Archive for April, 2015

Swallow Tailed Kite

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

swallow tail kite closeup

Afternoons here at Mount Totumas are often accompanied by clouds that drift up the valley pushed from the mass of thermal energy rising up from the Pacific Coast. Riding the thermals just in front of the clouds Swallow Tailed Kites circle effortlessly. Few birds can rival the grace of these kites especially when observed from above as they soar just a few feet above the forest canopy, occasionally dipping and diving as they pick off prey. This is one species that never fails to thrill the observer who cannot help but envy the mastery of wind and space these birds command.

For those of you who know The Swallow Tailed Kite words cannot describe this mastery of flight. One is left awestruck at their beauty and acrobatics.

Jiri Zagura from the Czech Republic who recently visited MTCF captured these images during the last morning of his stay with us. The birds were bidding him farewell.

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Lichen Katydid Video

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

A few posts back we featured a camouflaged katydid on the bark of a tree with Lichen. A couple weeks later and the insect was hanging faithful to the same spot. So we made a short video. Check it out.

Still don’t know what species this is…….

Chrysina batesi; gold variant

Monday, April 20th, 2015

chrysina sp 12

In the spring of the year Chrysina beetles emerge here at Mount Totumas. The largest species here is Chrysina batesi and most of the specimens we see are silver with a touch of green. This week we found a specimen that is gold orange. A shimmering beautiful beetle.

Albert Thurman helped to put me in with David Robaker who is a Chryina beetle specialist and manages a website dedicated to these beetles. On the link below you can see a gallery of the spectacular diversity and forms

chrysina gallery

Stunning Photo of Resplendent Quetzal

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

jir quetzal 2

Petr Sula from the Czech Republic returned to Mount Totumas this year with a new group of aspiring photographers. Jiri, one the group members, patiently waited at a site where a pair of Resplendent Quetzals where courting. He was able to capture a stunning photo of the male quetzal in full breeding plumage. A fantastic photo.

Jiri quetzal 1

A Leopardus tigrinus got into our chicken coop

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

graciela with cat killed chickens

Looking back at some old photos from 2013 is this lovely photo of Graciela after she cleaned and dressed the chickens that were killed by a Leopardus tigrinus , a small wild feline about the size of a house cat that wandered into the chicken coop at night and killed 6 chickens. Reinaldo chased away the cat and we couldn’t let those chickens go to waste!