Squirrel Cuckoo

I took this rather poor picture in Tuxtla Zoo yesterday (Sunday 24 Feb 2008). Obviously taking pictures of birds in zoos would be cheating, but this is in fact a wild bird outside the cages. The zapote trees in the zoo attract a lot of native wildlife. The reason I have uploaded a low quality picture is to provide proof of observation. The rather coarse scale distribution map for the Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) in Howell and Webb suggests that the species is not present in the central depression of Chiapas. In fact it is common in most of the more mature dry forest of the region. It is a rather tame, easily spotted and unmistakable bird. In spite of the poor light the darker characteristics of the southern thermophila form of the species can be made out here.



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