Amazon Parrots- On A Tamaulipas Ranch (Mexico): 1996


In 1996, a few years after having been bitten by the parrot bug (and occasionally by an African Grey and a Double Yellow-head Amazon), I made two trips to a working cattle ranch near the Gulf Coast of Mexico- Rancho los Colorados (figure 1). For a number of years the owner had let it be used by researchers studying the three resident species of Amazons: Double Yellow-heads (Amazona oratrix), Red-lored Amazons (A. autumnalis) and Green-cheeked Amazons (A. viridigenalis). Ernesto Enkerlin-Hoeflich had just received his PhD from Texas A&M University, comparing the ecology and reproductive biology of the three species. Michael Schindlinger was studying Amazon vocalizations for doctoral research at Harvard; and Jack Clinton-Eitnear (a former AFA President and director of non-profit Center for the Study of Tropical Birds) was studying parrot ecology. It was a great place for research on Amazons, as parrots were almost dripping from the trees! That also made it a good place for a budding parrot conservationist with all the researchers around to explain the science behind what they were doing.

My first trip was an ecotour organized by Marie Digatono, a friend of Michael Schindlinger. For quite a few years she ran Vista de Pajaros Eco-tours for parrot...