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Endemic and Migratory Birds of Cozumel, Mexico

By Frank D. Gardner

Cozumel is a small tropical island in Mexico which sits in the Caribbean Sea. This small island is widely known to be a great tourist spot. This tropical island holds a myriad of birds as well as other animals, both endemic and migratory. However many of these animals are decreasing in numbers. The island is being visited by countless of visitors and birdwatchers each year to explore the island and see some interesting birds.

Among the rarest endemic birds is the Cozumel Thrasher which is found on the island. However such specie is deemed to be nearly extinct. It belongs to the mockingbird family having brown and white with a long, curved bill which is believed to create a complex and irritating warbling. The species population rapidly declined after the Hurricane Gilbert in September of 1988. The most recent reports of sightings were in the year 2006; following two worse hurricanes strike this tropical isle.

Endemic Birds

The Great Curassow is another endemic bird but such species also belong to the list of endangered ones. This bird is a huge, pheasant-like bird which can weigh just as much as 6.8-11 pounds or 3.1-4.8 kilograms. The male is black with a curly crest and yellow knob on its bill while its counterpart the females have barred, rufous and dark morphs. These birds are several of the biggest of their kind, and quite often mate to several other breeds hence creating hybrids.

Some Of The Migratory Birds on Cozumel

Of course, not all birds in this beautiful island are endemic. There are some species that make use of migration patterns. This provides additional bonuses for birdwatchers which come at the proper time, as they can see a wider selection of incredible birds throughout their stay.

The American Flamingo is said to be among these migratory birds of the island. It's the only flamingo which naturally inhabits North America. And such bird was often referred to as Caribbean Flamingo right up until these were found staying in the Galapagos. It is in between the months of May to August that they are laying a single egg, and it takes anywhere from 28 to 32 days at the time it start incubation till the time that it hatches. The chick is brought up by the two parents right up until they reach sexual maturity six years after that. Did you know that these birds have a life expectancy of 40 years? Yes they do and can live longer compare to other bird species.

The Lesser Nighthawk is yet another special bird which migrates through Cozumel. The color of the adults is dark grayish-brown color with gray and white patterning. The male possesses a white throat, as the female's is a light brown shade. They are laying two eggs on the ground and without nest or so. The female then incubates the eggs till they hatch 20 days afterwards.

Cozumel is also a home to Black Skimmers. These tern-like sea birds are white and black having a bright orange beak they make use of to catch food once they skim across the water, therefore giving them their name. The non breeders have light brown bellies while the breeding adults have darker coloring. The chicks seem like the adults, however possess a white speckle pattern above their wings. During the day, feeding occurs exclusively, because the adults go on looking expeditions during the night.

There are actually more amazing birds that are both native and migratory to Cozumel. One of the very best places to see interesting and colorful birds is in Cozumel. No matter whether you're an experienced birdwatcher or one who simply enjoys seeing different kinds of birds you are sure to enjoy your birding experience in this small beautiful island.

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Ditulis oleh: Faisal Reza Siregar - Sunday, April 28, 2013

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