This afternoon, while I was putting away a load of laundry, I heard a shrill bird call from the backyard. It was louder than normal, so I went to see what it was. I was surprised to see not just one, but five aracaris sitting in the tree by the back corner.
These toucans aren’t like the keel-billed (fruit-loop) ones that visit in the early morning and late afternoon. Those croak like frogs and have larger bodies with black feathers. This smaller version had a loud tweet/chirp. It had yellow, green, and red feathers on its underbelly.
A squirrel, sitting on a higher branch, was not very happy. It kept “barking” and jumping around. Each of the aracari flew away. The squirrel shook his tail in victory. The squirrels here have white and reddish bellies with gray/brown backs and gray tails like the ones in Texas/North Carolina. These are also skinnier than the ones in the States.
This afternoon’s distraction reminded me of my birdwatching days in Texas. I had a birdfeeder hanging on a low branch right outside the kitchen window. The cardinals and bluejays were my favorite. The hardest part was keeping the squirrels out of the feeder. They would bend, stretch, hang upside down–anything to get at the seed.
I’ve had a birdfeeder hanging on a garden hook in the back corner (near where I saw the aracari today) for nearly a week. I haven’t seen any birds or squirrels visiting it yet. I was hoping it would attract the smaller warblers and doves. Eventually I want to build a larger feeder to hold fruit that will attract birds (including the toucans), butterflies, and even the iguanas that live in the roof.
The flora and fauna here are extremely different from what I grew to love in Texas and NC, but the enjoyment of watching them is the same. It was a nice break in an otherwise ordinary day here in Costa Rica. Now I’ve got to go fold and put away that last load (sigh!).