The last 30 days have been a real challenge, both personally as well as in our business. So, it was with that in mind, that we loaded the truck up, and rented a beautiful little casita in the Oceanside village of Cabo Pulmo. This little town of about 100 is located right next to what is considered the largest coral reef in all of Mexico, which is very well protected with in the boundaries of a Federal Marine Reserve. This location makes it very much a tourist destination, with at least three dive centers, and five restaurants.

Located in what could be described as the heart of this booming little town, behind 10 foot stucco walls, sits “The Jewel of Cabo Pulmo”. This property has one large house, and a small casita located in the back of the property. Surrounded by dense, well maintained foliage of a local nature, the small casita was exactly what the doctor ordered. Quiet, peaceful, with no people to bother us, and of course, lots of birds. We sat on the porch, with, what ever beverage that particular time of day called for, and marveled at the number of birds that called this small piece of heaven home.

This is the large house.

And here is the little casita we stayed in.

The highlight of the porch, was the beautiful bird bath, or “Cabo Pulmo Poolside”, as we started to refer to it. Made out of the local ceramics, and decorated in a beautiful array of colors, it was located in a perfect location at the edge of the foliage, near the porch. As is always the case, clean, cool water is a huge draw anywhere in a desert location. It took the locals a little time to get used to us sitting their watching, but once they did, visitors were quite regular.

The self-acclaimed “King of the Pool” was without doubt, the Gray Thrasher. These naturally aggressive birds rarely let any other birds in the pool while they were taking their turn. I counted, as best I could, seven different Gray Thrashers that all made at least one appearance poolside.


I have to admit, that there is a strong possibility that I missed a few birds during my pool side vigil, as an occasional nap attack might have taken me, but I guess that is what this weekend was all about. I did manage to see Common Ground Doves, Ash-throated Flycatchers, Northern Cardinals, California Towhees, and Pyrrhuloxias all sneak in for a quick sip, but never got any decent photos of those shyer types. I am reasonably positive I saw a Ruddy Ground Dove wandering thru the underbrush at the base of the pool, but, well, I am just not absolutely positive.

The Verdin were frequent visitors, with this first year bird being the least camera shy.


This female Hooded Oriole had a nest near by, and with all her constant trips back and forth feeding her young, certainly deserved a quick dip in the pool. The Gray Thrasher had other ideas, but her persistence paid off.


The real break in poolside harmony came when the larger White-winged Doves flew in. They were hardy drinkers, never bathed, and just bullied their way in to the pool. I guess we all have a few friends like that, huh?


The Gray Thrashers put up with it to a point, and then, enough is an enough, get out of here!


After a long day in the pool, lounging around, what any self respecting Gray Thrasher needs now, is a good blow dry. Here in the Mexico desert, a light breeze and 100 degree F° temps will have to do.

Written by Tom Brown
Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. When he is not scouring whatever area they are in, looking for the next great bird photo, he can be found trying to earn enough money for the next adventure, and of course, a new lens or camera body! Having been nick-named “The Bird Nerd” by his last remaining friends and family, Tom continues search for that next lifer, and the accompanying photo that goes with it. Find his continuing adventures, photographs, and guiding opportunities at Focus on Feathers.