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Posts Tagged "forest"

Bicolored Antbird

Posted by on May 8, 2017

Bicolored Antbird

Here’s a catch made during my recent research trip to Costa Rica. Not a neotropical migrant this time, but a local resident species. This unusual-looking fellow is a Bicolored Antbird (Gymnopithys leucaspis), one of several so-called “ant-birds” that are usually found only in the vicinity of army ant swarms. All day long these birds follow the ants -at a safe distance- and expertly capture insects that are flushed, but not caught, by the invading...

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Spring Ephemerals

Posted by on May 1, 2017

Spring Ephemerals

Trilliums like the one shown here – and other ‘spring ephemeral’ wildflowers – only bloom for a short period of time in early spring; they then die back to their underground root system. But what a welcome show they put on each year, after we’ve been seeing nothing but snow for months! Before the tree canopy in our forests fully leaf out, the forest floor is briefly carpeted with flowers. Please enjoy them where they are found – in their native woodland habitat. Tempting as it may be to transplant some to your garden, most of these plants don’t survive and they are becoming...

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RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017

RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

RTPI provides innovative programs that bring nature back into people’s lives. RTPI researchers work with school and college students to give them a chance to study natural history first-hand, and open their eyes and minds to the workings of the natural world. Whether in our own backyard, or in a remote corner of Costa Rica, RTPI works to increase understanding of the natural connections between species, habitats, and people that are critical to effective conservation. Learn more in this outstanding video created by Nicholas Gunner of...

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Gray Four-eyed Opossum

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017

Gray Four-eyed Opossum

This is a young Gray Four-eyed Opossum (Philander opossum) caught in one of our mammal traps, as we were surveying for an unusual jungle rodent called Watson’s Climbing Rat (Tylomys watsoni) in Rara Avis Nature Reserve, Costa Rica. Believe it or not, the rat would have been bigger than this opossum (and particularly fond of chocolate and soap). Like it’s cousin, the Virginia Opossum, these guys show a remarkable resistance to venoms and poisons, including snake venom, and are relatively immune to dangerous snake bites. In North America, opossums have been credited with being a biological...

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Downy Woodpecker

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is an industrious little bird that frequents parks and woodlots throughout much of North America. While often spotted at backyard feeders with similarly sized chickadees and nuthatches, this black-and-white woodpecker is also at home on tiny branches where it can be seen acrobatically foraging for insect larvae. Roger Tory Peterson described this bird’s call as “a rapid whinny of notes, descending in pitch.” Keep an eye and an ear out for this charismatic little bird; its striking plumage, shrill song and tree-trunk tapping should...

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