Posted by: ktzefr | July 13, 2016

Yucatan is for the Birds!

Eagles, hummingbirds, pelicans, and parrots.  Flamingoes, anhingas, flycatchers, tanagers. Chachalacas and frigate birds, herons and egrets.  The Yucatan Peninsula has more than 500 bird species.

Dancing with Flamingos, Celestún, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

One of my favorite moments on trips to Mexico is waking up that first morning to the exotic bird-song serenade outside my window.  This is especially so in winter in the Yucatan.  I have a zillion photos of birds in which I am the only person who knows there is a bird in the picture — somewhere.  In other words, more often than not, I point and shoot and get lots of photos of tree tops.  Sometimes there are interesting epiphytes or colorful blooms amongst the branches, but the bird has flown by the time I click or it’s too far away or too high up to get a clear picture without a more powerful lens.

IMG_4721 - CopySo, I don’t have a photo of the painted bunting.  Or the pygmy owl.  Or the vermillion flycatcher.  On an early morning hike, I was stopped in my tracks by the colorful bunting; it looked like a Christmas ornament — too pretty to be real.  A Maya guide “talked” to the tiny owl in the trees until we were in range with the binoculars.  The owl was still, except for its roving eyes.   One morning we spotted the red flash of a vermillion flycatcher along a back road.  Though the bird kept its distance, we let down the tailgate, opened the picnic basket, and enjoyed  breakfast by a field of flowers.

The birds that didn’t get away:

Anhinga by the Ria Celestún enjoying a perch in the sun…

Anhinga; Photo:KFawcett

Anhinga; Photo:KFawcett

The beautiful white pelican is North America’s largest flying bird.  It breeds in Canada and the northern U.S. and thousands come to Mexico to winter.  In Yucatan white pelicans are found on the Celestún River and estuary.  They are graceful swimmers and, rather than dive for fish like their brown cousins, they float on the surface and scoop them up.  They’re pretty good boatmen, too…

White Pelican; Photo:KFawcett

White Pelican; Photo:KFawcett

A friend of a friend with a house by the sea has too many hummers to count.  This is one of several feeders…

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Hummingbirds, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

In the silence of the mangroves…

Snowy egret, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Snowy egret, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Heron, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Heron, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

A boatload of pelicans at the salt flats…

Brown pelicans, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Brown pelicans, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

 

Ah…the freedom of a bird.  It needs no passport.  A bird crosses borders wherever and whenever it pleases.

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