A little whimsy from our Oaxaca tour in southern Mexico to begin this month's gallery of recent photos from Field Guides tours! We got a kick out of this cool action photo of a White-throated Towhee by participant Jan Shaw. It's a close relative of Canyon Towhee and a south-Mexican endemic with a restricted range.
We'll get back to Oaxaca a little later, but first let's take a jaunt on the first part of our Costa Rica: Birding the Edges tour in early January, beginning with these Crested Caracaras by participant Bob Polkinghorn.
Guide Tom Johnson joined Jay VanderGaast to co-lead our group, and Tom captured this image of one of the loveliest of the wood-warblers, a Flame-throated.
This Yellow-billed Cotinga, confined to SW Costa Rica and adjacent Panama, gave our group a fantastic fly-over view, as guide Tom Johnson's photo shows.
A Great Kiskadee explodes from a palm in a flash of rufous and yellow. (Photo by participant Bob Polkinghorn)
Lineated Woodpecker, the tropical close cousin of a Pileated (Photo by participant Bob Polkinghorn)
Costa Rica's a great place for hummers, and this Magnificent Hummingbird posed nicely for the group and participant Bob Polkinghorn's image.
As is true of many birds endemic to Costa Rica and adjacent Panama, Fiery-billed Aracari is found only on one side of the mountainous backbone of Costa Rica, in this case the Pacific slope. (Photo by participant Bob Polkinghorn)
This Volcano Junco gave us a serious looking-over. (Photo by guide Tom Johnson)
This one's a true Costa Rica endemic, and found only in a limited area of the southwest: Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager. (Photo by guide Tom Johnson)
A Collared Redstart always brightens up the forest birding. (Photo by participant Bob Polkinghorn)
Did we get a great look at a Mottled Owl on this tour? Oh yeah! (Photo by guide Tom Johnson)
It's not often that we get this good a look at the field mark for which Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant is named! (Photo by guide Tom Johnson)
A great name for this Costa Rica beauty: Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Photo by guide Tom Johnson)
OK, now let's return to our Oaxaca tour: participant Charlotte Byers captured this image of the lovely mountain-and-valley countryside near Teotitlan del Valle, the famous textile center east of Oaxaca City.
Red Warbler: this Mexican endemic is one of the great small birds of the world...need we say more? (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)
When this one pops into view, it's smiles all around: Golden-browed Warbler, always a group favorite! (Photo by guide Dan Lane)
The lovely Gray Silky-flycatcher is endemic to Mexico and western Guatemala. (Photo by participant Bill Byers)
Gray-breasted Woodpecker has a limited range confined just to southwestern Mexico. (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)
This image of guide Eric Hynes in search of a Beautiful Hummingbird for the group gives us a bit of scale on those cacti. (Photo by participant Bill Byers)
Mexico has many lovely sparrows on its list, including the endemic Bridled Sparrow. (Photo by guide Dan Lane)
One of our groups (we ran two January Oaxaca tours) birding near the church at Mitla. (Photo by participant Bill Byers)
This Lesser Roadrunner might be thinking that hiding its head was enough, but we knew better! (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)
Along with the numerous Oaxaca specialties and endemics, it's fun too to see some northern birds wintering here, such as these Lark Sparrows. (Photo by participant Bill Byers)
The ruins at Monte Alban always inspire awe, and you've no doubt seen similar images of this site before, but...
...this very cool aerial shot of the site's location gives a fantastic perspective on Monte Alban's great perch! (Photos by participant Jan Shaw)
Guide Pepe Rojas gets into the swing of things during our group's visit to a weaving demonstration in Teotitlan, inspecting skeins of wool colored with natural dyes. (Photo by participant Charlotte Byers)
One of our hosts making dye for those yarns (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)
All right, time to head southward again in Central America, this time to our Panama's Canopy Lodge tour with guide John Rowlett, where participant Max Rodel grabbed this pic of a handsome Bay-headed Tanager.
Checker-throated Antwrens rarely move slowly enough to allow a photo, but participant Max Rodel managed to catch this one as it looked among the branches for food.
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