Published On: Thu, May 7th, 2015

BACKYARD BIRDING IN MERIDA, YUCATAN AND BEYOND: *WATER WARS, WARRIORS AND WORRIERS – 23 AVIAN SPECIES, PART 2

Share This
Tags

Cherie Pittillo, “nature inspired”, zoologist, wildlife photographer, and author, explores nature everywhere she goes. She’s identified 56 bird species in her Merida, Yucatan backyard view. Her column, published on the 7th and 21st of each month features anecdotes about birding in Merida, Yucatan and beyond. Contact: all4birdies@gmail.com All rights reserved, ©Cherie Pittillo

In Part 1, the Clay-colored Thrushes seemed to be the warriors as they chased away other birds or each other from small rock puddles. One thrush encountered a Gray Catbird. Whatever communications happened between these two feathered frenemies(?), the catbird waited its turn until after the thrush bathed.

Commander of the Water, Clay-colored Thrush

Commander of the Water, Clay-colored Thrush

Clay-colored Thrush wins the battle of bathing and drinking against a Gray Catbird

Clay-colored Thrush wins the battle of bathing and drinking against a Gray Catbird

But the thrushes didn’t prevent a small flock of endemic Yucatan Jays to quench their thirst. The yellow bill and eyering belong to an immature.

Immature Yucatan Jay looks left while adult looks right adjacent to waterhole

Immature Yucatan Jay looks left while adult looks right adjacent to waterhole

Adult Yucatan Jay, an endemic species, with breathtaking blue plumage

Adult Yucatan Jay, an endemic species, with breathtaking blue plumage

Another jay family member, the Green Jay, stopped by for a drink.

Green Jay alights above puddle

Two species of ground-doves, the lighter-colored Common Ground-Dove and the Ruddy Ground-Dove, submerged their bills to swallow water without lifting their heads to drink just like the larger White-winged Dove. Pigeons and doves represent the few species that don’t need to raise and tilt their heads to swallow.

A pair of Common Ground-Doves

A pair of Common Ground-Doves

Male Ruddy Ground-Dove

Male Ruddy Ground-Dove

White-winged dove drinks without lifting its head

White-winged dove drinks without lifting its head

Several members of the blackbird family arrived including Great-tailed Grackle, the Melodious Blackbird, and Bronzed Cowbird. (See Part 1 for the Altamira Oriole.)

I would definitely call the grackle a warrior. This 18 inch long male had no problem commandeering the waterhole. A flock of Melodious Blackbirds hung around until the grackle departed. They seemed to be worriers. But the Bronzed Cowbird tried a different puddle. By the way, females of this species lays eggs in other birds’ nests.

Great-tailed Grackle, a warrior

Great-tailed Grackle, a warrior

A male, Melodious Blackbird

A male, Melodious Blackbird

Male Bronzed Cowbird drank quickly amid a bee swarm

Male Bronzed Cowbird drank quickly amid a bee swarm

I noticed how quickly the male, red-eyed Bronzed Cowbird drank because many honeybees swarmed around it. Other birds had the same problem. That’s an unexpected response from the typical “birds and bees”.

It’s difficult to see but a bee flew in front of this Brown-crested Flycatcher. Too bad it was a “fly-catcher” instead of a “bee-eater.” ( Yes, one bird family exists that is called “bee-eaters.”)

If this species were a bee-eater instead of a fly-catcher,the Brown-crested Flycatcher could have had a meal, a drink, and a bath

If this species were a bee-eater instead of a fly-catcher,the Brown-crested Flycatcher could have had a meal, a drink, and a bath

Another flycatcher, the smallest and grayest flycatcher species, appeared to enjoy a drink and a bath at a different waterhole.

Least Flycatcher

Least Flycatcher

And the Social Flycatcher raced through the trees to harass other birds and then settled down for drink. I call it the antisocial warrior.

Antisocial, Social Flycatcher flies in for a drink after harassing other birds away from the water.

Antisocial, Social Flycatcher flies in for a drink after harassing other birds away from the water.

Of all the species, besides the thrushes, the Golden-fronted Woodpecker bathed the longest period of uninterrupted time. It began to preen after its luxurious bath on a nearby limb.

After its bath, a female Golden-fronted Woodpecker prepares to preen

After its bath, a female Golden-fronted Woodpecker prepares to preen

Check out the other species in part 1:  http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2015/04/backyard-birding-in-merida-yucatan-and-beyond-water-wars-warriors-and-worriers-23-avian-species-part-1/

GO OUTDOORS TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST FOR BEAUTY AND TRANQUILITY.

*Water wars, warriors, and worriers are my own creation as a watcher and are not scientifically accurate descriptions.

Mexico Travel Care

footer-john-2


Comments

comments

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>