Sunday, January 5, 2014

Honduran Bird

Today in Philadelphia we woke to frigid temperatures, as an arctic blast hit overnight. Snow on the ground, seven inches or so, and the cold made it a day to stay inside and read. And work on picture processing. I'm so far behind ...

It was over 100 ℉ when we saw this bird back in March. It is the very colorful Scarlet Macaw, national bird of Honduras (another theme starting?).

We were visiting the Mayan ruins at Copán in western Honduras. We weren't quite prepared for the heat. But when in Copán, you visit the ruins. It was why we came. So off we went.

We knew the birds would be there, but we didn't know how many or where they might be. It turned out they were very easy to find. Our first glimpse of the birds came as we entered the site.

There, up in the trees, we spotted them. I had a relatively short lens on my camera, better to photograph the ruins. But not so good for birds. Not to worry as later we would get somewhat closer looks ...

The bird played a big part in Mayan culture, with the bird being sacred and representing daylight and the rising sun. This bird presided over the complexes ball court. And has done so for hundreds of years, although the ball games are much less frequent these days.

Copán has the most macaw carvings of any Mayan site.

The birds at the ruins are part of an ongoing program to improve the long term viability of the bird throughout Honduras. Threatened by habit loss and the pet trade the program has both an educational and a breeding component. So far it has been a success. Here's hoping that continues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would love to see these flying around (and not in a zoo exhibit)...Loving those bright colors!