Birds of the Yucatan peninsula

The Yucatán Peninsula is one of the richest in the natural diversity of places on the planet. Perhaps, that is why the postclassical period of the Mayan civilization in the 6th-9th century flourished here. AD: here, after the decline of Copan, Tikal, Yashchilan and other cities lying to the south – in the territories of the modern state of Chiapas, Guatemala and Honduras, the development of one of the developed civilizations of the Western Hemisphere has rushed.

In order not to be unfounded, there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the peninsula  – in the southeast it is the Sian-Kaan Biosphere Reserve, and in the south-west it is the Ancient Mayan city of Calacmul and the surrounding rainforests (this so-called ” mixed object “). Such a big topic can not be embraced in one material, so below we decided to make a brief survey of feathered representatives of the local fauna with an indication of their habitats.

Black water cutter


These sea birds like to live in small groups near lagoons or river banks, hunting in shallow water for prey. Their main prey is the fish they catch flying right above the surface of the water and “combing” it with the lower part of the beak, thanks to which the water-cutters got their name. They are often seen in the vicinity of the Rio LagartosReserve , which is in the north of the peninsula, 250 km. by car from the resort of Cancun. This place is rich in many rare species of birds and animals, for example, such as pink flamingos and crocodiles lazily basking in the sun. We organize an excursion to these places, during which, in addition to the reserve, travelers visit the Mayan ruins of  Ek Balam .

Blackhead Trogon (Quetzal)


In addition to the Caribbean region, these birds live in Africa and South America. They are rather closed and secretive. Because of this, it is sometimes difficult to get close to them. It is noteworthy that the Brilliant Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, and the local currency unit is called “quetzal” directly. The ancient peoples who lived on the territory of Central America believed in the divine origin of the trogon, and their killing was punished according to the strictness of the laws of that time. From brethren living in other regions of the planet, the black-headed trogon is distinguished by a more interesting voice. This photo was taken near the archaeological zone of Koba , which we visit during an interesting excursion tour of  Mini Yucatan # 2.

Great Blue Heron


It is the largest heron in North America. They lead a solitary lifestyle and like to hunt without unnecessary witnesses. It feeds mainly on fish, but also does not disdain frogs, lizards, snakes, dragonflies, grasshoppers and many other aquatic insects, which are abundant in this part of Mexico. The herons peep out their prey in shallow water and usually swallow it whole. If the victim is too big, they, as it does not sound cruel, first strangle it. But for all it is necessary to pay – for the eggs of a large blue heron hunts crows, and the nests are attacked by eagles and raccoons. It, like a black water cutter, can be seen in the Rio Lagartos Reserve .

Large kraks


The largest representative of the family of chorophores. In addition to the Yucatán peninsula , it is widely distributed in the rain forest areas from Mexico to Colombia and Ecuador. Big kraks are not tolerant to people – he does not like representatives of absolutely all races and beliefs. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the number of their population has decreased significantly due to hunting. But now things are a bit better – these birds are found in the jungles near the archaeological zone of Calacmul , which, like the surrounding rainforests, in June this year was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the category of “mixed objects.”