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  Critter of the Month
Roseate Spoonbill

Spoonbill Video
Roseate Spoonbill  
Crocodile Video LinkCrocodile
These are American Crocodiles, not Alligators. They will grow to over 20 feet, and can live for more than 60 years. The Tarcoles River provides the perfect habitat for these huge reptiles. Crocodiles have long snouts, extremely sharp teeth and powerful bodies. They eat fish, horses, cattle, birds, and anything else they can find!

This bird actually swims underwater to catch its prey. They spear small fish, instead of grasping them. Unlike cormorants, they have long, sharp pointed beaks and longer necks. They have a noticeable"kink" in their necks--a result of their lightning fast, thrusting action to spear their prey with their beaks. They inhabit water surrounded by trees and bushes so they can perch to stretch and dry their feathers.

Tiger Faced Crab

This tiger-face crab lives in the mangroves and burrows into the thick mud trapped between the mangrove roots. This video shows our guide explaining them to our guests.
Giode Video

"Thank you very much for the wonderful experience! It is one we'll never forget."

C.& J. Maze, USA

Great Kiskadee: Named because of their call, which sounds like "kiss-ka-dee," this bird is a member of the flycatcher family. It is boisterous and catches large insects, small lizards, frogs, snakes. It will even plunge into shallow water to catch small fish. It robs the nests of smaller birds and can also overwhelm larger predatory birds en masse.

IguanaGreen Iguana: "The chicken of the trees!" can grow up to 6.5 feet and is hunted by locals for food. As herbivores, Green Iguanas process and metabolize their food extremely efficiently. Black Iguana or Ctenosaurs: These iguanas are herbivores and also eat insects. Their meat is not as tasty. They are found in drier areas and are territorial. They will bob their head up and down when threatened.

Heron Video LinkBoat-Billed Heron: Roosting in the trees that overhang the water in daytime, these herons are easily identified because of their thick bill. They are solitary feeders, preferring to forage at night by sight and touch. Most other herons feed during the day. Their larger bill may help them to forage for food in low light levels. They usually lay 2 eggs which are very pale blue with rust colored speckles.

Baby crocCrocodiles: This baby croc was sunning itself on a log jutting up from the river bottom. Young crocodiles often feed on small aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates. Baby crocs are often prey to water birds: such as egrets, storks, herons and anhingas. Juveniles give alarm cries when threatened, summoning their parents to the rescue.

Roseate Spoonbill Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill:
Gregarious by nature, they feed, roost and nest in groups. Not only is their color striking, their bill is shaped like a spatula at the end. Wading near the shore, they wag their head back and forth, using their bills to sift crustaceans, fish and insects from the mud.

"An excellent tour! Meal was super also. We saw many great birds, etc. Guide was excellent - very well-informed and pleasant. Will recommend this trip to others!"

The Taskers, Canada

Motmot Video Link
Turquoise-browed Motmot:
The unusual tailfeathers are swung from side to side, like a pendulum, to attract insects. They catch butterflies, bees or dragonflies in flight and beat their prey against their perch before consuming it.

Their diet consists of snakes, frogs, rodents, nestling birds which they scavenge or attack alive. This is a juvenile with more mottled brown coloring than an adult.

BasiliskBasilisk or "Jesus Christ Lizards": So-called because they run across the water on their hind legs, these lizards are truly amazing! They are omnivorous and can climb trees. The juveniles typically escape predators by running across the water. Adults prefer to dive to the river bottom to change directions and escape the other way. The adults are powerful swimmers and can hold their breath for several minutes.

"I expected a nice trip -- got a great trip! The guide was excellent, as well as the meal. I loved all of it!"

N. Tiefel, USA

HeronTricolored Heron: This heron is unusual because it prefers solitude, unlike its gregarious cousins. It feeds by laying in wait or by stalking its prey which consist of small fish.

Whistling DuckBlack-bellied Whistling Ducks: Of the three types of whistling ducks, this duck actually roosts in the trees. It forages at night usually walking in shallow water looking for mollusks, insects and seeds.

Our animals sightings change, so come back and learn more about this unique habitat and its creatures!

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