Bird-watching enthusiasts have come out with a handy guide to local birds which I think will be of enormous value to those of us who don’t know a Caracara from a Cowbird.
The new “Quick Guide to the Birds of the Metropolitan Zone of Guadalajara and Chapala” is a six-panel, accordion-folded sheet of sturdy, plasticized cardboard. It shows beautiful, sharp images of 140 birds, with all the waterbirds lumped together on one side. Since I spotted that blue bird in a dry place, I have only to look on the other side, where my eye quickly scans 89 birds, looking for one mostly blue. In an instant, I see only two with a blue body and blue wings. One is a glue grosbeak, which has, as its name suggests, a fat beak, allowing me to determine in only a second that the bird in the tree above me – with a slender beak – must be a blue mockingbird.