An Introduction to Villa del Faro, via Birds

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male Hooded Oriole at Villa del Faro

Jocelyn and I are visiting a property on the southern tip of the state Baja California Sur in Mexico, on the long peninsula running from the mainland into the Pacific Ocean, creating the Sea of Cortez. Grey and Humpback Whales use the sheltered and warm waters in the Bay of California to give birth and raise their calfs, but unfortunately for us, we aren’t here at a time during which these marine mammals can be seen from the many patios and balconies at Villa del Faro.

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Xantus’ Hummingbird at Villa del Faro

What we can see are several species of bird that reside here year-round, and which I haven’t seen before. Xantus’ Hummingbird, for example, is endemic to the southern half of the Baja Peninsula, and was the first bird that Jocelyn pointed out when we left our room. As we toured the property with one of the owners, we spotted a Greater Roadrunner, a California Quail, a handful of Hooded Orioles and Cactus Wrens, and a couple dozen White-winged and Common Ground- Doves.

This morning, I saw both Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, as well as a Scott’s Oriole and a California Towhee. The hotel is quite an oasis, with lush gardens on a 12-acre plot of land close to the beach creating a great haven for all these birds and other wildlife, like foxes and chipmunks, and bats and butterflies!

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As far as I can tell, this is a juvenile Costa’s Hummingbird with lots of pollen on the top of its head

Check in tomorrow for an architectural digest (in photos) of Villa del Faro.

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