In this Issue:

Animals, Birds & Flowers Of The Month
Peccary, Jaguarundi, Black-necked Stilt, Tree frog & Tassle Flowers
Collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) Normal size is 45 lb and 18 inches for the collared peccary and may be seen together with the larger white-lipped peccary but unless seen together for comparison, size may not be a reliable means of distinguishing the species. Herd size and/or coloration are more reliable distinguishing characteristics: white-lipped peccaries forage in large herds, rarely less than 20 individuals and usually many more. The fur on the cheek and lower jaw of this species is cream/white. Collared peccaries, in contrast, forage in much smaller herds, usually less than 10, and rarely more than 15 individuals. While their grizzled, dark gray/brown coloration is similar to the former species, the collared peccary lacks the white chin patch. Although not always noticeable in the field, the collared peccary has a cream-colored collar running from its shoulder to its chest. We saw a herd of 15 in Corcovada National Park and took some great video.

White-lipped peccaries are placed by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) in appendix II - threatened! Because of their narrow habitat preference - undisturbed primary rainforest - white-lipped peccaries are particularly vulnerable to habitat destruction. As a result of widespread deforestation, populations of white-lipped peccaries in Central America have become fractionated, and reproductively isolated. And, as if this is not bad enough, these peccaries are great to eat and mercilessly hunted. In fact, it is hunting that threatens the still sizable herds of white-lipped peccaries in Corcovado National Park - the largest population of the species left in Costa Rica.
***********************************************************
The Jaguarundi (León Breñero) is unspotted and with its long sleek body, short legs and small head it looks like a cross between a cat and a weasel. The Jaguarundi hunts day and night and is also an excellent swimmer. It is the wild cat which is best adapted to human changes to its habitat.
Jaguarundis are often blamed for hunting chickens but in most cases the culprit is a tayra (tolomuco), a member of the weasel family which from far ressembles to the jaguarundi.
***********************************************************
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
   
The black-necked stilt reaches a height of 13 to17 inches (33 to 43 cm), with a 27-inch (68 cm) wingspan. Adult males have black backs, white bellies, black bills and long red or pinkish legs. Adult females look the same as males, but have brownish backs. Both males and females have long, pointed black wings and a slender bill that curves slightly upward.
    Worms, mollusks, shrimp, insects, small fish, and sometimes floating seeds make up the black-necked stilt's diet. Foxes, gulls, skunks, coyotes, and other birds prey on the stilt. It reaches sexual maturity at one year. Their mating season lasts from April through August. Nests are built on the ground near water, and are made of sticks, mud, or shells, or scrapes in the ground, and may be lined with grass, twigs, and shells. Females lay three or four tan-colored eggs with dark brown or black irregular spots. Incubation is 22 to 26 days. Chicks are able to run, walk and swim as soon as their down is dry, which is usually within 24 hours of hatching. Their lifespan is approximately 20 years.

    Black-necked stilts may arrange their nests in small colonies of six to ten nests. Although parents share nest-tending through the incubation period, males will often mob intruders and will even try to chase people away. After the chicks hatch, the parents will remove all eggshells from the nest, probably to better camouflage the nest. At night, chicks will hide from predators in the water, inhibiting predators from seeing them or smelling them.

    Black-necked stilts are also called daddy longlegs, stilts and longshanks. Stilts' legs are longer in proportion to their bodies than any other bird except the flamingo. Stilts belong to the family Recurvirostridae which, in Latin, means "bent bill." Black-necked stilts have partially webbed feet, which allow them to swim - but they rarely do.

    Black-necked stilts prefer marshes, mudflats, flooded fields, ponds and drainage ditches where food is abundant.
********************************************************
Red-eyed tree frogs
(Agalychnis callidryas)come from rain forests of Costa Rica in Central America. While lovely creatures and good breeding pets, I really, really recommend that this not be a good pet for beginners! They are pretty expensive and fairly delicate.
Why do they have such bright red eyes? Some believe that it is also a form of protection called "startle coloration". These frogs tend to be active at night, so if the frog is awakened in the daytime, as might happen if a predator chanced upon it despite its excellent day time camouflage, the eyes pop abruptly open. Since they are suddenly so bright, they startle the predator, who is likely to pause, if only for a moment. Big eyes staring at you could be those of an enemy, poised to attack. A moment's hesitation would be all the agile tree frog would need to make a leap to safety. Similar ruses are known in other animals. For example, some large moths have equally dramatic eye-like spots of color on their hind wings. Like the frog, they sleep in the day, and the camouflage-colored forewings cover the eyespots of the hind wings. But if such a moth is disturbed, it slides the front wings forward, suddenly revealing the dramatic eyespots on the hind wings.
*********************************************************
 Love-lies-bleeding
or tassle flower gets its unusual common name from its tiny blood red petalless flowers that bloom in narrow, drooping, tassel-like, terminal and axillary panicles throughout the growing season. Panicles typically hang straight down to 12” (infrequently to 24”) long.  Cultivars with yellow-green flowers are also available. Oval, light green leaves (to 6” long). The seeds of this species are edible, and species plants are grown as a grain crop in some parts of South America. This plant is an everlasting (Amaranthus comes from the Greek word for unfading) whose flowers retain some color when dried for arrangements.
http://www.moplants.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/amaranthus%20caudatus.jpg

To see more tours in Costa Rica: GO HERE

For information about Costa Rica scuba diving, soft adventure, extreme
adventure, accommodations and travel throughout the country contact our
U.S. Office 877 853-0538 M - F, 9 - 5 ET Or EMail Anytime.

Planning a trip? Subscribe to our FREE, informative newsletter, know before you go. CLICK HERE www.BillBeardCostaRica.com






Collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) photo in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
The Jaguarundi (León Breñero) is unspotted and with its long sleek body, short legs and small head it looks like a cross between a cat and a weasel.
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) Thousands of birds like these Black-necked Stilts live along the Tárcoles River, Costa Rica
SPOT THE DOT: The red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas), native to Mexico, Central America and South America, is one of many animal species found at the Rainmaker Reserve, inland from the Central Pacific coast, near Manuel Antonio & Quepos. Unlike the harlequin toad, whose last Costa Rican population is found only within Rainmaker, the red-eyed tree frog is not in danger of extinction
The Beach Times / Leland Baxter-Neal
Amaranthus Caudatus, Tassle Flower, Love-lies bleeding. Photo taken at Captain Suizo Resort, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by Bill Beard

There're a lot more at BillBeardCostarica.com
Home | Search | Photo Gallery | Cocos Islands Liveaboard Diving | Privately Guided Tours | Non-Private Tours | Fishing | Rental Cars | Guest Comments | Costa Rica Diving Dive Sites | Flights To Costa Rica | Costa Rica Driving Tips & Highway Signs | All Inclusive HOT DEALS | Links | Costa Rica Travel | River-Rafting | About Bill Beard's | About Costa Rica | Contact Our Office | Frequently Asked Questions | Canopy & Canyoning | Costa Rica Adventure Dive Travel Video | Volcanoes Of Costa Rica | Honeymoons & Romantic Getaways |

© Copyright Bill Beard Adventure Travel Costa Rica