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Ornithology in Latin America

freedombecki

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This thread is to celebrate the lovely birds of the jungle, sea, river, forest, and Caribbean, from America's Mexican border to the southernmost tip of Latin America.

They're so beautiful. I've been collecting photos of Scarlet Macaws for a friend here at USMB, who needs them to research a work of art, and needed to place them somewhere at USMB.

Click on the thumbnail to see the feather details of these amazing birds.

My first closeup of a macaw was at a cousin's house. He hated people, she was mean. Not sure the connection, but all I remember is he was in a corner with a covered cage most of the time, and she died when he was about 5 years old. Not much of an aesthetic experience, but it was a reminder that birds are wild animals and do not domesticate well where their behavior gets human behavioral expectations which is, of course, highly confusing to them as intelligent as they are. They may be taught to speak, and will occasionally pick up a word unexpectedly, especially one repeated often and used to emphasize something. :badgrin:

Here's the product of this mornings gleanings from the web. Didn't count, but there may be somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 to 10 scans to show the coloration differences of the dorsal and ventral areas. You will see a red bird if it is flying overhead and you view the ventral side. If you are above or behind the scarlet macaw you will see a bird in the primary colors. Do I love scarlet macaws. First time up close was at Roatan Island at a bird sanctuary owned and operated by a woman from the states who came to visit the island, then fell in love with the avians of the isle.

Photo 1: Dorsal view example
Photo 2: Ventral
Photo 3: Dorsal and ventral wing areas in view
 

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freedombecki

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Scarlet Macaws

1 Detail of head
2 Tail spread at landing
3 Pair perching
 

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freedombecki

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1 Sometimes the Scarlet macaw spreads his tail feathers when landing, or whenever, and if they haven't been fighting or escaping a predator badly, their tails are magnificent when spread. This one is from the ventral view, which should show red and is why the birds are named "Scarlet."
2 The dorsal colorations can be spectacular at certain times of the year.
3. Some birds show red stripey feature below the eye. I do not know if this is a color that appears due to mating season, diet, or is a subspecie bird. This one was from a zoo brochure somewhere in central America.

I need to renew my passport and go there. :rolleyes: Yes, "need" to go. :lmao:
 

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freedombecki

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Some more shots that might be helpful to an artist in determining feather colorations, depending on what is loved or desired to show from the artist's view.
 

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freedombecki

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1 Scarlet Macaw acrobatics (or is he clowning?)
2. Going up
3. Up and away!
 

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freedombecki

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There are many beautiful Macaws in Latin America. This one tends to take my breath away, also. Hyacinth Macaws:

Please touch on the thumbnail to see the larger version.
 

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freedombecki

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These amazingly beautiful birds range from Mexico to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. Their favorite tree are the huge natural avocado trees of the region, likely their sustenance is the fruit of the avocado tree. I have made a wallhanging of Resplendent Quetzal, my best bird ever. Someday, I'm going to design and make an applique bird quilt. Until then, it's back to the charity quilt business of 2012. No art this year, just quilts for shelter kids, hospice, wheelchair vets, and senior homes. My mother-in-law, who just called, is 92 in a nursing home and thanked me for hers, which she hung on the wall. I told her she could use it either for a wallhanging OR to cover her feet when she is watching tv this winter. She loves television. :)

Resplendent quetzals:

1. Resplendent quetzal, female
2. Resplendent quetzal, male
3. details of Resplendent quetzal male's upper body and head
 

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freedombecki

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Flamingos live throughout Latin America, and then some--we have some who are in my lake in the Pineywoods region of East Texas, right now, and they are giving the great egrets a run for their money. For some reason, they like our lake's shallow end. The East Texas group is pink, not dark, medium light pink, but not pale. They're so fun to watch. They come as solitary birds sometimes and the largest group I've noticed has been a small flock of 7. I saw a group of 200 flamingos or thereabouts, possibly more, under a tressled bridge near Lake Livingston that is about 16 or 17 miles from home. I thought, huh? They love shallow water where they can catch whatever swims and has a crusty coat of red that after digesting, lends them their pink color. The man who designed and built the lake and our home was a veterinarian. I am certain he was an avid birder as well, because this lake is exquisitely perfect for large endangered birds as well as the flamingos, who I noticed were going toe to toe with a pair of egrets the other day. The lake is 2.5 acres in size, and the shallows are probably 1.1 acres in size, which would be enough to place hundreds of birds in if the natty little Black Guillemots weren't roiling the waters morning and evening, their favorite time for hunting. At first, I thought o no! Alligators! But a few months later, I noticed little black heads popping up and flying out of the water. I knew then exactly who was doing all that tortured surface mischief--the same little birds that SHOULD BE in the arctic circle right now! Oh, yes, birds go where they wish.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=887wtl3YHA0"]Caribbean Flamingo - YouTube[/ame]
 
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freedombecki

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Found this and thought it was terrific, some just guys noticed scarlet macaws overhead in Costa Rica eating some kind of fruit or veggie--an avocado, maybe? Lime? Nah, leaves too big. Anyway, I'm not certain, but it's a cute series of shots once the foodfight is over.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1odP9-BInU]Scarlet Macaws in the Wild - YouTube[/ame]

 
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freedombecki

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There is a Macaw Sanctuary in Roatan, an Island that is north of Honduras we visted some years ago. I was looking for it on youtube when this one was found. It's an in-your-face foodfight. We don't have any of those around here, do we. :lmao:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p67W8gn7Exw]Macaw Sanctuary El Manantial - YouTube[/ame]
 

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Thanks for the photos, they're beautiful.
 
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cheyenne_panama_harpy_eagle.jpg


The Harpy Eagle is an apex carnivore whose diet is mainly sloths and monkeys. It has no natural enemies and is top of the food chain with a range from Brazil to Mexico.

Wikipedia shows its territory well:
444px-Harpy_Eagle_Range.svg.png


 
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freedombecki

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Torogoz, National Bird of El Salvadore



Eumomota superciliosa









torogoz.png

 
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freedombecki

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The National Bird of Costa Rica is the Clay Colored Thrush, Turdus grayi.

133120642.NdptqsIp.PanamapBas_e_7448.jpg
 
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freedombecki

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Until 2010, the Clay-colored Thrush was called the Clay-colored Robin. Its range is from South Texas, where it is expanding its territory down to South America.

The Clay-colored Thrush has a distinctive song. The song, rather low-pitched and with a slow steady tempo, consists of many slurred musical phrases which are often repeated irregularly. The tock flight call is like the American Robin's but harsher. To listen, go here: http://www.xeno-canto.org/sounds/uploaded/BHRXQZEQFL/52b1_a.mp3
 
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The Crested Caracara
Caracara cheriway

Caracara_cheriway_Roma_TX.jpg


The Crested Caracara, the National bird of Mexico, ranges from the Southern United States, throughout Mexico and Cenral America all the way down to northern South America.

Diet, Feeding Habits, and Breeding
Caracaras eat just about anything they can find. They will scavenge carrion, or hunt on their own, preying upon rodents, lizards, snakes, frogs, fish, crabs, grasshoppers, and even other birds. They are very aggressive thieves as well, and readily steal prey from others of their species, or other birds, such as pelicans. Caracaras build nests of sticks (as do most other birds of prey), in the tops of cacti, palms, or other trees, and lay two or three eggs in them.
Birds of legend, caracaras were sacred to some pre-Columbian civilizations, such as the Aztec. Depictions of these birds are found in some of the ancient books of the Aztec, and some of their deities had characteristics of them. Mexico is the only country in which the bird is a national symbol.
 

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