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Toxostoma Ocellatum and Diglossa Baritula in Hidalgo

Robert J. Newman
Publication Information
6 (November-December)
From Field and Study

Toxostoma ocellatum and Diglossa baritula in Hidalgo.-At the invitation of Sr. and Sra. Carlos Samhex Mejorada, Jr., Mrs. Newman and I had the pleasure of spending the night of June 4 and the morning of June 5, 1949, at the Hacienda Velasco, in the village of Omitlan, in southern Hidalgo, M&&o. Since OmitlPn is only four miles in an airline northeast of Real de1 Monte, a famous type locality and the scene of much intensive bird collecting over the years, it seemed unlikely that we should encounter much of novelty in so short a time. To our surprise, however, we succeeded in taking, in the near vicinity and within the space of four hours, two species for which there is no previous published record in the state.

Omitldn is a dusty little village situated at an elevation of 7400 feet in an arid gap between high mountains. But behind the high walls of the Hacienda, the growth is green and luxuriant. Beneath towering eucalyptus trees, swarming with hummingbirds, flower-bordered walks thread their way through well-tended gardens, past walls overgrown with climbing vines. On such a wall, within twenty feet of the house, I discovered a small slate-gray and russet bird flitting in the English ivy like a warbler. Upon collection, it proved to be an adult male Mexican Diglossa (Diglossu baritula baritdu) . Later on the same morning, I shot a second specimen from a small tree on the grounds, also a male but not in fully adult plumage.

Although the state of Hidalgo is not included in the range of the species as stated in current works, the Diglossa is of more than casual occurrence in the small area of immured greenery furnished by the Hacienda. Sr. Sanchez, who is a keen observer of birds and a longtime student of the fauna of the region, informed me that he has seen it in the garden on at least five previous occasions. Comparison of our two specimens with material in the United States National Museum has shown that the Omitlan birds are assignable to the nominate race.

On a trip with Sr. Sanchez that same day to the top of El Zumate, a lO,OGO-foot peak on the outskirts of the village, we secured a male Ocellated Thrasher (Toxostoma ocellutum) . In contrast to the valley below, the slopes of the mountain are heavily wooded; and at the 9000-foot level there are ’ small bushy clearings bordered by forests of conifers. The thrasher was shot at the edge of one of these open places, about forty feet above the ground in the branches of a fir. A second individual, possibly its mate, escaped. The large, heavily-spotted Ocellated Thrasher is a rather uncommon bird in collections, previously taken only in the states of Mexico, Puebla, and Oaxaca.

All three specimens mentioned are now in the Museum of Zoology at Louisiana State University. I am indebted to Sr. and Sra. Sanchez for the hospitality shown us and to Dr. Alexander Wetmore and Dr. Herbert Friedmann of the United States National Museum for access to the comparative material in collections under their care.-ROBERT J. NEWMAN, Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, April 27, 1954.

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