A PARADISE FOR BIRDS LOVERS
For those of you visiting the wonderful Yucatan Peninsula on your holidays, it is worth mentioning that Yucatan isn’t just famous for its beautiful islands, beaches and diving. It has also become a haven for bird lovers and watchers. You will be surprised to know that there are many types of birds found in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Bird Refuge in the Yucatan Peninsula
There are popular bird reserves in the Yucatan, where you can spot a score of birds of the Yucatan and other wildlife. The wildlife in Yucatan is nothing short of marvelous and exhilarating, giving you a whole new perspective in regards to Mother Nature. With up to 700 species of birds that are of different colors, shapes and sizes, you will be absolutely astonished by the winged creatures.
Tropical Forest Birds
Motmot: The turquoise motmot is undoubtedly a sublime bird. The Mayans named called this bird ‘Toh’. The motmot has a unique multi-colored layer of feathers and the pattern of the feathers. The motmot is a cave dweller species, a rarity. They have nests in caves as well as in the cenotes of Yucatan.
Parrots: You will also spot a variety of Yucatan parrots. The Mayans called parrots as “T’utt”; these endemic, exotic and multi-colored birds can only be found in the peninsula. The parrots here fly from different feeding grounds and the fly back in flocks to their roosting areas. They feed mostly on fruit and flowers and absolutely love to fly in flocks.
Toucan: The toucan or Rainbow toucan is found mainly in the tropical rainforests of Yucatan. These exotic birds are nothing less than beautiful with a colorful beak and a black body. Toucans prefer to fly in small flocks and are quite friendly.
Cormorants: Cormorants are big water birds that have an elongated neck and green eyes. They almost look like a reptilian species of some kind. They are very commonly found near shore lines of the beaches of Yucatan.
Pelicans: American white pelicans are most found in Rio Lagartos. You can spot the near piers and the shore line. Pelican dive underwater to catch fish.
Frigate: Also known as Magnificent Frigate, are exotic beach birds that like to steal food from other birds. The first size-up their prey, if they see that the bird carrying food is a slow flier, they will whip in close and steal food.
Storksherons: Storksherons are primarily mangrove birds that feed of small fish and insects. You can spot them at the mangroves of the Riviera Maya.
Flamingos: Flamingos too are mangrove birds that feed on fish and prefer to travel in flocks. There are plenty of flamingo reserves in Yucatan peninsula, Rio Lagartos for example where you can take a boat tour from their feeding grounds to observing their natural habitat.
Birds and the Mayan Culture
The Mayans used to worship a plethora of bird species and held them in high regards. Birds were an important part of their culture and were represented in various kinds of artistic expressions. The primary bird deity of the Mayans was represented as being a big winged creature, known as Snake Wing. Some of the most commonly found bird representations of the Mayan civilization that you will observe at various archeological sites include eagles, parrots, hawks, vultures, owls, turkeys, macaws, etc.