Mesoamerican Month at 10,000 Birds has been better for all of us thanks to the photos of my friend from Guatemala, Renato Fernández Ravelo. Renato, a distinguished naturalist, photographer, and author of Birds: Guatemala’s Feathers, has already contributed stellar shots of a Steller’s Jay and Resplendent Quetzal. When I recently received a brief but poignant e-mail with yet another striking image, I asked if he’d allow me to share it all. We’ve spoken out vehemently about the avian pet trade in recent months but our focus has mainly been parrots. Here is an example of how the bird trade affects virtually every genus and every nation…
Enclosed you will find a picture of a common bird in Guatemala called locally 7 Colores, in English called Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris pallidor), but few of us notice it. It is a migratory bird that around this time starts its flight to Southern US and Northern Mexico to mate. With the biggest and generous heart, a friend of ours purchased the bird with the intent to release it. When she consulted with me, I mentioned what I stated previously and she gave it to me so I would release it.
When I got home I did precisely that, and perhaps thanking me it posed for a picture, which I share with you. The real message is that when you see exotic or wild birds on unauthorized sales, do not purchase them as this is the only way to stop this bad practice. No demand implies no business.
The line “but few of us notice it” really hurts – if you have never seen a Painted Bunting.
Thanks a lot for sharing the amazing picture and the story behind it!
I am 51 years old and began photographing birds only 4 years ago. So for 47 years I have missed some beautiful sights. I will try to maintain a feed of pictures, and hopefully my friend Mike will like them.
Illegal bird trade is sickening. I forgot to mention that the cage contained two males and two females. When released, the birds seemed disoriented and one male apparently was ill. They remained close to our backyard for a couple of days not to be seen again. Being an optimist, I’m sure they are on their way north.
If Mike dares to not like your pictures, he’ll get in trouble!
I have to second Jochen’s original comment, as I have never seen a Painted Bunting of any type.
That’s a good reminder. If I had seen these birds caged up, I know that I would have wanted to buy them to set free as well. But I wouldn’t. No matter how heartbreaking, we can’t encourage trapping.
I also have never seen, or noticed this beautiful creature. maybe it is not found in my neck of the woods. (Northern Califonia.) nice photo. I used to be a hunter, until I begain to really see the beauty in nature. thankfully I was never very good at it. besides it is so much harder carrying a rifle then a camera.