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This "Birds from Coahuila, Mexico" was written by Emil K. Urban in English language.

Page 1

Birds from Coahuila,
Mexico
By
Emil K. Urban

Page 2

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Title: Birds from Coahuila, Mexico
Author: Emil K. Urban
Release Date: July 17, 2008 [EBook #26076]
Language: English
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UNIVERSITY
OF
K
ANSAS
P
UBLICATIONS

MUSEUM
OF
N
ATURAL
H
ISTORY
Volume 11, No. 8, pp. 443-516
August 1, 1959
Birds From Coahuila, México
BY EMIL K. URBAN
UNIVERSITY
OF
K
ANSAS

LAWRENCE

1959
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Institutional libraries interested in publications exchange may obtain this
series by addressing the Exchange Librarian, University of Kansas
Library, Lawrence, Kansas. Copies for individuals, persons working in a
particular field of study, may be obtained by addressing instead the

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Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
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which meets the requests of individuals. However, when individuals
request copies from the Museum, 25 cents should be included, for each
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defraying the costs of wrapping and mailing.
* An asterisk designates those numbers of which the Museum's supply
(not the Library's supply) is exhausted. Numbers published to date, in
this series, are as follows:
Vol.
1.
Nos. 1-26 and index. Pp. 1-638, 1946-1950.
*Vol.
2.
(Complete) Mammals of Washington. By Walter W.
Dalquest. Pp. 1-444, 140 figures in text. April 9, 1948.
Vol.
3.
*1.
The avifauna of Micronesia, its origin, evolution, and
distribution. By Rollin H. Baker. Pp. 1-359, 16 figures in
text. June 12, 1951.
*2.
A quantitative study of the nocturnal migration of birds. By
George H. Lowery, Jr. Pp. 361-472, 47 figures in text.
June 29, 1951.
3.
Phylogeny of the waxwings and allied birds. By M. Dale
Arvey. Pp. 473-530, 49 figures in text, 13 tables.
October 10, 1951.
4.
Birds from the state of Veracruz, Mexico. By George H.
Lowery, Jr., and Walter W. Dalquest. Pp. 531-649, 7
figures in text, 2 tables. October 10, 1951.
Index. Pp. 651-681.
*Vol.
4.
(Complete) American weasels. By E. Raymond Hall. Pp. 1-
466, 41 plates, 31 figures in text. December 27, 1951.
Vol.
5.
Nos. 1-37 and index. Pp. 1-676, 1951-1953.
*Vol.
6.
(Complete) Mammals of Utah,
taxonomy and distribution
.
By Stephen D. Durrant. Pp. 1-549, 91 figures in text, 30
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Vol.
7.
*1.
Mammals of Kansas. By E. Lendell Cockrum. Pp. 1-303, 73
figures in text, 37 tables. August 25, 1952.
2.
Ecology of the opossum on a natural area in northeastern
Kansas. By Henry S. Fitch and Lewis L. Sandidge. Pp.
305-338, 5 figures in text. August 24, 1953.
3.
The silky pocket mice (Perognathus flavus) of Mexico. By
Rollin H. Baker. Pp. 339-347, 1 figure in text. February
15, 1954.
4.
North American jumping mice (Genus Zapus). By Philip H.
Krutzsch. Pp. 349-472, 47 figures in text, 4 tables. April
21, 1954.

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5.
Mammals from Southeastern Alaska. By Rollin H. Baker
and James S. Findley. Pp. 473-477. April 21, 1954.
6.
Distribution of Some Nebraskan Mammals. By J. Knox
Jones, Jr. Pp. 479-487. April 21, 1954.
7.
Subspeciation in the montane meadow mouse. Microtus
montanus, in Wyoming and Colorado. By Sydney
Anderson. Pp. 489-506, 2 figures in text. July 23, 1954.
8.
A new subspecies of bat (Myotis velifer) from southeastern
California and Arizona. By Terry A. Vaughan. Pp. 507-
512. July 23, 1954.
9.
Mammals of the San Gabriel mountains of California. By
Terry A. Vaughan. Pp. 513-582, 1 figure in text, 12
tables. November 15, 1954.
10.
A new bat (Genus Pipistrellus) from northeastern Mexico.
By Rollin H. Baker. Pp. 583-586. November 15, 1954.
11.
A new subspecies of pocket mouse from Kansas. By E.
Raymond Hall. Pp. 587-590. November 15, 1954.
12.
Geographic variation in the pocket gopher, Cratogeomys
castanops, in Coahuila, Mexico. By Robert J. Russell
and Rollin H. Baker. Pp. 591-608. March 15, 1955.
13.
A new cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) from northeastern
Mexico. By Rollin H. Baker. Pp. 609-612. April 8, 1955.
14.
Taxonomy and distribution of some American shrews. By
James S. Findley. Pp. 613-618. June 10, 1955.
15.
The pigmy woodrat, Neotoma goldmani, its distribution and
systematic position. By Dennis G. Rainey and Rollin H.
Baker. Pp. 619-624, 2 figures in text. June 10, 1955.
Index. Pp. 651-681.
(Continued on inside of back cover)
UNIVERSITY
OF
K
ANSAS
P
UBLICATIONS

