Bomb Chachalaca

Howdy all! Let it be known that rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Seems like a tired record these days, but the hustle and bustle is reaching peak levels. The Halloween party is mere weeks away which brings with it outright panic. This year it is twice the levels thanks to having to do the inside decorations and possibly the cooking along with the massive outdoor trail setup due to Linda still playing the recovery card (yes, I’ve been asking every one of her doctors just how many of those cards are left in the deck – good thing she can’t throw anything in her current state). Waaaay behind on posts for the month, not to mention falling behind on reading the output of the others I follow.

Going with a quick one today so I can get back to prop building. Today’s featured feathered friend is making its second appearance on the blog.

Plain Chachalaca found at Bentsen-Rio Grand Valley State Park in January 2018

You may recall this rather interesting looking bird is called a Plain Chachalaca – cha-cha-la ca. Our previous sighting was at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge back on our December 2016 trip down the Texas Gulf Coast (link here). This happens to be one of those birds you don’t tend to forget after your first encounter and quick to recall as soon as your ears catch tone of their presence. Their song signature is what led to the name. Cornell declares it sounds like a “raucous” and very repetitive “chac, a lak”. I on the other hand I feel it sounds more like two Bullfrogs being rubbed together in hopes of being able to start a fire. Even their call is annoying as hell – would describe it as what it sounds like when you quickly squeeze the air out of Possum lungs.

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of this Central American chicken.

Plain Chachalaca found at Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park in January 2018

Public Service Announcement and Legal Disclaimer. The legal services retained by Intrigued have recently directed us to explicitly state that you a) should not try to rub two Bullfrogs together and b) by absolutely no means should you attempt to try and grab a Possum and give it a giant hug! There, that should get the feathers on the legals patted down a bit… unfortunately, that means you will have to travel down to the very southern tip of Texas to hear these devil calls. Ron would clearly consider these noise boxes “visitors” to North America and will certainly argue whether they should be counted as a plus one. What I do know is I was standing in US soil when these shots were taken. The first two were taken at the Bentsen-Rio Grand State Park back in January of 2018. They were hanging out across the way from the Green Jays (link here) and the Great Kiskadees (link here). It felt like two rival teams trying to out cheer each other – pull out plugs.. insert into ears.

Plain Chachalaca found at The Valley Nature Birding Center in January 2018

So, if you are heading down to Texas to get this bird checked off your list, you will certainly find them at Bentsen and Laguna Atascosa. However, if you want to spend some quality time in a much more intimate setting, head over to The Valley Nature Birding Center in Weslaco, Texas. Warning though (no, not from the legal team this time), it doesn’t look like much from the outside. I still joke to Linda about how we stood in the parking lot trying to decide if it was even worth going in. She opted to stay, I decided to give it a run through since we had made a special trip to visit it based on advice from a Texas birding book. Wow, am I glad I went in as there were birds EVERYWHERE with the entire place essentially mine to explore. Think there might have been 2 other people that showed up towards the end of my 2+ hour stay. First thing I heard when I stepped out of the visitor center was someone trying to create friction with Bullfrogs. This is when I realized that these raucous calls pretty much hide your presence from the other birds. Perfect for being able to get up close and personal with your feathered subjects.. Turns out these

Chachalacas are quite the comedians. While lining up shots of the specimen above, another decided to bomb it.

Plain Chachalaca found at The Valley Nature Birding Center in January 2018

“By any chance did you see a Possum run through here!?!”

Sorry for the short post tonight. Ron came down and spent the weekend helping me put brand new heat sensors on all the Halloween props for the haunted trail. Can’t put into words just how much that helped me out, but still have a long way to go before the 5th. Stay spooky everyone!

10 thoughts on “Bomb Chachalaca”

  1. Glad to see you are still around 😁 Don’t go a lot on those chickens but then they probably would not like me a bunch!
    Not into halloween. A lot of people over here have embraced the US way and our shop gets stocked with all sorts of stupid ‘creepy’ snacks but, unfortunately, a lot of young thugs see it as a good excuse to create hell and scare the sh*t out of old folk!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you thank you thank —- now that Ron character, that is a different story! Sounds like you need to take the Halloween holiday back from those thugs – as soon as I read that part of your comment I immediately thought of The Purge. To be honest, the merchants are trying their best to get rid of Halloween over here to make more room for Christmas. Our local hardware store put up their Christmas stock last week alongside their Halloween display – quite sickening. Can’t wait to see what Ron says about those emoticons hehehehe. Appreciate you dusting off the link and dropping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well… There was Nightmare Before Christmas. That use to scare the heck out of my son. Then add a scary clown and I am sure it would scare him straight towards his mommy.😊
    I loved the photo bomb!!!
    I could use a couple of bull frogs rubbed together but sounds sticky and costly if lawyers are now involved. Oh well at least we have been warned.πŸ˜‚
    Great post! Been busy traveling the Great River Road. Now in GA then back to MN. No time to post a real blog but trying to keep up with those I follow. You are on my favorite list. Maybe that could be scarier than Halloween 😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clowns….shuddddeerrrrr – ask Ron about my utter distaste for those hell spawn – right there with your son although with “use” it seems to imply he is over that now – guessing huge amount of therapy sessions hehehe. Those Bullfrog lobbyists are brutal. One little rub and next thing you know you are dragged in front of the Bull court given 20 lashes with a long wet sticky tongue and then thrown in with the rest of the “croaks”. By the way, Georiga is a great birding state – keep you eye out for the Painted Bunting – one of the most beautiful birds you will ever see. I am honored to be on your list and completely understand how hard it is to post from the road – no worries, I can wait to read all about your GA journey. Thanks for stopping by (oh, and watch for Alligators)

      Liked by 1 person

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