Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the January 16, 2011 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Yellow-backed Oriole, ICTERUS CHRYSATER ssp MAYENSIS

This week the Ceibas have been flowering much more prolifically than last year, and each morning each Ceiba has constituted nothing less than an animated and gaudy circus.

Beneath one tree you could stand and see dozens of orange or yellow and black orioles at one time -- mostly Altamira but also Hooded, Orchard, Yellow-backed and Baltimore. They, Melodious Blackbirds and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers were after nectar. You could see the woodpeckers' long, black, stiff tongues probing for nectar in the flowers' bottoms. The Squirrel Cuckoos and Turquoise-browed Motmot, however, were after insects, especially what looked like stingless Maya Bees.

A pretty picture merely hinting of what it was like showing a Yellow-backed Oriole is shown above.