13 October, 2013

Yellow #1

Seems that things yellow have been predominant lately.  First up is this formidably handsome Lesser Yellow-Headed Vulture.

The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture is similar to turkey vultures, but has this fantastic colored head!
 They often perch low or even on the ground.  This one was on a 15 ft tall dead tree next to the marsh.  They are not as abundant as turkey vultures.
This profile view shows the orange to yellow to blue and purple color on the featherless head.
They like to hang out with turkey vultures, which are abundant around here.  In the evenings, the vultures soar in mixed groups on the thermals right along the coast. They are full-time residents of Belize
The adults have red eyes. You can also see some of the lighter grey feathers of the tail and primaries.
Some of the winter birds are beginning to show up.  Some will migrate on through to their way further south and some will stay here.  The yellow warblers showed up in large numbers and made a small ruckus as they flew back and forth between the palm trees and sea grapes. 
They made their chipping calls as if they were doing a roll call to see who made it here so far.
Some of the yellow warblers will be around all winter.  This one seems to like the sea grape right next to our veranda. 
They are never still for very long. 
This fellow just finished his bath in the raindrops caught on the leaves of the sea grape.
Keeping with the yellow winged creatures is this lovely black and yellow butterfly - the Polydamas Swallowtail,  Battus polydamas.  It is also called the tail-less swallowtail.
Hard to get a good photo of this very active butterfly.
I took lots of shots, counting on luck that one or two would be useable.
It never did alight on anything, just flitted around.
Hard to believe they are the same species of butterfly; they looks so colorful on the underside. 
I love the bright orange Ss at the edge of the wing.  And its thorax is polka dotted!
The beautiful Allamanda cathartica vine is growing wild at the edges of the jungle.
The yellow flowers are large and stunning.
In addition to the flowers, the seed pods are quite noticeable. 
Here, I focused on the seed pod in the background of the flowers. 
This spiky seedpod is an impressive 3 inches in diameter.  
I got a three-for-one deal with the Allamanda - flowers, seed pod, and surprise flower resident! 
A big spider had made a temporary home hanging upside down inside the flower. 
One of the most entertaining of the yellow-themed entities was this energetic yellow-throated warbler.
It hopped along the edge of the deck, just a few feet away from me.
It was actively hunting for insects on the outside of the cabana.  In one of my bird guide books there is a comment on finding it at the eaves of buildings. 
It hopped all along the gutter.
It was very conversational with me.
Definitely one of the friendliest wild birds I have encountered.
I'll end with a rainbow that appeared to the west over the jungle after a morning rainstorm.
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