Ted remains unmotivated to write, so you’re getting my words (AGAIN) and his gorgeous photos.
Two days ago we took in naturalist Stephen Marsh’s talk entitled “Costa Rica – A Wildlife Paradise”, which included lots of great photographs and a couple of National Geographic videos featuring the many colourful butterflies, birds, amphibians, lizards and mammals that live here, to get us excited about what Ted might see on his tour while we were in Puntarenas.
Did you know that sloths’ hair is home to algae, sloth moths – and even sometimes cockroaches – in a symbiotic relationship? Now if we see a green-tinged sloth, we’ll know it is exceptionally healthy (if aesthetically gross). Stephen also shared information we didn’t ever expect to need to know: sloths have to descend from their trees to poop, which makes them vulnerable to predators, so they only do it ONCE PER WEEK and can excrete up to 30% of their body weight! This might just fall into the category TMI (too much information).
The half-day afternoon tour Ted took was called “Jungle Boat Crocodile Safari”, but that was a bit of a misnomer since the most prevalent wildlife were the glorious birds – and he didn’t see a single crocodile. Those on the morning excursion saw a few though, and got the pictures to prove it, so we know they were there. Nor was it technically a “jungle”, but rather a mangrove swamp in the Guacalillo Estuary, but maybe it was the vessel in which they travelled that was actually a “jungle boat”. It all depends on how you read it, I guess.
Even before boarding the boat, Ted was already pleased with the tour, since he got some great pictures through the bus window of a Scarlet Macaw in flight.
As the tour progressed, their tour guide Allan spotted and identified 27 species of birds! Naturally, many were too fast to capture on film, but what a great experience – and another testament to the quality of the guides here in Costa Rica, where tourism is a popular university double-major in conjunction with other subjects. On our various tours we’ve had guides who were botanists, historians, and political science majors.
Anahinga (I was proud to be able to identify this one, having seen them in South Carolina)
In total, it looks like Ted got pretty wonderful shots of 14 of the 27 species that Allan spotted. I’d say he had a successful day!
No green-tinged sloths though.