Archive | April 16, 2016

First Day in Mexico

Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent Frigatebird

On April 16th my fiancé Doran and I took our first trip outside of Canada and the U.S., spending the week in Cozumel, Mexico. We chose it because when we had originally been looking at going on a cruise, it was one of the destinations we particularly wanted to see because of the Mayan ruins close by, and a one-day stop didn’t seem like enough time to see the region. I was also interested in the birds there, though that would have been true of any destination!

We had only arranged the trip two weeks prior to our departure, and as I was not familiar with any of the birds of the Yucatan Peninsula, I borrowed a friend’s field guide (the famously huge “A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America” by Howell and Webb) until the one I ordered from Amazon could be delivered (which didn’t even arrive by the time I had to leave). Using eBird as my guide, I began studying the most commonly reported birds seen in April, and the more I learned about Rufous-browed Peppershrikes, Bright-rumped Attilas, Masked Tityras, Cozumel Vireos, Yucatan Jays, Green-breasted Mangos, and Squirrel Cuckoos, the more excited for my trip I became. I prepared a list of the most frequently reported birds during the month of April that I needed for my life list using eBird’s brilliant Target Species tool. According to the list, my first new birds were most likely to be Great-tailed Grackle (reported on over 57% of all complete checklists), Tropical Mockingbird (42% of all checklists), and Magnificent Frigatebird (34% of all checklists).

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