Dawn in the Forests of Bonaire
Just before light chases them away, geckos chirp their farewells from tree to tree and branch to branch. As the blackness of night dissolves in to the brightness of day, the first bird begins to sing. The Northern Scrub Flycatcher without fail, is first to wake, starting the day with short, but loud tweets. At around fifteen minutes later, the Venezuelan Troupial joins in, whistling to the sun, encouraging it to rise. Then, as if the Troupial said it’s all alright, the ornithological orchestra commences. Bannaquits shriek with lisp like sounds and Tropical Mocking Birds start with sweet, intricate and playful melodies. Pearly Eyed Thrashers dash around, chasing each other energetically through the trees and cacti. Yellow Orioles, Black Faced Grassquits, Yellow Warblers, Common Ground Doves, Bare-eyed Pigeons, all join in the extraordinary dawn chorus.
As the sky begins to burn with the colours of fire the cold blooded reptiles arise from their hideouts. The endemic Bonairian Anole, scampers up a sapling to flare his yellow throat. In a rather robotic fashion, he juts his head up and juts his head down, until he is quite suffice. Suddenly he darts back down, as though he’s just proudly raised the flag of his nation. The last of the nocturnal hermit crabs, late back to bed, scuttle across the floor like drunken youths out on the town.
Noisy, intrusive and yet still beautiful, the boisterous Amazonian Yellow Shouldered Parrots crash amongst the treetops. Brown Throated Parakeets whiz around, like military fighter jets, flying fast and precisely in the warming dawn sky. The alarming sound of an engine roaring, rips through the morning soundscape. A tiny, delicate Emerald Green Hummingbird, the source of the engine sound, beats it’s wings at 100mph right beside your head. If you’re lucky enough to see it perch, you can truly admire the emerald shine that twinkles off the feathers.
Just as exquisitely and gradually as the whole thing began, the songs of morning fade in to the Caribbean sunshine. Much fainter and more distant, birds become muffled by the sounds of daytime. Everyone appears to be busy
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