Thursday, March 23, 2017

he's called squawkamole*

Or, at least, that is what Christy calls him.

During the month I was away from the house, Mexpatriate gained an animal mascot. A yellow-winged cacique started showing up twice a day to squawk and dance on my solar water heater.

His arrivals are as regular as the performances at the Copcabana -- and every bit as showy. 7 in the morning and 7 at night. With an occasional 4 PM matinee thrown in for good measure.

He arrives alone and starts with a piercing call that sounds as if a grackle is being throttled. He then displays his wings in a mating posture and his top notch perks up. Then around and around he will dance to the sound of some unheard tune until he tires and bustles off to his day job.

There are as many theories as there are people at the house these days. Darrel thinks he sees his image in the chrome water tank and is courting himself.

That would be consistent with the now-politically-rejected strict Freudian diagnosis that homosexuality is an extreme form of narcissism -- falling in love with someone exactly like yourself. (A version of that theme, of course, was hilariously worked out in Being John Malcovich.)

Christy has opted for the warfare option. She theorizes Squawkamole sees his image in the tank and reacts violently by puffing himself up and threatening the intruder.

I think he is simply a born entertainer who likes to sing (which he does not do well) and dance (which he does do well). We have plenty of local entertainers who are no worse than this guy. And they all seem to be quite pleased with even their most discordant performances.

The truth is that none of us have enough knowledge to have an informed opinion. But, by golly, we are Americans and we are not going to let something as trivial as facts get in the way of us taking our conclusions to heart -- and to battle, if necessary.

Whatever the reason is for what the cacique is doing, it is nowhere near as important as his doing it. He has brought hours of amusement to our household.

As a rule, caciques are gregarious. If you spot one, others will be nearby. This guy seems to be as much a loner as MASH's Five O'Clock Charlie -- and just as punctual.

Yellow-winged caciques have a very narrow range. Along the Mexican Pacific lowlands from Sonora to Chiapas. Mexpatriate's headquarters is fortunate enough to be smack dab in the middle of the bird's territory. And, even though I have seen plenty of his colleagues over the past eight years, Squawkamole is the only cacique who has deigned to perform for us.

I should set out a tip jar for him.

* -- You have undoubtedly already figured out the name is a portmanteau of "squawk" and "guacamole." Christy gets extra points for its creation.

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