds recorded by Martyn Stewart of naturesound.org
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler