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"Our journey in sound is set in northern Mexico at the foot of the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains. The trek from the lowlands to the highlands, promises an experience of natural sounds few other places in the world can orchestrate.

The music of John Hunter sets a dramatic mood for our journey and enhances the natural sounds. The strains of a classical Spanish guitar play as we walk above the river's edge. It helps us visualize the Bumblebee Hummingbirds in their courtship flights.

In the lowlands, we hear in the background the Clay-colored Robin and as we press onward, the Long-billed Thrasher accompanies a White-tipped Dove. Chachalacas create a fuss. We follow the river populated by Green Kingfishers calling and fishing. A Red-crowned Parrot is disturbed from its perch along the river and circles overhead as it investigates our presence. Along the river path we hear the Grayish Saltator and Elegant Trogon among the cascades created after a tumultuous thunderstorm. The Collared Forest-Falcon stakes out its territory.

In the mountain, high above the river's cascades, we enter the moist cloud forest. The Black-headed Oriole, Mountain Trogon and others sing late into the afternoon.

As night approaches, the insects take over where the birds leave off and in the distance we hear an owl calling as we set up camp and get our tent and sleeping bags ready for the night. It is the rainy season, so it is important to hurry.

In the distance, the thunder heralds the arrival of another one of the many thunderstorms so common in the cloud forest.

It's dry and warm inside our tent, while outside, the rain keeps coming down and one wonders "Will it ever stop?"

By morning the rain has cleared. The dawn chorus begins at first light. A multitude of birds begin to sing, including the Blue-crowned Motmot and the Blue Mockingbird.

The journey continues up the mountain toward our ultimate goal… the steep cliff of the Macaw canyon known as "La Encantada".

Along the way, the tiny Bumblebee Hummingbird provides a thrilling sight with its brilliant magenta gorge!. We hear the drone of the male's wings during its courtship rituals.

We continue on our way ... listening to the White-collared Seedeater and House Wren. The trail passes a small isolated farm nestled in a forest clearing. Then, for a short time the trail is blocked by a deadly rattlesnake.

As we reach our destination near the top of the mountain range, the wind through the pine needles provides a soothing respite ... a respite soon to be broken by the raucous calls of the Military Macaw. The view over the canyon is spectacular. To the west, rank on rank of mountain ranges fade into the distance.

Soon the Macaws fly up the canyon, their calls reverberating off the canyon walls. Our journey is complete.

There is something special in El Cielo. The spirit of the enchanted mountain is ours forever.

El Cielo serves as a success story of conservation ... its treasures will be held in trust for future generations."

Copyright Gorgas Science Foundation, Inc. Presented in collaboration with UTB/TSC.

The Foundation has a long history of innovation in the fields of conservation and education at Rancho del Cielo and in South Texas. These documentaries will serve as important tools in conservation projects, and they will provide for an enhanced curriculum. GSF believes that community and individual growth comes through education. GSF is dedicated to the development of new educational materials for use by teachers in the classroom and by the general public. GSF supports and encourages the pursuit of careers in science, medicine, and engineering. GSF has developed and manages three field stations, two in northern Mexico’s El Cielo Biosphere Reserve and one in the Ozark Mountains. In conservation, GSF encourages a pragmatic approach, balancing environmental and human needs. GSF has a long history of involvement in collaborative conservation and educational projects in Northeastern Mexico and South Texas. GSF supports local projects such as beach cleanups and reforestation at Sabal Palms Sanctuary and the Lower Rio Grande Wildlife Refuge. In Mexico, GSF supports research and conservation projects at the El Cielo Biosphere Reserve.

Physical Description

.WAV, 1411 kbps, 01:01:38

El Cielo: The Enchanted Mountain


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