THE TALE OF CHIPILO
“The Tale of Chipilo” is the result of the enthusiasm and initiative of José Arturo García Domínguez and José Raúl Vázquez Pérez. They began developing the story while working With Pronatura Chiapas, A.C. on a study of the winter ecology of the Golden-cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia) in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The story was first written and printed in Spanish. With permission from the two authors, the Spanish version of the story has been adapted for English translation by Rebecca Peak and the English translation was donated by Manuela Cerruti, CT.
This story describes the world of migratory birds from a bird's perspective, focusing on the natural history of the Golden-cheeked Warbler. The tale begins when the parents of the main character, Chipilo, meet in Mexico while migrating southward toward their winter homes. They reunite the following spring in the juniper-oak woodlands of central Texas. Although their first nesting attempt is not successful, Chipilo’s parents still have time to build another nest, lay more eggs, and raise young. Chipilo makes lots of friends that summer and has many adventures with them. As autumn approaches, Chipilo and his friends begin their first southbound migration. They explore many stopover areas along the way and learn firsthand about the challenges songbirds face during migration. Once Chipilo reaches his winter home, Coapilla, he meets some resident birds, such as the Resplendent Quetzal, which face the same threats to their existence as Golden-cheeked Warblers. Chipilo has many more exciting adventures during his stay at Coapilla, which includes meeting Dorita, a pretty Golden-cheeked Warbler. “But that my friends, is another story…”
This spring Pat Merkord (Bluestem Environmental Consultants), Mary Kay Sexton (St. Andrew’s Episcopal School), and Rebecca Peak (U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Hood) received a grant administered cooperatively between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Endangered Species Program of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a curriculum to accompany the English version of the story. The curriculum will provide educators in the state of Texas with innovative, relevant, and creative instructional resources to teach required concepts and skills as outlined in “Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for elementary grade levels”. Additionally, it will further public awareness about issues involving the protection and conservation of endangered species and their habitats.