|A Plain Chachalaca; Puerto Morelos, Mexico; 12/24/10.|
Chachalacas are named after the sound they make, sort of the onomotopoeia of birds. They are an upland game type bird similar to a grouse or chicken but more lean and with a rounder head. They are brown all over with a grayish head and a lighter reddish brown belly. They travel in small flocks of 10-12 and forage in thickets, dense second growth, scrub and forest. They are found mainly in Southeastern Mexico and sometimes make appearances into the southern tip of Texas along the Rio Grande Valley. Even though the Plain Chachalacas are not endangered, they belong to a family of 50 other species spread throughout Central and South America, that are endangered due to overhunting.
Perhaps an hour later, Luis suddenly pointed to a low branch and whispered, "Chachalaca!" And sure enough there was one perched high enough above the thick brush to be in the open for a photo op. I think it felt bad that it didn't stick around long enough to let me take its picture before, so it hopped up onto a branch to let us see it so it could get onto this blog. Thanks Chacha!
|Val's pic of the same Plain Chachalaca; Puerto Morelos, Mexico; 12/24/10.|