Snowy egrets to see at Lake Yaxha, Peten, Guatemala
Posted Dec. 6, 2018
Dozens of waterbirds are around Lake Yaxha and adjacent Rio Ixtinto for you to see, photograph, and experience. Here is one example, the Snowy Egret (no snow in Peten, Guatemala, December, January, and February are nice temperatures here in the Neotropical seasonal rain forest).
Egretta thula can be found along the south shore, west end, and north shore of Lake Yaxha, plus along the Rio Ixtinto (which starts alongside the island of Topoxte).
Boats are available from hotel Ecolodge El Sombrero or from the visitor’s center of Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo.
Butterflies & Flowers waiting for you to experience them at Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo
Posted Dec. 5, 2018
Pollinators are important to learn about because if they are exterminated by bulldozing or chopping down all the plants, or spraying pesticides and insecticide, then flowers will not be pollinated so no next generation flowers will appear.
So FLAAR Mesoamerica is making a list of all pollinators at Yaxha: bees, butterflies, bats, beetles, birds: plus even mammals (hint, the micoleon on the balsa flower).
Visit Yaxha to experience pollinators, and the beautiful flowers here. This particular flower is of the genus Cissus, possibly Cissus gossypifolia, a vine along the entire northern shore of Lake Yaxha and areas of the edges of Topoxte Island and Rio Ixtinto.
Birds along lake shore to experience at Yaxha, Peten, Guatemala
Posted Nov. 2, 2018
The several kilometer wide Lake Yaxha (and adjacent Lake Sacnab) are home to many waterbirds. We show a sample here: the Green Heron, Butorides virescens, north shore of Lake Yaxha, Oct 31, 2018.
The Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo is open all year long; bird-watching guides are available, plus several bird-watching specialists organize field trips here (Yaxha has more diverse eco-systems so you see a lot of different flowers and birds). Hotel Ecolodge El Sombrero is where we stay every month (conveniently located at entrance to the park). Boats are available so you can experience and photograph the waterbirds.
How to photograph Mayan animals (and pollinators)
Posted Aug 9, 2018
We do photography of spider monkeys, however monkeys, in the Neotropical rain forests of Tikal National Park and now Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo. It definitely helps to have good equipment. A great place to see all the options for digital photography is to attend Photokina 2018, in picturesque Cologne, Germany.
The FLAAR review editors attend Photokina every time for almost two decades. We hope to see you at Photokina 2018 this autumn.
Although we photograph jaguars, pumas and especially oropendola birds (and orioles and cacique birds of the Mayan forests), we specialize in macro photography of insects in general and pollinators in particular.
After they suck on the nectar, the grasshoppers go to the end of the flowers and eat the soft ends of the petals. All this is in the evening since this is a Moonflower species of Ipomoea; its relatives are Morning Glories (the one we have is a Glory of the Night (my own lyrical name suggestion)).
If you are planning to attend Photokina 2018 this September 26 to 29, you can have as a free download our Photokina 2016 report with recomendations, comments and brands who were present. Also with photo studio equipment exhibited and digital camara reviews.
Nectar thief discovered?
Posted July 09, 2018
Some “pollinators” don’t actually pollinate. They steal the nectar without getting any pollen on their bodies.
This week, in the FLAAR Mayan Ethnobotanical Garden, 1500 meters elevation, Guatemala City, I found what appear to be active and successful nectar thieves.
Instead of going down into the flower to get the nectar at the bottom, they chewed a pit into the base of the flower and were lapping up something tasty enough to attract them to the plant for hours every day.
So far we have not seen them initiate opening the thievery area (they have already done it by the time we see the flower), but when their heads are not stuck down inside sipping up something, it is clear that something has scraped or bitten an area about 3 mm in diameter and perhaps 1 to 2 mm deep (like a crater).
Once we do more research we can learn whether this habit by this insect on this native plant species has already been detected by botanists or entomologists, then we will publish the macro photos of these possible or indeed probable nectar thieves.