MUSEUM
OF
N
ATURAL
H
ISTORY
Volume 11, No. 8, pp. 443-516
August 1, 1959
Birds From Coahuila,

Page 5

México
BY
EMIL K. URBAN
UNIVERSITY
OF
K
ANSAS

LAWRENCE

1959
UNIVERSITY
OF
K
ANSAS
P
UBLICATIONS
, M
USEUM
OF
N
ATURAL
H
ISTORY
Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, Henry S. Fitch,
Robert W. Wilson
Volume 11, No. 8, pp. 443-516
Published August 1, 1959
UNIVERSITY
OF
K
ANSAS

Lawrence, Kansas
PRINTED IN
THE STATE PRINTING PLANT TOPEKA, KANSAS
1959
Birds From Coahuila, México
BY
EMIL K. URBAN
INTRODUCTION

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The following account is a summary of the present knowledge of the
birds of Coahuila. Some 500 specimens from Coahuila in the Museum of
Natural History at the University of Kansas are the basis for this report;
these are supplemented by records of birds previously listed from the
State.
In Coahuila, habitats vary from those characteristic near tree-line to
those of the floors of the low deserts. Because of the variety of habitats,
many kinds of birds are present in the State; at least 312 living named
kinds of 249 species have been recorded. Possibly another 100 species
will be reported after further studies have been made there. At least 154
of the species listed in this paper probably breed in Coahuila. The bird
fauna in the State includes species characteristic of eastern North
America and of western North America, species that range from the
Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and species found only, or mostly, in
México.
I thank Professor E. Raymond Hall, Doctor Richard F. Johnston and
Doctor Robert M. Mengel for their kind help, and Doctor Harrison B.
Tordoff for first suggesting this study to me. Unless otherwise stated, the
nomenclature in this paper is that of the A.O.U. Check-list Committee
(1957). Catalogue numbers are those of the Museum of Natural History
at the University of Kansas. In so far as known to me, all birds recorded
in the literature from Coahuila are listed below. In a few instances the
only support for occurrence is the ascription of a given kind to Coahuila
(without mention of date, catalogue number, or precise locality) by
Friedmann, Griscom, and Moore (1950), and/or the A.O.U. Check-list
Committee (1957); when this is so the entire entry is inclosed within
brackets. In the accounts beyond, an asterisk indicates that the kind
breeds in Coahuila; two asterisks indicate probable breeding in the
State.
LIST OF COLLECTORS
Persons who have obtained specimens of birds from Coahuila for the
Museum of Natural History are as follows:
Albert A. Alcorn
John William Hardy
Joseph Raymond Alcorn
Gerd H. Heinrich
Sydney Anderson
William McKee Lynn
Rollin Harold Baker
Jack M. Mohler
James Sheldon Carey
Roger O. Olmstead
Peter Stanley Chrapliwy
Robert Lewis Packard
W. Kim Clark
Robert Julian Russell
Robert William
Dickerman
William J. Schaldach,
Jr.
John R. Esther
Harrison Bruce Tordoff

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James Smith Findley
South Van Hoose, Jr.
John Keever Greer
Olin Lawrence Webb
GAZETTEER OF LOCALITIES IN COAHUILA
The following place-names were used to record the localities of
Coahuilan birds now specimens in the University of Kansas Museum of
Natural History. Each place-name is followed by its location in degrees
and minutes of latitude and longitude, respectively.
Acebuches.—28°17
′,
102°56
′.Múzquiz.—27°53
′, 101°32
′.
Americanos.—27°12
′,
103°14
′.Nava.—28°25
′, 100°46
′.
Australia.—26°18
′,
102°18
′.Ocampo.—27°22
′, 102°26
′.
Bella Unión.—25°26
′,
100°51
′.Paila.—25°38
′, 102°09
′.
Boquillas.—29°11
′,
102°55
′.Parras.—25°25
′, 102°12
′.
Castillón.—28°21
′,
103°33
′.Piedras Blanca.—29°02
′, 102°33
′.
Cuatro Ciénegas.—
26°58
′, 102°04
′.Piedras Negras.—28°43
′, 100°32
′.
Diamante.—25°22
′,
100°54
′.Sabinas.—27°52
′, 101°07
′.
Don Martin.—27°32
′,
100°37
′.Saltillo.—25°26
′, 101°00
′.
Fortín.—28°48
′, 101°41
′.San Antonio de las Alazanas.—25°16
′,
100°37
′.
General Cepeda.—
25°22
′, 101°28
′.San Buenaventura.—27°06
′, 101°32
′.
Gómez Farías.—24°58
′,
101°02
′.San Francisco.—27°37
′, 102°37
′.
Hermanas.—27°13
′,
101°13
′.San Gerónimo.—28°30
′, 101°48
′.
Iglesias.—27°34
′,
101°20
′.San Isidro.—27°33
′, 102°27
′.
Jaco.—27°50
′, 103°55
′.San Juan de Sabinas.—27°55
′, 101°17
′.
Jiménez.—29°04
′,
100°42
′.San Lorenzo.—25°28
′, 102°12
′.
La Babia.—28°33
′,
102°03
′.San Marcos.—26°41
′, 102°07
′.

