green iguana
This is a green iguana. It was laying lazily on this branch, and watched us pass by in our canoe on the river.

2020/12/13 – Special Edition – Costa Rica – Part 2

Today, we continue with Costa Rica, and as I told you last week, we are going to see a few creatures I encountered during a couple of visits to the wilderness.

The animal who impressed me the most was this beautiful green iguana. It was just laying on a branch, lazily looking at us passing by on the river in a canoe. The whole ride was very peaceful and we were only surrounded by the beauty of nature. Some days I think I should have a tree house built in the jungle, where I can keep observing the wild life around me.

It was not the first creature I met though. Here is what appeared to me very close to habitations, as we were going for a hike in the nature preserve at Tortuguero. It surprised me because, although it is rather slender, its legs probably would spread over the palm of my hand. It is a golden orb-weaver. There is a great article here about this inoffensive for humans spider, and its foe, the zombie wasp. It describes in detail the weird stratagem this wasp has evolved to exploit this spider for its reproduction cycle.

Then we have a green heron. This bird deserves a special mention. According to this wikipedia article:
“Sometimes they drop food, insects, or other small objects on the water’s surface to attract fish, making them one of the few known tool-using species. This feeding method has led some to title the green and closely related striated heron as among the world’s most intelligent birds.”

We also have another heron, a juvenile bare-throated tiger heron. The wikipedia article has a link to a page with cool videos of this bird. The next picture shows an adult specimen.

Next is a bird with interesting colors. Red beak tip, green cheeks, and yellow tail, all that on a black suit, what a fancy bird!
It is called Montezuma’s oropendola. It was high up in the branches when I took that picture, so I had to enlarge it quite a bit, and we only see his belly. That is too bad because, as you can see in the pic in the wikipedia article it also has beautiful brown feathers on its wings.


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