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Flyers by the Trees

Published Feb 8, 2007 - (Updated Dec 11, 2012)


Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Winter/Spring 2007 issue.

These are two of more than 300 different bird species that can be spotted locally. Search for them on your own or visit www.birdinginmexico.como to learn about professionally guided birding tours.

Orange-fronted Parakeet
Aratinga Canicularis
Perico Frenti-Naranja

The orange-fronted parakeet is the most abundant member of the parrot family seen in this area, commonly found in the tropical deciduous forest on the mountain sides, where they like the fruit of the gumbolimbo tree.
In the spring and summer they come down into the valley and can be seen feeding in large trees, such as the wild fig trees and the guamuchiles.
These birds do not fly as high as some other species of parrots and macaws and have been reported to excavate nests in the large termitarias at the middle level of large jungle trees.
Their numbers have diminished because of their use as pets and the loss of their habitat. Their status in the area is vulnerable because of the increasing destruction of tropical forests.

Momotus Mexicanus
Momoto Coroni-Café

The peculiar name of this species is derived from one of its calls, usually heard early in the morning on jungle trails. These beautiful birds are seen along the edges of the valley and can be common in the right season in the southern part of the bay.
The two large central tail feathers are stripped of webbing by the bird itself, using its bill for a short distance near the tip to produce a paddle-like effect. When perched they flick their tail laterally, somewhat like a pendulum.
Holes excavated in dirt embankments are their preferred nesting sites. Their presence is seasonal and can be more common on areas that have been excavated, like road grading.
Their status in the area is uncertain in the near future if effective measures to protect the tropical forest are not taken.

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