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La Gacha.—28°09
′,
101°31
′.San Miguel.—29°14
′, 101°22
′.
La Mariposa.—28°12
′,
101°49
′.San Pedro de las Colonias (San Pedro).
—25°45
′, 102°58
′.
La Ventura.—24°48
′,
100°38
′.Santa Teresa.—26°27
′, 101°21
′.
Las Delicias.—26°10
′,
102°49
′.Tanque Alvarez.—27°56
′, 102°38
′.
Las Margaritas.—28°42
′,
101°14
′.Torreón.—25°33
′, 103°27
′.
Mesa de Tablas.—
25°14
′, 100°24
′.Villa Acuña.—29°19
′, 100°56
′.
For mountain ranges, the approximate center of the highland of each
range is used as the point of reference.
Pico de Jimulco.—25°08
′,
103°16
′.Sierra de Guadalupe.—25°13
′,
101°32
′.
Sierra del Carmen.—29°00
′,
102°30
′.Sierra del Pino.—28°15
′,
103°03
′.
Sierra de la Encantada.—28°25
′,
102°30
′.Sierra de la Madera.—27°03
′,
102°30
′.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE KNOWN BREEDING BIRDS OF
COAHUILA
Topography and Climate
Coahuila lies in the broad northern end of México, immediately east of
the center of the continental mass. The mountains of Coahuila, which are
part of the Rocky Mountain-Sierra Madre Oriental Axis, extend in a north-
south direction and divide the lower lands into two areas, a larger one, a
part of the Central Plateau, to the westward and a smaller one, a part of
the Gulf Coastal Plain, to the northeastward. Most of the mountains of
Coahuila do not exceed 6000 feet in elevation. A few peaks such as in
the Sierra del Carmen, Sierra del Pino, Sierra de la Madera, Sierra
Encarnación, and Sierra de Guadalupe, are more than 9000 feet high,
and some more than 10,000 feet in elevation occur near the
southeastern border of the State in the Sierra Madre Oriental. The Gulf
Coastal Plain of northeastern Coahuila ranges from 700 feet to 1800
feet. The desert plains of the Mesa del Norte to the west of the Sierra
Madre Oriental Axis are higher, more rugged, and more dissected than
those of the Coastal Plain and are marked by scattered desert ranges,
buttes, low hills, and knobs.
Most of Coahuila is arid. Rainfall is moderate on the Coastal Plain and is

