Mexican Birds: Backyard Birding in Merida and Beyond
One of the pleasures of birding in Merida is what I may see. When I go to certain city parks, I expect to see several resident species. Sometimes I anticipate finding one which is difficult to locate because of its camouflaging plumage. For example, the only place I’ve discovered to observe the Least Bittern is in Merida’s Aqua Park (Acqua Parque). Many other resident birds live there too.
This football-shaped bird isn’t what it appears. Yes, it is about a foot-long and weighs almost as much as two golf balls. Obviously it lives in watery environs as this one is standing on a water lily pad. And this black-crowned, black-backed male looks as if it dribbled caramel on its chest.
But two things grabbed my attention to photograph it. First, I saw the bird out of its hiding place among marshy vegetation, and two, the neck seemed to have a hydraulic lift. As I watched, it almost doubled its length as its compact neck extended upward. That giraffe-like neck helps it catch its prey.