Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the November 15, 2009 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Sometimes deep in the night a Thicket Tinamous calls his haunting, clear, monotonal whistle not far from where I sleep. Often even before it's light outside Plain Chachalacas call from the distance. Once the sky is bright a real morning chorus begins, among the most fervent singers being Clay-colored Robins creating a circus inside the big, ropy-trunked strangler-fig trees as they feast on pea-sized figs, and White-winged Doves, who coo and coo, "Who cooks for youuuu... ?" The loudest, most attention-getting singers are the parrots, though. You can see two of a flock of about ten atop a Guaje tree beside the road below:

White-fronted Parrots, AMAZONA ALBIFRONS

Those are White-fronted Parrots, AMAZONA ALBIFRONS, distributed from humid lowland Mexico to northwestern Costa Rica. The white forehead distinguishes them from most other parrots. The very similar Yucatan Parrot also lives in this area, but they have yellow "lores," lores being the region between the eyes and upper beaks. White-fronted Parrots like semiopen areas with scattered trees and forests occurring in patches, so their numbers are more stable than you might expect in this area where forests come and go.

Their calls are so shrill and persistent that they could almost get on your nerves. All you have to do to make peace with the noise, though, is to look at the parrots up in their treetops as the morning's first sunlight floods in and see how attentive they are to one another, and supportive, how prettily they blend in with the green leaves they work through, and how excitedly they'll suddenly launch into the blue sky and go winging low across the forest looking for yet another treetop to enliven.

from the March 20, 2011 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Birds sing all day at Hacienda Chichen and they're a delight to hear. Some calls are more noticeable than others. One disconcerting bird concert often heard takes place when our abundant White-fronted Parrots for some reason grow excited and begin screeching in great numbers, like dogs in a dogfight. I've never been able to see whether they're fighting, mating or what, but the racket they make is spectacular, as maybe you can hear at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/11/parrots.wav.

That file is 3.7 MB large so you need some bandwitdth to to get it, plus some computers can't digest WAV audio files.