Page 9

low west of the central mountains. Baker (1956:128-132) and Muller
(1947:35-38) give good summary discussions of the topography and
climate of Coahuila, and the reader is referred to these for further details.
Biotic Communities
Baker (1956:132) stated that "the biotic communities of Coahuila might
be divided in accordance with the three physiographic areas of the State:
the Gulf Coastal Plain, the mountains, and the desert plains of the Mesa
del Norte." Goldman and Moore (1945:348-349) listed three biotic
provinces in Coahuila: the Chihuahua-Zacatecas Biotic Province, in the
western half of the State; the Tamaulipas Biotic Province, in the
northeastern part of the State; and the Sierra Madre Oriental Biotic
Province, in the southeastern part of the State. Merriam (1898) noted
that definable portions of the Lower Sonoran Life-zone, the Upper
Sonoran Life-zone, the Transition Life-zone, and the Canadian Life-zone
can be distinguished in Coahuila. In my study of the distribution of the
avifauna of Coahuila, I found that the three biotic provinces listed by
Goldman and Moore (
op. cit.
) as major headings and Merriam's life-
zones as supplements are the most satisfactory divisions.
The Tamaulipas Biotic Province.
—This province consists of lowland
plains and a few isolated ranges of low mountains. The average rainfall
is 23 inches (Baker, 1956:130), considerably more than the 10 inches
falling in the western part of the State. In the northeastern section of the
State, the moderate amount of rain, mesic vegetation, and close
proximity to the eastern migration pathway importantly influence the
types of birds found.
In Coahuila, the Coastal Plain and the Río Grande Plain lie in the path of
the northernmost trade winds; they account for the more humid eastern
slopes of the mountains of the northeastern part of the State (Muller,
1947:38). Nevertheless, the northeastern section of the State is semi-
arid and can be placed in the Lower Sonoran Life-zone. The vegetation
consists mainly of thorny shrubs and small trees with a liberal admixture
of yuccas, agaves, and cacti, and closely resembles that of southern
Texas, northern Nuevo León, and northern Tamaulipas (Goldman and
Moore, 1945:354).
Migrant birds from the eastern flyway and less commonly migrants from
western North America pass through northeastern Coahuila. The
following breeding birds seem to be associated with this province: Harris'
Hawk, Bobwhite (
C. v. texanus
), Scaled Quail (
C. s. castanogastris
),
Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Groove-billed Ani, Green Kingfisher, Golden-
fronted Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker (
D. v. intermedius
), Ladder-
backed Woodpecker (
D. s. symplectus
), Vermilion Flycatcher (
P. r.
mexicanus
), Cave Swallow, Gray-breasted Martin, Black-crested
Titmouse (
P. a. atricristatus
), Carolina Wren, Long-billed Thrasher,
Curve-billed Thrasher (
T. c. oberholseri
), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (
P. c.
caerulea
), Hutton's Vireo (
V. h. carolinae
), Bell's Vireo (
V. b. medius
),
Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager (
P. r. rubra
),

Page 10

Olive Sparrow, Cassin's Sparrow, and Black-throated Sparrow (
A. b.
bilineata
).
The Sierra Madre Oriental Biotic Province.
—Southeastern Coahuila is in
this province that includes mountains in southern Nuevo León,
southwestern Tamaulipas, and eastern San Luis Potosí. Areas
classifiable as Canadian, Transition, Upper Sonoran, and Lower Sonoran
in life-zone are found in this province. This region of Coahuila receives
the highest rainfall; this is evidenced by the luxuriant growth of boreal
plants living in the higher places there (Baker, 1956:131). Spruce, pine,
and aspen occur at higher elevations and oaks, thorny shrubs, and
grasslands are present lower down.
Birds of central or southern México reach the southern part of Coahuila;
the Thick-billed Parrot, Hooded Yellowthroat, and Rufous-capped
Atlapetes are examples. A boreal forest on the higher slopes of the
mountains of southeastern Coahuila is suitable for certain northern birds
such as Goshawks, Pine Siskins, and Brown Creepers. Some species of
birds ordinarily associated with western North America are present in
Coahuila only in its southeastern part; striking examples of disjunction in
range thus occur. Probably sometime in the past these birds were
distributed throughout most of Coahuila. When this area became arid,
these species disappeared from all of Coahuila except from the high
mountains in the southeastern part. For example, Steller's Jay and the
Scrub Jay are absent in the Sierra del Carmen of northwestern Coahuila
but do occur in southeastern Coahuila.
Migrants of the eastern flyway as well as migrants associated with
western North America pass through this section of Coahuila. The
following breeding birds are associated with this province: Goshawk,
Band-tailed Pigeon, Thick-billed Parrot, Golden-fronted Woodpecker,
Ladder-backed Woodpecker (
D. s. giraudi
), Pine Flycatcher, Buff-
breasted Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher (
P. r. mexicanus
), Steller's
Jay, Scrub Jay, Mexican Chickadee, Black-crested Titmouse (
P. a.
atricristatus
), Cactus Wren (
C. b. guttatus
), Robin, Blue-gray
Gnatcatcher (
P. c. amoenissima
), Hutton's Vireo (
V. h. stephensi
), Bell's
Vireo (
V. b. medius
), Hartlaub's Warbler, Summer Tanager (
P. r.
cooperi
), Pine Siskin, Rufous-capped Atlaptes, and Black-throated
Sparrow (
A. b. grisea
).
The Chihuahua-Zacatecas Biotic Province.
—This province in Coahuila
covers the arid, interior, western desert area; it consists of rolling plains
with mountains that rise islandlike above the general surface. Some of
the mountains, such as in the Sierra del Carmen and the Sierra del Pino,
are more than 9000 feet high. The major part of this biotic area lies within
the Lower Sonoran Life-zone. Areas of the Transition and Canadian life-
zones are present on some of the higher mountains; their discontinuity
results in a discontinuous distribution of the conifer-dependent avifauna.
The large desert restricts the movement of birds considerably. Major
results of this include isolation of certain populations and absence of
others in the boreal islands. For example, Miller (1955a:157) noted that

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