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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Another jay family member, the Green Jay, stopped by for a drink.
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.
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.
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.”)
Another flycatcher, the smallest and grayest flycatcher species, appeared to enjoy a drink and a bath at a different waterhole.
And the Social Flycatcher raced through the trees to harass other birds and then settled down for drink. I call it the antisocial warrior.
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.
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.
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