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.

Continue reading Bomb Chachalaca

Cha Cha Cha Went the Birdy’s Feet

Hope everyone is keeping warm wherever you happen to be. The Midwest is once again on a freezer lockdown as the temps plummet again into single digits. As I tell people, I really do not have a leg to stand on being that I choose to live in a state that experiences all of the seasons – the good with the bad, the perfects to the extremes. The irony of it all is Linda was quick to inform me tonight about the weather conditions in the very region we have been featuring this month, Texas. While we were down there over Christmas break, the temps were unseasonably cold. We went all the way to the Rio Grande and I didn’t get the chance to wear shorts once. The mercury essentially hung in the high 30s low 40s cresting once into the mid 50’s on the last day we were there. Don’t feel bad for us, our home town was experiencing -22 windchill. Our friends accused us of bringing the cold down to Texas and yes, it did warm up to mid 70’s the day after we left. Guess what, it is snowing in the Corpus Christie area and the windchill temps at South Padre are 18. Based on the covering we saw for 40’s, my guess is the locals were raiding grocery stores and bundled up like the kid in A Christmas Story.

Thanks to the web, you get to experience our latest southern Texas bird from the comfort of your home.

Plain Chachalaca shot at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Freson Texas in January 2017

That rather strange looking bird is not a chicken although Cornell did imply it was a chicken relative. It isn’t a color deficient Peacock either. This happens to be a Plain Chachalaca. I can say without a doubt this is one of Linda’s least favorite birds to encounter in the wild – at least when I am around. For some reason the name makes me laugh. Upon initial discovery of the name, I thought it was pronounced Chawkalawka. Channeling my inner child this was uttered in a deep long drawn out verbalization – think lost rainforest tribe dancing around a fire chanting to the fire gods. Every time Linda and I encountered one I was obligated to inform Linda of its arrival by repeating my new tribal influence moniker. Chaw Ka La Ka Chaw Ka La Ka Chaw Ka La Ka Ugga Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga hooked on feeling I’m high on believing that you’re in love with me.

Plain Chachalaca shot at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Freson Texas in January 2017

Hit the jump to find out more about the Plain Chachalaca.

Continue reading Cha Cha Cha Went the Birdy’s Feet