Andy Frank

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Glaucous Gull

This Glaucous Gull was at Westmoreland Park. I think it is a first year bird.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009


How can you not love looking at a parrot? There were many WHITE-FRONTED PARROTS at Chichen Itza. They can be remarkably noisy when in a group.
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Also at Chichen Itza we found the tiny CENTRAL AMERICAN PYGMY-OWL, also called LEAST PYGMY-OWL. At only 5.5-6 inches it is smaller than a robin and similar in size to many sparrows. We saw 2 there both mornings that we were there, and they copulated both days.
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We were fortunate to find both Blue-crowned Motmot and this TURQUOISE-BROWED MOTMOT while at Chichen Itza.
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Bird Island also had, from top to bottom, colorful ROSEATE SPOONBILL; the bizarre and nocturnal BOAT-BILLED HERON; and several beautiful REDDISH EGRET in which the red contrasts nicely with its blue legs. While at Bird Island, we also saw Great Blue, Little Blue, and Tricolored Herons; Great and Snowy Egrets; and White Ibis
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A highlight of the vacation was a sea kayak trip at the Sian Ka'an Biosphere, a large protected area on the southern coast of the Yucutan. We kayaked to the aptly named Bird Island, a small mangrove island no larger than 25 meters in diameter. We were first struck by the large number of Magnificent Frigatebirds. They nest there, and we got a good view of a male with its red gular pouch inflated as well as a mostly-white immature. These birds are quite striking when flying, with their forked tails and angled pointed wings.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009


We found this PLAIN CHACHALACA perched in a tree at Tulum.
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The YUCUTAN JAY, here seen at the ruins of Tulum, is a striking bird with velvety blue and black coloration. The immature is even more striking with a bright yellow bill and white eyering.
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Coba is a gorgeous area with beautiful ruins in a forested setting. At one point we saw several birds and upon closer look found a small swarm of ants with both male (top) and female (middle) RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGERS and a nearby RUDDY WOODCREEPER, here looking quite funky with its raised head feathers.
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Hooded Oriole, Tricolored Heron, Squirrel Cuckoo

While in Puerto Morelos, there were lots of good birds right near our hotel. HOODED ORIOLES were seen daily, and several times a TRICOLORED HERON came to the small pond adjacent to the hotel grounds. A SQUIRREL CUCKOO is such a striking bird with its red coloration and long patterned tail.
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