ExcerptS from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter


from the April 25,  2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Friday morning during breakfast a Scarlet Tanager, PIRANGA OLIVACEA, flew into the top of the tree above me and its dazzling redness against the sky's limpid blueness was very impressive, as seen above.

Beyond the sheer prettiness, the tanager's presence was of particular interest because Scarlet Tanagers do not overwinter in Mexico. They winter in South America from Colombia to Bolivia. The only time we see them here is as they migrate between North and South America.

Friday morning's bird acted just like a visitor in a rush, during his ten-minute visit nervously hopping about as if he couldn't find a comfortable perch, and pecking at anything halfway edible looking, no matter how small or unappetizing it seemed.

In the above picture, at the upper left, those immature fruits are Spanish Plum or Yellow Mombin, Spondias mombin, which we met in Querétaro, and show at http://www.backyardnature.net/q/spondias.htm.

This is one of two trees above me as I take my breakfast each morning and currently the leafless tree is overladen with immature fruits. Each day White-fronted Parrots come testing to see if they're ripe enough to eat yet. Someday soon we're all going to have more Spanish Plums than we can deal with.