Barred owl

barred owl

Perched in a tree, the barred owl scans the forest floor for small creatures. Large, forward-facing eyes equip the owl with exceptional vision and an acute ability to judge distances. Soft, fringed feathers silent the owl’s flight as it swoops down to catch its unsuspecting prey.

Yellow-rumped cacique

Yellow-rumped Cacique - 07 web

The yellow-rumped cacique is a highly social bird that nests in colonies. More than 100 nests have been counted in a single tree, presumably providing protection in numbers. The symphony of sounds emanated from a colony is truly remarkable, complete with fluting notes, cackles, clucks and wheezes.


 

Fairy Bluebird

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The fairy bluebird favors figs and travels throughout the forest in search of fruiting trees. As it passes fig seeds in its droppings along the way, the fairy bluebird gives fig trees the chance to grow in different areas.

Trumpeter Swan

swan web

The trumpeter swan was nearly hunted to extinction for it’s skin, feather, meat and eggs in the early 1900’s.  Protection, habitat restoration and reintroduction have allowed the trumpeter swan to make an amazing comeback.  Today the species in no longer considered in danger of extinction.

Hyacinth Macaw

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Two toes point forward and two toes points backward, allowing the hyacinth macaw to maintain a secure grip.on a tree branch. The hyacinth macaw’s strong, hooked beak is designed for cracking open nuts, a favorite of which is the oil palm nut.

Boat-billed Heron

Boat-billed Heron (17) web

Roosting in the trees during the day, the boat-billed heron comes down at dusk to hunt.  Standing still in shallow water, the heron waits for small aquatic creatures to pass by and scoops them up with its wide bill.

Red-tailed Hawk

red tailed hawk

Preferring open country, the red-tailed hawk is often spotted atop telephone poles and tree branches alongside roads. From there, it can scan the ground below for small rodents or other prey. It also searches for prey as it soars high above on broad wings. A hawk’s eyesight is eight times better than our own.

Emu

emu web

Large and heavy with shaggy, fur-like feathers, the emu cannot fly. Instead it walks, sometimes over great distances, in search of seeds and berries. When threatened, perhaps by a pack of dingoes, the emu runs at a surprising speed of up to 30 miles per hour.

Bald Eagle

bald eagle web

In the 1960’s, populations of our national symbol, the bald eagle, fell drastically.  Pesticides such as DDT accumulated in their prey and thus bald eagles, leading to infertile eggs or eggshells that were too thin.  Protection of the bald eagle and its habitat, banning of some pollutants and captive breeding and reintroduction are helping populations recover.

Blue-breasted Kingfisher

kingfisher web

The strikingly colored blue-breasted kingfisher inhabits the tropical forests of Africa. It perches in the shade, keeping an eye out for unwary prey such as large insects, fish, and frogs. Like all kingfishers, it has a thick and strong beak adapted for its carnivorous lifestyle.