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Steve Howell and Rich Hoyer (rh)
Luxuriant forest and spectacular rivers characterize the Lancadon rainforest (rh),
Where the sound of Black Howler Monkeys is almost omnipresent.
The region is home to some of the most spectacular ruins in the New World.
These include Yaxchilán, best reached by motor canoe…
…along the Usumacinta River, still an artery of commerce in the region.
The ruins at Yaxchilán offer a great backdrop to some great birding
One tree may hold a Lesson’s (formerly Blue-crowned) Motmot…
… the next a Squirrel Cuckoo.
An option to climb the temples offers a view over the rainforest canopy
Where a Black Hawk-Eagle might pass low overhead,
Or the ethereal White Hawk might float over, like a giant white butterfly,
Or if we’re very lucky a nomenclatural combination of the two—the rarely seen Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle.
A fine open-air lunch and optional siesta follow most mornings in the field,
Although a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird nesting outside your cabin may distract you from sleep,
As may butterfly “puddle parties”…
… that can include the stunning Dark Kite Swallowtail.
At Bonampak the temples hold some remarkable sights… (rh)
Not least the famous painted murals.
The ruins also offer perches for the dashing little Bat Falcon…
… and homes for Spiny-tailed Iguanas.
We may find the inconspicuous White-whiskered Puffbird sitting quietly beside a trail,
Or enjoy a flashing view of the Long-billed (formerly Long-tailed) Hermit stopping to inspect a brilliant blossom.
To the endearing Central American Spider Monkey.
Palenque Ruins, Chiapas, Mexico
Staying at a wonderful forest lodge…(rh)
… with many wintering North American migrants around the cabins, such as Hooded Warbler…
As well as non-North American species, such as the stunning Crimson-collared Tanager,
Plus one of the world’s best pools.
On our last day we’ll visit the vast Usumacinta marshes in hopes of the usually skulking Pinnated Bittern, here behind a Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, a Limpkin, and can you spot the Green Heron?
And here simply posing beside the road.
The handsome Black-collared Hawk may try to blend with its surroundings, but all too soon the trip will be over…
…although your memories of the rainforest will remain,
From its quiet mystical ruins…
… to the wildlife, both shadowy and elusive
…to the unavoidably colorful Keel-billed Toucan.