Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) with lizard – 400mm, 1/1000s @ f/5.6 ISO 640
This little Pygmy Owl successfully evicted two Toucans from their nest (in an old Woodpecker hole) in the Ceiba tree located in Evelio’s front yard. The very same tree where I photographed the Honey Bears some months back. This little owl had just snared a lizard, and clutching it in his (her’s) right talon was in the process of taking it back to the nest when I captured this shot. It is so rewarding to catch an animal exhibiting a natural dynamic behavior, as opposed to a simple static portrait shot. These opportunities present themselves so rarely to the camera, that it is always with a sense of wonder when I can personally witness something so natural and actually capture it on film (metaphorically speaking).
My week of playing Indiana Jones has come to an end, and I am now back home in Merida. I will be posting a lot of images and narrative about the trip in the coming days (approximately 2,000 images to sort through, edit and select).
As I mentioned before leaving, the purpose of the trip was to place 30 remote trail cameras in the jungle at Kaxil Kiuic as part of Puuc Jaguar Conservation. We successfully placed 20 cameras, which leaves us 10 to go. Additionally, we trapped (in mist nets), identified, measured, photographed and banded a number of local bird species. We collected fur and scat samples from both Jaguar and Puma, and photographed the camera installations.
It was a very busy week, and a lot was accomplished. I will be documenting our efforts in further detail. But first I wanted to quickly let everyone know that I am back from the Reserve safe and sound (though extremely tired), I have tons of photos and copious notes. And thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, I was frankly overwhelmed with the number of well-wishers. I have included a couple of early shots from Day-1 at the Reserve.
Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis) perched on nest – 400mm, 1/800s @ f/6.3 ISO 1000
You see these Oriole nests everywhere you go in the Yucatan peninsula. They are quite a feat of engineering, and a marvel to examine close up. However, you rarely see the actual bird perched on top of the nest providing this beautiful and colorful contrast to its surroundings. The Orioles, both orange and yellow, really draw the eye when seen flitting in and out of the jungle foliage. It is the same visual affect as when viewing tropical butterflies scampering about in dense jungle.