The vans moved slowly over a dusty road in Nuevo León, Mexico. Twelve intrepid birdwatchers stared out the windows and strained to hear. It was mid-afternoon, and we had been birding since dawn. Enthusiasm was waning for some, but the true parrot lovers were leaning forward in anticipation, hoping for a glimpse of the rare maroon-fronted parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi).
From a distance, the echoes off the tall limestone cliffs sounded like acorn woodpeckers, a species we had encountered several times that day. The ricocheting calls were difficult to identify and locate, but we were warned to verify each one in case it was the maroon-fronted parrot. We parked and stumbled out of the vans again.
We scanned the area with our binoculars but were disappointed to match those calls to the woodpeckers.
**For the full article, pick up the March issue of BIRD TALK**
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