National Geographic : 1914 May
Photo by Frank M. Chapman PELICANS IN BLACK MANGROVES IN TAMIAHUA LAGOON, MEXICO this forest has appeared in response to a natural subsurface irrigation. However this may be, the fact remains that at this point luxuriant tropical forest growth reaches its northern limit at sea-level, a circumstance which implies that one may expect to find here many species of plants, birds, and mammals heretofore known only from farther south, as well possibly as some local forms. AN UNEXPLORED REGION The region is practically unexplored zoologically, and offers an attractive as well as a readily accessible field to the faunal naturalist. Purely as a bit of per tinent information, it may be added that no one should attack it who is not proof against mosquitoes and the small ticks, locally known as "pinaleas." A day near Maclodeo's added- to our list of purely tropical species a third parrot, a tinamou (Tinamus), a great cacique (Gymnostinops), a hawk (Ru pornis), a falcon (Falco albigularis), a toucan (Ramphastos), a flycatcher (Me garhynchus), blackbirds of the genera Amblycercus and Dives, tanagers of the genera Saltator and Phenicothraupis, and flycatcher-like birds of the genera Lathria and Platypsaris. Even this encouraging and suggestive showing could not induce us longer to postpone our visit to the bird islands. Possibly, too, our departure was in a measure hastened by the ticks and mos quitoes, and on the morning of April 14 we continued our voyage, and two hours later landed on Pajaro Island in a tiny cove, with a sand beach overhung by black mangroves-a most attractive camp site. The beach, some 50 feet wide, was bordered by lower, grass-grown, evi dently at times marshy, but now dry, ground, and on the other side of this lay a still lower area several acres in extent, covered with black mangroves and other low trees and bushes growing in water. Up to this time few birds and no spoon bills had been seen; but giving no expres sion to our disappointment or to our rap idly changing estimate of Sefiora Maclo deo's veracity, we crossed the narrow marsh and entered the wall of vegetation on its farther side.