Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Flying Bananas

Sighting a toucan in the jungle is a precious moment. You hear them more than you see them, with their ghostly echoey calls, back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes they're so close, you know they're RIGHT THERE, yet they somehow evade detection. Other times, they're right out in the open. Generally solitary or limited to pairs or very small groups, once in a while they'll aggregate. As they fly, one by one, across a clearing, I have a hard time not seeing them as flying bananas.

There are several species of toucan in Costa Rica. The one most commonly found on the Osa Peninsula is the Chestnut Mandible Toucan. With their bright yellow beak and yellow bib, all stretched out on the wing, the resemblance to a flying banana is unmistakable; all the more realistic for the brown bruise on the bottom (the chocolate-colored mandible).

Just a little food for thought for you birders...

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