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The Chance of a Lifetime: An Amateur Photographer’s Dream Encounter


An Unexpected Discovery in the Sierra Madre

Apolinar Basora, an amateur photographer, embarked on his first birdwatching journey to El Triunfo, a biosphere reserve in Chiapas, Mexico. The group initially aimed to spot a different bird but was pleasantly surprised to encounter the rare Horned Guan, an IUCN endangered bird. This accidental sighting marked the beginning of an extraordinary experience.

A Rare Glimpse into the Life of Horned Guans

Basora’s luck extended beyond merely spotting the Horned Guan. He witnessed and captured a rare moment in the wild – the mating of a male and female Horned Guan. This event, especially being photographed, was an exceptionally rare occurrence, making his trip even more significant.

The Journey to El Triunfo: Challenges and Rewards

The birding trip to El Triunfo was neither easy nor direct. It involved a flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez and a strenuous seven-hour 4×4 journey through the Sierra Madre, followed by a five-hour hike. This challenging journey led to a remarkable payoff, highlighting the dedication and passion of Basora and his group.

A Day of Discovery: Encountering the Horned Guan

The day’s exploration began early but initially yielded no significant sightings. However, perseverance paid off in the afternoon when Basora and his group encountered the first Horned Guan. This moment marked the beginning of their extraordinary wildlife encounter.

Capturing a Moment in Nature: Skill and Luck Combined

The encounter with the Horned Guans was not just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It also involved skill and readiness. Despite the challenging conditions, Basora managed to capture the mating moment, a feat that was both lucky and skillful, considering the limitations he faced without a tripod.

Scientific Significance: A Rare Contribution to Ornithology

Fernando González, an ornithologist, emphasized the scientific value of Basora’s photograph. It provided a unique visual record of the Horned Guan’s mating behavior, a significant contribution to the study of this rare species.

A Message of Persistence and Passion

Basora’s experience serves as an inspiration to birders and nature enthusiasts. His message is clear: persistence in the pursuit of nature’s wonders can lead to remarkable discoveries and experiences.

A Serendipitous Birthday Gift

The story concludes with a delightful twist – the day of the incredible sighting and photograph coincided with Basora’s birthday, adding a personal and fortuitous element to this already remarkable tale.

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