BACKYARD BIRDING IN MERIDA, YUCATAN AND BEYOND – DIVERSE BUT FAMILIAR

Toco Toucan

Although I traveled on a different continent to a country almost the same size as the United States, less Alaska, I saw many wildlife species that reminded me of the Yucatan or Mexico during my two week stay in Brazil. Many had the same English names, especially the birds, and others were “cousins” in the same families.

I want to mention two species. Although I’ve not seen the Mexican hairy dwarf porcupine in the Yucatan, I photographed the Brazilian porcupine sleeping on a limb 60 feet up in a tree. It first looked like a small termite nest from an 80 foot distance in the boat where I photographed. How lucky to get one image that shows the prehensile tail and the other with its eyes open and those amazing whiskers. By the way, both species are nocturnal and have prehensile tails.

To my surprise, a domestic mammal caught my attention, the Pantanal horse, which has been bred to adapt to the hot, humid conditions of this large wetland. They are used primarily in cattle management.

Here’s a smattering of some common species to us in the Yucatan along with unfamiliar ones, all photographed in Brazil.

 

Hyacinth Macaw

 

Brazilian Porcupine with prehensile tail

 

Brazilian Porcupine face, long whiskers, feet

 

Black Skimmer

 

Black-collared Hawk

 

Caiman yacare

 

Giant Anteater female

 

Toco Toucan

 

Jaguar cub less than a year old

 

Pantanal Horses

 

Jabiru Stork at nest

 

Chestnut-eared Aracari

 

Capuchin

 

Greater Rhea male courtship display

 

Capybara young

 

Giant River Otters dining on fish

 

Blue-fronted Amazon

 

Rabbit-sized rodent, the Agouti

 

Tegu lizard

 

Red-and-green Macaw

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS, FELIZ NAVIDAD, HAPPY HANUKKAH, HAPPY KWANZAA, BUONE FESTE NATALIZIE, JOYEUX NOEL, FROEHLICHE WEIHNACHTEN, FELIZ NATAL, KRISMASI NJEMA, SAWAT DEE WAN, AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

LISTED SPECIES:

Hyacinth Macaw, Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus

Brazilian Porcupine, Coendou prehensilis

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger

Black-collared Hawk, Busarellus nigricollis

Caiman yacare, Caiman yacare

Giant anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla

Toco Toucan, Ramphastos toco

Jaguar cub, Panthera once

Pantanal horses

Jabiru Stork, Jabiru mycteria

Chestnut-eared Aracari, Pteroglossus castanotis

Capuchin, Cebus sp.

Greater Rhea, Rhea americana

Capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Giant river otter, Pteronura brasiliensis

Agouti, Dasyprocta punctata

Tegu lizard, Salvator merianae

Blue-fronted Amazon, Amazona aestiva

Red-and-green Macaw, Ara chloropterus

 

By Cherie Pittillo for TYT

Cherie Pittillo, “nature inspired,” photographer and author, explores nature everywhere she goes. She’s identified 56 bird species in her Merida, Yucatan backyard view. Her monthly column features anecdotes about birding in Merida, Yucatan and also wildlife beyond the Yucatan.

Contact: all4birdies@gmail.com  All rights reserved, ©Cherie Pittillo





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