Blue-grey tanager

One of the most familiar Neotropical songbirds, the blue-grey tanager flits about the treetops in small noisy flocks, feeding on fruit and insects. In a nest built of grass, moss and spiderwebs, a female lays up to three eggs during the breeding season. Both the male and female care for the chicks.

Inca Tern

With its long white moustache, found on both males and females, and its cackling call, the Inca tern is quite a character. A graceful flier, this seabird hovers over the water until it hones in on a small fish, such as an anchovy, just below the surface of the water. It then swoops down to grab the fish in its bright red bill.


Male capuchinbirds perform a competitive mating display at a site called a lek. Puffing out their feathers, they sing to impress the females. The male with the most impressive song, which sounds like a mooing cow, wins the most mates.

Spangled continga

As is common with many birds, the male spangled cotinga is brightly colored, in this case, turquoise, while the female is a duller gray. While the blue feathers make the male more susceptible to catching a predator’s eye, it also appeals to the female cotinga during the mating season.

African Pygmy Falcon

Though it is the smallest raptor in Africa, the African pygmy falcon is a powerful predator. Preferring to hunt early and late in the day to avoid the midday heat, the falcon perches and searches the ground for insects, lizards and other small animals. With a swoop, it snatches up prey in its talons.

Tawny Frogmouth

Though it resembles an owl, the tawny frogmouth belongs to an order of insect-eating, nocturnal birds that includes nightjars and nighthawks. It is difficult to spot in the wild thanks to its nocturnal lifestyle and excellent camouflage. When threatened, the frogmouth stretches and freezes to look like nothing more than a branch.

Masked Lapwing

The masked lapwing is a long-legged shorebird that spends most of its time raking the ground with its feet to unearth insects and worms to eat. The lapwing aggressively defends its nest during breeding season, dive bombing intruders or acting as if it has a broken wing to lure intruders away.

Crested Screamer

Crested screamers spend their days foraging in groups for aquatic plants in marshes and lakes. Their long legs and long toes help them wade through the water with ease. At any sign of danger, the bird flies up into a tree and sounds an alarm call.

Buff-crested bustard

The buff-crested bustard is named for a crest of feathers along the back of the male’s neck that are erected when displaying. The male courts the female by flying straight up in the air, and then seems to fall and catch itself just before it hitting the ground.

Spectacled owl

The spectacled owl roosts by day in a branch or tree hole. At night, it pinpoints prey with its excellent hearing in the dark forest. Its fringed feathers make little to no sound during flight so the owl can swoop in on prey without detection and carry it off in its sharp talons.