Birds of Nicaragua,Part 1

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Nicaragua is home to numerous awe-inspiring birds since it is the ecological bridge connecting North and South America. The biodiversity is strikingly vast, with 703 bird species inhabiting Nicaragua, and here is a short introduction to our flying family:

The guardabarranco

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This bright-colored bird has been elected as national bird of Nicaragua. However, it doesn’t get the same respect in the neighbor country,Costa Rica. It is known as pájaro bobo (“foolish bird”) in Costa Rica because it allows humans to come near very close. Well, sounds like friendliness is not appreciated when it comes to safety!

The body of this friendly bird is mostly green-blue with a rufous back and belly. The tips of its tail resemble rackets and have long bear feather shafts. It has an interesting use for the tails; the move the tail back and forth while it hangs loosely( the wag-display). The guardabarranco does this in presence of a predator, communicating that it sees the predator and will be captured.

Magnificent frigatebird

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This large seabird flies over tropical oceans with its long black-and-white wings. The males have colored inflatable throat pouches. which is generally used to store fish and other prey while hunting.

They are not a fan of walking, they cannot take off from a flat surface either, so they are essentially aerial and able to swim for more than a week! Magnificent indeed!

Snowy egret

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These snow-white herons live in thick isolated islands. They often change location from year to year, and eat mostly aquatic animals such as frogs, worms and insects. They are smooth predators, vibrating their bills, swaying their heads, or flicking their wings to gather prey. Playful!

Snowy Egrets are permanent residents in most of South America and Central America. However, at one time the beautiful plumes of the snowy egret were in great demand by market hunters as decorations for women’s hats. As a result, their population decreased to dangerously low levels. However, now they are protected by law and their population has bounced back.

Peregrine falcon

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Peregrine falcon soars the skies over mountain ranges, river valleys and coastlines. They reach faster speeds(over 320 km/h) than any other animal during steep dives for the prey (the stoop). If your eyes are welling up just thinking about it, it is worth noting that the falcons protect their eyes during the dive with a third eyelid, spreading tears and keeping debris away.
The adult falcons are usually bluish black to grey with black wingtips and white to rusty underparts. The side of their cheeks are black which sharply contrast with their pale throat.

Scarlet macaw

bascolapariossept2008-103Red, yellow and blue are the colors of these eye candies. They are native to humid evergreen forests of tropical South America, giving color to rainforests. Some macaws may have green in their wings as well. Typically they are spotted flying alone, or in pairs, above the rainforest canopy. Interestingly, captive macaws are famous for imitating human speech. As if they weren’t cute enough already!

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Learn more about opportunities to see these beautiful birds at Jicaro Ecolodge.

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