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Posted by Liron on Sunday, January 11, 2015
Those of you who have seen my Facebook or Flickr pages will know that I spent time recently in Mexico, throughout almost two weeks in December and a few days in January. While not a birding trip, I managed tons of birding and photography every day and ended up getting 168 species and 19 lifers! Here are just a couple photos to start.

Great Kiskadee
A Great Kiskadee dives at an enemy kiskadee, its rarely seen crest flared during a sunny morning in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico in December 2014.

Shots like this would not have been possible without the 10 fps on the new 7D Mark II.

Canon 7D Mark II | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM | 1/2000 | ISO 320 | f/5.6

Great Kiskadee

Sinaloa Crow

Here is a shot of a Sinaloa Crow landing by a river in Sayulita, Nayarit, in December 2014. More Crows are behind and Great-tailed Grackles are in front of the landing bird.

The Sinaloa Crow was a bird I really wanted to see during my recent trip to the Banderas Bay area of Mexico. This would not be easy however, as we were staying right in the middle of the Banderas Bay, which is just south of the crow's range; to see them, you have to go north of Banderas Bay. While there are a few records of crows in Banderas Bay, few are actually confirmed and I an easily see how one could mistake a Great-tailed Grackle for a Sinaloa Crow, as people coming from the much of the US and Canada are used to crows being the most common bird, not Great-tailed Grackles. While on a birding tour with Gerardo Hernández Vázquez of, he said he knew a spot were these crows were guaranteed. It was located just north of Banderas Bay, not actually in the bay. We drove there, and as we looked for parking in this bustling little town, Sayulita, a flock of 45+ crows flew over. Wow! Once we found a spot to park we went looking for more crows and immediately found some in trees. We then went down to the beach to see if any crows were on the ground there. None were, but my lifer Elegant Tern was flying around, and offshore hundreds of Brown and Blue-footed Booby were diving! We went back to where the crows had been in the trees, and found that a flock of them had joined some Great-tailed Grackles on the ground and were bathing in a river. It was amazing to see these birds so well!

What is so special about the Sinaloa Crow? Firstly, it is a Mexican endemic. This means that in the entire world, it is only found in Mexico. The Sinaloa Crow is actually only found along the northern portion of Mexico's pacific coast. Secondly, it is also a very under-photographed bird species. If you look up Sinaloa Crow on google images, you will see there are not many pictures actually of Sinaloa Crows, and few really good images. Thirdly, unlike our Northwestern Crows in coastal BC and American Crows in the rest of the US and Canada, these birds are quite small, basically Grackle-sized, and have a blackbird-like blue and purple sheen on them. Their call is much less harsh, but still a "caw".

Sinaloa Crow was my 5th crow species on my life list. In order of when they were added, I have seen Northwestern, American, Hooded, House, and now Sinaloa Crow. It was awesome seeing this neat bird!

Canon 7D Mark II | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM | 1/2500 | ISO 800 | f/5.6

Sinaloa Crow

Thanks for looking, lots more photos coming soon!

Tags: mexico "mexico  december 2014" 



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