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What a gift to visit this place-some of the finest remaining habitat in West Mexico. Although somewhat hard to get to, it is well worth the effort. At just over 6,000' elevation this preserve has a great mix of mid and high elevation species. Golden-browed Warblers provide almost constant background sound. Audubon's Orioles sing their lilting, "drunken sailor" song. Long-tailed Wood Partridges shake the shrubs with their deafening calls (actually got to see three of these melting into the underbrush at one point). Calls of Mountain Trogon are continually in the background along with the haunting songs of the Brown-backed Solitaire.

Hummingbirds are a feature of any visit to Las Joyas. Magnificent Hummingbirds kept slipping in to the flowers near the office. Blue-throated zipped by with their high pitched squeaks. Bumblebee Hummers buzzed near the cabins. White-eared males took high perches to advertise their presence. Most of the western North American breeding species find this area to their liking with Rufous, Broad-tailed, and Calliope all in attendance.

So many other memorable sights at Las Joyas. Red-headed Tanagers gulping small fruits, Olivaceous Woodcreepers trilling in the cloud forest, Smoky-brown Woodpeckers quietly foraging, Slate-throated Redstarts doing aerial flycatching, Crested Guans at dawn lumbering across heavily leaved branches, Collared Towhees and Green-striped Brushfinches skulking in the dark shrubbery, Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercers emitting their scratchy song while deciding which of the myriad of flowers to pilfer. Any chance I can live here???

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